Disney Roots!

Last year, Nate and I got the incredible privilege of joining Carrie and Patrick for their five year vow renewal at Disney’s Aulani Resort. Total dream come true! While Nate and I had a couple days to enjoy and play, our final day on the island had to be spent working; we were already so behind editing for the month and were headed to Orlando the next day for 9 sessions and a wedding!

I assumed we’d be spending the day in their business center, but it was so cold and quiet that I couldn’t get any work done. We immediately moved next door to a common area, put in ear phones, and got to work. The cast members were beyond friendly and never made us feel weird for working there all day. It got to be around 4pm and I was about to cry and throw an epic pity party- Who wants to be working on their last day at Aulani?!

As soon as the tears started coming, in walked Goofy. He saw my laptop and grabbed the seat next to me. It was the most magical Disney moment of my life at the most unexpected time. This is why I’m a Disney girl for life. <3

Disney Aulani Resort Goofy

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While we loooooooove photographing Epcot weddings and they’re our favorite favorite, we often receive well-meaning inquiries to photograph a family or engagement session inside one of the four Walt Disney World parks, which makes me sort of feel like Dani in the photo below:

Disney Wedding Mickey Minnie Cake Cutting

I’m 99.9% sure Nate and I won’t photograph in-park sessions whether they’re allowed someday or not, and I kinda feel like we should talk about that.

Here’s the thing: I’ve been a Disney nerd since I was born. I mean… I literally took my first steps in Disneyland!

Disneyland and Walt Disney World are my happy places. One of the things I love most about photographing Disney weddings is that even though I miss being a cast member sometimes, I still get to work closely with the company. Working with the familiar faces at Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings is as close as we come to having a “normal” 9-5 job with coworkers!

That being said, I can’t walk into Disney’s Grand Floridian without thinking of the awesome couples we’ve gotten to photograph there. It’s become a work venue for me because we’ve spent so many hours there, cameras in hand. I can’t walk through the lobby without peeking next to the grand staircase and looking for a DFTW wedding planner, or look at “my fountain” by the pool without noticing the sunlight and which angle I’d be shooting from if we were working. The buildings on the ground are no longer grand vacation rooms, but “getting ready rooms” for our brides. I’m not at all saying it’s a bad thing, just… Different.

I hope you can understand why we won’t be booking sessions inside the Magic Kingdom. The other parks someday, maybe– But not the Magic Kingdom. See- When I walk down Main Street, I don’t want to have to have a camera in hand. I don’t want to look around the park for the best light, or hunt for hidden corridors to pose couples. I want to sit at a bench on Main Street and think of all the times I’ve sat there with my Mom during the years “people watching.” I wanna ride Thunder Mountain and remember how I’d “accidentally” bump into Nate on every turn when we first started dating. I want to walk through Fantasyland and remember meeting my best friend Casi for the first time, and how AMAZINGLY efficient Nick and I were at Dumbo “short walk” and “long walk.” I want to walk by the entrance to Philharmagic and remind Nate for the 100th time that’s where A WOMAN SPIT ON ME.

If I’m gonna do a “shoot” in the parks, it’ll be of our nephew Hall getting his hair cut on Main Street. Or my niece Kinley meeting Mickey Mouse for the first time. Or follow the tradition set by my Mom nearly 20 years ago and always be the last guests out of the park on our last night of every Disney vacation. :)

BUT- If you’re getting married in Epcot, we’re allllllll over that! :)

Walt Disney World at Christmas - Uptown Jewelers on Main Street

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I’m pretty sure it was our very first date when I asked Nate how he felt about Disney.

“I mean, I have nothing against Disney, I’ve just only gone a couple of times in my life.”

To this date, that was the only thing I ever felt I need to change about Nathanial. The first time I remember going with him was three months after we began dating, and that evening was the first time he told me he was in love with me. :) We’ve been Disney nerds ever since, and I love that he loves it as much as I do. I truly don’t think I could be with someone who’d begrudgingly join me for a park day. And even though he may scoff at the price of soda in the park, if I fall oh-my-goodness-heels-over-head for a souvenir that I haaaaaaaaave to have, he never gives me a hard time about getting it. And my favorite? Because Nate never went to the parks growing up, he’s really only known how to “do” them the way I do them. So I don’t have to worry about him being a rope drop to park closing marathoner, or worry that he’ll roll his eyes at my attractions of choice. We really visit the Disney parks just like anything else in life- Each on the same frequency as the other.

Who would have ever thought Nathanial would become a Disney world traveler by choice on that first date? Me.

Happiest of birthdays to my handsome Bug. <3

Disneyland Paris with the Roots

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As I mentioned in the “About the Roots” section, my name is Jensey and I was raised with Disney roots. I learned to walk in Disneyland, spent my college years flying teacups and spinning Dumbos, and even spent a few months on safari with Wilson Matua and Miss Jobson fighting poachers. (It was kind of a big deal, actually- I can’t tell you how many times I saved this one baby elephant!) About the time I left my role as a game driver, my husband booked his first wedding photography gig. I was a guest at that wedding, shot with his spare camera at the second, and nearly 250 weddings later, here we are! :)

Five years ago we re-branded our business with the ridiculous talents of a past Disney bride and groom of ours. Ever since then, I’ve been dyyyyyying to start a Disney blog! Over the years, we’ve collected thousands of park photos we’ve wanted to share. While I could sneak in a random Disney park photo here and there on our wedding blog, it never really made sense to post photos of Thunder Mountain when our readers are looking for pretty photos of weddings and family sessions.

I’m really excited to have a place to connect with other Disney fans through comments here, the Disney Roots Facebook page, or our Instagram account. If you didn’t follow our wedding blog before and have no idea who the heck Nate and I are, make sure you check out the “About the Roots” page! I am so stinking excited to have this dream come true! :)

So now, please tell me- Who are you and what would you like to see on here in the coming months? And I don’t want to say too much, but you may wanna drop back here around noon CST for a fun giveaway we’re running!

Nate Jensey Disney Roots with Storm Troopers

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