Electrical Water Pageant at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort

Lights on the Water

The Sea Monster, Whale, and Turtle floats of the Electrical Water Pageant cruise past the beach at the Polynesian Village Resort at Walt Disney World

The Sea Monster, Whale, and Turtle floats of the Electrical Water Pageant cruise past the beach at the Polynesian Village Resort at Walt Disney World, as seen during our 2019 Florida Summer Vacation.

During our Florida trip, we dropped by the Polynesian Village Resort one evening, mainly to eat at Captain Cook’s restaurant. As we often do when we are at the Polynesian, we walked out to the beach after our dinner and enjoyed the evening breeze and sunset over Seven Seas Lagoon.

We were starting to leave the beach to go back to our car. But as we were walking, we saw the floats of the Electrical Water Pageant approaching. Of course, they don’t look like much with their lights off, but we knew what they were. We decided to stay around and watch the show.

If you aren’t aware, the Electrical Water Pageant is a parade out on the water of barges with lights. It stops at all of the Disney hotels on Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake sometime in the evening.

Of course, the photographer in me can’t resist the challenge of trying to get some photos of the Electrical Water Pageant, partly because of the difficulty in getting good photos. This was compounded by the fact that I did not bring my tripod with me, not knowing that we would be out after dark. So I did the best that I could. Fortunately, it was not quite dark out, as you can see, so that helped some.

Patriotic Finale

The patriotic finale of the Electrical Water Pageant on Seven Seas Lagoon at Walt Disney World

I always like that the Electrical Water Pageant has a patriotic finale. Even though many of the visitors to Walt Disney World these days are from other countries, I appreciate that they still honor the United States in this way.

For this photo, I zoomed out just a bit to get more of the flags and stars in the photo, along with some of the beach. Also, in the darkness, you can make out landmarks from the Polynesian Village Resort, the Grand Floridian Resort, and even the Magic Kingdom. There is lots to see in this photo!


One of the main reasons that I like the Electrical Water Pageant is tradition. Seeing the pageant reminds me of the times back in the 1980s when I would stay at Fort Wilderness Campground with my grandparents. We would be there for several nights. On most of the nights that we were not in a park somewhere, we would go down to the Fort Wilderness beach to see the Electrical Water Pageant and the Magic Kingdom fireworks right after that.

Some things have changed over time. The biggest change is the music. They replaced the 1980s soundtrack that I loved a few years ago with something a little more modern, using more Disney songs. But the floats are still the same. And seeing the floats out on the water is still the same, too. It is still an enjoyable time.

Laura and Jaylin don’t have that same tradition. But Laura enjoys seeing it as well because of the times that she and I have seen it in the past. And Jaylin thinks it is okay, too, I think. It is a good way to end a day.

Bible Verse

Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand. - Proverbs 19:20-21

About the Photos

As I mentioned above, these were just handheld photos. And because it was not completely dark, it was not as tricky as you might think.

I had the camera set to ISO 800 for these, and I had the aperture opened as wide as it would go. Zoomed in on the floats, that was an aperture setting of f/5.6. In aperture priority mode, that gave a shutter speed of 1/25 second, which is barely within my steady hand limits.

As with most of the photos that I take, I shot several exposures, but these were the two that turned out the best.

Photo: Each photo is a single Raw exposure, processed in Luminar. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Sony Alpha A7 II
Lens:  Sony FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Lens
Date: June 10, 2019
Location: Polynesian Village Resort, Walt Disney World, Florida

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Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through Burnsland.com, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.