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The National Museum of American History wants your Disney photos

by Samantha Davis-Friedman

Calling all Disney parks fans! The National Museum of American History at The Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., is looking for images that capture the guest experience at Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

National Museum of American History - Disney Stories
Photo credit Mary A. Taylor

Home to more than 1.8 million objects, The National Museum of American History holds the greatest collection of American history in the world, including the original Star-Spangled Banner, Abraham Lincoln’s top hat, and Dorothy’s ruby slippers from “The Wizard of Oz.”

The Disney photos are for a future project called “Disney Parks and American Stories,” so who knows? The snaps of your family in front of Sleeping Beauty or Cinderella Castle, your selfies with Mickey and Minnie, or even your silly attraction photos might get you into the Smithsonian.

What Kind Photos is the Museum Looking For?

National Museum of American History - Disney Stories
Don’t be afraid to send action shots, black and white/sepia, etc.

According to the museum’s website, the team is looking for photos of “families, couples, individuals, people of all abilities, ethnicities, and ages“ taken at Disneyland or Walt Disney World. Also, because the Disney parks in California and Florida have changed over time, they’re collecting images from all time periods.

National Museum of American History - Disney Stories
Photo Credit Patricia Anne Cohen

The project’s goal is to illustrate how guests experience Disney Parks, whether that’s posing with characters, riding attractions, eating together – especially iconic Disney snacks – and even tired kids sleeping in strollers. Because of that, photos can be (but don’t need to be) perfect or posed. You can even send an entire photo album or scrapbook page.

“We love candid and posed; even fingers on the lens are A-OK,” the website notes. “We can crop photos for composition, so don’t hold back on blurry or double-exposed photos.”

Children eating Mickey ice cream bars
Messy faces welcome! Intergenerational stories as well
Photo Credit Bethanee Bemis (ice cream eater in left photo and mom of ice cream eater in right photo)

One important thing to be aware of is that privacy and permissions rules will impact which images can be used, so for example, if you aren’t the child in the photo (or their parent/guardian), the museum can’t use images if a child’s face is identifiable. The same rule applies to Disney cast members.  

How to Submit Your Disney Photos to The National Museum of American History:

  • Submit photos via email to [email protected]
  • Write a description of the photograph, including when you visited, who you visited with, and what that park visit meant to you
  • Include your name and the best way to contact you
  • Submit images in the highest resolution possible and in jpg, pdf, png, or tiff format (scans are fine)

Click here for more information.

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