As you may have read (I hope!), my contribution specialties here at The Disney Driven Life revolve around photography and park/resort audio. If you’ve read these posts, you know I’m a big proponent of soaking in all the details, both visual and audio, at the Disney parks and resorts.

When it comes to photographs, I think it’s a good idea to press the shutter release any time you like. As for the audio, I say there’s nothing wrong with stopping for a minute (or a while!) to take in a park/resort audio loop.

I have wish lists of photographs I want to get at the parks and resorts, split up by day time/night time shots, and unless we move to Florida, it’ll take years for me to get the shots I want. Or maybe I’ll never finish. And there are park and resort areas where I want to sit, relax, and just listen to the audio loop. Maybe I’ll never get to all of those either. After all, who goes to a Disney park just to sit around?

In a way, the fact that I may never finish those off is kind of sad, but I’ve also realized I have to be realistic. For one thing, park changes will bring about the addition and subtraction of photographs to take, and there’ll be changes, like the new Star Wars areas, where we’ll undoubtedly hear music from the Star Wars soundtracks and special effects audio.

Most importantly, though, is the point of going in the first place – time with my family.

I think at some point we all want to set the entire agenda for a day (or whole trip!) and do whatever we want. And if I had the time, money…..I could take several days and take care of my wish lists, at least as they are now. That’d be fun, but also pretty lonely.

And the next time we go, whenever that is, we’ll be taking a little girl on her first trip to Walt Disney World. For those of you who’ve taken kids on their first trip, you know it’s a wonderful experience, but you also probably give up a lot of the things you want to do so you can make their trip as memorable as possible.

So I’m probably going to miss my chance for fireworks photography, or getting good parade shots. Or I may not be able to walk slowly through a particular park area and enjoy the music, because we’ll be on our way to a character meeting or dining experience.

But if you’ve held a child while watching a show, fireworks, or a parade, you know that one of the best images ever burned into your mind’s DVR is seeing a parade float or burst of fireworks with part of your field of view obscured by a little face pressed close to yours.

As you hold your child so they can get just the right view, the sunlight reflected through a child’s hair lends a special effect to a scene that no film, digital, or video camera could ever capture.

no need for FastPass+ when you have VIP seating!

no need for FastPass+ when you have VIP seating!

Soak it in.

As for the sounds, maybe you have to miss a bit of the Spaceship Earth narration because your little one is excitedly pointing to the stars and laughing. But think of that as new music to add to your own internal Disney soundtrack. As I’m sure you know, there are plenty of websites out there where you can listen to the attraction and park/resort area audio loops.

Listen – you’ll later wish you could hear that little voice again.

While at the Disney Parks & resorts, it’s ok to put the camera down (or stop what you’re doing) and enjoy the happy sights and sounds of your family’s vacation. I know this, but I have to remind myself sometimes.

These images and sounds are unique, priceless, and sadly, maybe impossible to capture permanently, except in your memory. Hopefully they never fade. Make the most of your opportunity to enjoy those moments too. That’s what I plan to do on our next trip. Believe me though, if given a chance I’ll take off and shoot a bunch of photos! And I’ll be listening to the park/resort audio in the background as best I can.

Send us your recollection of unique visual and audio experiences. Also share your tips for balancing your special interest (photography, shopping for collectibles) with the overall daily agenda.

I hope you’re all off to a great start in 2016.

What do you think?

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