One of the most meaningful souvenirs at Disney World is hidden in alleyways and masked by crowds at popular stores. Many Disney World fanatics have never even heard of Disney World silhouette portraits, but you cannot miss them on your next trip. Here’s everything you need to know about these souvenirs.
What Are Disney World Silhouette Portraits?
Disney World silhouette portraits are small souvenirs you can purchase in certain Disney World parks. You receive two sheets of black cardstock, each with a mirror image of your face as if covered in shadows.
However, don’t assume that these souvenirs are simple and bare. Disney World’s skilled artists add tiny details to ensure that your portrait is unique to you.
Whether you travel with your young kids, friends, or a significant other, silhouette portraits are the perfect way to capture your trip together. The artists can even place your silhouette alongside others as if creating a group photo.
Your purchase will include two portraits facing different ways. You can also purchase a plastic, oval, black frame to showcase your memento after your return home.
Disney artists also create silhouette portraits for Disney characters. These portraits may include the character’s body, rather than just a face, and props from various classic movies. One of the most popular options is Walt Disney holding Mickey Mouse’s hand.
How Do the Disney World Silhouette Portraits Work?
Artists need only five items to complete these portraits:
- A pencil
- Black cardstock
- A white background
- A face to copy
The artists draw your face onto a sheet of cardstock freehand based on seeing you in person or a photo you bring to them. Then, they cut out the image, also freehand. To make the image pop, the artists mount the black silhouette onto a white background and frame it.
Who Makes Disney Silhouette Portraits?
Disney World hires silhouette artists specifically to craft these unique souvenirs. Many Disney artists have worked in their position for years, and they may recognize groups who return during every trip.
New silhouette artists are extremely talented and passionate about creating meaningful art.
How Long Does It Take To Get One?
Silhouette artists know that your Disney World trip is busy. Whether you’re rushing back in line for Splash Mountain after a storm or trying to get a signature from your son’s favorite character, you don’t have much extra time.
Luckily, these skilled artists are quick and efficient. Drawing one person takes only a minute or two, while drawing a group may take longer. It takes the artist just a few additional minutes to cut and mat the photo, and then you can return to your busy schedule.
Where Can I Find Disney Silhouette Artists?
You can find Disney Silhouette artists’ carts in four different locations across Disney World.
In Magic Kingdom, a cart will be stationed halfway down Main Street in an alleyway between Uptown Jewelers and Crystal Arts. There is another at the entrance to Liberty Square near Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe.
While in EPCOT, take a trip to France, the origin point for silhouette art. There will be a cart in the French Pavilion near the fountain.
At Disney Springs, you can find a silhouette artist in the Marketplace between the World of Disney store and the Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate shop. This location typically has the shortest line.
When Can I Get a Silhouette Portrait?
The hours of Disney World silhouette portrait carts are unpredictable for several reasons.
Only one artist works at each cart, so they may have to close unexpectedly. Their hours are usually shorter than the park hours, and they close during bad weather.
Due to these circumstances, you cannot make a reservation to receive a silhouette portrait. However, there is rarely a wait for this souvenir, and lines move quickly.
When you arrive at Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, or Disney Springs, visit Guest Relations to ask for the hours of the artists’ carts for that day. This information will be the most accurate.
Who Should Get a Disney World Silhouette Portrait?
A Disney silhouette portrait is a meaningful souvenir for anyone who visits Disney World.
Couples often use these portraits to remember the vacations they have taken together. Families love them because they show growth over the years. Although the children may be small on their first Disney World visit, a silhouette portrait from a more recent trip will show them as adults.
These portraits are also well-suited for those traveling with small energetic children. Disney World is busy and loud, which often causes children to take mid-day naps in strollers. Luckily, silhouette artists can base their drawings on a sleeping child.
Families with squirmy children may avoid long lines or tasks that require everyone to sit. They often skip caricatures and photoshoots with popular characters.
However, silhouette artists can use a photograph of their subject, so your children don’t even have to be with you when you purchase this item.
The History of Silhouette Art
Silhouette art became popular in France during the 1700s. At the time, this art form was a cheaper alternative to a colored portrait. The French finance minister Étienne de Silhouette was especially fond of them, and their name was eventually derived from his.
These portraits soon spread across Europe and America. After the rise of photography, silhouette art became less popular, but silhouette artists still frequented fairs.
When Walt Disney designed Disney World, he based Main Street, USA, on America at the turn of the century. He likely saw silhouette artists at fairs during this time, so he invited such artists into his new world.
Disney World is full of flashy and expensive souvenirs. Although most frequent visitors have a favorite, such as Mickey Mouse ears or caricatures, a Disney World silhouette portrait may be the best purchase you will ever make.
For a fraction of the price of a typical keepsake, you can capture the memory of a fun-filled vacation with family and friends.