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Fireworks Old and New at Disneyland Park

posted on July 4th, 2011 by Paul Hiffmeyer, Chief Photographer for Public Relations, Disneyland Resort

Who doesn’t love fireworks? Especially at Disneyland park, standing in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle. As beautiful as fireworks are, they don’t always turn out the way we want them to in photographs. So I would like to share a few tips that should help you get the shot. But first here are two historical photos that I think you will enjoy.

Fireworks at Disneyland Park Fireworks at Disneyland Park

The remaining photos are photos that I took over a few years using some of the following tips.

  1. The most important tip is: have fun and don’t get frustrated if the photos don’t turn out like you expected. Think about what you could do next time to get the results you want and try again.
  2. Use a tripod if you are able, but remember that at Disneyland Resort, the tripod must fit in a backpack and make sure that you keep an eye on it so it doesn’t get knocked over.

Fireworks at Disneyland Park

  1. Fireworks in a dark sky are good, but to make the photo more interesting have something in the photo that’s identifiable. At Disneyland park, that should be fairly easy.
  2. Use the manual controls on your camera, set the ISO between 100 & 250, the shutter speed ½ to 4 seconds and the f/stop between f/8 to f/16. You can adjust the exposure as you see the results on the back of the camera.
Fireworks at Disneyland Park Fireworks at Disneyland Park
  1. Buying a shutter release cable – if your camera has a connection – will make a world of difference.

These are just few of many tips, but they should get you in the ballpark and on your way to getting the best firework photos possible.

Fireworks at Disneyland Park

Have a happy 4th of July and have fun photographing fireworks.

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Filed: Disney History, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort



Brian from CA on July 4th, 2011 at 2:37 pm

(Just a quick note: The photo above is from the 50th Aniversary) Happy Fourth everyone.


Fred from CA on July 4th, 2011 at 9:15 pm

Thanks for the tips Paul.

As a side note, I’m hoping that this year’s Halloween Screams fireworks won’t be limited to a separate ticket event, like last year.


Shaunnon from GA on July 5th, 2011 at 2:30 am

Your pictures, sir, are incredible. I have never been able to have pictures of fireworks turn out this well. Will we ever be able to get larger versions of these pictures? I’d love to use them as my desktop picture. (Even ones with a Disney watermark would be great!)


Jeffrey from CA on July 5th, 2011 at 3:53 am

As a photographer, I notice you get much closer access to the fireworks than us audience members 😉


ryota from Chiba on July 5th, 2011 at 9:24 am

Bringing tripod into Tokyo Disney is prohibited…


Alex from CA on July 5th, 2011 at 12:30 pm

I worked in the park for about 3 years as a skipper, but many of my shifts were on Guest Control, helping folks get up and down Main Street during parades and the fireworks… And just to prove how truly magical “Remember, Dreams Come True” is/was, I probably cried at least a little bit during every fireworks Guest Control shift I had! The show is just so magical and captures the true essence of Disney. I am planning on going back to work in the park asap, as the magic has never gone away for me!


Andrew on July 8th, 2011 at 6:42 pm


Halloween Screams will be part of the Mickey’s Halloween Party event that will require the purchase of that extra ticket. We have not gotten 100% word if they will do some fireworks for the general public but as of now it seems it will be the same as last year.

Buy your Mickey’s Halloween Tickets early because they sell out really fast!

-CM Andy


Stephanie from AZ on July 15th, 2011 at 1:06 pm

These are some great tips! I struggled to get a good picture my last trip, so I’ll make sure to give these a shot when I go back next month. I would love to hear more tips about shooting at Disneyland. As always, the pictures are awesome.


Harmony on July 17th, 2011 at 6:43 pm

What camera and lens do you use? I tried to take some fireworks pics with my Canon Rebel T2i last year and they turned out just OK – I tried different settings – probably including the ones you suggest, and I used a tripod – but these were the best I could get: