We may earn money or other compensation from the companies or products mentioned in this post.
Where are the best Disneyland photo spots including Downtown Disney and during the reopening in 2021?
There are so many picture perfect places to choose from at Disneyland Resort and I am here to help you find the best for your vacation pics.
When Disneyland theme parks closed in 2020, locals and Disney fans alike jumped at any Disney magic they could get.
I’ve added this section on Downtown Disney photo spots to help you capture the magic year-round, even when you’re not in the parks.
Best Downtown Disney Photo Spots
Remember, new health and safety protocols require you to wear a face covering during your visit to Downtown Disney.
For more information on updated policies and procedures see my Disneyland reopening guide here.
I love trying out new photo spots at Downtown Disney, here are my top picks.
- Various Disney backdrops on the windows of the old ESPN Zone building, west end of DTD
- Rotating Disney mural on the main window of the Old ESPN Zone
- Mickey and Minnie celebrate 65 years of Disneyland Resort on the main window of the Old ESPN Zone building until September 2020
- Downtown Disney sign, north of the Old ESPN Zone building
- LEGO store exhibits
- Anything with delicious food or must have Disney merch
- World of Disney Windows
- On the red carpet at the entry to the Backlot Premiere Shop
- At the gates of Disneyland and California Adventure
- In the esplanade with various Mickey spots on the ground, at the center between the two parks
- Under the Mickey Sorcerer Hat at The Disneyland Hotel, you’ll come to this spot as you exit Downtown Disney back into the Simba parking lot
Which spots at Downtown Disney are your go-to for photos? Be sure to bring a small tripod or a good selfie arm, because there is no PhotoPass service offered at Downtown Disney.
Ready to make your way into the parks? Keep reading for the best spots to take photos at Disneyland Resort.
What is Disneyland PhotoPass?
The photo opportunities at Disneyland Resort are seriously endless and you’ll quickly find your camera roll filled with amazing memories. But there’s also a few ways to step up your Disneyland photo game with zero photography skills!
The solution is Disneyland PhotoPass! PhotoPass helps you capture magical memories throughout Disneyland Resort without having to haul your own bulky, expensive camera around.
And even if you’re only working that cell phone camera, Disneyland photographers can help make sure everyone is in the picture with PhotoPass.
You can find Disneyland photographers in various locations around Disneyland park and California Adventure park to make sure everyone gets in the picture—yes, even you Mom!
With PhotoPass you can download all the images from your Disneyland vacation to share them on Instagram and social media, you can email them to grandma and even print them out to frame.
How much is Disneyland PhotoPass?
Disney PhotoPass is a bonus feature to Disney MaxPass, the new digital FASTPASS system.
When you purchase Disney MaxPass, currently priced at $20, you can download, print and share all your Disney PhotoPass pictures.
Even if you’re not using Disney MaxPass for the FASTPASS feature (but you should!), I recommend at least one person in your party purchase Disney MaxPass for the PhotoPass benefit alone.
Can I buy Disney PhotoPass after my trip?
Yes but it’s not as cheap as buying with Disney MaxPass. At time of publishing, buying all your Disneyland pictures after your trip starts at $78 for one week’s worth of photos. Certainly not bad for a professional photographer, but also not as good as the MaxPass price.
For current pricing and selections, visit the Disney PhotoPass service page here.
How do I use Disney PhotoPass?
It’s super simple! Just visit any PhotoPass photographer, have them take your photos and get a Disney PhotoPass card to scan into the Disneyland app.
You can use that same PhotoPass card throughout your trip and scan once, or scan multiple times throughout your trip as you add photos. You can also scan your PhotoPass QR code right from your phone after you take pictures.
I personally prefer to use the hard plastic PhotoPass card so I limit the use of my phone (and battery!) throughout the day.
Where Disneyland Photographers located?
You can find Disneyland PhotoPass photographers all around the resort. The first place to look for current locations is on the Disneyland app.
There may be a short wait to take a photo in front of popular spots like the castle, but the line moves fast. There are usually several photographers at the best spots like Millennium Falcon. The wait is worth it.
Best Disneyland Photo Spots
Now we’re moving into the fun stuff! Almost all the possible PhotoPass spots at Disneyland park!
In addition to these spots, there are plenty of new places to spot Disney characters in 2021, see this article here for distant photo spots.
Photographers move around often but some standard spots remain, including in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle and on Main Street, U.S.A.
I love trying out different locations and thanks to the members of my Disneyland with Kids Facebook group, we can showcase some of the options for you here.
- Entrance with Mickey Mouse flowers in the background
- Main Street, U.S.A. with classic Disney characters
- Main Street, U.S.A. with Sleeping Beauty Castle in the background
- At “The Hub” with the Partners Statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse
- Directly in front or to the side of Sleeping Beauty Castle
- Sword in the Stone with Fantasyland as your backdrop
- In the Tea Cup in Fantasyland
- Critter Country near Pooh’s Corner
- Near Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Along the Rivers of America
- Star Wars Launch Bay
- Tomorrowland entrance
- Meeting Mickey & Minnie Mouse in Mickey’s Toontown
- All over Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
Best California Adventure Picture Spots
We haven’t listed every possible PhotoPass spot in California Adventure park, but our goal is to keep this list growing. Help us add to it and get started posing with the spots listed below.
- Join Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse on Buena Vista Street at the Storytellers statue
- Meet classic Disney characters on Buena Vista Street, even Oswald the lucky Rabbit
- Grizzly Peak’s airfield in front of the airplane
- Near Toy Story Midway Mania with Pixar characters
- In front of Guardians of the Galaxy—Mission: Breakout!
- Marvel characters in Hollywood Land
- Cars Land main entrance in front of the postcard
- Cars Land Route 66
- Cars Land near Flo’s V8 Cafe with Radiator Springs in the background
- Cars Land with the racing cars and cool desert background, on the side of Flo’s V8 Cafe
- Cars Land with characters at Cozy Cone Motel
- In front of the water falls in the Grizzly Peak area
- Pixar Pier entrance
- Pixar Pal-A-Round at Pixar Pier
- Paradise Bay with Pixar Pier as your backdrop
- Red Car Trolley in Hollywood Land or Buena Vista Street
Disneyland PhotoPass Magic Shots
Magic Shots add a bit of pixie dust to your Disney PhotoPass pictures. Each photographer and PhotoPass location has different Magic Shots to offer.
Be sure to ask around for a specific one if there’s one your have in mind. And please, share in the comments which Magic Shot you got and at which location so we can add to our list!
Magic Shots at Disneyland Resort
- Mickey Mouse balloons in your hands
- Tinker Bell in your hands
- Baby Groot in your hands in front of Guardians of the Galaxy—Mission: Breakout!
- Baby Jack Jack at Pixar Pier
- Stitch being crazy near Hollywood Land or Buena Vista Street
- Cauldron with poison apple
Katie R. says, “When I go to each photographer I ask what magic shots they could do. Sometimes I told them to surprise me ?.”
What other Disneyland Magic Shots have you seen?
Best Disneyland Holiday Photo Spots
Remember when you could sign your little ones up for Jedi Training Academy? Those photos were golden! I wish this show would return!
But let’s jump into a more holiday seasons we know you’ll love.
Halloween Time at Disneyland Resort brings along lots of rare PhotoPass opportunities with Disney villains and favorite characters in Halloween costumes.
The holiday season adds to Disney PhotoPass value with unique photo set ups, including Santa Claus, giant Christmas trees and more.
I love all the photos we get during our vacations to Disneyland and watching the kids get bigger and bigger over the years.
Disneyland PhotoPass Reviews
Loved it! Much better than our phone pics! Shayla H.
Love the character pics! Especially in Critter Country where you can often see multiple friends from the Hundred Acre Wood. One line led us to Tigger, Rabbit, Eeyore and Pooh! Cyra B.
On getting to popular PhotoPass spots, we had magic morning and utilized it. I’d say we were at that spot within 30 minutes of opening for hotel guests. Morgan N.
Sometimes I feel like it doesn’t work. I’ve taken way more [at certain spots] than what has shown up in my app. Rowena L.
PhotoPass photographer captured this shot—only Disneyland can make him smile like this! -Laura H.
*All photos taken by Disney PhotoPass photographers and used with permission, provided by the following Disneyland with Kids group members (in no particular order): Morgan Noll, Michelle Savary, Laura Hawley, Megan Atkinson, Erika Perez, Jatziry Mier, Trisha Moosman, Courtney Hennagir, Samantha Duffey, Kayla Saavedra, Jennifer Pardilla, Katelyn Furr, Brittany Lentz, Cyra Benedict, Limary Guzman, Krissy Baker, Shayla Holyoke and Niki Yamanaka.
Wow! I could not have pulled this article off without the help of the amazing Disneyland with Kids group. If you’re looking for more of the best PhotoPass spots at Disneyland, please join the group and add to the conversation here in the comments section.