This is such a simple photo tip, but it’s often not even considered during the excitement upon entering any of the four theme parks in Walt Disney World. It really only pertains to sunny days, but since it’s in Florida, there’s a very good chance of sun most days of the year.
When entering each of the parks, you’re greeted by the iconic scenes and backdrops (the most obvious example: Cinderella’s Castle in the Magic Kingdom) and often immediately default to taking a photo. If we take a moment to consider the light, though, you’ll see why it may not be the ideal place/time to take that photo.
Let’s use the example of Cinderella’s Castle. When entering the Magic Kingdom you can immediately see the castle, but you have to walk down Main Street USA to get there. Depending on the time of day, it’s likely that the buildings on Main Street USA will be creating some sort of shade down the walkway, whereas there’s nothing (except clouds) that shade the castle. If you take a photo in the shade of Main Street USA, you’ll most likely either be too dark with the castle exposed right, or the castle will be blown out while you’re exposed correctly.
Below is an example of both of those scenarios at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. First, we have the Tree of Life exposed properly:
Next, the person is better exposed, but we can’t really see the Tree of Life:
I’d like to point out one more reason to wait to take a picture with the park’s icon: people. Look at that mess of other guests walking about! It’s such a distraction!
Walk around, consider the light, and when there is an equal amount of sunlight on both your subject and the background (Cinderella’s Castle, Tower of Terror, etc.) then take advantage of it to capture that moment (bonus if you consider how to eliminate the crowd from you photo)!