Photo by White Rabbit Photo Boutique
If you’re planning a Disneyland wedding or dreaming of a Disneyland wedding, you may have seen pictures of couples in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle while wearing their wedding attire. There’s no one else around them and it seems like they have the park all to themselves. Perhaps they are sharing a smooch in the castle forecourt or posing alongside Walt and Mickey at the Partners statue or taking a stroll near Snow White’s Wishing Well. The brides are wearing their full ballgowns and have their hair impeccably in place, while the grooms look dapper in their tuxedos or suits. We look at these pictures and we assume the couple just got married right there in the middle of Disneyland, with the whole park shut down for their private party. But that would be astronomically expensive … right? How can so many couples afford it?
It’s true that some couples *do* get married inside Disneyland, either before or after the park opens to the general public, and yes, it’s expensive. But most couples have a more budget-friendly wedding at one of The Disneyland Resort hotels, and choose an add-on feature known as the Castle Photo Shoot.
The Castle Photo Shoot is a private photography session inside Disneyland Park that is only available to couples getting married at The Disneyland Resort. It’s a great option for couples who want some magical images of themselves in their wedding attire inside Disneyland, but don’t have the big budget required for an in-park wedding. Sure, the photo shoot comes at a price and there is some red tape involved, but I’ve never heard from a couple who regretted opting for the private Castle Photo Shoot.
In this article I have outlined some of the rules and regulations surrounding the Castle Photo Shoot so you can have a little bit of knowledge of what it entails. Keep in mind policies and rules at Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings and The Disneyland Resort are subject to change at any time. Please treat the information in this article as exploratory information. Only your DFTW coordinator can give you accurate information for your event.
How to Take Wedding Photos Inside Disneyland
Disneyland Wedding Private Castle Photo Shoot Rules:
This photo shoot is only available for couples having a Disney’s Fairy Tale Wedding at The Disneyland Resort. It is considered an “add on” feature. It is not automatically included in your wedding package. It is available as an “add on” for both Wishes and Escape wedding packages, and includes Vow Renewals.
There is no other way to take wedding photos inside Disneyland. Guests are not permitted to wear formal attire during normal operating hours.
You must put in a request for the Castle Photo Shoot with your DFTW coordinator after you have signed the contract for your wedding. Your coordinator can give you all the most up-to-date information which supersedes any information contained in this article.
At the time this article was posted, the cost for the Castle Photo Shoot is $4500. This does not include your photographer.
Disney does not provide a photographer for you, you must hire someone yourself once your Castle Photo Shoot is approved and you have a date and time.
Only photographers on the DFTW preferred vendor list are permitted for private Castle Photo Shoots. Currently these vendors are: Beverly Hills Photography, White Rabbit Photo Boutique, Jack Randall Photography, and Joe Lumaya Photography. First please contact DFTW for a list of the current preferred photography vendors, then contact them individually for rates and availability.
The Castle Photo Shoot generally takes place the morning after your wedding. The Castle Photo Shoot takes place for one hour, before the park opens to the general public. Expect your castle photo shoot to take place at 5am or 6pm. That means if you want a hair and makeup touch-up, you’ll need to arrange for your artist to arrive at your hotel room at least two hours before your photo shoot time. Your photo shoot starts inside Disneyland at the designated time, so your coordinator will tell you the time and place to meet up with them before your shoot. Yes, it’s really early and no, you cannot do your photo shoot at night instead.
The Castle Photo Shoot takes place in the Sleeping Beauty Castle foreground. This is the only area that is guaranteed for your shoot. If you are led to any other areas (Fantasy Faire, Main Street USA, Fantasyland), consider yourself pixie dusted.
You can request to take photos in a different area of the Park (Space Mountain; Haunted Mansion), or at Disney California Adventure, for an additional fee.
The approval process for Castle Photo Shoots is complicated, so please be patient. Ultimately Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings does not make the final decision for your shoot. It must be approved by the Parks operations department. Know that Disney will do their best to accommodate your request but shoots do not always get approved for a variety of reasons.
If you have any additional questions about the Disneyland wedding Castle Photo Shoot, please leave me a comment and I’ll be happy to try to get you an answer. Remember I don’t work for Disney – I’m just a fan! But I do love chatting about Disneyland weddings so feel free to reach out to me.