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How to Make a Totally Awesome Disney Cruise Video

Want to make a Disney Cruise Travel Video that you (and all your friends) will want to watch over and over again?

Above is my Disney Cruise travel video of a recent trip

Making Your Disney Cruise Travel Video

Your Disney Cruise vacation is going to be one of the best experiences of your life. You’ll want to remember it. You’ll want to share it with friends.

The best way to do that?

Create a totally awesome Disney Cruise travel video that allows you to relive the magic of it all again and again.

Follow these simple tips and your Disney Cruise travel video will be something you’ll treasure.

Table of Contents

The Camera

Know Your Camera
The cruise is not the time to try to figure out how your camera or GoPro works. Practice before your trip. Read the manual if you have to.

Shoot Your Video Footage in Landscape
If you are using a phone, use landscape (horizontal mode). Trust me, you will thank me for this one.

The image below says it all:

Disney Cruise Travel Video How to Hold Your Smartphone while Filming

The Perfect Disney Cruise Travel Video Shot List

(What You Should Film)

Bonus: Download the free PDF of this shot list & take it with you offline.

Surprising the kids
Surprising the kids with the announcement of the trip. Their reactions will be priceless. Need ideas how? Try my free scavenger hunt.

As you travel to the ship
Headed out with your packed bags or walking through the airport. The road trip on your way to the port terminal. Something that shows you are on your way.

Approaching the cruise terminal
Get shots of the ship in the background.

Signs around the terminal
Port terminal signs that lead you to the ship are a nice part of the build-up to boarding.

Your family “Welcome Aboard” announcement
When entering the ship, the cast members announce each family by name on a microphone. When it is your turn, ask a cast member to video it before you enter. Don’t worry, they will accommodate you.

The ship’s wake
Showcase one of the stars of your show: the vast, blue ocean.

Disney character meet and greets
These are some of the best, most visual moments. Film hugs and waves and autographs and all of it.

Cast Members
The cruise staff become a big part of your experience. Find the Cruise Director and film him/her waving to you. Record other Disney Cast Members that are important to you as well.

Dining Room Servers
You’ll likely get to know the restaurant crew pretty well.

Your stateroom host
This is the person responsible for making your bed, providing you with turn-down chocolates and leaving you towel animals.

Water slides & pool time
The Aquaduck, the Aquadunk, the playtime in the pools.

Dance parties
If you don’t participate in at least one Disney dance party, I suggest you are missing out. Get out there and dance...and don’t forget to film it.

Pirate Night
There are plenty of epic scenes on Pirate Night. You’ll be dressed up in pirate costumes, so get footage of that. And if you see Captain Jack Sparrow, see if you can get him to say a swashbuckling “cheese”.

You won’t need to film the entire show, but get some of the biggest “booms” if you can.

Quick tour of your stateroom
You probably won’t use all of this, but it’s nice to look back and remember what your cabin looked like later.

Your stateroom door
You’ll be in and out of this door so many times, it’s worth grabbing a quick shot of it.

Pulling away from the shore
I like to get this footage to use as a time-lapse later on. Watching the ship pull away from port is pretty enduring and lasting image.

Statue in atrium
The iconic symbol of your ship.

Signs around the ship
These signs make nice filler or transitions between scenes in your finished video.

Excursions at each port
Doing something fun at an exotic location? Whether you snorkel, ride horses, or visit a famous landmark, you’ll want to remember those moments.

Castaway Cay
Your day at Castaway will likely be one of the highlights of your trip. Capture plenty of scenes during your day in paradise.

Your family at each port
The destinations you visit are important part of your sailing. Even if you don’t go any excursions, get off the ship long enough to get some footage of you and the family at each port with the family in the background.

Mother Nature will probably bless you with some amazing dusk skies during your days at sea.

Bonus: Free Shot List Download

Download the free PDF of this shot list & take it with you offline.

Free download

Rules of Thumb for Shooting Video

Capture Movement & Actions
People standing still doesn’t make great video. Action makes great video. Film your family running thru the waves on the beach, hugging Mickey, giving Goofy a high-five, and princesses waving at the camera.

Keep It Steady
Nothing ruins a video faster than shaky footage. Do whatever it takes to keep the camera steady. Use a tripod or monopod if necessary.

Avoid Zoom
Your viewers will not want to see you zoom in and out. Frame your shot before you start recording.

Pan Slowly
If you plan on panning while recording, go slow. I mean, super duper slow.

Make a Shot List
This ounce of preparation will serve you well. You are guaranteed to get caught up in the moments of voyage and vacation and miss a few shots you wanted to remember. Print out your personal shot list and have it with you.

Get Inspired
Watch your favorite travel videos and jot down inspirational shots. I have some examples for you here to get you started.

Editing Your Video

Regardless of whether you use iMovie, Adobe Premiere Pro, or some other editing software, here are some tips for editing your video when you get home that will make your video much more enjoyable to watch.

“Fast cuts”
Next time you watch a TV show or movie, pay attention to how long they linger on a particular shot. Most shots are less than five seconds. Your audience has a short attention span. Keep your cuts short and remember you don’t have to relive the entire cruise in one video.

Vary the speed
Use slow motion or speed things up judiciously. Great times to slow things down are a close up hug from a beloved character. I like to speed things up like car rides, airplanes taking off, or the ship pulling away from port.

Mute your sound from your raw footage, use music as your soundtrack instead
Unless you’re conducting an interview of some kind, I recommend you mute the background sound from your originally shot footage and use music as your soundtrack.

Select music that won’t be denied by YouTube
This article will help you find music that will be allowed by YouTube. This is important if you don’t want YouTube to mute your background music.

Find music to reflect the mood
Hey, a Disney Cruise is a happy time, so your Disney Cruise travel video music should also be upbeat, snappy, cheerful and fun. Here are a few songs that I recommend that (as of this writing) are allowed by YouTube.

Get Inspired

Get the free Disney Cruise DVD
Watch how Disney tells the story. They are masters of marketing and storytelling, so they probably captured some amazing scenes that you’ll want to add to your shot list. Get the free Disney Cruise DVD here.

Check out these examples
Here are some great examples of Disney Cruise travel videos that I love.

Bonus: Free Shot List

Download the free PDF of this shot list & take it with you offline.

Free download

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How to make totally awesome Disney Cruise travel videos