Having a senior high school student is an exciting time for a family. There’s so much to do and one of those many tasks for many families include booking a photo session for your student to capture their personalities. Have you wanted to have a Disney-themed session but don’t know how to do it? This year I embarked on Disney photos for my own senior. We visited both Disneyland and Walt Disney World and had sessions at each location. Here’s what I tried and learned and how you can have senior photos, Disney style, for your own child.

If your family is visiting Disneyland in California, you will need to take the photos yourself. I highly recommend staying at an official Disneyland resort or a hotel nearby the parks so you can head back to change if you are doing evening photographs or to change into your park clothes after taking photos in the morning. I brought along a DSLR that I left in the room when not taking the photographs and we did an evening session at California Adventure Park and a morning session over at Disneyland Park.

The advantage to the evening session is the perfect lighting for photos but a morning session will allow you to take photos with fewer people in the park, including some attraction pictures. Some of the areas that my daughter loved for backgrounds included Mickey’s Fun Wheel, the Pixar Pier sign, Cars Land, the graffiti wall in Avenger Campus in California Adventure Park, Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, Mad Tea Party Teacups, and Mickey’s Toontown in Disneyland Park.

Over at Walt Disney World, Disney offers to Capture Your Moment – a 20-minute photo session with a park photographer in any of the parks. We chose a Magic Kingdom Capture Your Moment session and checked in at the booth in Town Square. Times are limited for these sessions but a 20-minute session can easily get you over 100 photos. Photographers will give you ideas on where to take photos if you aren’t sure of what section of the park you’d like to use.

For a classic session, you can have your session take place in front, behind, and to the side of Cinderella’s Castle. They can provide a graduation sign for your prop and you’ll feel like a VIP walking around the park with your own photographer. Be sure to have purchased Memory Maker so you can download all these photos with the rest of your photos from your trip.

Once you’ve settled on your location for your graduation photos, you’ll need to decide what to wear and what to bring along for your session. While graduation caps are allowed, graduation gowns are not allowed. If you are interested in an official set of Disney graduation ears, please note that the ears are usually released sometime after the new year and some years are released quite late in the spring. If you are having your senior session earlier than when the ears are available, there are many Etsy shops that can customize ears for you or try your own hand at making a personalized set of ears. While you can wear clothing with the school logo that you are going to attend, you can’t bring along a welcome or acceptance sign from the school so leave those at home.

Another thing to consider is that strangers will be in many of your pictures. You cannot ask people to move out of the picture but from our experience, people are generally very considerate and try not to get into your shot. This is when early morning photography sessions are helpful – head to the quieter rides like the teacups, carousel, or Dumbo for action shots, and then when the initial crowds have filed into the parks, head back to the castle for more shots there.

Senior photography sessions are a great way to have fun and show off your love for Disney when you graduate. Be sure to ask your Me and The Mouse Travel Specialist to add a Capture Your Moment session to your next Walt Disney World vacation and pack that graduation cap and ears and have fun living your Disney moment.