More Walt Disney World Resort Stories

Koi Pond at Japan Pavilion in Epcot

Kent Phillips

by , Photographer, Yellow Shoes Creative Group

Sometimes this job is exciting and glamorous and you find yourself in the middle of a high-energy photo shoot with pirates and princesses and Mickey Mouse. And then other times you find yourself sweating profusely, wearing plastic pants and standing in the middle of a fish pond.
Koi pond at Epcot’s Japan Pavilion by Kent Phillips
I’ve wanted to get this shot at the koi pond at Epcot’s Japan Pavilion for years, and finally became convinced I had half a chance of pulling it off. I used our underwater camera housing, which normally sees action in swimming pools, water parks and at Castaway Cay, to hold the camera halfway under water so the waterline bisected the photo. Because the koi pond is fully in shadow early in the morning, I rigged the camera to fire a couple of big studio flash units to put a little electronic sunshine on my fishy friends.

I’d been afraid my presence in the water would spook the fish, but by utilizing stealth, patience and consummate skill (but mostly with Todd Harmon from Living Seas Animal Care giving them their breakfast) they warmed up to me.

This photo was actually a lot of fun to figure out and execute…for the most part. (Note to self: Next time take your cell phone off BEFORE getting in the water in leaky waders.)


  • Great shot. Loved it!

  • What an AMAZING photo! Thank you for taking the time to design and create such a wonderful shot. And thank you for sharing it here; it was a bright spot in my morning.

  • Amazing shot!!!! Your photos are always incredible and capture all the beauty the parks have to offer.

  • My family and I were just at Disney in July 2010 but we didn’t make it around to see the Koi pond.. actually it was our first trip and we didn’t know it existed.. Epcot is huge, we got lost coming out of the park the night we were there after the fireworks show and walked for miles before we ever found out where to go to catch the bus back to our resort, my husband says we will never go back to Epcot but I bet we Thanks for the awesome picture.

  • Your photos is phenomenal and makes me want to schedule a visit to Disney World and Epcot immediately! Keep up the good work!

  • Would love to be your helper.

  • Well written story!

  • Love the shot!!! The koi are always a joy to watch!

  • What a great shot. You have my Disney Dream Job.

  • Oh man! Great shot, but sorry to hear about your phone. That’s the 2nd or 3rd time this week I’ve heard stories of people drowning their phones…the other 2 forgot their phone (iPhones, nonetheless!) was in the pocket of their swim trunks. = /

  • You did an AWESOME job taking this photo!!. We were at Epcot in June. I am hoping to get back there next summer!!

  • Love these photos! Any chance of making some of them available in downloadable form for desktop wallpaper?

  • Love the photo! Something our son would do, as he has been know to hang out of Coast Guard helicopters to get the perfect photo!

  • This is one of my favorite spots in Epcot! Thank you for the wonderful, beautiful photo! Cannot wait to get there – just two more weeks!!!

  • Amazing photo!! We are planning our very first family trip to Disney in Dec. 2011! We are very excited. I love this blog…it is giving us a lot of exciting things to look forward to.

  • This photo is amazing!! I just love Disney and everything it has to offer. I love the behind the scene kinda of things like this!!! Thank you for sharing

  • This is a great photo… I have never gone up to see the Koi Pond in the day… will make it a priority on our next trip!

  • Killer shot!! You have mad skills. I love it!

  • What a gorgeous photo! This an amazing thing to be able to see and experience. Thank you for this photo.

  • So beautiful! I love it and you are so close to the fish.

  • I’d give you my cell phone to have your job! 🙂

  • Great shot!

  • NICE shot – and a great concept!!!

  • This is a really amazing photo! Thanks for sharing it with us! So sorry about your cell phone though…oops!

  • Great concept, great shot!

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