Disney Parks After Dark: Night Into Day at Disneyland Resort

The photos below might look like they were taken during the day, but both were actually taken after dark. I took them with a very long exposure to soak in the surrounding light, giving the impression that it is daytime. Nothing special was done in post-production other than some simple adjustments.

The settings on the camera for the first photo were set to 400 ISO, aperture: 7.1 and a 20-second exposure. It was taken at Disney California Adventure park on the waterfall side of Grizzly Peak, opposite “a bug’s land.” The photo was taken at 7:14 p.m. in January 2011; sunset that day was at 5 p.m. Take a close look at the sky – it may be a bit hard to see, but it is filled with stars.


The following photo was taken about a month later around 5:30 a.m., an hour before sunrise. Like the photo above, I used a tripod and a remote release cable, with a 125 ISO, aperture: 5.6 and a 30-second exposure.


For more from the Disney Parks After Dark series, check out the posts below:


  • Thanks Jeff for the input. Hopefully this post will not be deleted. My other two, longer posts, have both been deleted.

  • Those are beautiful shots, and the waterfall has always been one of my favorite spots in DCA as well. It would be a real challenge to get a clean 20 second exposure while the park is open, however. Maybe on one of those rare nights in the winter when the park stays open later, or just after a storm (my favorite times to be in the parks).

    Shawn: You can bring in a tripod as long as it will fit in a standard sized backpack. So you’ll be fine with one of those lightweight telescoping ones you get at REI or on Amazon. As for setting up, as long as you’re courteous about where you put it, not blocking traffic or a good view or where people might trip on it, and you’re not a professional taking pictures for your job or for sale (which brings up licensing issues, if you look borderline professional you may be asked nicely about it) you should be fine.

    I have a Targus TG-42tt which is light, fits perfectly in my bag and can also function as a monopod, it’s great for amusement parks and camping trips. It does have problems though so I may switch to the Polaroid 42″ Travel Tripod. Both are less than $20 so no big deal.

  • Any tips for bringing a tripod to California Adventure and Disneyland? I have always wanted to bring a tripod, but do not know the rules or guidelines for that.

  • Love it!! Great work!

  • The waterfall is one my favorite spots in California Adventure. I really looks like someplace out of the Sierras. I would love to have a kidless day to explore Disneyland with my camera and take some pictures – especially during the holidays.

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