Bringing your camera to Disney World can be one of the best decisions you can make. Recently, we wrote an article about 7 Disney Photography Tips, where we talk about ways to up your photography game at Disney. However, many ask, what are the rules on cameras at Disney World and what type of camera can I bring into Disney World?

Disney’s Offical Camera Policy

First, before we dive into it, let’s explore what the official Disney policy is on cameras and camera equipment. Here are the lines from their official rules that are related to photography or cameras:

Prohibited Items:

  • Tripods or monopod stands that cannot fit inside a standard backpack or that extend over 6’ (182cm) are not allowed in Theme Parks, Water Parks, Disney Springs or ESPN Wide World of Sports.
  • Selfie sticks, hand-held extension poles for cameras or mobile devices, flags and banners are not allowed in any Theme Park and Water Park.
  • Recreational devices such as drones, remote-control toys, skateboards, scooters, inline skates or shoes with built-in wheels. Bicycles are permitted only in designated Disney resort areas.

Prohibited Activities:

  • Photography, videotaping or recording of any kind, or otherwise engaging in any activity, for unapproved commercial purposes.

Can You Take Photographs at Disney?

Based off the rules listed above, yes, you can take photos and video at Disney as long as it is not for a commercial purpose. If you are attending the parks and taking photos for hobby or for memories, Disney has no issues with you taking photographs or video.

That being said, social media has created a blurred line of what is considered commercial and what is not. For example, taking photos and video for a YouTube channel or Instagram page that is monetized could be considered commercial purposes. Disney has not taken an official stance for vloggers and Instagrammers. There are many vloggers who make a living off creating Disney/Theme Park vlogs and not only does Disney allow it, they also will reward ones with a larger viewership with unique experiences for publicity. This leads one to believe that Disney vlogging and social media is considered an approved commercial purpose by Disney, however, be aware that according to their rules, they can shut it down at any time.

Can I Bring A DSLR Camera To Disney World?

Absolutely! I even recommend it! There are so many great photos to take a Disney so make sure you bring your DSLR or Mirrorless Camera with you.

If you show up with a full gear bag filled with multiple cameras, lenses, lighting, filters, large tripods, and more you may be questioned by security. Since commercial photography is prohibited, they will want to make sure your gear is not being used for a commercial shoot. (Please note that a bag full of gear will not keep you from getting into the park, I do it all the time, but, you may be questioned about it).

Can I Bring A Tripod To Disney World?

Yes, provided the tripod does not extend past 6′ and can fit within a standard backpack. At the time of writing this article, I have a tripod that folds down to less than 18″, however, it does extend to about 6’5″. I have not been stopped from brining this tripod into the parks, nor has security ever measured how tall it can get. I never extend it past 6′.

Can I Bring Multple Lenses to Disney World?

Yes, and I encourage it. Disney does not have any rules against the number of lenses you may bring into the park, however, if they believe you are doing a commercial shoot, they will question you.

I have brought up to 5 different lenses before in my bag. Only once was I asked any questions and I had a great answer for each of my lenses. One was a fast prime lens used for dark photography in rides, another was a fisheye for some artistic shots, a standard wide lens, a zoom lens to capture some great shots of the parade and then my tele-zoom lens for capturing wildlife at Animal Kingdom. They had no issues with letting me through, but did tell me to hold on tight to that bag since it contained thousands of dollars in lenses.

Can I Bring a Telephoto Lens To Disney World?

Yes, but you may not need it. Disney World has many great things to see, however, they are very big on sight lines. This means, they make sure to block your view and make sure every detail can be seen by the human eye. Many times, this makes photography easier as most details you can capture with your standard lenses without needing to pull out a telephoto lens.

I shoot at Disney with a Micro 4/3rds system, which allows me to have smaller gear. I have found many uses for my 35mm-100mm (70mm-200mm full frame equivalent), however, when I brought my 100mm-300mm (200mm-600mm full frame equivalent) if found it harder to find good shots that needed that kind of reach.

Can I Bring an Image Stabalizer Gimble To Disney World?

Yes, you sure can at this time. This question is often asked because of the no “selfie-stick” policy Disney has in place Yes, you can bring a gimble to Disney World as long as it does not extend. This can be a simple mobile phone gimble such as the Osmo Mobile or even a larger DSLR Gimble such as the Zhiyun Crane or DJI Ronin-S.

Remember, the more professional your equipment, the more likely you will have to explain to security why you need that level of equipment. A DSLR gimble is allowed at Disney World, but does raise questions.

Can I Bring A Shotgun Mic or RODE VideoMic To Disney World?

Yes, as long as it is attached to the camera. Disney does not allow extendable poles so a shotgun mic attached to a pole would not be allowed, however, on top of the camera such as the RODE VideoMic would be allowed. Many vloggers use this setup.

Can I Bring A GoPro To Disney World?

Yes, Disney World does allow GoPro and many of the accessories. These include the harness, head strap, Karma grip, housings and more. They do not allow any GoPro accessory that is extendable.

Can I Take A Camera Onto Rides at Disney World?

Surprisingly, yes! The reasons this is a surprise is most theme parks have extremely strict rules on loose items such as cameras being on rides for safety reasons. Disney not only has the least amount of rules, they have almost none. While some parks will allow a GoPro with approved wrist strap, Disney will allow you to bring your camera onto almost any ride, even if it is just handheld.

There are a handful of rides that will ask for no filming due to licensing reasons and they will be clearly marked. Flash photography is prohibited in all shows and on all dark rides.

Be safe if you choose to take a camera onto a ride. Even the most tame rides can have bumps and jolts that could cause you to drop your camera. On a faster ride, if your camera is lost, it can cause injury to someone else on the ride as well. If you take a camera, make sure it is fastened to your body and that it can’t be dropped.

Are Drones Allowed at Disney World Parks or Resorts?

No, they are strictly prohibited. Disney does not allow the use of any recreational drone on its property, including hotels. Disney is extra strict when it comes to this policy. There are videos online of those who have tried to fly a drone and they are often met with a large amount of security and Sheriff deputies.

Are Selfie Sticks Allowed At Disney World?

No, these were banned in 2015. Selfie sticks became a safety concern as their popularity grew and they were banned.

Are Monopods or Hand Held Camera Grips Allowed At Disney World?

Yes, as long as they do not extend, monopods and hand held camera grips are ok to bring to Disney World Parks.

What Do I Do With My DSLR Camera on Rides?

The simple answer is you can take your DSLR Camera on rides at Disney. You can even have it out on some rides to take some great photos. On the faster rides though, you will want to stow away your DSLR Camera.

With most rides, there is plenty of space to keep your bag at your feet. On faster coaster rides, I always wrap a strap from my camera bag around my ankle to make sure that if it some how comes loose, it will not fly out. On rides that do not have a place for your bag, such as Avatar Flight of Passage, there are storage bins behind your ride vehicle where you can store your items. For water rides such as KOA Rapids, there are lockers that are free for 2 hours.

Simply put, your camera bag is just another bag. If you are looking for what you can do with your DSLR camera on rides, simply put it in your bag and put your bag where the Cast Members instruct you.

What Did We Miss?

Did we miss your question? Please ask below in the comments and we will be sure to not only answer you question but add it to the list!

Posted by Chris Edwards

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