A Dapper DCA Christmas

Whenever I post a beautiful, calm, nighttime photograph from the park devoid of people, I almost inevitably get questions about how I was able to achieve the shot with no one in it, or how late it was, or if I have special privileges.  The answer pretty much every time is that I wait until it is late enough where people have left the frame.  It's typically a waiting game--stand there long enough (and sometimes, it is a long time!) and the scene is sure to clear up. But some places take longer than others. In the parks, I can always wait until park closing, then wait a little more, and if I'm patient, I'll be the last one standing.  But outside the parks, in the Esplanade, there is an almost inexplicably constant stream of traffic, even late at night.  There's always bound to be someone by a gate waiting for a friend, or a family strolling across, or a child running around to use up the last of his or her theme park day energy.  So unless I cheat and do and particularly long exposure, it's actually been somewhat challenging to have a purely empty DCA entrance gate shot.

Fortunately, in the photo below, I happened to be leaving Disneyland Park at 1:30 AM.  It was the latest I'd ever left the park during a normal operating day, and boy, did I finally have the right timing!  Especially considering that a couple of minutes after I took this shot, they actually shut down the show lights along Buena Vista Street for the evening rest of the early morning.  That's when I knew that I might have been at the Resort for too long--even for me!

The elegant serenity of the Disney California Adventure gates well after park closing.


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