Disney Turns to Guests to Promote Theme Parks
In one video, a little boy dances during a parade at
All are part of
"Let the Memories Begin is about real guests making real memories in our parks," said
"Disney guests have always loved sharing their vacation memories with us and each other. New technologies like YouTube and
Disney isn't alone.
The travel industry -- which for years considered videos as byproducts of a happy vacation, if not liabilities that occasionally found their way on to the Internet -- has also had a change of heart.
User-generated videos aren't exactly new. They've been popular for years and have big audiences online. According to
"They're real," said
It's about more than lowering production standards and handing over some of the creative control to a customer, said Hawk Thompson, the content director at the marketing firm Springbox. "It's more like a convergence," he said. "Consumers and smart brands like Disney interact with each other and share similar aesthetic values because digital media has leveled the playing field."
Travel companies could get a boost from that trend, in terms of improved sales and visibility. But travelers might be the real beneficiaries, in the long run, because they'll gain power.
"This is all about curating the content that helps sell the virtues of Disney through the experience of its consumers," said
The potential downside
But letting the user-generated content genie out of the bottle could also backfire. While
"The pitfalls are the same," said
For example, a customer with a video camera in the wrong place at the wrong time could easily create a clip that negates all of the positive effects of a hundred user-generated videos. And since video can be more influential than a written review or a posted photo, the risks are greater.
Industry-watchers warn that encouraging users to document their vacations with their video cameras and post them online may, in fact, lead to more headaches than heartwarming moments.
"Individuals may have an axe to grind either because they are getting incentivized by the resort or they received bad service," said
Not the end of professional video
Social media professionals say the move toward user-generated video content doesn't mean the professionals should pack it up and go home.
"I definitely think we live in an online world where professional and user-produced content can not only live in harmony, but embrace and benefit from each other in a way that's not competitive," said
"There's still a place for good, news-style video production," he said.
"Digital media is evolving constantly," Thompson said. "Today's smart phones shoot HD video. Tomorrow they'll shoot 3-D footage."
Recent Vacation Ideas & Travel Destinations
- Taking the Kids to a Ranch in Winter
- Slovakia: Booming Bratislava
- How Safe is a Cruise?
- Disney Turns to Guests to Promote Theme Parks
- World's Top 10 Ugliest Buildings
- 10 Fascinating Place Symbols
- What's Behind All Those Airline Change Fees?
- Taking the Kids and De-Stressing the Holidays
- Taking the Kids and Grabbing a Pre-Holiday Break
- Verdun, France: A Lesson About War
- Airline 'Code-Shares' Not Really 'Seamless'
- Taking the Kids to the San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park
- Taking the Kids to Kauai Hawaii
- Taking the Kids to Steamboat Springs Colorado
- Welsh Magic
- Cultural Voyeurism in Tangier
- European Restaurant Rules
- The Biggest Travel Gouge
- Online Travel Planning: For Real?
- Onboard Internet: Lots More Coming
- A La Carte Pricing: Coming to Cruises?
- Do They Hate Us?
- Are Travelers Overloaded By Social Media?
- Paying Up Front for Rental Car Nicks and Scratches
- Prague: Castle Scenes and Ice Cream Dreams
- Florence: The Cultural Capital of Europe
- Taking the Kids: Meeting Up with Some Ghosts and Goblins
- Taking the Kids: When Grown-ups Go Out to Play in the Fall
- Planning a Green Vacation
- How to Find Airline Seats for a Family Group
- Are Travelers Frill-Seekers? No, But Here's What They Really Want
- Tarmac-Delay Rules Give Travelers More Respect
- New Airline Tie-Ups: What Consumers Need to Know
- Southwest and AirTran Airlines: Six Things You Need to Know
- How to Fall Into a Real Travel Bargain This Year
- The Travel Industry Still Cares About You
- Save Your Money or Your Trip?
- Fall and Winter Travel Senior Discounts: Where the Deals Are
- Walking Tours Bring Europe's Cities to Life
- Taking the Kids to Oahu Beyond Waikiki
- Taking the Kids and Flying Safely with Young Children
- Travel Essential: Suitcase Guide
- Are Loyalty Programs Worth It?
- Big Exhibit? Avoid Lines and Hassle
- The Continental - United Merger: What's New
- Munich: Metropolis with Small-Town Charm
- Grown Ups Have as Much Fun Aboard Disney Magic as Kids
- Coping with Europe's 'Season of Strikes'
- 'Private Sale' Sites: Deals on Luxury Hotels and Cruises
- 7 Clauses to Beware of in Your Cruise Contract
- Glamour Camping
- Flying? Get on the Web
- Glamour Camping
- Spain: Parties and Processions in Andalucia
- London: Taming London in a Week
- Taking the Kids to Mesa Verde National Park
- Fall Vacation Travel: A Great Season
- Airfare Searches: Know the Right Places
- 'Tax Free' Airport Stores: Bargain or Hype?
- Organize a Tour and Travel for 'Free' But with Strings
- Oh No You Didn't! 5 Ways Travelers Have Lost Their Manners
- Travel Complaints That Fail: 5 Kinds of Emails You Should Never Write
- Air Travelers Let Your Voices Be Heard
- Car Rentals: You Missed the Scratch on the Roof
- Hey, What Happened to My Internet Connection?
- Taking the Kids RVing in Colorado
- Taking the Kids to Nantucket
- Praying and Partying in the Streets of Istanbul
- Revenge of the Hotel Clerks: Things They Do to Difficult Guests
- Sorry We Forgot About That $500 Change Fee
- Beware of Tour Operator 'Savings' Claims
- New Vacation Rental and Hotel Options
- Steven Slater Airline Meltdown Hardly a Surprise
Taking the Kids to Boston
Time Traveling Back in History in Boston
- Stockholm's Island Getaways
- Shorter Vacations? Tighter Budgets? Welcome to the New 'Normal' in Travel
- Do You Really Want to Take Your Pets Along?
- Travel Taxes: Bad, Getting Worse
- What to Pack for a Weekend Getaway
- Rambling Through the Ruins of Europe's Castles
- Taking the Kids to NYC for the First Time
- Eco-Friendly Camping is About Putting Nature First
- Take a Magical History Tour
- Fall Travel Bargains Will Abound and Here's Where to Find Them
- If It's Called Secure Flight, Why Do I Feel So Insecure?
- Using Opaque Travel Web Sites Effectively
- Eldergadget: Creative or Condescending?
- Taking the Kids Aboard the Newest Megaship Epic
- 6 Tips for Taking a Summer 'Daycation'
- Ticket? Check. Bag? Check. Insurance? Pre-check
- Warning: Tour Operators Can Still Fail
- Go Camping and Bring the Kids
- On-the-road Rx: Family Vacation Safety Tips
- Communing with Nature in Austria's Hallstatt
- Barefoot in Venice Italy
- 5 Beach Safety Tips
- How Much Should We Tip These Days?
- Advance Baggage Shipment: Does it Make Any Sense
- Airline Passengers Get Chance to Be Heard on Proposed Regulations
- Best 'Value' Destination Cities
- One-Sided Cruise Contracts
- 4 Things You Should Take -- and Leave -- When You Travel
- Outwitting Hotels' Maximum Occupancy Rules
- Taking the Kids to Theme Parks This Summer
- Taking the Kids to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
- Another Kind of Travel Plastic
- Airline Tickets: How Much Will They Really Cost?
- Traveling Light: Healthy Eating for Business Junketeers
- Planning Family Summer Vacations on a Budget
- Taking the Kids To the Caribbean in Summer
- Taking the Kids To Lake Placid
- Lisbon: Portugal's Salty Capital
- Irish Soul Music
- More Than Ever Gulf Needs Tourists to Swim Against the Tide
- Airline Alliances: Benefit or Plague?
- Travelers Be Wary of 'Data Passing' Online
- Car Rental Craziness: 6 Odd Rules and How to Steer Clear of Them
- Flying to Europe? It Pays to Know EU 261
- Airport Shuttles: Update 2010
- When Finding the 'Best' Airport Matters
- Airline Round-up: Re-Bundling Satisfaction
- Biking in Europe: A Bridge Over Cultural Barriers
- Verona Italy: City of Romance
- Taking the Kids To California Wine Country
- Travel in Hurricane Season
- Beware Hidden Traps in Your Travel Contract
- Crazy Cruise: 7 Absurdities of the Sea
- Lost Luggage in London Phishing Travel Scam
- What You Can Do About New Hotel Lodging Fees
- Taking the Kids To Clean Beaches and Avoiding the Oil
- Airline Fees: The $7.8 Billion Question
- New Airline Bumping Rules Less Than What They Seem
- Air Travel: Disabled or Need Help?
- Have a Healthy Vacation
- France: Basking in France's Dordogne River Valley
- How to Rent a Car in Europe
- Avoiding Cruise Port Rip-offs
- Promotions and Features -- a Summer Grab Bag
- Where the Summer Discounts Are and Are Not
- World's 'Best' Airlines -- Do You Care?
- Taking the Kids To the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
- TSA's Liquid Rules: So Long, 3-1-1?
- Rejected? Enjoy the Art, But Appeal
- Right Hotel, Wrong Room
- Vacation Rentals: 9 Things to Know
- Salzburg: An Austrian Symphony
- Taking the Kids To Cooking School
- Lessons Learned From Your Worst Travel Gaffes
- Help! My Refund is Missing in Action
- Confessions of a Frequent-Flier Program Skeptic
- Airlines Annoyances -- Can You Avoid Them?
- Frequent Flyer Payout -- Great to Lousy
- Taking the Kids to a Broadway Musical
- Tips for Traveling Solo
- How to Save on Summer Vacation Travel
- What You Can Learn From First-Time Air Travelers
- Sunscreen Facts You Need to Know
- Hotels Connect the Dots Between Guests and Online Reviews
- Putting on the Ritz in Orlando
- Airlines Unbundle then Repackage: What's the Deal?
- New Tarmac Rule: Fewer Airline Flight Delays
- Germany's Mix of Perfume Chocolate and God
- Giving Mom Best Mother's Day Present She's Ever Had
- Amtrak 2010: Sightseeing Ideas
- I Didn't Mean to Buy Travel Insurance
- Continental - United Airlines Merger: the Consumer View
- Will the United - Continental Merger Raise Airfares
- Krakow: Poland's Historic and Cultural Gem
- Europe this Summer: Mixed Bag of News
- 'Qualify' for a Fleecing?
- Forget Your Travel Agent: 4 Trips You Should Book Yourself
- I Had to Pay Twice For My Flights to Mexico
- What's Next For Airlines Paying by the Pound?
- What Parents Say About Family Vacations
- New-Style Vacation Trips Trip with the Grandparents
- Princess for a Day at Disney World
- Easter in Europe
- Where Are Cheap Round-the-World Airfares
- Premium Economy for Overseas Trips
- Healthy Hiking With Your Dog
- Taking the Kids to Bermuda
- Taking the Kids to Chile
- Too Sick to Fly? When to Put Yourself on the 'No Fly' List
- Lowest Airfare? You May Have to Connect
- Europe 2010: Pricey, But with Some Good Deals
- Totally Kidcentric and Affordable Ski Resorts
- Taking the Kids to Alaska and Meeting Some Bears
- Taking the Kids to Mohonk Mountain House
- Taking the Kids to Patagonia
- Taking the Kids - Skiing in Telluride
- Taking the Kids - Skiing this Winter without Busting the Budget
- Taking the Kids - How Snow Sports Can Transform a Child's Life
- Taking the Kids: Skiing in Austria
- Getting Up-close & Personal with Olympians
- Travel Apps for Your Smart Phone
- 6 Ways to Save: Family Vacations
(c) 2010 U.S. Christopher Elliott, The Travel Troubleshooter
World-renowned chefs with an extraordinary passion for food, share that passion. They make great cooking easier than you ever imagined. Each feature includes both an expert tip and an easy recipe - exactly what you need to transform your home cooking from acceptable to delectable.
Recipes Click Here
Movie Reviews, commentary and more. Plus Trailers from movies currently in theaters and available on DVD.
Movie Reviews Click Here