In-Park Bridal Portrait Sessions FAQ

CLICK HERE to listen to the updated version of this episode, including the latest pricing and policies!

Today’s episode covers everything you ever wanted to know about the in-park bridal portrait sessions available at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. These sessions offer a unique opportunity to take photos in bridal attire before the parks open to day guests, and they’re offered at Disneyland, California Adventure, Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, as well as the two water parks.

Today you’ll learn…

  • Who’s eligible for in-park bridal portraits
  • How much they cost
  • How the photo shoot works
  • Which photographers can shoot the photos
  • Where you can take photos
  • Who may accompany you

…and much more! My guest today is Michelle Gaspar, who was lucky enough to do bridal portrait sessions on both coasts. Today she shares how the Disneyland and Walt Disney World portrait sessions differ, which one was her favorite, where she was able to take photos, and her tips for anyone interested in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

CLICK HERE to listen now! Option-click or right-click to download an MP3!


Disneyland Portraits © White Rabbit Photo Boutique – Jenna Henderson
Magic Kingdom & Epcot Portraits © Disney Fine Art Photography – Jacob Robertson

64 thoughts on “In-Park Bridal Portrait Sessions FAQ

  1. Hi there!

    I am currently in the beginning stages of planning my DFW and we are both extremely interested in doing a portrait session at MK. I am just worried because we are looking at late October 2023 and I know sunrise is later in the morning around that time (around 7:30ish) and we don’t really want all our photos to be “nighttime” photos… When speaking to my Disney wedding consultant, they said that it depends on when the park opens but that pick-up time is usually 6am.
    Are you able to request/schedule a specific pick-up time? Like, if MK opens at 9am, could we possibly get picked up/start a little later to get more light?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi! Unfortunately, Disney doesn’t let you specify a pickup time for the portrait sessions. It’s a hassle, but you can always come back later to do the session during a season when the sun rises earlier. Otherwise, plug a date into an online calculator like https://www.timeanddate.com/sun/usa/orlando and it will show you when it actually starts getting light, a.k.a. “Civil Twilight,” before sunrise. For example, if you’re picked up at 6:00 am, you won’t start shooting till 6:30 am, and it will begin getting light around 7am, even though sunrise isn’t until 7:30 am.

  2. Hi Carrie! Thank you for all of your great information- it is very helpful. Our daughter’s DFW is scheduled at the Wedding Pavilion in June 2023. Do you know if Disney Fine Art Photography edits and/or retouches their wedding photos? And if so, do they state what level of editing/retouching is provided with package costs? Thank you!

    1. Hi Lisa! Disney only very minimally edits their wedding photos, and they do not detail how much in their package info. In the past they have been able to do heavier editing (like removing a crane) for a fee, but they don’t list those prices either. And, frankly, they are so understaffed at the moment that they may have stopped offering this option. If this is important to your daughter, I would suggest using an outside photographer for the wedding, since she will then be guaranteed to get the photographer and style of photos she likes.

  3. I stumbled on this podcast yesterday and listened intently. Afterwards, I followed with Disney Fine Art Photography only to be told the following….

    “Greetings from Disney Fine Art Photography. We are only booking formal portrait sessions for our past and present Disney Fairy Tale Wedding couples and Guests who host an event here at Walt Disney World.”

    From there I was directed to Disney Meetings and Events team on hosting a private dinner or small event at WDW.

    Perhaps I misunderstood in my excitement yesterday while listening to the blog and looking at the Fine Art Photography website. I was under the impression anyone could pay the fees and have the 1 hour session.

    Needless to say it was a very disappointing email to read this afternoon from Stephanie, the Disney Photography Coordinator at Disney Fine Art Photography.

    1. Hi Dan! If you check out the note at the top of this episode’s page, it mentions that the policy was changed in 2021 and describes the new restrictions. This episode was recorded prior to the changes, unfortunately. You are not the only one disappointed by this change, and I encourage you to express this to WDW Guest Relations via this form. The only hope for getting the policy changed back is if enough people complain.

      1. Thank you for the quick response. Completely my error in missing the note in my excitement. My fiancee is a nurse who has worked countless hours over the past 18 months or so due to COVID. So much so that we have had to postpone our wedding more than once. We cannot afford a WDW wedding so I was excited thinking this would be the way for me to make it magical for her.

        I will reach out to Guest Relations and hope that others will, too.

        Thanks, again.

    1. If Disney is also shooting your wedding, yes! This is explained on page 155 of the Fairytale Weddings Guide.

  4. Hi Carrie!

    Can you take photos in wedding attire at the Disney resorts? Are there restrictions? We’re looking to do a vow renewal (maybe Swan/Dolphin ceremony with Paddlefish reception dinner) but would love to do photos on the monorail and around several resort properties.

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Holley! Yes, with the caveat that in the last few months, for the first time ever, a few couples have been hassled by uninformed cast members about taking photos—mostly around the Grand Floridian. As long as you’re not trying to shoot on the staircase at the Grand Floridian while another bride is there, you should be OK. But there are no resort-wide rules prohibiting photography or wearing bridal attire on the monorail or anything like that.

  5. I have a small wedding at Disney World resort. On April 8 , 2022. I wanted to take pictures at Disney world in our attire. Can we do that? Or can we do it at the other parks? Do we have to use their photography? Or someone they have contract with?

    1. Hi! The only way to take pictures in bridal attire inside ANY Disney theme park is to book a pre-park-opening bridal portrait session, starting at $2,400 (if you are using Disney Fine Art Photography for your wedding) or $2,600 (if your wedding is being shot by an outside photographer). Booking info is on page 157 of the Fairytale Weddings Guide.

  6. Hello! My fiancé and I are having a ceremony at the Paddlefish in January of 2023. I am wanting bridal photos in front of the castle at Magic Kingdom. Are they still limiting bridal attire to couples who had a Disney Fairytale wedding?
    If so, would the Capture Your Magic photo option be our best bet? I know there are attire restrictions with that option though.
    I am really just wanting us in front of the castle with our dress and suit on and am losing hope that it is possible.
    Thanks!

    1. Hi! So Disney no longer allows non-Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings couples to do pre-park opening portrait sessions at all, in any park. If you have the latest version of the Fairytale Weddings Guide, this is explained on page 157, as well as in the note at the top of this post. And here are instructions on downloading your FREE updated copy of the eBook. You can either do a Capture Your Moment photo session in non-bridal attire or you can take your chances trying to get in at the gate in bridal attire during park hours. It depends on the whims of the cast members that day, unfortunately.

  7. Does getting married on the Disney Cruise Line qualify you to be be considered as DFW therefore allowing you to take photos through DFAP at MK in bridal attire?

    1. Yes! Disney Cruise, Walt Disney World and DIsneyland weddings all qualify you for the Premier Portrait Session in any park. Since this episode was released, Disney has removed the attire restriction everywhere but Galaxy’s Edge but restricted Premier Portrait Sessions in *any* park to just couples who were married (at any time) in one of the spots I listed.

  8. Hello- this is not wedding specific but I plan to do a small photoshoot with a group of friends and their daughters in magic kingdom on the 27th December. More like capturing the kids together for a fun photoshoot. I also will need a video. How do I connect with a photographer who will be able to offer that ? I don’t mind paying extra to get in the park early so there are less people . Can you please help

  9. Hi! I was wondering if you are allowed to have bridal shoots outside of the parks but still on property (for example, at one of the Disney hotels?) I am getting married in Orlando next year and although we are not getting married at Disney, we would love some photos at a couple of the resort hotels! x

    1. Yes, there is no prohibition on bridal attire at the resorts, or on taking photos. The only thing you might run into trouble with is trying to get shots on the staircase at the Grand Floridian. If there is another wedding party there, the cast members sometimes get weird about you crossing paths.

  10. Hi Carrie, Do you know if I can bring an outside photographer or videographer for MK portrait? I saw Jessica and Elliot had a video (they are prefrred videography by Disney) shot inside of MK but I thought it’s not allowed? Thank you.

    1. Hi Ellena! You are required to use Disney Fine Art Photography for Magic Kingdom pre-park-opening portrait sessions. However, since Disney does not have its own videography team, they have a list of approved outside vendors you can use for videography during your portrait session. This is how Jessica got her video. The list of approved vendors is available on the official DFTW site here: http://as1.wdpromedia.com/media/disneyweddings/pdfs/WDWVideographyVendors1.pdf

  11. Hello Carrie,

    We are going to be getting married on the Disney Fantasy Caribbean Cruise in December 2022 and then honeymooning in Walt Disney World after.

    We are looking at booking the Magic Kingdom Bridal Photo Shoot, do you know what days these happen? Is it only week days?

    Also do they stop for Christmas Break or anything? We were looking at Monday 19th December 2022 but don’t know if this would be possible?

    Thank you so much!

    Megan x

    1. Hi Megan! So DFAP usually is not able to book these past the first week or two of December—the park won’t let them. You can always go back later and do the shoot. You have up to a year from your wedding date to book using the courtesy window extended to DFTW couples. After that you would only be able to book 4 months out like other couples.

  12. Hi!

    You mention a way to find galleries of the different photographers on Pinterest, but I can’t seem to find it anywhere! Would you be able to send a link?

    1. It is REALLY hard to find! Here you go: https://www.pinterest.com/disneyweddings/disney-fine-art-photography/ Also, it should be noted that the only remaining photographers on staff are Stephanie, Dawn, Jacob, Mike and Dean. Sometimes you can request Rick. You might do better to track them down on Instagram: @caldwellphotographicstudio, @dawnaiellophoto, @jkrobertson_photo, @mikestrickland01, (none for Dean) and @rickferrophotography. Also, if you search their names in the box at the bottom of this site, you can see full weddings and portrait sessions they’ve shot, not just selects.

  13. Hi Carrie! I was wondering if I can have an outside photographer do a bridal portrait session at Epcot for me?

    If so, is there an extra fee (on top of what my photographer charges) to get in to the park for the session since I’m not using DFAP?

    1. Hi Kelly! No, only Disney Fine Art Photography can shoot inside the parks before they open. The only way to do this would be if your wedding were inside EPCOT and you paid the $120 media guide fee to have an outside photographer shoot your wedding. Then you could enter the park early before your wedding and take photos with your photographer.

  14. Hi, just want to know if I can wear my own wedding dress while taking the bridal portraits ? (the $2600 session at magic kingdom) Thank you!

    1. Disney Fine Art Photography allows couples to wear bridal attire for their Magic Kingdom portrait sessions only if they also had a Disney’s Fairy Tale Wedding. (And they don’t require you to rent the bridal attire from them like you have to for Tokyo Disneyland weddings, if that’s what you are asking.) However, anyone can wear bridal attire at their photo sessions in the other parks, even if you didn’t have a Disney wedding.

  15. Hello! My sister is trying to decide between choosing Magic Kingdom Portrait Session for $2400 or Magic Kingdom plus another Disney Park for $2700. It seems strange to us that for $300 more, she can take photos at two parks. We are confused if the “Magic Kingdom plus another Disney Park Package” means the amount of time in each park would be reduced, since portrait sessions are usually only for one hour, or if she would need two separate days to take photos. Thank you in advance for any clarification you can provide.

    1. Hi Diana! First, if she is not using Disney Fine Art Photography for her wedding, these prices increase by $200 each. But it really is only $300 more to add a second park to Magic Kingdom. You get a full hour in each park, but only EPCOT can be done on the same day. If she chose DHS or AK for the second park, she would have to schedule the shoot for another day. All of this info can be found on pages 153-155 of my Fairytale Weddings Guide!

  16. Hi! I recently got engaged and am hoping to do a future engagement shoot at Magic Kingdom. I was wondering if you know if with the pandemic going on, can you still book the $1,999 hour long photo session before the park opens? And if so, do you need to wear masks during the photo shoot? I haven’t been able to find anything about this on the Disney website. Thank you so much.
    -Stacey

    1. A few of the photographers are back, so they may be booking this again. Because the $1,999 Family Shoot takes place at 7:30am, when other guests are arriving for dining reservations, they may require you to wear masks for the whole shoot. If you did the $2,600 bridal portrait session, that takes place before other guests enter the park, so they have been allowing couples to take off their masks when stationary for a photo and only wear masks as they move from place to place. Info on both types of sessions is here: http://disneyfineartphotography.com/portraits/magic-kingdom-family-portrait.php

      1. Thank you so much for the info! Currently there are no table service restaurants serving breakfast at Magic Kingdom. So there wouldn’t be anyone there for a breakfast reservation. I will try to call and find out about the mask wearing policy. Thanks again!

          1. Hi again! The link you sent was really helpful. Thank you so much! I had a few other questions after reading everything.. Do you know what time you are picked up for the $2600 session? I was also wondering if you know if four months in advance it is usually easy to get a reservation for this one. Lastly, do you know if they let you alter one of the three routes if it’s possible on the day of or are they very strict about sticking to one route and not being able to swap one location for a location in a different route? Thank you so very much!
            -Stacey

          2. The pickup time varies depending on what time the park opens. The later the park opens, the later the pickup. It’s usually between 5am and 7am. The only time it has historically been difficult to book is the first few weeks of December, because photo shoots are not offered the rest of the month. But who knows what demand is like now… They are pretty strict about sticking to the routes, especially if another couple is shooting there that day, but you can always ask your photographer about a swap once you get there.

          3. Thank you so much for all of the info. It is all super helpful. My last question for you is, do all of the routes for the $2600 package include photos at Cinderella Castle? Do you know if they go to different locations with the castle or just one location with the castle? Thank you so much for all of your help. Have a great week!

          4. Yes! All the routes include photos at the castle. They always do shots in front of the castle. If your route includes Fantasyland, you will also get shots at the back of the castle.

    1. Yes! Anyone can book a pre-opening in-park bridal portrait session via Disney Fine Art Photography! The only restriction is on attire at Magic Kingdom: Only couples who have Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings may wear bridal attire there. The official wording is no “bridal gowns, ball gowns, tuxedos, veils or bouquets. Cocktail dresses and suits, as well as more casual clothing options will be permitted.” But you CAN wear bridal attire in the other three parks!

  17. We are planning on doing a vow renewal at Paddlefish in Disney Springs December 2021. The DFAP website says that you can book non-MK bridal portrait sessions 12 months in advance. Is that still the case? Having a Portrait session at AK and Epcot is really a priority for us. Thank you Carrie!

    1. Nothing has changed since the WDW furlough, so the rules are all the same. DFAP isn’t back from furlough yet, but hopefully they will be by December so you can book!

  18. Hello Carrie,

    Does a bridal photo portrait session at MK apply to the minimum that must be spent on a wedding?

    1. Yes, but only if you are using Disney Fine Art Photography for your wedding. If you use an outside photographer for the wedding, it does not count toward the Event Minimum.

  19. Hi Carrie do you know if I get married at Disneyland can I still do a bridal photo session at Magic Kingdom when we go for our honeymoon? I know I can do Disneyland bridal photo shoot if I get married there but I am not interested in doing my bridal shoot in front of Sleeping Beauty’s castle but rather Cinderella’s castle. Or is the only way to do a Magic Kingdom bridal photo shoot if we are married at DisneyWorld? Thank you.

    1. Yes! Anyone can book a Magic Kingdom bridal portrait session! Those who have not had a Disney’s Fairy Tale Wedding are not allowed to wear bridal attire, but you would qualify to wear it as a Disney’s Fairy Tale Wedding couple, even if your wedding was in California.

      1. Awesome! Thank you I wasn’t sure how long ago this podcast took place and if anything had changed since she had done her bridal shoot at both parks.

  20. What photography package would you recommend for 2 people who are going to Disneyworld to elope at Luau Pointe? I would like pictures during the ceremony as well as a few after.

    1. For the wedding day, I always recommend choosing an outside vendor. It’s the only way you can guarantee to get exactly the photographer whose style you want, since Disney can’t guarantee you’ll get any of their photographers you request. You also usually pay a lot less or get a lot more for the same price. Many of the popular local photographers have small packages for elopements, and they’re very flexible about customizing the packages if you want to add more time.

  21. Hi Carrie!! One thing I’m dying to know is if DFW will allow you to pay for extra time at MK photo shoots to do multiple routes? Or if they let you book more than one MK shoot? I will literally pay for 3 separate shoots so I can do all 3 routes but I have no idea if they’ll let me. Thanks!

    1. You can definitely pay for three separate photo shoots. But I don’t think they’d let you do them all on the same day because they are not allowed that much time inside the park before it opens. When they do have multiple routes booked (by separate couples) on the same day, they shoot them simultaneously. When things start back up again, just give Disney Fine Art Photography a call to see what your options are: 407-827-5099

  22. Do you know if Disneyland Paris will let you sign up for a bridal portrait if you are not getting married there? I am going to book the first few days of our Honeymoon in October and would like to bring a fancy silver dress to take photos with at Sleeping Beauty Castle with my husband. I have seen some pictures on Instagram of people doing sessions for their anniversary so I am hoping this is an option four our honeymoon. We will most likely be staying at the Disneyland hotel there.

    1. Hi Charlotte! Unfortunately, Disneyland Paris recently changed their policy on photo shoots. Now they only allow couples who were married at one of the Paris Disney parks to do a pre-opening bridal portrait session there. They also jacked up the price to €7,300.

  23. Hi!

    Do you know if you could have a 9am ceremony at Canada Terrace (Escape) then do the Epcot Bridal Portraits straight after?

    1. Generally they start the pre-opening bridal portraits much earlier, so I think you’d need to contact Disney Fine Art Photography to see what they’d do in your situation: 1-407-827-1500. Don’t forget that you will also have time to do bridal portraits in and around Canada as part of your wedding, so you may not need to pay for a separate bridal portrait session. Alternatively, you could add an extra hour of Disney photography to your wedding for $250 and use that to go around to other countries after your Escape event.

    2. Hi Carrie,
      Are the premier portraits only done before park opening? Do they do them after park closing?

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