Cinderella Castle Dream Lights: Reflections of Christmas

At Christmas-time, Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom is enhanced with the “Castle Dream Lights,” which give the Castle a resplendent glow. This look is amplified in the rain, when the lights from Cinderella Castle and all around Main Street glisten off the pavement.

Sarah and I took a quick trip to Walt Disney World this weekend to enjoy our favorite time of year at Walt Disney World: Christmas. Our plan with taking the trip was to book a cheap flight to Florida to earn the miles necessary to book a free flight (which otherwise would have cost $600+ each) to Disneyland for New Year’s Eve. Unfortunately, by the time our credits from the flights registered, the awards flights were sold out. Oh well, it was a great weekend, nonetheless, and even though we were only there for less than two full days, it felt like a lot longer. We crammed as much as we could into the trip, even closing out three different parks on Saturday night!

Normally, I would say photos of Walt Disney World don’t do it justice, which is especially true of the Castle Dream Lights. Not so on this particular night, when this unannounced rain really put a damper on the mood. Of course the scene did look more beautiful than this in person, but when rain is pouring on you (of course I packed a poncho for the camera but not myself…who does that?!) you’re really not noticing the beauty all around you.

To make matters worse, tragedy struck after I took this photo. As I moved my camera after taking this shot, my tripod tipped over and my camera hit the ground. I don’t know if that has ever happened to you, but you literally see it happening in slow motion. There’s nothing you can do. It took me a few seconds before I could gather myself to pick up the camera, as I was terrified that the huge bulbous front element on my Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 would be shattered. Luckily, it was not, but part of the built-in lens hood was busted. That alone will probably cost a couple hundred bucks to fix, if I were to fix it. It doesn’t affect performance, so I’ll just leave it be. It’s a battle scar that the lens will wear proudly.

I like this photo a lot, but it’s probably not worth $200! 😉

Please click the photo above to view it large.


Technical details: shot with a Nikon D600 with a Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 Lens. See our guide for more photography equipment recommendations.

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