Disney Family Photos – Capturing the Great and Not-So-Great

Photo Dateline: Main Street Confectionary, Magic Kingdom, July 2021

Over the previous summer, we took a WDW trip that was way more crowded than I had anticipated. The frustration that came along with this miscalculation meant I was much less likely to break out the camera and take family photos over the course of the trip. The thinking being – “why would I want to take the time to document this misery?”

We were in the Magic Kingdom for our last night. It was just as crowded as it had been for our entire trip – both in wait times and walkways. Heading up Main Street for the last time, I realized I hadn’t taken the number of pictures that I normally take on a trip. If I was going to add to that number, I knew there wouldn’t be a better place to do it than now. Daylight was beginning to fade and we were hitting that time of day where you can really use the sunlight to capture the magic of the park. Some of my favorite photos from over the years have come from the Main Street USA area of the Magic Kingdom at this time of the day.

I knew Donald’s nephews were going to help us with our photo count.

I’ve always been drawn to the static figures of the Disney classics like the one pictured. I think I connect these to the ones you’d find in the Disney Stores of yore…thus to my golden age of 8-10 years old. I’m sure they been there forever, but I’ve never really noticed these particular ones in the windows of the Confectionary. Once noticed, however, I knew Donald’s nephews were going to help us with our photo count. I also knew the Confectionary would close the week after this trip for an extensive redo. Getting this photo was doing double-duty of capturing something that would inevitably change in the near-term.

In the end, you see the result – there’s only a smiling daughter and smiling Dewey left. The frustrating crowds and heat of the day sort of fade into memory.

I suppose that’s how it should be.

The takeaway? I can’t let frustrations result in less-willingness to take the time to capture the memories – both the good and bad. Inevitably, when I’m back in my living room looking at the Disney family photos we did take, I’ll have wished we took more. I’ll literally having those thoughts about this trip now.

The thing for me to remember, is that, whether or not a particular trip is living up to my expectations, I’ll only get to take it once. My children will only be 9 and 2 years old once. We’ll only be in this particular moment in time once. Inevitably, the bad edges fade a bit and I’m left with either good memories or memories that are not as bad as I assumed they’d be in the moment. That’s a little heavier than I planned on being, but it’s something I don’t want to forget.

Maybe this post will help me (and maybe you?) remember this on our next trip.

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