Cinderella Castle Kiss Goodnight Reflection

The Kiss Goodnight is one of those chills-inducing moments at Walt Disney World for us. For those unfamiliar with the Kiss Goodnight, it’s “show” in the Magic Kingdom that plays thirty minutes after the park closes and bids guests a fond farewell. Cinderella Castle cycles through its lighting schemes, including a few ones that you don’t normally see, as it twinkles. A written description doesn’t come anywhere close to doing it justice. It’s something that everyone should experience at least once.

Luckily, the Kiss Goodnight is the same year-round, meaning that even when the Christmas Cinderella Castle Dreamlights are up, there is “normal” lighting for the Kiss Goodnight. Back in December, I shared a photo of Cinderella Castle that (sort of) cost me $200 to capture. Just before that photo, the Kiss Goodnight occurred, and I photographed it like a madman, grabbing photo after photo as the color scheme changed. Not only was it my only chance to photograph Cinderella Castle that trip with normal lighting, but it was my first chance in ages to photograph reflections in the Magic Kingdom at night. I was so happy at the time, not realizing in mere moments, tragedy would befall us!

Please click the photo for best viewing (larger and in lightbox mode). From there, you can purchase prints by clicking the shopping cart at the top of the screen. You can also navigate to the 1,000+ other images in my photo galleries from there! 


Photographed with a Nikon D600 and the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8. My normal fill light/blacks adjustments in Adobe Camera Raw, along with some color adjustments to fix some wonky white balance issues. From there, I did finishing in Photoshop CS6, layering an underexposed version of the image over the normal exposure to tame the deep blues in the normal exposure. This is fairly common when increasing fill light in a nighttime image of Cinderella Castle; with many of the lighting schemes, you’ll start to see oddities in the photo as you increase the fill. The options are either to not increase the fill light or to layer in another image without the fill increased. I chose the latter option here. There also were water spots all over my lens (the 14-24mm has a built in lens hood, but it’s not nearly large enough to prevent water droplets from hitting the bulbous lens when it’s raining) that I removed with the Healing Brush Tool. The image was still pretty dark at that point, so I did a brightness/contrast layer adjustment instead of a curves adjustment, with an increase mostly just to the brightness.

Your Thoughts…

Most people aren’t very big fans of the rain at Walt Disney World? Does the rain dampen your day at Walt Disney World (alternate pun: Does it rain on your parade when there’s precipitation at Walt Disney World?) or do you just go with the flow? A rainy day at Walt Disney World is better than a sunny day at home…but not better than a sunny day at Walt Disney World!

6 replies
  1. George
    George says:

    Rain is just fine at Walt Disney World in my book. My wife and I spent our honeymoon there, and it rained pretty much every day. It was a bit inconvenient (although it made us better planners), but it was memorable!

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  3. Penny
    Penny says:

    Absolutely stunning. We just got home from Disney, I wish I had known about the kiss goodnight! All the more reason to go back 🙂
    We’ve been 3 times, and have been lucky to have no rain- although we had the threat this last visit.

  4. Kevin
    Kevin says:

    Beautiful picture and an accurate description of the Kiss Goodnight.

    As to rain – we’ve been luck enough to take my daughter 4 times to WDW and have only had rain for about half of one day nad a couple hours another day. We still had a great time; splashing in puddles in Norway was wonderful entertainment to a 2.5-yr-old


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] This photo of the Kiss Goodnight was taken shortly before a great tragedy that made another photo "cost" me 0. At this time, all was right with the world and I was quite pleased to be able to snap photo after photo of the Kiss Goodnight with great reflections on the pavement. Here’s a landscape photo of Cinderella Castle as it twinkled during the Kiss Goodnight taken j…. […]

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