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Fourth of July Inspires Light Painting at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on July 3rd, 2014 by Gary Buchanan, Social Media Managing Editor

Walt Disney famously said, “…curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” At Disney Parks, we are fortunate to work with some very curious — and creative — minds. Two of these creative cast members, Paul Chase and Matt Stewart, recently took a vacation trip with their families. On the trip, they were inspired after watching their children playing and dancing around the campsite with flashlights.

Light Painting in Magic Kingdom Park for the Fourth of July Holiday

After seeing their kids creating circles and shapes with the flashlights, they wondered if they could sketch Disney characters, in midair, using handheld light sources and long camera exposures. So, Paul and Matt tried drawing the iconic profile of Mickey Mouse using this technique (often called “light painting”). The pair posted the image on their Twitter and Facebook pages, and followers and friends asked for more.

We asked Paul, a Disney Parks Content Producer, and Matt, a Yellow Shoes Creative Group Art Director, what other illuminated creations they could produce. The following is the result of a late evening this week in Magic Kingdom Park, using a variety of lighting sources. Paul was behind the camera as Matt was “drawing” in midair.

Light Painting in Magic Kingdom Park for the Fourth of July Holiday

“As a Disney art director, I doodle Mickey, Pluto and Goofy everywhere. So when Paul suggested we do some long exposure photography, it was a natural for me to try and do a Mickey Mouse in the air,” Matt said.

Once they started doodling, their ideas grew. “A lot of this was trial and error,” Paul said. “Should we draw Mickey head-on or profile? Profile, it is! Should we use only our flashlights or something else? What about color?”

We hope you enjoy their July 4th edition of Disney Side light painting. They created several other sparkling surprises, so look for a second edition of their work in an upcoming post on the Disney Parks Blog.

(*Note: while the pair utilized sparklers, they were used in a very controlled environment and with proper personnel on-site. We do not recommend doing this without supervision and safety measures. If you attempt we suggest using LED penlights of different colors, as Paul and Matt did in several of these artful creations.)

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort



Jaime on July 3rd, 2014 at 4:14 pm

I am absolutly mind blown by this. I have seen swirls and random stuff using this technique but not actual figures. Its amazing they dont come out super abstract. (only slightly but it gives it that artsy-sketch feel) If there was ever an opportunity for a behind the scenes video of this I’d love to watch. Enjoy your 4th! Thanks for sharing.


Allison on July 3rd, 2014 at 4:32 pm

SO cool! I can’t even draw Mickey on a piece of paper let alone in the air without seeing what I’m doing lol! Love this.


Debbie on July 3rd, 2014 at 5:46 pm

You guys are truly magical! This is the neatest thing. Can’t wait to see what you come up with next. I’d love to be able to draw mickey or any other character.We are mesmerized by doing it with flashlights and glow sticks at home, I can’t imagine doing in a bigger form.


Heidi on July 3rd, 2014 at 6:32 pm

That is absolutely amazing!


John from OR on July 3rd, 2014 at 10:00 pm

Wow, that is freaky cool!


Robin from MD on July 4th, 2014 at 9:44 am

Where are my Daily Disney Blogs in my email box? I haven’t received my daily blog since June 30th. What happened?


Dinah on July 4th, 2014 at 1:23 pm

This is waayyyyy awesome. Love it!! Happy 4th of July to everyone at the DPB!


Michael on July 4th, 2014 at 3:59 pm

So very awesome! Like the commenter above I too would love to see a behind the scenes video!


Alison from CA on July 4th, 2014 at 10:25 pm

@Robin– same with me! Where are our lovely daily doses of Disney? No blog posts to my email since June 30th. Hope some moderator reads our comments and fixes this ASAP!