Your vacation photos would not be complete without pictures of the Festival of Fantasy Parade. The parade is a highlight of the Magic Kingdom; and it’s big, colorful floats and characters make it an exciting and memorable parade! I’ll share some tips with you to make it easier to get some great photos to look at with your family and friends when you return home.
Tip #1- LOCATION. LOCATION. LOCATION.
Stake out your spot early – you know the drill!
There are better viewing spots than others on the parade route and the same goes for shooting locations.
Two of my favorite spots are in Town Square. The first one is the center of Town Square sidewalk looking straight down Main Street toward the castle. If you have a zoom lens, you can start shooting as soon as the parade begins it’s way down Main Street and the castle will be in the background of the shot.
My other spot is from the Train Station viewing area. Many of the characters are up high on the floats, so you get better close up shots of them from this location. The characters pose for you more often from here, as you are eye level with them.
Tip #2- SHOOT LOTS OF PHOTOS.
Set your camera mode to Continuous Shooting or Burst Mode. Several photos are captured in quick succession with one shutter click.
I fire several hundred shots when shooting this parade – and yet only have a few photos that I think are good enough to keep. The photos are sharp –but I may have caught the character with their eyes closed or an awkward expression on their face – so for me, that’s not a keeper.
The characters are also turning while on the float, so they have their back to you some of the time. You’ll have several photos that almost look the same, but then there will be that one… like this one of Anna, that captures a feeling or expression just right.
Tip #3- SHOOT on ACTION /SPORTS MODE or SHUTTER PRIORITY.
For simplicity, just turn your camera dial to the Action or Sports mode. The camera will figure out all the settings for you. Most dslrs do a really great job of mastering the settings. I shot the photo to the left with our FUN PACKAGE camera – the Canon SL1 using the Action Mode!
You can also use SHUTTER PRIORITY. I generally use around 1/250 shutter speed. You want a shutter speed fast enough to freeze the motion. You can always adjust up or down – take a few shots and then zoom in to make sure they are sharp. My last FOF shoot was all done at 1/250 shutter speed.
Another trick I used when I first started shooting was to shoot on Auto and then see what settings the camera used. Then I would set the camera on manual, aperture priority or shutter priority and dial in the same settings as the camera chose…and adjust from there.
Tip #4- ZOOM IN.
Festival of Fantasy is a BIG parade – the floats are really tall and big. You’ll want some photos of the entire float, but personally I think the shots are much more compelling when you zoom in and focus on something within that float.
I like the photo to the left far better than the one below with the entire float in it. It feels very chaotic to me. Zoom in instead.
Pretty easy, right? All of the photos below were either shot with the Canon SL1 on ACTION MODE or our Canon 7d Mark II on SHUTTER PRIORITY. Super simple both ways, and great results! Next time you see Festival of Fantasy – try these tips and let us know if they helped!
If you don’t own a dslr, you can rent one very affordably from us! It may well be one of the most inexpensive things you spend vacation money on – and the photos will be something you can look back on when as you kids grow up…or as you grow up! Our FUN PACKAGE is so easy to use, a kid could shoot with it in minutes. We’ll show you how when we deliver it and you’ll be shooting before we leave!
Have Fun in Focus!
Lenise and her husband Ron own and run Kingdom Camera Rentals. If you are in or coming to the Disney and interested in renting a camera from them, you can reach them at: