Night on Hollywood Boulevard in Disney's Hollywood Studios

Pluto’s Toy Palace

Pluto’s Toy Palace at night on Hollywood Boulevard in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World

The neon sign at Pluto’s Toy Palace glows at night on Hollywood Boulevard in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World. As seen during the 2019 Band and Chorus Disney Trip.

We arrived at Walt Disney World in the early evening hours to being our time there during the Band and Chorus Trip. Our tickets allowed us to go straight to the parks, so why not start off a trip with a few hours at Disney’s Hollywood Studios?

The group I was with was able to get Fastpasses for Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. That is always one of my favorites, so I was happy with the choice. Of course, I would have been happy doing most anything with the group. But still, always nice to start with a favorite.

After we had done a few things at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, we headed out to meet up with the rest of the group at Epcot to go to our hotel. As we were on the way out, I snapped a few photos as we walked along Hollywood Boulevard. I always enjoy the neon lighting. And as you can probably guess, that neon lighting really only shows up at night.

Unfortunately, I timed it so that part of the lighting was off in the Pluto’s Toy Palace sign. That really was not intentional. I was just trying to take a quick photo and not get left behind. So I did not see that part of the sign was off until we got back home and I was going through photos. Oh well, I’ll watch that a little more closely next time.

Still, I am happy with this photo and how it turned out. I like the palm trees that line the way and Mickey Mouse and the Crossroads of the World off in the distance. Hollywood Boulevard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios has lots of interesting elements. It was nice to get several of them in one photo here.

About the Photo

As I mentioned above, this was just a quick photo as we were walking by. So many times, those quick photos end up being the ones that I take. I admire those who set up tripods and take long exposures, and I like to do that when I can. But I never seem to be able to find time to do that in a Disney Park, because our limited time there is always precious. Not to mention that I don’t want to make others in whatever group I am with have to wait around for me.

So if you are in that same category that I am in, do not despair. You can still take night photos, too. You may have to experiment somewhat to get things like you want them. But if you need a starting place, here are the settings that I used.

Because the lights of Hollywood Boulevard are rather bright to start with, I only had to increase the ISO setting of my camera to 640, which is not all that high. I did have a prime lens on the camera, and I had it opened wide to f/1.8. If your lens does not open that wide, you will have to increase your ISO setting a good bit more, but that is not the end of the world, either.

With those settings, I was able to use an exposure time of only 1/30 of a second. That is somewhat slow, but I usually don’t have too much trouble holding the camera still for that length of time.

One other consideration is to set your camera to take Raw format photos in addition to JPG. With the Raw file, I was able to brighten some of the dark spots, such as the sky, and darken some of the bright spots, such as the neon lights. That gave a more balanced looking photo. And if you look closely at the large version by clicking on the above photo, you can even see a few stars in the sky.

All of that may not be as ideal as a tripod and a long exposure, or multiple exposures blended together, but your photo can still turn out okay in the long run.

If you need any more explanations about anything mentioned above, check the articles at the Steve’s Photography Tips page for more.

Photo: 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 50mm f/1.8 Lens
Date: March 6, 2019
Location: Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Florida

Bible Verse

Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, you are very great! You are clothed with splendor and majesty, covering yourself with light as with a garment, stretching out the heavens like a tent. - Psalm 104:1-2