Pictures are about to be taken in a different way at select character locations at Disney World. Automated cameras will reportedly replace live photographers during indoor character meet-and-greets beginning at the end of November.
The first location to roll out the change will be the Tinker Bell meet-and-greet at the Magic Kingdom on November 26th, 2018. More locations are expected to follow after that time.
The photo at the top of the page shows the green box that houses the automated camera equipment.
Here’s an example, courtesy of @BackDoorDisney, showing what the camera captured during testing:
That’s … less than ideal. A live photographer knows when to zoom in, where to stand and how to capture those special moments. With character encounters being unpredictable (that’s why they’re so fun), an automated system doesn’t seem to make much sense.
This change may be logical if the only objective was to capture static moments where everyone is posing. Unfortunately, that’s not what makes character encounters memorable. A child running up for a hug or other spontaneous moments will be completely lost because there’s no way for the camera to capture the same angles or creativity of an actual person. Automated technology works well for ride photos as you can predict exactly where someone will be while on the ride. That’s not the case with a random meet-and-greet where characters have unpredictable interactions.
Hopefully Disney receives plenty of feedback about this change and avoids making it a permanent decision.