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Aviator Minnie Mouse at Disney California Adventure Park

Creativity Never Sleeps at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on July 28th, 2011 by Kent Phillips, Photographer, Walt Disney World

If you are fortunate enough to work as a photographer at Walt Disney World Resort (totally awesome), but find yourself spending way too much time working at your desk lately (not nearly so awesome), what do you do when you inevitably go stir crazy and need to get out of the office to stretch your legs? Obviously you grab a disco ball, throw the department’s fog machine in the back of a van and head to Magic Kingdom Park at 4 o’clock in the morning. It’s a no-brainer.

Partners Statue at Magic Kingdom Park

Finding myself somewhat desk-bound recently, I took advantage of having the coolest job in the world and made myself at home in the planter around the Partners statue in the middle of the night. After locating the camera position I wanted, I hung the disco ball from a light stand behind Mickey, hid a light right behind Mickey’s head and aimed it at the ball, then wafted some wispy fog through the beams of light bouncing off of it. A tilt-shift lens let me play with the focus so Mickey’s eyes would stay sharp but the rest of him would go soft.

With the amazing access I enjoy at Walt Disney World Resort because of my job, it’s worth losing a few hours of sleep every now and then to indulge a creative whim, make a fun picture and remember just how lucky I am.

Fog. Disco Ball. Mickey Mouse. It’s a no-brainer.

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort



John from CA on July 28th, 2011 at 3:53 pm

I wish I had a job that cool. Want to put in a good word for me? Lol.


Jessica on July 28th, 2011 at 4:01 pm

What a beautiful picture and a fun story behind it! I definitely agree it was worth the lack of sleep.


Nicholas from VA on July 28th, 2011 at 4:36 pm

Now that’s just awesome. What I would give to have access to the parks off hours when the streets are quiet …


Nyree on July 28th, 2011 at 5:18 pm

You do have the best job ever! Wish I could do fun stuff like that – wanna trade? 😉


Crystal from VA on July 28th, 2011 at 7:07 pm

Keep that creativity alive! Love the picture, thanks for sharing it.


Jason on July 28th, 2011 at 8:13 pm

how exactly do you become a photographer at Walt Disney World? it’s my dream job!


Erin on July 28th, 2011 at 9:17 pm

Seriously the most AMAZING Disney picture I have EVER seen! What a life!


Skip from FL on July 28th, 2011 at 11:29 pm

#3 – Nicholas from Va.

You can achieve the same affect by getting in the stand-by line of Space Mountain just before the park closes. When you finish the ride, the streets will be about as quiet as you can get, if not the absolute quietest, because everything will be abuzz when the night shift comes out to prep for the next day.


Shawn on July 29th, 2011 at 12:54 am

This is a great picture! I must say that it is very creative! You truly have a great job. The ability to head into the Parks off hours and be creative is priceless.


Ryan on July 29th, 2011 at 1:34 am

Incredible picture! Ive been a themepark photographer in Australia, and dream of working for the Walt Disney Company!


Darren from CT on July 29th, 2011 at 7:38 am

Excellent photo. Thank you for going through all the trouble. It was worth it.


Theresa on July 29th, 2011 at 8:51 am

I love the picture, and I would love to have your job!
That is actually my plan-move to Orlando and work at Disneyworld as a photographer :-)


Andy on July 29th, 2011 at 9:16 am

That is one incredible picture!


Krista on July 29th, 2011 at 11:16 am

Go ahead rub your perfectly amazing job in our faces :). Even though i’m jealous I can see how you got the just, such a beautiful photo!


Sean on July 29th, 2011 at 4:43 pm

Stunning! Just the fact that you thought “disco ball” tells us all why you’re working for Disney =]


Joyce from PA on July 29th, 2011 at 8:21 pm

I love it! Definitely my dream job. Bravo!


Sara on July 30th, 2011 at 12:49 pm

i miss mk so much. i will back one day!


MELISSA from FL on July 31st, 2011 at 12:14 pm

What an amazing shot…I love it! Thank you for sharing this picture with us. As an aspiring photographer I have to ask what camera and lense did you use? Also…do you need an apprentice? 😉


Sherry from AB on July 31st, 2011 at 12:15 pm

I would love that job, how lucky you are.


Frances on July 31st, 2011 at 12:17 pm

I was a cast member at MK 12 years ago. My all-time favorite part of the day (or night, depending if I was “opening” the park or “closing” it) was to walk all the way from Main Street U.S.A. (my work location) towards Cinderella’s Castle when the park was completely empty and enjoy the beauty of what MK is when no one (well, except maintenance of course!)is there . I still consider that a huge privilege.

Great picture, Kent.


Amy on July 31st, 2011 at 12:20 pm

amazing picture. Being a photographer is definately on my bucket list of things to do before I die.


Nathalie from NB on July 31st, 2011 at 12:23 pm

WOW!! Love it!!! It looks like Mickey is coming alive!!


William on July 31st, 2011 at 12:27 pm

That’s an amazing shot and well worth the effort! You are indeed lucky to have your position and to be able to do what you love. Thanks for sharing it with us! Another Disney Magical moment – just like Walt envisioned.


Brittany on July 31st, 2011 at 12:30 pm

Beautiful work. Thanks for going out at 4 am and getting this. I love Disney and I love the art that goes with it. <3 Thank you.


Anonymous on July 31st, 2011 at 12:31 pm

Love this wish I could get some special Access, I have done some good work at Disney World.
Would love to get on the roof of the Train station for the fire works, I have some good shots from there but the flag pole kind of messes up the hole thing.

Any Ide if this is posable? I will at Disney world for 10 days starting August 21st 2011.


Lisa from CT on July 31st, 2011 at 12:33 pm

Awesome photo!!! Mickey looks angelic!


Irene on July 31st, 2011 at 12:36 pm

To Skip from FL and Nicholas from VA if you choose your day and time wisely you can get fantastic pictures sans crowd, I have numerous pictures of Epcot and other parks that have either no people or only minimal people. The day and times that this can be easily achieved varies throughout the year. I love to visit the parks when I can have time to myself with my cameras in hand, the shots you can get are so rewarding.


Barbara on July 31st, 2011 at 12:38 pm

I’d be more than willing to work with those advantages for free, but to also get paid. Now that’s a dream job!


ANDREW on July 31st, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Do you need a assistant? I make a greatcuppakawfee!


Melinda from OR on July 31st, 2011 at 12:58 pm

Simply spectacular! Might I suggest Disney turn it into a promotional or marketing piece—or a limited edition litho? I’d certainly buy one!

Speaking of dream Disney Parks jobs, they’re currently hiring a District Sales Manager in my neck of the woods, so of course (hotel sales experience), I applied! Hope they call me—since I’m not a photographer, this would be perfect for me!!!


kim on July 31st, 2011 at 1:02 pm

Take me along next time Kent! I.ll bring my faux snow machines for a Holiday shot! i.m a quick 2 hr drive away :)


MARY on July 31st, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Simply beautiful! Disney World has brought so much to our family; we plan to visit as often as we can. Thanks Disney! :)


Donald from PA on July 31st, 2011 at 1:04 pm

What a terrific picture of one of my favorite place in the MK.. will this print make to retail? Better yet as a giveway to DVC members for watching their sales webseminars.


Laura from IN on July 31st, 2011 at 1:10 pm

This has just become my all time favorite Disney photo!


Susan on July 31st, 2011 at 1:22 pm

This photo is so perfect. The way you caught the focus of Mickey’s eyes is incredible. Yes the sculpture was already there, but the lighting gives new life to it that I’ve never really seen before – childlike love, and faith. Needless to say, I Love It!


Lori from MI on July 31st, 2011 at 1:25 pm

What a dream job! I’ve taken some shots I really love while there from the guest perspective but to have an all access pass would be a dream come true! Thanks for sharing!


Barbara on July 31st, 2011 at 1:29 pm

This photo is amazing!! You are a very talented photographer…. Continue with your photos and thank you for sharing!!!


Brittany on July 31st, 2011 at 1:30 pm

That’s amazing! Will the print be available for purchase anywhere?


Beatriz from GT on July 31st, 2011 at 1:35 pm

I love the picture, and I wish I have that creativity an access to MK. Can’t wait to be there in November, again!


Carol from OH on July 31st, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Awesome picture! Thanks for sharing.


Hillary on July 31st, 2011 at 1:49 pm

You didn’t run into Wayne, the DHIs or the Overtakers, did you? 😉 Great shot!


Sherry from IN on July 31st, 2011 at 2:15 pm

What a wonderful, magical picture! You have an awesome job. I have always wanted to work for Disney.


rita on July 31st, 2011 at 2:37 pm

Amazing pic and I can see why you are a cast member I will be @ MK in 66 days any chance I can get in early? Also I would love to see that picture become a post card any chance in the near future that will happen?


Sylvia on July 31st, 2011 at 3:51 pm

Looks like Heaven!


Robyn on July 31st, 2011 at 3:58 pm

Awesome job perks!

This is an amazing shot! WOW!!! Love it!!!

Thank you for sharing your talent!!!!


james on July 31st, 2011 at 4:31 pm

Awesome picture! I’d LOVE to have your job! You must really enjoy your work!


Elizabeth on July 31st, 2011 at 4:40 pm

I’d live to see Disney World over an after hours photo class for amaature photographers, taught by the Disney photographers. For me that would add new meaning to the “Happiest Place on Earth”!


Bob on July 31st, 2011 at 5:14 pm

If you take some of the early tours you get in before the park opens and you will have the place tto yourself. you get a great tour also. The behind the sceen tours are some of the best,but I have yet to be unhappy with any of the others I have taken.


Kristina on July 31st, 2011 at 6:12 pm

Magical Shot!


Jennifer from IL on July 31st, 2011 at 7:54 pm

Your photo is absolutely spectacular. I too, have also dreamed of working as a park photographer. Being able to play a part in making family memories would be incredible. Perhaps some day my dream will become reality.