Should I PACK my Camera for Disney, for vacation?

Headed to Disney? Wondering if you need to bring your REAL camera, Memory Maker? READ this and see…

Hey guys, thought I would answer a common question I get. Cameras, to bring or not to bring, that is the question?? Sadly this isn’t an easy answer and 100% dependent on your type of vacation and the type of pictures you want. It also matters if you are getting the Memory Maker (Disney World) or another Disney picture package. Should I pack my Camera for Disney?

YES:

So, yes, PACK your camera if you are a photographer. 100%!! People who are actually trained, do for a living photographers will not be happy or content without their vices, aka camera. This is where I fall as well, not only do I have professional camera training but per my job…I take THOUSANDS of images and video on vacation, its a MUST to pack. In fact, crazy me packs 2-4 cameras with backup batteries. I have special lenses, a camera backpack and a few tri-pods. Only a “crazy” person needs to bring this, and by crazy I mean devoted 😉

NO:

For those who are staying for a few days, who have the Memory Maker package AND for those who are happy with cell phone images, you can leave your camera at home. Cameras are bulky, add another item to carry and can be annoying to remember to charge. Even a smaller Point & Shoot can be a pain. I mean you have your phone in hand, use that. Need to quickly capture some Magic…you need to have that camera at the ready (as I do). For those just wanting to enjoy, your cell is fine.

Maybe:

So the maybe is for the in-between people. Perhaps you love your camera, take it everywhere and plan on capturing images that the Disney photographers can’t. Or for whatever reason need a camera. I urge people to remember the heat and how heavy a camera can feel after a few hours. So for those who want to take GOOD images, I usually suggest a nice “Point & Shoot” verses bringing the DSLR (the Big Boy as I call them). I think in “normal” situations they aren’t needed and just become another thing to protect against the rain, heat and water rides.

So as I am the worst person to ask, this is my advice. Do as I suggest, not as I do. I am rarely without a camera. Different ones are used for different reasons and when one has died, I move the next one. I use my cell on water rides as its waterproof and pack special bags for the others. Its alot going on. My kids and husband even joke when we are in the park and see something I didn’t photograph as they still think I am silly for taking a picture of garbage cans, lol. “Mom, did you see that vent or sewer cover?” They think they are SO funny.

“Incredible” Garage Cans!!

Anyways, I hope this helped. Cameras are great but add an extra layer of packing and something to remember. If you can, go light and get the Memory Maker. Mahalo for READING and FOLLOWING along – Nina

If interested in a Trip:

Top RIDES at Disney World & Disneyland

Visiting Disney can be overwhelming. Figuring out which rides to experience can be challenging. READ about my favorite rides at Disney World & Disneyland

Hey fans, I am planning on doing several helpful lists of my top rides, resort, restaurants, etc…but thought I would start with this. My TOP favorite rides in each USA Disney Theme Park. Walt Disney World AND Disneyland Resort. These are my favorite rides, for no specific reason, just the rides I love and will continue to ride over and over again. I would love to hear your list – make sure to comment.

Almost made the cut – Jungle Cruise
Magic Kingdom – Disney World:

This park is probably the hardest out of any park as there are SO many options. But for me, I am gonna say Pirates of the Caribbean. I would love to say the Pirates BEFORE they changed it, but even with the recent changes…it’s still a favorite and something I ride EVERY trip. In fact when I visited WDW pregnant, my Dr told me no pirates and well…she wasn’t on my happy list during that trip 😉 I love the song, the familiarity from childhood. And the silly, singing pirates with dirty feet and sleeping with the pigs. “We wants the Redhead.”

Epcot – Disney World:

AS this was also a hard one, it ended up being a no-brainier. One ride that I hate to miss and will fastpasses or RUN to directly after rope drop is Soarin’ Around the World. I have been SO many times, you think I would be tired of it – nope. Its just so different from other attractions. I love the smells, the sights and the feeling like you are flying, even though it can make me a little nauseous (just close your eyes).

Animal Kingdom – Disney World:

This was an easy one – Kilimanjaro Safari. Sorry Pandora fans, nothing will beat the ability to see animals roam “freely” and enjoy life eating grass and grazing. Nothing with beat watching a baby hippo splash in the pond with her mom or seeing a lion rest on pride rock. Even being a vegan, I love this ride. It feels like the animals are happy and well cared for. I love that each time it’s a different experience, morning, noon or evening.

Hollywood Studios – Disney World:

This selection might be short lived once Galaxy’s Edge opens, but for now its Toy Story Mania. This could be due to my son who makes us ride this over and over again, especially at Disneyland where we can. But its a fave. My choice would have been the Backlot Tour and it might become Rise of the Resistance, but for now…Toy Story has my heart.

Disneyland Park:

100% Dumbo!! Its been my favorite since I was a kid and since my Disney life started in California, that’s where my heart is. It’s an original attraction that made little Nina very, very happy. Even today I tear up when on the Disneyland version. It goes oddly fast for a Flying Elephant and has the most beautiful view of Fantasyland, especially at night when the lights are on.

California Adventure: Disneyland

For this park, my favorite is an attraction or an experience – I love the Animation Academy. For those that don’t know this hidden gem, its a drawing class in the park. A Disney animator teaches you how to draw a certain character using only a pencil. NO erasers. The artist in me LOVES this. I love the concept, the actual experience so much. Think about it, with a place so filled with animated characters, shows and rides…why not learn how it all started…by drawing a mouse?!?!

Learn HOW to Draw GOOFY!!

Remember this is MY personal favorite list. These aren’t necessarily the rides to RUN to or to fastpass, but they are the attractions I won’t miss. I come from a place of childhood memories, growing up in the park. This is what drives my list, drives me. I love the original attractions that Walt helped create. The attractions that draw me closer and closer for whatever emotional reason. This is what makes Disney Parks so great, so many options. So, whats your list?

I love helping make memories for my clients every day, contact me if interested in a vacation. Mahalo for READING and FOLLOWING along – Nina

Disney Spring Amphicar Experience

Headed to Disney and looking for something new to do? Perhaps you are celebrating and want something special? READ to learn about the Amphicar…

Hey guys, thought I would take a break from Epcot and discuss one our favorite hidden gems – the Amphicar at Disney Springs in Disney World. Its the perfect experience for a family, couple or anyone celebrating. Its kinda pricey, but worth it for this once in a lifetime experience.

Amphicar – Disney Spring
Location:

They are located in Disney Springs, previously known at Downtown Disney. You will find them NEXT door to The Boathouse, a nice restaurant located along the water front. You can’t miss them, just look for the classic looking cars that drive into the water. There is often a crowd of people near-by watching as some lucky family gets to take the tour of a lifetime.

What are they:

An Amphilcar is what it sounds like, its a boat-car. It can drive on the road like a car and ALSO drive in the water like a boat. Its the best of both worlds 😉 Created in Germany in the 1960’s, with just under 4,000 created they are a rare treat. Even more rare as only about 400 exist today with Disney owning 8 of them.

The Skinny:

So…I will not lie, this experience is not cheap…but it is worth it. For $125 (plus tip for the Captain), you can take a 25 min tour around Disney Springs in the lagoon/lake. It fits about 3-4 people and you can get a $25 discount if also dining at The Boathouse restaurant, as we did. Grab your camera, grab some loved ones and enjoy. Our Captain was very chatty with lots of great tips and info and yes, he was actually a Captain. Not just anyone can drive these babies, not at Disney anyways. Watch the video and see what I mean.

The Experience:

AS soon as these came out, I knew we just HAD to do it. How cool is it to say you were on water, in a CAR?!?! The kids loved it, I loved it and hubby enjoyed learning all the mechanical stuff behind the classic boat/car. TIP: Make sure to have the memory maker as they took super cool pics of us in the Amphicar and I got them ALL for FREE. Others were paying for the pictures. WE would totally do this again and also found The Boathouse to be yummy, service was rough the night we went, but thats how it goes sometimes. We give it an A+ expereince, perfect for a celebration or for the family that is looking for something NEW to do at Disney.

AS always, I love talking Disney and have the most up to date info and planning advise…it is what I do 🙂 If looking to book a trip, let me know.

Mahalo for READING and FOLLOWING along on my Blog – Nina