Instant Ancestors has been one of the most unique Orlando, Florida attractions for over 20 years.
They have been recreating the look of the 1870's for the masses in Old Town Orlando ever since.
It’s the only picture gallery of its kind in Old Town Orlando. Chris and I have gotten our picture taken there three times. Once as a cowboy (Chris) and a saloon girl (me). Once as a gagster pair and once as an old western married couple.
We go to Instant Ancestors for a picture once every couple of years. Chris does it for me as a Valentines Day present. Besides our wedding photos they are the only professional photos we’ve ever had taken together.
They are a lot of fun to do. I think if you want to get your picture taken it would be a fun and memorable keepsake from your trip to Orlando, Florida.
When you go inside Instant Ancestors you’ll see tons of old school memorabilia. Old time guns, perfume bottles, vanity mirrors and other cool souvenirs.
Then on the walls you’ll see examples of all the different picture settings you can choose from. You can be a Victorian debutante, a civil war hero, a Cowboy, a gangster or an old time bride (or groom.)
You pay for each person in your party to get dressed up and take the picture. Chris and I are the only ones in the pictures we’ve had taken at Instant Ancestors but I’ve seen large groups of people go in there and have a great time getting all dressed up.
The sitting fee is $30.00 for the first person and $5.00 for each additional person.
If you have more than 10 people that you’d like to get your picture taken with make sure to call and make an appointment so Instant Ancestors can accommodate your group.
Once you choose your setting you’re brought to the back to get changed. Make sure to wear some undergarments because they put you in a pair of uncomfortable boxers (the girls at least) before putting you in your outfit.
They do this because all of the costumes tie around you. Sometimes if you’re bigger than the costume your derriere will hang out. The men don’t have to put on boxers (unless you go commando.)
Then they take you into the dressing room where all the costumes are. There are so many fun and exciting costumes.
I’ve never gotten to choose the costume though. Usually the girl that’s getting me dressed has done it for me. I’m sure if something catches your eye they’d let you wear it. If it wraps around you that is.
Instant Ancestors has all different sized costumes. So they are sure to have one that suits your body type.
Remember that even if it’s the most hideous color in the world no one will ever know (unless you decide to get your pictures in color.) Because the pictures get an antique make over.
Once you’re all dressed they take you out to the setting you’ve chosen.
Instant Ancestors is set up in four or five different settings. You can see one of them when you’re walking around outside Old Town Orlando.
It has a gagster car, some barrels, bullet holes and old time posters making it appear like a scene from the past.
If you don’t have enough money you can just lean over the fence and have a friend snap the shot. But that will not be quite as much fun.
Inside they also have a bar set up for the cowboy/saloon girl. And next to that they have a simple setting for the wedding pictures.
The photographer will take several shots. He’ll have you do a few different poses. Make some serious faces and some happy faces. And then he’ll take a few shots of each person individually.
Sometimes it can be hard to get to Instant Ancestors when it isn’t busy but if you can...do. If there's a lot of people waiting to get their picture taken it isn’t quite as much fun.
So if you plan on hanging out in Old Town Orlando for a few hours I would check back and have it done when it’s less busy. Otherwise you’ll be herded through very quickly. Not to mention there will be a ton of people watching you get your pictures taken.
Once all of your poses have been taken you go and get changed back into your own clothes. Then you go and check out your masterpieces. The person at the front register of Instant Ancestors will show you a few of the poses in different frames.
You get two different pictures with the cost of the sitting fee and then each picture beyond that is extra. Chris and I normally skip the frames and buy one extra picture. That way we get one of him alone, one of me alone and one of us together.
Your sitting fee covers two sepitone (or brown) prints. If you want more than two prints you pay $7.00 for each additional on the day you take the pictures. You can also request the prints be reprinted in color or antique.
If you get home and decide you want to order more pictures you can do so. All you need is the number off one of the original prints you received the day of your shoot.
Instant Ancestors archives your pictures permanently so if you want them years from now they will still be available.
So if you go and get your pictures taken and just can’t decide which you want just pick your two favorites and save the rest for later. If you just have to have more you can always get them later.
The frames are very nice but kind of expensive. You could check out any craft store for similar frames for much less. Not to mention if you’re coming from somewhere far away it will be easier to travel home with just the picture. They are thin and can be laid flat.
If you’re going to be hanging out at Old Town Orlando be sure to make a stop into Instant Ancestors for a fun filled keepsake picture!