Micky’s Fun Wheel at Disney’s California Adventure Park

California Adventure

Micky’s Ferris Wheel at night at the Disney California Adventure Park

Yesterday I headed over to the Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim. We had perfect weather and also the same plans as thousands of other people, because the place was packed with visitors. It took us over and hour and a half in line at the new Carsland ride. Crazy!

I took over 200 photos, but the night shots were the best. There’s something about the lights and configuration at this park that makes it fun to shoot.

The challenge for me was to capture the night scenes without a tripod, yet not use a high ISO. So I improvised. I constantly looked for places where I could set my camera down, compose a shot and shoot at 100 ISO but with a longer exposure time. It worked! Well most of the time.

The top image with the reflection of the Micky Fun Wheel turned out great. However, my “almost” best shot is below. If it were not for the end of the ledge (left lower side, where I placed the camera down), the image would have been my top pick.

Tip on how to take night pictures at Disney Parks

I know this has been said a million times before by others, but for those people out there who are taking pictures at night with a flash, remember, an on camera flash cannot reach and brighten up a subject that is as far and as tall as this ferris wheel. This is the right way to accomplish it:

  1. Use a slower shutter speed (in my case it was 2 seconds long)
  2. Use a stable tripod (or ledge in my case)
  3. Use a low ISO speed (I used 100).
  4. Aperture setting will depend on distant from subject and what you want to be in focus. (In my case I used f/3.5)

And remember, never hand hold a camera with a shutter speed slower than 1/30th of second, chances are it will be blurred. Best thing is to use a tripod or place your camera on something stable, like a table.

Mickey's Fun Wheel


Nacho is a car nut, constant traveler and photo contributor. Currently using a Nikon D5100 DSLR. "I'm not a pro, I just take pictures like one!"

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  • Stefan Jansson

    I dislike queuing, but love your photos!

  • MurciaDailyPhoto

    Thanks for your explanations about how to make a good night shot as you.

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