Epcot Monorail Race Photo

Epcot Flower & Garden Monorail Race


This scene of two ‘racing’ monorails, Spaceship Earth, and the flower bed at Epcot has become one of my Walt Disney World “Signature Shots.” The original from 2009 is one of my most popular Flickr photos of all time, and that photo (which was inspired itself by a Walt Disney World press photo from the early 1980s) has since inspired a number of other shots of the scene, by both myself and others. The shot has become increasingly difficult for me to accomplish since the monorails don’t run during Evening Extra Magic Hours (the usual nights we visit Epcot), so I decided to try for a daytime version during our recent trip.

While the shot has its own unique challenges at night, given the high number of people in this dual-PhotoPass zone during the day, it’s even more challenging then. I was pleased that I was able to capture it, and look forward to capturing this signature shot in a new way next time!

Technical details: Nikon D7000 and Rokinon 8mm Fisheye Lens. See our Disney Photography Guide for more photography equipment recommendations.

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5 Responses to “Epcot Monorail Race Photo”

  1. Ryan says:

    This is one of my favorite photo ideas and you inspired my night version a year and a half ago which is still one of my personal favorites. I know your thoughts on copying others’ work, but I considered it a personal challenge to see if I could figure out how to do it without knowing exactly how you did it. One positive is I was able to apply the same technique to other types of shots.

    Great idea and great execution!

    • Tom Bricker says:

      It’s tough for me to draw any bright-line opinions on drawing inspiration from others’ work (copying is a harsh word, I think). I certainly don’t think it’s harmful to draw inspiration from photos here and there and have an end result that’s very similar to the original.

      It’s when that’s the only thing people do–with no original ideas–that I roll my eyes. Sort of like a band that only does covers.

      Plenty of my shots have been inspired by others to varying degrees. Nothing wrong with that! I do always try to bring something new to the table, but sometimes the resulting shots are pretty similar.

  2. Keith LeLievre says:

    Your original is still my favorite, and the photo that made me get a DSLR. This is still a great shot. I think it’s that much more difficult to capture it in the daylight, with the hustle and bustle of the people around you.

    You make great pictures and I thank you for being an inspiration. I’m totally going to try to take this shot when I am there in October. I just have to figure out how.(I think I know)

    • Tom Bricker says:

      Wow, thanks for the kind words!

      My challenge would be to try adding your own twist on it. Think of something you can do even a little differently to improve upon my photo!

  3. Jayme says:

    How are both Monorails the same color at the same exact time? Does DisneyWorld have 2 Monorail Greens? I’m in California so we have the 3 Mark VII’s, so I’m not 100% familiar with all the WDW colors. None the less, amazing photo Tom! I absolutely love all things Monorail, and love any picture of them I can get my hands on! Bring on more good Monorail shots!

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