Scenes from Disney Parks: Disneyland Halloween
I’m back with the second installment of “Scenes from Disney Parks,” with a set of new photos that I recently shot during the start of Halloween Time at Disneyland. Every photo in this set is from Disneyland and features Halloween as a motif (be it prominent or in the background, etc.).
Disneyland is always a gorgeous park, but I especially like how it looks during Halloween Time at night, when it has a slightly ominous vibe in Frontierland and Main Street has some of my favorite flowers of the year. Seasonal decorations are very well done at Disneyland, and I love how they make familiar scenes “new” with changes in color schemes or by incorporating elements of the holidays into existing displays.
Halloween Time at Disneyland still doesn’t top Christmas at Disneyland for me, but it is a beautiful time to visit. If you want to know more about what to expect when visiting this time of year, check out our Guide to Halloween Time at Disneyland.
As for these photos, after each photo I’ll share some technical stuff like which lens I used for the photo. All photos in this post were captured with my Nikon D600. (Unfortunately, I had to send in my Nikon D810 DSLR for repair before this trip, so it was out of commission). You can click on each photo to view it larger in my gallery and to see EXIF data on it. Hopefully other photographers out there find this info useful.
If you’re a casual reader not interested in photo jargon, hopefully you still enjoy this new set of photos from Halloween Time at Disneyland!
We’ll start off with a mundane shot. It’s just a simple horse tie, but I still like the photo with the bokeh of fall flowers in the background, and I am always a fan of nicely captured photos of things we otherwise might blow past. By the way, does anyone know the proper name for this? I was thinking ‘horse stanchion’ but that doesn’t produce much via Google. This was shot with the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 lens.
Another photographer was shooting the front of the Partners statue when I approached this scene, so rather than being a jerk and getting in their way, I ducked down and got this low angle. I don’t think I would have gone for this vantage otherwise, but I ended up liking it. I guess sometimes having some constraints can push you creatively. Shot with my Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 lens (read my review of this lens).
You horse stanchion(?) fans (all 1 of you!) are going to be giddy with this post, because it has not one, but two horse stanchion photos! I wanted to isolate the pole for this shot, because…well, I don’t really know why. But when you have something as awesome as a horse stanchion photo, do you really need any justification?! 😉 I elected to use the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 lens (read my review of this lens). For those keeping score at home, this is a different horse stanchion than in the first shot.
I’ve been doing a lot of low angle shooting recently, and since neither of my cameras having the tilt LCD screens, this means a lot of time with my head pressed to the ground, trying to get a decent view via live view. It really bugs me that the new (cheaper) Nikon D750 has the tilt screen, but my Nikon D810 does not. I love the camera, but am seriously contemplating a downgrade for that feature. That, and a more reasonable megapixel count. This was also shot with the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 lens.
A simple shot with the Sigma 35mm f/1.4; I liked the way the light from the sign hit the pumpkins here. I stopped down the lens to produce starbursts from the popcorn lights.
Most of the Halloween decorations at Disneyland are fairly understated; this giant Mickey Mouse pumpkin is anything but. I’m betting that during Halloween Time, he dethrones Sleeping Beauty Castle as the most photographed object in the park! To photograph Pumpkin Mickey, I used the budget Zenitar fisheye lens (read my review of this lens).
Another Partners shot, this time head-on with the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 lens. One of my goals is to use this lens in portrait-orientation shots more to really leverage its distortion. This doesn’t do quite as good of a job with that as photographing a ceiling and floor of a temple in one shot (for example), but it’s a slight twist on a common photo.
My least favorite photo of the bunch (I think the Little Mermaid poster is too prominent and there’s no defined subject), but I still think it looks sort of cool with the converging lines. Shot with the Nikon 14-24.
Want to learn more about photography to take great photos in the Disney theme parks and beyond? The best place to start is Tom’s Photography Guide, which covers a variety of topics from links to tutorials, tips, and tricks to recommendations for point & shoots, DSLRs, lenses, and more!
If you do want to purchase new photography equipment, we recommend the following trusted & authorized retailers:
For other photography equipment recommendations or photography tips in general check out a few of my top photography blog posts:
Best Books for Improving Your Photography
5 Indispensable Tips for Better Vacation Photos
Choosing the Best Travel Tripod
Choosing the Best Camera Bag for Travel
What do you think of these Halloween Time at Disneyland photos? Any favorites? Have any additional questions about how I captured these shots? Please ask or share below, and I’ll offer my feedback!
True confessions: We were in the park the day Halloween time officially started at Disneyland. We saw your wife talking to Guy Selga on a bench in the hub as we were about to leave, and we debated hanging around to say hello to you, but it seemed a bit stalker-y. But I’ll tell you now what I would have said then: I get so much joy from your photos and appreciate your frequent blog posts. I could never have captured Disneyland through photos like you did, so thanks for providing a place where I can go back and remember what the parks REALLY looked like during my trip. It was our first time in the Land (we’re WDW frequenters). The Halloween Tree in Frontierland is one of my favorite Disney decorations anywhere.
Thanks for the kind words, but you should have said hello. We don’t bite! 🙂
Just want to say I like this new post series. It’s pictures for sake of pictures, but more satisfying than a 1 photo post like old POTD stuff. I’ll like revisiting these posts too.
If you ever make it to Portland, we have a bunch of old ground level horse “stanchions””. It’s kind of fun because they have these little toy horses they move around and tie to them to the hitching post. They make for amake for a cool photo op.
I believe we are from the same region on Indiana, any local camera stores in Central Indiana you would recommend?
I don’t shop at any local stores–I use B&H or Amazon, typically. Heard good things about Robert’s, though!
I live in the same part of Indiana too. My dad loves Roberts.
I’ll second “hitching post”, but “horse stanchion” has a nice ring to it. If we lived in the 1800’s, you could fight for the name change.
I’m sorry to hear about the camera! Hopefully it’s just a minor repair. Losing it before a trip must have hurt – it’s a good thing you have a capable backup.
Yeah, the repair was no big deal (I got the camera back long ago). I should probably apply for NPS as this was a bit of an inconvenience while it was out.
I am an NPS member. Last time I had to send my D700 in, it still took forever to get it back. When I called to check on it, they said they didn’t realize it was NPS Priority. It did come back pretty quickly after that.
It’s called a Hitching Post! 🙂
Thanks! It seems like this is something that would be common knowledge, but I was drawing a complete blank on the name.