The Smithsonian Wants to See Your Disney Parks Photos!

Credit: Disney

Curators at the National Museum of American History are looking for your photos from both the Disneyland Resort and the Walt Disney World Resort for an upcoming project on ‘Disney Parks and American Stories.’ If you submit photos from your past Disney vacations, you may see them on display at the museum!

The team working on the project is hoping to collect a number of photos that capture the experience of being a Guest at a Disney park. This means both posed and candid photos are acceptable, as well as photos from any time period, including from special, limited-time events.

Credit: National Museum of American History. Courtesy of Bethanee Bemis (ice cream eater in left photo and mom of ice cream eater in right photo.)

The posting on the Smithsonian National Museum of American History website mentions some examples that are surely iconic when we think of the collective Disney parks experience, like enjoying a Mickey Premium Bar or getting an autograph from a character, but as the Guests, it really is up to us to decipher other notable experiences that could be included if we have photos to contribute to the project.

Photo submissions can be of you, your friends, and your family, just be sure to write in the story of the photo and its meaning to you along with the time of the visit, who you were with, and the feelings you had in the photo and looking back on it now.

Carnation Plaza Gardens

Carnation Plaza Gardens at Disneyland, Credit: D23.

The listing from the Smithsonian mentions that really any kind of photo taken at the parks is on the table to be considered:

We want to see photographs that show Disney Parks as you experienced them: posing with characters, kids worn out and sleeping, families, couples, individuals, people of all abilities, ethnicities, ages, on rides, eating together, looking at maps—everyday stuff! All decades and time periods, especially as Disney Parks change and evolve over time. We love candid and posed, even fingers on the lens are A-OK.

As for photo quality and permissions, the museum has it covered so you can send in your own unedited photos. The team working on the project can take care of cropping, and even blurry and double-exposed photos can be submitted as they could be edited.

Photos by Mr. Jones Walt Disney World

Photos from the collection of Millard C. Jones, Credit: Walt Disney Archives

Of course, the highest-resolution images you have would be preferred, but the museum would still like to see whatever you’d consider submitting, including action shots, black and white images, and cell phone photos.

Remember that for the photos to be on display in the exhibit, the museum needs to have the proper permissions from the Guests in the photo, so if there are children in the photo that aren’t you or yours, the photo would be submitted but you should note that so they can be cropped out. The museum also cannot accept photos of Disney Cast Members where their faces are identifiable without permission.

Space is limited for the project, so every photo will not be included in the museum, but it sounds like a really fun opportunity and we would still recommend submitting your photos!

To send your photos in, email them to with information about the photo, your name, and the best way to contact you. Photos can be submitted in jpg, pdf, png, or tiff format.

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a New England-based writer focused on the history of the Walt Disney World Resort. She is the author of "Red, White, and Disney: The Myths and Reality of American History at the Walt Disney World Resort," and "Brittany Earns Her Ears."

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