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Disney in the Stars Fireworks Display and How to Capture It

Posted by on Apr 27, 2011 in Art & Photography, Featured, Hong Kong, Travel | 13 comments

Disneyland is all about happiness and magic!  What better way to celebrate a lovely day than to watch the Disney in the Stars Fireworks Display at night?  Disneyland shows fireworks display everyday at around 8pm to wrap up the day.

I love fireworks and I’m always amazed at the art of pyrotechnics!  Disney fireworks are always fun because they do it around the castle, in harmony with Disney music in the background and video projections of different clips of Disney movies and cartoons along the castle’s walls.  The Castle is well lit with different colors that also change in sync with the fireworks and the music from time to time.

I was so happy, I cried with joy!

The music they played are of course snippets from our favorite Disney songs.  The fireworks gracefully dance along with it.  But, even if we captured it in video, it is not the same if you watch it in person.  Watching it in person is 100x as magical.  I focused on taking photos of the fireworks.

What I love more than fireworks is me capturing it!  So I’m sharing with you the photos I took with some selected photos having their EXIF details just in case you want to know what manual settings I used for my Nikon D40 to capture it!

Disney in the Stars Fireworks Display Hong Kong Disneyland Fireworks

This is a picture of the Sleeping Beauty Castle with Tinkerbell’s Pixie Dust all over!  This decoration is only available this year to celebrate the 5th year anniversary of Hong Kong Disneyland.

It’s pretty and magical isn’t it?

To capture every detail of the castle at night and not to overexpose it, I set the aperture to max.

Here are the technical settings of my shot (only if you want to view how I set the photos)

Aperture: f/22.0

Exposure (shutter speed): 1.6  seconds

ISO: 1600

*no flash used

Thank goodness I brought my tripod with me.  I set the timer to 10 seconds because I don’t have a remote flash trigger.

To capture the detail of the castle in the background with people on photos, you need to adjust settings accordingly.  Or else, Castle will get either overexposed or underexposed.

Aperture: f/10.0

Exposure (shutter speed): 0.5  seconds

ISO: 1600

*flash used

This was the perfect setting for me.

I’m sharing another photo of us but this one is not as good as the other one because as you can see the castle is a little bit overexposed in the background.

Hong Kong Disneyland Disney in the Stars Fireworks display photos

This is my favorite shot of the Hong Kong Disneyland Disney in the Stars Fireworks Display.

Capturing fireworks is a little bit tricky.  It’s technically trial and error because you can’t predict what type or kind of fireworks will fire next.

So in taking fireworks shots, just take as many photos as you can because you will never know how it will turn out.

Aperture: f/22.0

Exposure (shutter speed): 4 seconds

ISO: 200

*no flash used

I technically used this setting for the rest of the shots.  I didn’t need to adjust because Disney fireworks are flying in gracefully slow tempo.

Hong Kong Disneyland Disney in the Stars Fireworks Display

Hong Kong Disneyland Disney in the Stars Fireworks Display

Hong Kong Disneyland Fireworks photos

Hong Kong Disneyland Fireworks Photos

Disney in the Stars Fireworks Display.png

Hong Kong Disneyland Disney in the Stars Fireworks Display.png

Hong Kong Disneyland Disney in the Stars Fireworks Display

Disney Fireworks photos

Hong Kong Disneyland Disney in the Stars Fireworks Display

Hong Kong Disneyland Fireworks

Tips in taking fireworks:

(I used my Nikon D40 + 18 – 55mm kit lens + CDR king tripod)

All shots at 18mm.

If your camera has a fireworks scene mode, use this if you really have no background in adjusting the manual settings of your camera.  They don’t take the best firework shots but they’re good enough to capture the beauty of fireworks.

If your camera doesn’t have a fireworks scene mode, just use Auto.  Again, it won’t give you the best results but still, your camera will detect how to capture it and this should be good enough.

Tripods are highly needed.  But sometimes, I can take firework shots with my camera hand held.. I just need to hold it steady and adjust shutter speed to be faster – but this doesn’t give me the best results.  That’s why I brought my tripod with me all along.  I bought the one from CDR-king. And I bought it not because it’s the cheapest one I saw, but it’s the lightest one too.  I can’t carry heavy gears @_@ unless you’re a professional and you’re getting paid for your photos then you need to have the best gear.

I usually max up my Aperture setting (22 f) and slow down my shutter speed (4-5) because I would rather capture the path of the fireworks.  Setting my aperture settings at 22 also captures the detail and the beauty of the castle.  If I set it at 8 (which is what usually people do -) the castle gets overexposed.   Anyway, try out your camera settings and practice when you can.

Adjust aperture from time to time.  When the fireworks are slow, use the highest (22).  When the fireworks are more exciting and the fireworks keep popping, use 18 below.  I don’t touch the shutter speed because the fireworks’ path in entirety can usually can be captured in 4 seconds.


and so I forgot to adjust aperture in the finale (which fired out the brightest fireworks in the set) and look what I got:

Hong Kong Disney Fireworks Photos

I hope this post also helped you in trying to figure out how to capture fireworks so that when you do visit Hong Kong Disneyland, you will know how to take great shots too :)

and if you do, don’t forget to share it with me and comment below :)

Check out my other posts:

Flaircandy Visits the Magical World of Hong Kong Disneyland

My Favorite Hong Kong Disneyland Attractions

Flights of Fantasy Parade at Hong Kong Disneyland

Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel Enchanted Garden and Disney Characters

Most Memorable Dim Sum Lunch at Crystal Lotus Hong Kong Disneyland

Disney in the Stars Fireworks and How to Capture It

Related Links

–        PARK

–        Hotel

–        Disneyland Hotel

–        Disney’s Hollywood Hotel

–        Ticket and reservations

–        5th Anniversary

–        Star Guest

Facebook comments:


  1. just too beautiful.. what camera did u use? awesome!

  2. Thanks nick :) I used Nikon D40 and 18-55mm kit lens ^_^ and tripod

  3. Your photo are mesmerizing. I would like to know if without tripod, can I still capture the above photo like yours?

    Feel free to drop by my blog. Thank you.

    Before I forget, thumb ups for your photo. Awesomely nice :)

  4. hi Diana, yes you can. just set it to auto. but it won’t give you good results :(

  5. Hi, Hannah! Thanks for your tips. Thanks too for drop by and comment on my Monaco post. My photo just so-so only if compared to yours, yours is million times better than mine. Hehehe.

    I love to visit Philippines one day. Get more guide and tips from your blog. :)

  6. Hi Hanna, your shots are amazing. They really captured the magic in the air. :) Btw, what settings did you use for most of your photos in Disneyland?

  7. I used manual settings and I posted them above :) I also put tips in case you want to capture fireworks in the future :)

  8. kaka galing mo lng pala ng HK dude! geeez ganda ng fireworks! O_O

  9. Thanks dude! BTW RIP D40 :( ala na me cam now… eto yong mga last shots na nakunan ng camera ko :’-(

  10. ms hannah, it’s good to capture fireworks with the bulb setting especially if you’re challenged to shoot with the traditional manual camera(film). super detailed and you’ll love it. i swear. have you tried bulb taking fw?, but you did a great job! as in! congrats! nice shots! taking note of 2,4,5,6, and 7 :) miss tektok! :) take care always! god bless!!

  11. I can’t take bulb though coz I don’t have flash trigger. was just using tripod and if i use bulb, i will shake the camera. but yes bulb is good if you have a trigger.

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