Disney Parkgoers May Think This Photo Prank Is Funny, But It Can Cause Trouble

When you've ridden certain iconic Disney World rides enough, you may already know when to expect the flash going off for an attraction photo. The resort's theme parks all have rides where cameras are strategically placed to snap souvenir photos of guests at opportune moments. The classic example would be the moment you take a drop on rides like Frozen Ever After and the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. Making a silly face or throwing up some well-timed rabbit ears behind a friend's head for a photo shouldn't be a problem. If you don't want to ruin the experience for other guests, however, you should avoid sticking up your middle finger.

According to former Disney World cast member Sofía Olivar, flipping the camera off aboard an attraction results in your photo being filtered out, so it's not displayed when the ride's over. Writing for Business Insider, Olivar said, "Don't make obscene gestures for ride photos. You won't even be able to see the picture on the screens at the end of the ride, let alone purchase it. Plus, you'll also cause the rest of the guests riding with you to lose their pictures."

It may seem like common sense to keep your picture poses family-friendly at Disney World or Disneyland. Yet this is a lesson that some guests, even celebrities, have learned the hard way. The same goes for guests who have given "flash photography" new meaning by lifting their tops and flashing the camera on Disney rides.

Don't flip off the ride photo like Elisabeth Moss

While celebrities are kept from crowds at Disney theme parks, they're also used to promote them. Disney sometimes has stars with ties to company-owned properties do photo ops around the parks or narrate Disneyland's annual Candlelight Ceremony in California. If the advice of one ex-cast member about ride photo etiquette isn't enough, consider the Handmaid's Cautionary Tale, as it were. Ironically, Elisabeth Moss, the star of "The Handmaid's Tale" (which streams on Hulu, now 100% Disney-owned), is someone who ran afoul of the company's ride photo policy with the wrong hand gesture. Moss related her experience in an appearance on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon," where she explained how she wanted to "look tough" with her friends for a photo on an unspecified ride at Disneyland.

"I decided a tough thing would be to do the middle finger to the camera," the actress said. "And then we got off the ride and we were looking for our photos and our photo wasn't up there." After Moss' brother explained that ride photos get taken down if there are inappropriate gestures in them, she knew she had to come clean. "I had this moment of, 'Do I tell the truth right now or do I just lie?' And then I was like, I think I have to say it."

Stay clothed or risk getting kicked out

You don't have to be a celebrity to make things socially awkward by spoiling your group's Disney ride photo. With some photobombing pranks, though, you could face an even bigger buzzkill and be ejected from the park — or publicly shamed online. On "The Tonight Show," Elisabeth Moss joked, "Somewhere in the back channels of Disneyland are all these photos of people doing really nasty things." As The Los Angeles Times reported, some of those photos once got leaked to the internet, showing women lifting their tops on Splash Mountain. This led to the ride being nicknamed "Flash Mountain."

In Florida, the occasional bit of flashing still occurs, with one incident aboard the Disney Skyliner making headlines in 2023. It's as if riders have been brainwashed by the many strip club billboards along I-75, proclaiming, "We Bare All!" (certainly an incongruous sight for families traveling to Disney World). Before Tiana's Bayou, the Disney World ride replacing Splash Mountain, becomes Tiana's Bare-All, it's worth noting Disney's policy toward inappropriate ride behavior. In response to the Flash Mountain furor, the company issued a statement to the Orange County Register, noting that such behavior was rare, but still required monitoring.

"Offensive and inappropriate behavior is not tolerated at Disney Parks and Resorts," it said. "Any guest who exhibits inappropriate behavior is subject to removal from the parks." Just remember that, internet, before you flip the camera off or do something worse to sabotage your next Disney ride photo.