No one wants to be that person on a Disney vacation.
With so much on offer at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts, Disney’s theme parks see thousands of Guests each day enjoying Disney’s shows, attractions, and entertainment.
From the thrills of Tower of Terror and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance to the excitement of Disney character meet and greets returning, it can be easy to get carried away with the magic of Disney Parks. But there’s one particular behavior that is a huge no-no when it comes to Disney’s dark rides.
Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom are full of iconic rides and classic attractions. Guests can look forward to a tour of a Haunted Mansion, a swashbuckling Pirates of the Caribbean adventure, and a fairytale encounter on Under the Sea – Voyage of the Little Mermaid.
These Walt Disney World rides, however, all have something in common – they are dark rides. Disney Imagineers create spectacularly themed indoor worlds that bring Guests’ favorite Disney movies and characters to life. They use lighting, music, special effects, and smells to create atmospheric scenes that force Guests into believing that they really are in a haunted graveyard or in Peter Pan’s London.
And what’s the one thing that can ruin this fantasy? The dreaded flash photographer.
Warning signs permeate these dark rides, reminding Disney Parks Guests not to use flash photography for the safety and experience of other Guests and Cast Members.
Whether on Magic Kingdom’s Pirates of the Caribbean or while watching shows like Turtle Talk with Crush at EPCOT, Guests are made aware that they should turn flash off their cameras or cellphones. Flash photography ruins the ambiance and distorts the special effects used by Imagineers, interrupting the experience of Guests enjoying the ride.
If Guests are noticed taking flash photos on a dark ride, Cast Members will usually use a loudspeaker to remind them not to, which, of course, damages the flow of the ride’s soundtrack, narration, and magic.
Using flash also lights up areas that shouldn’t be seen by Guests, drawing their eyes away from how Disney designed the ride. All of a sudden, Guests are noticing exposed operations and mechanics in the background – particularly on older rides like “it’s a small world”. If you have ever experienced Space Mountain with the lights on, you know what we mean.
Furthermore, some sudden flashes of light can be triggering for Guests suffering from medical conditions like epilepsy and can affect the safety of Cast Members in certain shows. During live shows like For the First Time in Forever – a Frozen Sing-Along Celebration and The Festival of the Lion King, Disney performers can be affected by flash photography, instigating accidents on stage.
Yet, even with all these reminders, as soon as the boat leaves the dock or the Doom Buggy encounters some happy haunts, someone turns on their video light or starts flashing away with their camera. These photos usually do not come out well anyway, and can often be blurry or too bright. With today’s technology, our phones can now capture amazing shots without flash.
So, don’t be the one Guest who ruins the magic for everyone else on their Disney vacation. Capture your Disney memories, but leave the flash off.