Disneyland Resort is one of the most photographed locations in the world. Now, according to Instagram's 2017 released list, Disneyland Resort is the MOST Instagrammed place. Snapshots of Mickey-shaped food, character encounters, trending merchandise (think rose gold), and of course THAT castle, flood social media hourly. If you're camera ready to document your trip to Disneyland Resort, follow along with our guide to to find that perfect Disney photo spot.
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Before you begin clicking away, know a bit about Disney's PhotoPass Service. In summary, this option (fees apply) lets Disney's photographers take care of the photo-taking for you. Benefits include group inclusive photos (no lone photographer left out), character dining experiences, character greeting encounters, and action shots of your “I-can't-believe-I-went-on-this-attraction” face.
A fun bonus is the magic shots option. Disney wizardry can add Baby Groot on your shoulder or Tinkerbell spreading her pixie dust.
Iconic Disney Photo Spots
There are some spots in the Disneyland Resort that are simply iconic and folks gravitate to these photo spots ready for the perfect picture. One bonus of each Disney photo spot is that you can typically rely on a PhotoPass photographer to be there ready to take your picture.
Floral Mickey Entrance
Floral Mickey welcomes everyone to Disneyland Park. This beautifully plotted and potted image of everyone's favorite mouse is made up of seasonal flora. When you enter Disneyland Park, you'll usually see a line of guests waiting for their turn to pose in front of this infamous image making this one, if not, the most popular Disney photo spot.
Sleeping Beauty's Castle
This majestic icon sits at almost the direct center of Disneyland Park. Again, due to the popularity of this Disney symbol, it can be crowded. Marriage proposals, family reunions, and images of everything Mickey Mouse have been recorded in front of Sleeping Beauty's Castle. If you're short on time, stop at the castle for your memory maker. THIS is the E-ticket (highest caliber) Disney photo spot.
Or, for more creative angles, step to either side the castle. Snow White's Wishing Well on the east side makes for a great prop for any princesses in your group.
Pixar Pier Skyline
Although Disney California Adventure Park's Pixar Pier has gone through a few cosmetic changes since it's inception as Paradise Pier in 2001, the picturesque skyline remains the same. With the Incredicoaster, Pixar Pal-a-Round, and the boardwalk in the background, guests have found a perfect shot showcasing their Disneyland California Adventure visit.
A Disney photographer is available on the bridge entering Pixar Pier (near Lamplight Lounge), or grab your entourage and pose at Paradise Park located on the edge of Paradise Bay for that memorable skyline background.
Outside the Photo Box
Now the fun part. Put on your creative cap and look beyond a typical Disney photo spot. Each Disneyland Resort land and area has its own theme which can lend itself to your in-the-moment photos.
Mark Twain Riverboat
All aboard on Disneyland's Mark Twain Riverboat! This half-mile excursion around Rivers of America provides plenty of photographic potential. As the background continuously changes, you'll have ample opportunities for varied shots with friends, or for your own selfie.
And, if you're with a group, expand your borders and turn your camera inside the boat. With several sets of stairways, you and your friends can stairstep some silly poses. Don't forget to ask cast members to take a group photo for you as well.
Disneyland Railroad and Red Car Trolley
Disneyland Railroad cars also make for different photo backdrops but still incorporating the Disney brand. Ask a cast member conductor to take your photo while you pose on the side of a car (stationary of course). Take a group shot as you wave good-bye on your train adventure.
Keeping with the transportation theme, Disney California Adventure's Red Car Trolley is another potential Disney photo spot. Again, conductors are more than happy to help you get that perfect shot as you and your troop pose away.
King Arthur Carousel and Jingles
The carousel horses on King Arthur Carousel in Fantasyland add the right amount of Disney magic to your photos. Many guests hope to hop on Jingles (she's the lead horse and is dedicated to Julie Andrews) to capture their Disney day. Any of the horses, especially on the outside ring, are practically perfect for taking selfies.
And cast members will be happy to take a photo of you or your group posing on your horse. (This shot may need that extra help).
Millennium Falcon in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge
Well on it's way to iconic photo status is the built to scale replica of the Millennium Falcon in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. PhotoPass photographers are on hand to get your picture in front of the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy.
Props to Disney Imagineers because Cars Land is EXACTLY how we all pictured Radiator Springs would be in the human world. Radiator Springs Racers background is Cars brought to life. The Cadillac Range Mountains tower over the thrill ride but also provide a picturesque desert background for photo ops and selfies.
And, don't forget to bring your camera back later for a completely transformed Disney photo spot starting at dusk. Neon signs light-up Cars Land to cast a rainbow glow on Radiator Springs creating a colorful photo backdrop.
Redwood Creek Challenge Trail
Redwood Creek Challenge Trail is hidden Disney magic. Take your photo experiences to the forest. Here you'll find Big Sir- the towering 35-foot redwood stump in which you can stand! Or, if you're with your own Goof Troop, play with what's available.
Pose on the giant climbing cargo net or bridges, hang from the Cliff Hanger Traverse Rock Climb, or slide down the Hoot and Holler slides for some crazy photo ops.
MickeyVisit editor Lindsay Brookshier's article goes in-depth about Disneyland Resort's Instagram wall sensation. If this is your niche, read the article to find out all about the best places to take Instagram shots in the parks. For those of you not familiar with this fad, several iconic locations have become points of interest for guests to take selfies. Many try to dress to match the location too.
Here are some of the most popular walls:
- “it's a small world” wall
- Minnie's House polka-dot wall
- Animation Building “Happily Ever After” wall (popular with couples)
Disneyland Resort went further and added a few murals just for this phenomenon:
- Up wall in Hollywood Land
- Buzz Lightyear wall in Hollywood Land
- Coco wall in Pixar Pier
Iconic Holiday Photo Spots
Holiday cards are quickly becoming their own entity. Families dressed in ugly Christmas sweaters, location-themed cards, or holiday movie-themed cards are trending. Disneyland Resort can play along too.
Mickey Pumpkin Spot
During the Halloween Time season, the iconic place to get a photo is in front of the Mickey Pumpkin near the entrance to Main Street U.S.A. Be prepared to get this shot in the morning before the lines get full.
There are other iconic Halloween spots around Disneyland to get that iconic Disneyland photo spot picture:
- The Halloween tree in Frontierland
- The Cars Land Halloween decorations- including the cars near the entrance in their Halloween costumes
- In front of Haunted Mansion Holiday
Disneyland Park's 60-foot Christmas tree is iconic as Sleeping Beauty's Castle. This translates into long lines for those holiday photos. If you have your heart set on THAT tree with the castle in the background, then practice your perfect smile and pose, and settle in for a bit of a wait.
If you'd rather not spend valuable Disney time, take advantage of the Christmas trees elsewhere in the Resort.
- Disney California Adventure tree- located on Buena Vista Street
- Downtown Disney District trees- multiple locations
- Disney's Grand Californian Hotel and Spa tree- located in the Grand Lobby
- Disneyland Hotel tree- located inside the lobby
- Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel tree- also located inside the lobby
Main Street, U.S.A. Double Decker Bus
Grab your Mickey Santa ears or hats and hail this bus! Line yourself and your group along the stairsteps for a festive Disney photo spot. The attentive cast members are used to this so don't be afraid to ask them to take the picture for you.
Now, pack your flannel shirts because you'll want them for this humorous Disney photo spot op. Located at the base of Grizzly Peak, you'll find a bridge with a waterfall. Use this as your background to simulate hiking, climbing, or anything outdoor-themed for your holiday photos. Top off with a Disney scarf.
Next to the FastPass kiosks at Grizzly River Run, you'll notice a LARGE bear ready to ride the rapids. During the holidays, he's dressed in his ugly Christmas sweater. Add him into your own ugly Christmas sweater group photograph this holiday season. He's sure to steal the show.
Ready For Your Perfect Disney Photo Spot?
Think outside the picture box on your next Disney vacation. Have fun, be creative and say Mickey's favorite word- CHEESE! For more guides and ideas for your upcoming trip, subscribe to our newsletter and review some of these other guides.
- Holiday Time at Disneyland
- Disneyland Morning Touring Strategy
- Disney California Adventure Morning Touring Strategy
- Disneyland MaxPass Guidelines
- Disneyland Restaurant Reviews