5 Best Photo Opportunities in Anaheim

Photo Opportunities Anaheim

Lee Van Grack

Most people know Anaheim as home of Disneyland, but what many don't know is that Anaheim itself is extremely photogenic. Photographers, get your cameras ready. This little Orange County city has some of Southern California's best photo opportunities. Anaheim is more than just the Magic Kingdom. With Weir Canyon Wilderness Park in the eastern hills and Brookhurst Park in the northwest corner, Anaheim has sites for everything from landscape photography to travel photography. Anaheim's "must-shoot" guide takes in the following:

1. The Romantic Photo: Disneyland Fireworks

Every night around 9:20PM, Disneyland lights up the Orange County sky with its 15-minute fireworks show. And even though it's noisy and makes our dogs go crazy, those of us who live in close proximity to the park can't deny that it's still a beautiful display and pretty romantic to boot. You can find evidence of this fact nightly, when all the cars driving along the 5 freeway slow down because people are looking at the sky.

Cuddle up with your honey along Main Street and you'll have the fireworks going off above Sleeping Beauty's Castle in your photo backdrop. Since Main Street is one of the most popular locations in the Magic Kingdom to watch the show, you'll have no problems finding a friendly stranger to take your photo as you plant a kiss on your loved one, colors illuminating the sky above and creating a very personal, very romantic photographic fairy tale.

Disneyland Park
1313 S. Disneyland Dr.
Anaheim, CA, 92802
Fri 8AM-7PM, Sat 8AM-12AM, Sun-Thu changes daily, please check the website for specific times
Ages 3-9, $68; Ages 10 & up, $76

2. The Quirky Photo: Lunar Landscape at Brookhurst Park

It's not common knowledge that the city of Anaheim used to look like a shot out of the Jetsons' photo album, but 10 years before Walt Disney even conceived of Disneyland, architects modeled many buildings in Anaheim after the Space-Age, Googie-style of the mid-20th century. Since then, many of the buildings have been torn down or remodeled to achieve a more contemporary aesthetic.

Brookhurst Park is one of the few landmarks left in Anaheim that still retains characteristics of that Googie style with its cement lunar landscape. Though the bleached cement has shown some wear over the years, it still makes for very interesting and creative photo opportunities. Anaheim at night lights up nicely, but bring a flashlight and a tripod, and you'll see some of your favorite nighttime shots can be taken here in this park.

Brookhurst Park
2271 W. Crescent Ave
Anaheim, CA, 92801
No website

3. The Family Fun Photo: Bowling at the 300

I know, I know, it's not Disneyland, but it's also not an $80 entrance fee, and if you don't feel like shelling out that much cold hard cash for the off-chance of seeing Mickey Mouse, you'll find 300 Anaheim worth your while.

41 lanes. Party lights. Professional-size pool tables. Restaurant. Bar. Lounge. There's enough entertainment for both adults and children, and even the difficult in-between-stage adolescents, to provide family fun shots aplenty. This year, the smiles won't be faked!

300 Anaheim
321 W. Katella Ave
Anaheim, CA, 92802
Sun-Thu 12PM-1AM, Fri-Sat 12PM-2AM
Bowling Rates (per person per game):
Before 5PM: Mon-Fri $5.25, Sat-Sun & Holidays $6.25
After 5PM: Sun-Thu $6.25, Fri-Sat $8.25
Shoe rentals are all $5.

4. The Scenic Photo: Weir Canyon Wilderness Park

Tucked away in Anaheim Hills, Weir Canyon Wilderness Park is easily the most beautiful, natural site for photo opportunities Anaheim has to offer. During the spring, the Canyon is lush with flowers and other vegetation, making it hard to believe that you are just minutes away from busy freeways, Starbucks and BlackBerrys. Less popular than Newport's Crystal Cove (you'll find that a blessing), it is no less scenic, and you won't have big crowds disrupting your slow-shutter, panoramic, Anaheim landscape photography shots here.

Come late in the afternoon to hike the Weir Canyon Loop, where you can get expansive views of everything between the ocean and Chino hills on a clear day. Stay for the sunset and break out your tripod when the city starts to light up at night. I promise you won't regret it.

Weir Canyon Wilderness Park
Hidden Canyon Road & Overlook Terrace
Anaheim Hills, CA, 92807
No website

5. The Classic Photo: CALIFORNIA Letters at the entrance of Disney's California Adventure Park

Since 2001, when California Adventure opened, posing on or between the giant letters has quickly become a photo album staple. The best part about them is that they're located outside the entrance of the park, so you don't even have to pay to shoot! Taken from a distance, you can also capture the painted background mountains and Golden Gate Bridge behind the entrance turnstiles.

Disney's California Adventure Park
1313 S. Disneyland Drive
Anaheim, CA, 92802
Mon-Thu 10AM-8PM, Fri 10AM-11PM, Sat-Sun 10AM-10PM
Ages 3-9, $68; Ages 10+ $76
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