Imagine this sequence leading up to my work day:
All my flights are delayed, but thankfully not canceled, so I manage to make it into Orlando the night before my shoot. Bonus- the sweetest couple ever who is picking me up? They are night owls like I am and were down to pick me up from the airport much later than I originally thought.
We stayed up talking and laughing most of the night, while I ate their Trader Joe’s buffalo chicken dip… and I’m pretty sure my soul needed every second of it (the laughter and the buffalo dip). I also had no idea how much I needed the scent of lavender oil to linger around my head to put my crazy spinning brain right to sleep.
They had my favorite Dave’s Killer Bread (if you know, you know) ready for me in their kitchen so I could have breakfast before my Uber picked me up that morning. That Uber showed up at an hour that I haven’t seen on a clock (with an A.M. next to it) in years.
I opened the door to said Uber car, and the driver had Lizzo pumping on the radio singing “I do my hair toss, check my nails, baby how you feelin” …and I let him know immediately that I could not do one single hair toss until I had some coffee in my veins, and I needed to be feeling good as heck for the work day ahead of me.
As he started the pit stop to Starbucks, and as I ordered on my app to skip the line- he casually assumed “oh, you’re a character in one of the parks?” 😂 If you’ve met me, you know nothing would make me happier than to pretend to be Merida at Disney World.
I explained that I was lucky enough to shoot there for the day, and as he dropped me off at the final destination, he wished me all the luck braving the crowds. Growing up in South Florida, we took trips up to Disney for vacations, so I knew exactly how packed it could get.
The possibility of a crowd has never stopped my excitement about Disney, and I felt like a kid on vacation again taking the ferry ride over to the park.
At that point, there was fog everywhere, and you couldn’t see the castle like you usually could. Last time I was here was with Connor and Dave, and Connor freaked out with excitement the moment he could see the castle, and I realized I had not even told Connor I would be at the Magic Kingdom for work. I didn’t know if he’d be excited or mad he wasn’t there.
Now, here I am… caffeinated, kid free, and waltzing into the park right as it opens with my gear in my backpack that’s designed to keep the weight off of you during long hikes... totally ready to go. Abbie shoots me a text saying they are running late, and that she is so sorry.
Sorry? What could she be sorry for... I AM AT DISNEY WORLD! I laughed (okay, I sent a laughing emoji) and told her it was the best place she could possibly be late to a session, and not to rush.
I walked around Cinderella’s castle, before the parades and shows, and browsed parts of Main Street that I had never taken time to really slowly see or appreciate before. I think the a cappella group serenading the street crowds made it seem like I was in my own musical. And just think- all of this joy was before the session even started.
The fog lifted as Abbie & Esteban came in, looking like the most dapper Disney couple that ever was, and I knew we’d be set for the day. Now go scroll through some of these morning photos. Yep. Her bright yellow Mickey Mouse shoes have been the talk of the town since I posted their first sneak peek, and you can see why. Now if you’re planning on doing a session in heels, be smart like Abbie… bring flats to walk in between locations.
We even had a character from the Country Bear Jamboree add his own mini dance session as we were walking to take a break…. aaaaand it’s reasons like this that I could hardly put down my camera the whole day.
It must be said, though… I had one of the best work breaks a girl could ask for. A guided tour was going on the whole day anyway- if you haven’t gone on over to instagram and followed @DisneyPrincessAbbie – go do it. Her outfits are all adorable, her giveaways would make any Disney fan happy, and she has all the tricks and tips of the best Disney park goer out there.
One of the most asked about photos is this one, and I am more than excited that we were able to get it!
When we stopped for lunch, we put our name in with enough time to go put our bags into a locker so my shoulders could start singing hymns of freedom while we ate. They treated me to amazing dishes at the Jungle Navigation Skipper Canteen and a delicious glass of wine that I ordered strictly because it’s name referenced the Black Pearl from Pirates of the Caribbean… and now I can’t go back to just eating a hot dog on Main Street for my park lunch. I know I’m not alone in being the person who typically packs a bag full of snacks to get me through a day at these theme parks, right?
We even rode the rides together, had a Starbucks break… and then started shooting photos again as the sun set.
That sky could not have been more perfect for those castle shots. I would insert a swooning noise if I could, but thankfully I don’t know how.
Now I will let you scroll through our day- and then you can enjoy our night spent watching the fireworks show and completely closing down the park. Being the only ones in Tomorrow land (if you’re on instagram you saw how excited I was on my stories!) and closing out Main Street was magic in itself.
And just so you know, by the time I Ubered back to Courtney and Brad’s house where I stayed the night before? There was a giant burrito and wine arriving for me at the same time. Did I cry of happiness? I don’t even remember.
How cute are their Disney save the date ideas?
A huge thank you to Abbie and Esteban and my feet and shoulders for all being such troopers during this entire day. I wish nothing but the best for your Disney wedding!
My instagram, where you can follow along more adventures and more of my not-so-together-act of being a mom is right here: @Photographeramy
Abbie’s instagram, where you can find every day Disney inspiration is right here: @DisneyPrincessAbbie
Engagement Session Location: The one and only Walt Disney World, Magic Kingdom
Share with photo credit: On instagram @PhotographerAmy and on Facebook you can type the same thing for my business page to pop up- Elizabeth Birdsong Photography.