Disney Parks Online Presence

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“Disney Parks Online Presence”

By KellieAnn Halvorsen

  1. While Disney Theme parks have been around since 1955 the growth in attendance and properties have gone up in relation to their growth in an online presence. Disney park’s onlne presence started with the launch of Disney.com in October 1996 but contained many of the flaws of web 1.0 such as hard to manage list links and limited visual content. As internet technology and faster bandwidth became more accessible disney parks official presence changed and became more appealing, interactive, and useful for its users. I remember being a junior in high school and having to choose to load a lower broadband version of the website or a lot prettier high bandwidth version. Disney Has incorporated many new features into their website/sites/platforms as the technology became more available such as pictures, pulls, commerce, video, and more.
  2. strength/weaknesses
    1. Strengths
        1. Heavy Online Presence in multiple categories.
          1. Social media accounts such as facebook, twitter, pinterest, youtube and more.
          2. information heavy with website.
          3. commerce with online booking and ticketing. (even a Disney Theme Park Merchandise section of the online disneystore.)
        2. Protects their interests
          1. Even the wayback machine can’t show you older versions of the website because disney is protecting it.
          2. Dedicated copyright and legal department
          3. But they do allow fan sites to exist as they know it will drive more people to the parks
        3. Targeted Marketing
          1. Online ads everywhere and every media type! Video, graphics, contest, cross promotion and more.
          2. eNewsletters and deals.
          3. Different media material for different platforms demographics.

      e.g.: informational and visual heavy at the Disney Parks blog, Pinterest is heavy on DIY and recipes, and Facebook is more general.

        1. Interactive and social. content
          1. Always contests and sharing opportunities.
          2. Lots of games (does anyone remember vmk? cause I do and I loved it!)
          3. Sharing/social opportunities
            1. This whole years Disney Parks campaign is “Share your Disney Side.”
        2. Much more!!!
    2. Weaknesses
      1. Information Overload. There is a lot of information out there which can overwhelm a user.
      2. Yet hard to find specific information. Such as current ride wait times, specific schedules for ride refurbishment and “unofficial” events going on at the parks.
      3. Clunky navigation weighed down by other associated Disney departments.
      4. Very controlling of anything that can be perceived as negative to the company.
      5. No more podcasts
  3. Disney Parks marketing department are professionals at using web 2.0 platforms and strategies. You can visit http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/social-media/ to see their social media accounts which contains not only specific accounts for invidual parks on social platforms such as facebook, and twitter, but more generalized accounts on platforms such as blogs and youtube. The Disney parks blog has RSS feeds available. Disney parks used to have an official podcast, but discontinued it around 2009.
  4. Disney Parks is fully aware and for the most part of using all the new platforms 2.0 has to offer. As mentioned earlier they craft each platform to the demographics of the platforms audiences. they post several times a day on each platform, each post appears to be unique to their own feed with very little repetition across platforms except with large announcements. While posting several times a day Disney Parks tries to not overwhelm their audience by posting smaller less time consuming posts.
  5. Disney Parks Strategy seems to be an exciting mixture of media that dangles this dream family fun vacation at the parks, combined with the emotional pull of interacting with Disney character/places we have grown to love. While exploring the Disney Parks Blog you can get a general idea about how vast Disney Parks social media team actually is. They have titles arranging from Social Managers and Directors, PR managers, Content Managers, Merchandising Managers, Food and Wine writers and more.
  6. They cater the media content to the platform uses, videos on youtube, picture heavy website and a mixture on Facebook. I was surprised to see that there isn’t much cross promotion between platforms, Facebook isn’t trying to get you to follow on twitter and vice versa. Disney seems to understand that people will find and follow them on their preferred media outlet as long as they put out quality material. That friends liking, sharing and reposting will draw in new users as well as traditional marketing.
  7. I believe that Disney Parks is doing very well with their use of the whole web 2.0 tools and strategies. They are using each platform correctly, engaging their uses and marketing their product well. A few suggestions I would suggest would be a bit more cross promotion between platforms, bringing back the Disney Parks podcasts, making more specific details such as actual refurbishment schedules and event calendars that include unofficial events on the calendar, and hiring me someday when I get my degree in Strategic Communications.
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