A Walk in the Park: A Peaceful Morning at Disneyland Park

Joshua Sudock

by , Disneyland Resort Photographer

One of my job perks is getting to see Disneyland park before guests arrive. I take a long walk through the resort once a week to keep the photographic archive fresh and quietly make art.

The sunrise looked beautiful over Tomorrowland Lagoon during this week’s stroll. I love when the sun bursts through tree branches and casts a golden glow on waters below.

Elephants at the Jungle Cruise, Disneyland park

Foliage sways with the breeze and water laps to create a quiet soundtrack at The Jungle Cruise in Adventureland.

Monstro, Storybook Land in Fantasyland at Disneyland park

Storybook Land in Fantasyland is a treasure, where you can visit miniatures of your favorite fairytale locales – from Arendelle to Agrabah. Early in the morning, when I’ve got the area to myself, I can sometimes hear “A Whole New World” quietly echoing through Monstro’s mouth.

The pirate ship above Peter Pan's Flight in Fantasyland, Disneyland park

A sunburst encircles the pirate ship weathervane above Peter Pan’s Flight, also in Fantasyland. PRO TIP: Shooting into the sun can lead to some really satisfying pictures, but never actually look directly into the sun (seriously, you’ll destroy your eyes). There are a lot of methods for composing sun pictures – I usually rely on my camera’s live view feature, but sometimes, when I feel like I need to spend a little extra time composing, I’ll use a pair of welding goggles with one lens removed (protective lens for looking through the viewfinder and clear eye for making camera adjustments – no, your sunglasses are not an effective substitute).

Fountain in Mickey’s Toontown, Disneyland park

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I do love what bottom-lit water does when you drag your camera’s shutter a bit. Slowing my exposure to 2.5 seconds made this fountain in Mickey’s Toontown look a little more magical.

Space Mountain in Tomorrowland, Disneyland park

All systems are a go for thrills at Space Mountain in Tomorrowland as the park’s first guest of the day passes through the front gate and another picture-perfect operating day has begun.

There’s peace and beauty at Disneyland park in the morning whether the sky is gloomy or bright. With spring in the air, now is the perfect time to visit!


  • Joshua – Thanks for the pictures and commentary. Would it be possible in future posts to leave the EXIF data in the images? That would help us get a better sense of the settings you used. Thanks!

  • Amazing photos!! what an awesome job you have!!

  • Wow… thanks for sharing such awesome photos. To walk the park in it’s most peaceful state would be a wonderful experience — do you need an assistant?!?! 😀 Keep posting these great photos.

  • You have a fun job, Joshua – great shots!

  • I look forward to Joshua’s “Walk in the Park” blog entries-they are a favorite of mine!

    One of my favorite parts of “Extra Magic Hour” is strolling around Fantasyland when most other guests are on the open attractions, and large areas of Fantasyland remain people free. It’s like having the park to yourself for a few minutes.

  • I remember one time when I was a Cast Member at Disneyland and had an opening shift. I had to walk from Main Street U.S.A. all the way to Fantasyland and saw almost no one along the way. Made me feel like Walt Disney. A memory I will NEVER forget!

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