We’ll take a walk around Magic Kingdom to enjoy some of the nighttime sights and as many sounds as possible via .jpg images.
The first part of this review covered the Disney After Hours event that continues through the summer and focused largely on touring strategy, in addition to including a lot of on-ride photos. This time around, we’re decidedly outside.
Our tour begins in Tomorrowland, where we’ll find the bright, colorful neon colors that really pop at night.
Like most things in life, nighttime photography is easy once you know how to do it.
Bricker has a guide on how to get started here.
All of those tips now make sense to me, but the bottom line is that you’re going to have to grab your camera and test out some settings to get an idea about how shutter speed, ISO, aperture, etc. all come into play.
I’ve carried a tripod into Magic Kingdom exactly four times in my life and typically rely on trash cans and smooth surfaces instead for my long exposure nighttime shots. That goes back 5+ years like in this post.
In a way, trash can photography is kind of fun because you’re limited to the top of said can and have to try to compose something of mild interest by whisking the camera around on the shiny surface.
Anyway, here’s a handful of tripod-mounted shots I took around Magic Kingdom this past Saturday.
As always, they’re not all good:
It’s fun to ride the PeopleMover during Happily Ever After with some of the bursts appearing over Tomorrowland. I also temporarily forgot how discombobulating Astro Orbiter is, so I “lucked” into that one during a couple of the Once Upon A Time show bursts.
Storybook Circus is another underrated nighttime destination.
Dumbo in particular is really pretty lit up.
Those are the elephants spinning off to the right.
Even The Barnstormer adds some pop under the cover of darkness.
Though the meet and greets close much earlier in the day:
The rest of New Fantasyland is at times a bit too well lit…
All of these pictures were taken during Disney After Hours when crowds are light. You can see me grabbing a sip of water during a particularly humid evening. I was surprised to be able to get those empty back-of-Castle shots just 90 minutes into the event, but I suppose there aren’t a lot of reasons to be walking through Cinderella Castle during After Hours.
But even with virtually nobody around, there’s still some amount of photographic hocus pocus going on here. Above is the original shot.
And the same shot with a hasty 30-second edit using the clone stamp and content-aware in Photoshop. No more strollers.
Here’s a fine shot of Main Street.
But I’ve also edited out a couple of people and some trash.
Never believe anything you see from someone willing to carry a tripod around Magic Kingdom for five hours.
Photography is a scam.
With the 1am end to After Hours, Main Street finally emptied out at 1:58am and we were on the ferry back to the Transportation and Ticket Center to an empty parking lot at 2:10am. McDonald’s run complete at 2:27am. We’ll get over to Liberty Square and Adventureland separately.
I’ll see about some actual Magic Kingdom content after I finish editing the 2019 edition of our Disney World guidebook.