More Walt Disney World Resort Stories

Creativity Never Sleeps at Magic Kingdom Park

Kent Phillips

by , Photographer, Yellow Shoes Creative Group

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.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • #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.

  • 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.

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

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

  • 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 🙂

  • That is one incredible picture!

  • 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!

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

  • I love it! Definitely my dream job. Bravo!

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

  • 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? 😉

  • I would love that job, how lucky you are.

  • 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.

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

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Awesome photo!!! Mickey looks angelic!

  • 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.

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

  • Do you need a assistant? I make a greatcuppakawfee!

  • 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!!!

  • 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 🙂

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

  • 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.

  • This has just become my all time favorite Disney photo!

  • 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!

  • 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!

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

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

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

  • Awesome picture! Thanks for sharing.

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

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

  • 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?

  • Looks like Heaven!

  • Awesome job perks!

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

    Thank you for sharing your talent!!!!

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

  • 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”!

  • 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.

  • Magical Shot!

  • 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.

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