One of the number one questions that I get when I showcase photos from the most magical place on earth is, “ How do you get photos in front of the castle with no one in it?” “It seems impossible on a busy day to get a photo without people in it?!?!” It’s definitely not impossible, it just takes a little strategy a tiny bit of pixie dust to make the magic happen. You’ll actually be surprised that the pixie dust is not Photoshop or any sort of editing tool to take out the people. All of my shots that I’ve captured have been achieved by timing the crowd out and using different angles to achieve the shot.
Let me share with you a few shots I recently took. This was done on a busy summer evening at Magic Kingdom. Sure you definitely can book an early reservation at Cinderella‘s castle and be able to get a shot with less people in it, but what if you are coming into the park and want to grab a shot of the castle on a busy evening… let me share with you my tips and tricks on how to do so. Once you arrive at Magic Kingdom find out what times the show in front of the castle begins. I believe at this time the show is called “Let the Magic Begin” The show runs for about 15 to 20 minutes, but you can always ask a cast member to see around what time the show will end.
Here is the meat and potatoes of the tip. You want to hang back away from the crowd while the show is exiting and everyone is leaving the castle area after the show. I usually like to hang out by the hub grass, or the popcorn/ concession stands to the right or left of the castle. Once most of a crowd has made their way to their next destination you swoop in and find a spot closest to the castle.
You also have an opportunity at this time to swoop in to the side spaces of the castle to grab that really cool shot of the side castle with the greenery as you see here.
If you’re looking for more of a front castle shot with the 50th anniversary my suggestion is to make your way to the closest part of the castle in the middle area. Usually, this area is chained off during the show so if you stay close enough once people exit you can really get an awesome spot for photos right after the show is done. This area can be busy straight on in the middle, but if you come all the way over to either the right or left you can get a great shot.
I have used the spot multiple times and most people tend to go right in the middle for a shot, but if angled correctly you can get the 50th in along with the subject in a really great composition for the shot.
I hope this helps when you’re heading over to the parks and want to get some shots with no one in them. It’s all about timing and making a plan for the shots you want to get that day. It also takes patience as shooting in the theme parks has a lot of variables. If you go in with the specific shots that you’re wanting to get that day it does take patience, but having a plan of attack and also rolling with whatever comes your way can make for great shots you didn't expect to get.