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  • [Chat] Thoughts on “influencers”

    I have watched a few Disney vloggers and I have mixed feelings. I like having a way to see the park when I can’t be there myself, but there is something that makes me uncomfortable watching “influencers” and vloggers who seem to make this almost a full time job. It starts to feel strangely forced and makes me wonder if they really even enjoy the park anymore. Something feels sad watching someone get the ears, get the Mickey treat and pose for Instagram, yet give off the sense that once the camera is down the treat gets tossed and the ears come off...

    I don’t mind people who genuinely love Disney and document it and give out tips and updates etc. but I feel weird about people “playing the part” for Instagram and YouTube. Crowding the park for their photos and videos all the while attempting to make this their primary source of income, and possibly not even having their heart in going to the park anymore.

    I find it a funny thought if the park ends up full of people who don’t even really like it that much, they just need the content for their influencer business to market to people who truly love the park but can’t go, because the park is too full of influencers. 😂

    Just curious about the general opinion on Disney Park influencers. Do you think they are harmless, beneficial or detrimental to the parks? And I mean for this to be light hearted, I’m just interested in everyone’s thoughts on the subject, whatever they may be. 😊

  • #2
    If people want to erode their enjoyment of a theme park by turning it into a full-time job, that's their business. But shilling for a giant corporation in return for favors isn't even proper content. I watch theme park vlogs in order to learn things I didn't know about the parks, get someone else's insights and maybe provoke a few thoughts of my own. "OMG this new themed dessert is SO YUMMY, it's just the BEST!" is both trivial and completely inauthentic--they're just saying what Disney wants them to say. In this way, honest reviews become mere advertisements, and I become bored.
    Like this post? Read more like it at The Disneyland Dilettante!

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    • #3
      It’s funny because I watch a LOT of YouTube videos, and one of those types of channels recently came up on my recommended. It was a young couple who visited Downtown Disney the day of its reopening. I gave the video a click, but ended up feeling a bit uncomfortable. I was aware this was their full time job given the history of their channel, but something about the current state of the country really made me cringe. Maybe I would feel differently if they broadened their interests to other Disney-esque topics instead of just visiting the parks, but it felt like they were grasping for straws. However, I understand that their target audience may be children, and the over-hyped daily Disney trip vlog style just isn’t for me.

      The only influencer I like when it comes to Disney trips is Tess Koman of Iconic Eats. She visits the parks (and of course, other theme parks) solely for the food, and doesn’t really glorify Disney in any way. She comes off as that super real friend who is exhausted after a day of walking around, and she progressively turns into a hot mess after eating all of these really ridiculous treats. I guess what I’m trying to say is I like my Disney influencer(s) in small doses.

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      • #4
        I feel very bad for the influencers who were back in the parks/ DTD right when it reopened. They risked their safety, so they could start making content again after the hiatus. I feel like being an influencer would be exhausting for this reason, because even when you can't/ don't want to go to the parks you HAVE to for the clicks. I dunno, of these people are happy, they can do whatever they want. I do like Iconic Eats though!!!

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        • #5
          I wasn't sure what was meant by "influencers" but now I understand...I used to a few years ago, but not now...although, I guess I'm my own influencer...it's just me and daughter who go to Disneyland and DCA...we're set, ready to go, just need the pandemic to clear out...
          I am old. But still love Disneyland.

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          • #6
            If that's what people want to do with their Disney time, eh, whatever. It doesn't affect me while I'm in the park except if they are blocking a walkway to take a photo of their Dole Whip - this has happened once or twice when I was there.

            I think that being a "Disney influencer" is a lot less harmless in many ways than other types of travel industry influencers. I saw so many "influencers" sitting in the poppy fields during the superbloom last year, many of them had also clearly picked flowers and were holding them as bouquets. This is so destructive and I think also not legal. When I lived in and traveled around Asia I saw so much inaccurate and/or offensive content on travel blogs devoted to the region. One famous travel couple's relationship began to fall apart when they were traveling around China. They blamed the "inhumane" behavior of their host country's people for their stress. Disgusting. There are also so many tales of travel bloggers taking pictures in places they aren't supposed to: on ruins where it's forbidden to stand or with people who don't want their photo taken. By comparison, some young adult running around WDW excitedly chirping about the new safety protocols seems darling.

            There is a problem with influencers of all stripes in that it can be hard to trust reviews nowadays. Most people are just repeating what the PR folks have outlined as talking points. Even sites like yelp or trip advisor have been compromised as companies offer discounts and/or gift cards to average customers in exchange for a positive review. I almost never look at Disney vlogs, but on the occasional times I do, I know going in that they are just cheerleaders for the brand.
            "I wish they all could be California Bears!"

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            • #7
              I haven't look at that many DL influencers. A few may of been part time cast members, as I'm aware of one of them was.

              Making money off of it...is probably not as easy as say, merch resellers. Only sources are YouTube ad revenue, Patreon or Cameo.

              While they may seem annoying, I think they are harmless. As long they following park rules and not doing anything illicit( i.e. lying about their background , trying to bribe people for perks, being an over the top nuisance in the parks)

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              • #8
                I like most the people they seem nice enough but like Video Game reviewers they get things "free" or donations that make the trips basically free.

                Like take Freshbaked they get 50 dollar donations sometimes from one person, I know they are going to argue well we spend X amount on Gas/time...who cares I don't get a dime for going to the parks. So to me sometimes they are overly positive because in one way or another they get money or perks for it. They have cast members who invite them to things and what not.

                So while the people seem nice, I don't know if im in the culture of it all. Seems overly positive, when most are like Pixar Pier is great...I'm like your either liars or my god do we have a different view of what quality is
                Also many keep wanting to go back to the parks, there was one who had surgery and want to WDW and one of the top comments was "I can see the limp, please go home and rest" it's insane to me their perspective is right now
                Happy Halloween!!!

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                • #9
                  Your observations are true for any "influencer". To be truly successful on any of the platforms it is full time + job to develop and create content even though it is all the illusion of spontaneity and "living int the moment".

                  One of my favorites lines now is "Instagram lied to you"...it no longer represents real life, rather a romanticized snapshot version of life.

                  Now, there is nothing harmful in consuming that content IMO as long as you understand that and enjoy the content not from a place of envy but rather know they are likely just as miserable as the rest of us in real life!

                  The upside is that they are two way street for many companies providing invaluable marketing to the user base that would be virtually unobtainable by traditional marketing to consumers.

                  There is a reason the Castle was recently refurbed to be more "Instagram Friendly". That was literally one of the objectives with the new color palate.
                  Last edited by DisneyPilot; 07-19-2020, 07:40 PM.

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                  • #10
                    "Influencer" are harmless.
                    I grew up with Disneyland as well Knott's.......
                    But ,I do not need "influencer" to tell me what my like , or dislike should be.
                    It comes down to Opinions.
                    Also believe there lot more to life, than Disney!
                    IMHO
                    Soaring like an EAGLE !

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                    • #12
                      Originally posted by whoever View Post
                      Some have gotten political (Fresh Baked recently), some have just become annoying and disrespectful (Justin Scarred). Others just lack actual worthwhile content. Kinda sad really given what they used to be.
                      I think its because of the money. It used to be just for fun, and now they all have things you can buy or donate too.

                      I did a Disney Podcast with some people and it was all for fun, we liked talking about the parks and I'd only ever take money if I was much more upfront of how this is changing from a Hobby to a Job with my audience and my opinions might change because now its a business relationship
                      Happy Halloween!!!

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                      • #13
                        I don't get people's reliance (or obsession) on "influencers". Honestly, these are just people with opinions who happen to have a vehicle to give their "opinion" to the masses. No different then a person standing on a street corner exclaiming their thoughts. This celebrity status attributed to them is head scratching.

                        But, if that's what you need to form an opinion, all the power to you. I'll be my own "influencer" thank you very much.
                        We need another Walt...and fast!

                        "It's always more difficult to recover than it is to do the right thing at the beginning" - Tony Baxter,
                        The Imagineering Story, Episode 4 "Hit or Miss"

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                        • #14
                          Maybe I'm in the minority here, but staying home due to the pandemic and having more free time has made me realize even more how much fun it would be to document my experiences in the park! I have always wanted to start a YT channel but have been scared away from doing it, even more so now with how ugly the internet can be sometimes. But - I want to document me for my own memories. If people want to watch, cool but if not? The entire YT market is saturated anyways, I'm sure there are plenty of other people doing it better anyways. So we'll see how well my attempt goes haha.
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                          • #15
                            Originally posted by Kimmiero View Post
                            Maybe I'm in the minority here, but staying home due to the pandemic and having more free time has made me realize even more how much fun it would be to document my experiences in the park! I have always wanted to start a YT channel but have been scared away from doing it, even more so now with how ugly the internet can be sometimes. But - I want to document me for my own memories. If people want to watch, cool but if not? The entire YT market is saturated anyways, I'm sure there are plenty of other people doing it better anyways. So we'll see how well my attempt goes haha.
                            I think that’s completely fine! I do enjoy watching Disney vlogs. My personal preference is when people seem to be going on the trip because they feel like it and then as a side note share their experience on social media, as opposed to people who want to churn out content so frequently and depend on views so much the trips feel forced and like they may not even be truly enjoying themselves. People can do as they please, but one of my only laments is that the park may be extra crowded with career vloggers who are just trying to get content for their social media and not even there to just enjoy the park.

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                            • #16
                              Originally posted by Kimmiero View Post
                              Maybe I'm in the minority here, but staying home due to the pandemic and having more free time has made me realize even more how much fun it would be to document my experiences in the park! I have always wanted to start a YT channel but have been scared away from doing it, even more so now with how ugly the internet can be sometimes. But - I want to document me for my own memories. If people want to watch, cool but if not? The entire YT market is saturated anyways, I'm sure there are plenty of other people doing it better anyways. So we'll see how well my attempt goes haha.
                              I say go for it! Just yesterday, I was longing for the parks and fondly remembering the trip my wife and I took to WDW a few years ago when we got engaged. I remember the trip vividly for the most part but my wife, she took photos and documented everything. I'm usually the first person to sort of roll my eyes whenever her camera comes out when we get our food or step in line for an attraction but man, I am so happy she does what she does. She had documented everything, all the little details. Not only were there tons of photos chronicling each and every day of our trip but there was also accompanying text listing, in detail, what attractions we rode on each day and what we ordered/ate at each place we decided to eat that day. All of this on her Instagram account. Apparently, she had gotten most of the text information from me but after I had passed it off to her, I forgot I had even kept record at all.

                              My long winded point here being that.. man, scrolling through all those images with all that detailed information, it was really magical. Of course I'll never forget the highlights of our trip (especially the night we got engaged) but having all that information saved both in text and images really made those memories pop even more and brought out little details I didn't recall. The human mind can only remember so much, for everything else, stuff like YouTube and Instagram is great!

                              So yeah, I say go for it! But do it for you and those close to you. Do it out of a labor of love and never feel like it's something you "have to do" or have it become a "job" for other people or followers. If lots of people love your work and decide to follow you, then like you said, awesome! But don't do it solely for that reason.

                              Not fully related to your post but more related to the thread at large: I appreciate "influencers". Though just as I appreciate "musicians", and "artists", "movies", etc., I have my own tastes. There are lots of different kinds out there. When their personality seems genuine and they're sharing valuable information with me, I really appreciate that. I also love getting their takes on food specifically around the parks and hotels because there can be so much happening at once, it's nice to get an idea for what is available out there. What they think of the food isn't as important to me as actually knowing what plethora of options are out there. Those influencers help me see everything happening so I have all the information in front of me in advance and can decide what I want to do or try.

                              ^ This above statement, however, only applies to Disney World influencers thusfar. TheDIS and TimTracker being my main go-tos. I can't explain it, but I haven't been able to stomach a single DL Resort influencer yet. Maybe I just don't care for the folks doing the job or maybe it's because I'm local so I don't really need them. Happenings around Disneyland and DCA I already know enough about and visit the parks enough to know what options are available, so I don't really need the help. But when it comes to stuff like WDW (where I don't get to go all that often), influencers are a big help in keeping up to date with new food, etc. I'm sure the same can be said for the DL Resort influencers to a lot of folks out of state.
                              Last edited by Blurr; 07-20-2020, 10:24 AM.
                              "I take no side. I am beyond your worrying and wars. I am unseen. Unknowable. Like a rock in the river."

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                              • #17
                                Originally posted by JerrodDRagon View Post
                                I did a Disney Podcast with some people and it was all for fun, we liked talking about the parks and I'd only ever take money if I was much more upfront of how this is changing from a Hobby to a Job with my audience and my opinions might change because now its a business relationship
                                I did the DisUnplugged Podcast to talk about experiences whenever Tom or Mary invited me. Nowadays, I would probably still do it, but I'm suspect given the rise of professional youtubers. Don't get me started on Justin. He used to offer content, now he just goes for the wow factor of him jumping on a table or bed in a suite which costs more than I drive. If I were his benefactor, I would cease association. .
                                Matt's 40th Birthday Disneyland Trip. Club 33, Napa Rose, and Adventureland Suite!!! ~~|~~ Katherine's 11th Birthday Dapper Day trip with Club 33 ~~|~~ Matt's Review of the Art of the Craft Tour at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel ~~|~~ My Spring, 2017 Dapper Day Trip Report ~~|~~ My Fall, 2016 Dapper Day and Club33 Trip Report ~~|~~ My Summer, 2016 Walt's LA tour with Bob Gurr and Marty Skylar ~~|~~ My Summer, 2016 Family Firsts Trip Report ~~|~~ Matt's September, 2015 Solo after the Safari Sunrise Trip Report ~~|~~ World Famous Jungle Cruise Safari Sunrise Premium Experience Trip Report ~~|~~ My February, 2015 Dapper Day Trip Report ~~|~~ My October, 2014 Family Vacation with Mickey's Halloween Party ~~|~~ My September, 2014 Dapper Day Trip Report ~~|~~ My August, 2014 Solo Trip Report - 1901/C33 Jazz Club ~~|~~ My June, 2014 Solo Trip Report ~~|~~ My February, 2014 Dapper Day Trip Report ~~|~~ My Epic May, 2013 Trip Report ~~|~~ My October, 2011 Trip Report ~~|~~ My October, 2010 Trip Report

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                                • #18
                                  Originally posted by Kimmiero View Post
                                  Maybe I'm in the minority here, but staying home due to the pandemic and having more free time has made me realize even more how much fun it would be to document my experiences in the park! I have always wanted to start a YT channel but have been scared away from doing it, even more so now with how ugly the internet can be sometimes. But - I want to document me for my own memories. If people want to watch, cool but if not? The entire YT market is saturated anyways, I'm sure there are plenty of other people doing it better anyways. So we'll see how well my attempt goes haha.
                                  I HATE videography in this regard. I am old school and do pics and written narrative. Something about video just doesn't sit right with me in hallowed places.
                                  Matt's 40th Birthday Disneyland Trip. Club 33, Napa Rose, and Adventureland Suite!!! ~~|~~ Katherine's 11th Birthday Dapper Day trip with Club 33 ~~|~~ Matt's Review of the Art of the Craft Tour at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel ~~|~~ My Spring, 2017 Dapper Day Trip Report ~~|~~ My Fall, 2016 Dapper Day and Club33 Trip Report ~~|~~ My Summer, 2016 Walt's LA tour with Bob Gurr and Marty Skylar ~~|~~ My Summer, 2016 Family Firsts Trip Report ~~|~~ Matt's September, 2015 Solo after the Safari Sunrise Trip Report ~~|~~ World Famous Jungle Cruise Safari Sunrise Premium Experience Trip Report ~~|~~ My February, 2015 Dapper Day Trip Report ~~|~~ My October, 2014 Family Vacation with Mickey's Halloween Party ~~|~~ My September, 2014 Dapper Day Trip Report ~~|~~ My August, 2014 Solo Trip Report - 1901/C33 Jazz Club ~~|~~ My June, 2014 Solo Trip Report ~~|~~ My February, 2014 Dapper Day Trip Report ~~|~~ My Epic May, 2013 Trip Report ~~|~~ My October, 2011 Trip Report ~~|~~ My October, 2010 Trip Report

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                                  • #19
                                    Disneyland is supposed to be fun. When I see people not having fun I turn it off. Simple as that. It's just their opinions anyways.

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                                    • #20
                                      Originally posted by Kimmiero View Post
                                      Maybe I'm in the minority here, but staying home due to the pandemic and having more free time has made me realize even more how much fun it would be to document my experiences in the park! I have always wanted to start a YT channel but have been scared away from doing it, even more so now with how ugly the internet can be sometimes. But - I want to document me for my own memories. If people want to watch, cool but if not? The entire YT market is saturated anyways, I'm sure there are plenty of other people doing it better anyways. So we'll see how well my attempt goes haha.
                                      That's not what seems to be happening with most. Many put out content that is ment to make money. Which once again is fine, but to many pretend to be like your buddies while also profiting off you.

                                      Doesn't sit right with me, also people have home movies the difference here is people are doing these videos and getting money and perks for them...like Many got to go to Galaxy edge or back in the Day WOC before they were opened to most of us.
                                      Heck even Micechat to me always has come off as fans running a business, and not fans just doing it because.
                                      Happy Halloween!!!

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