How well are Disney Parks doing Social Media?

Craig Carter, writing over on Ignite Social Media’s blog, reports back from his experience trying to find park specific social media at Walt Disney World at the end of 2011. His result was pretty much fruitless, but the experience wasn’t without its silver lining.

Craig went to EPCOT and started asking cast members he encountered to point him to the park’s social media where he might be able to find out what’s going on in the park. No one knew where to send him online, so they finally sent him to guest relations where:

Even the person behind the desk didn’t know off the top of their head if Epcot was on Twitter. They had to go into a back room and check. After a minute, they returned to tell me that the 6th most visited theme park in the world DOES NOT have its own Twitter account

Yep. That’s right. So far, Disney has not successfully figured out how to use social media to aid its in park and resort guests. What Craig doesn’t know is that they have tried a few times and that Disney has a billion dollar plus effort underway to figure interactivity out.

I found Craig’s analysis insightful even if I didn’t necessarily agree with all of them. One a scale of one to ten how would you rate Walt Disney World’s social media efforts? What do you like the best so far?

If you’re interested in this topic, I also recommend you follow Adam Britten’s blog Social Theme Parks.

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8 Responses to How well are Disney Parks doing Social Media?

  1. ***Dave says:

    I’d love to have a park-specific Twitter voice. Imagine being able to hear about upcoming events — or even that a route was being cleared for a parade in 15 minutes, so better hustle to the opposite side — or even to answer questions. A lot of very up-to-the-moment info could be provided.

    I’ve heard that Disney hasn’t wanted to do something like that because they don’t want to distract visitors from the park experience, and don’t want to encourage folks hanging out on their smartphones. Piffle. People are already doing it — they’re simply losing a chance to help re-engage them.

    Oh, and free Wifi in the parks would be a big help, too, and reduce battery drain.

  2. Marc B says:

    This makes SO much sense. Why aren’t they tweeting wait times, where characters are, parade times, when a ride goes down so I don’t walk across the park to get there and find out about it. Just think how they could even control crowds by tweeting about a ride that had a short wait time, I’d get out of a 60min Tower of Terror line to go to RnR if it were say 20min and saw them tweet it. I even went so far as to create 4 twitter accounts that I thought could be used to do stuff and offered it to TouringPlans but they didn’t seem to be interested. @DisneyMK, @disneyak, @disneyepcot, & @disneyhs. The only reason I could see them not doing it is that they couldn’t charge for it like Pal Mickey, I’d think the ability to keep guests happy, keep them shopping, and spread out the crowds would far outweigh having to buy a stuffed talking Mickey or the rumored Gameboy device that was supposed to happen years ago.

    As for what they do now I think its the next best thing to nothing that they do with some trivia/facts/history but to tweet “Whats everyone’s favorite night time ride?” then not actually interacting with people that tweet them back is just a waste.

  3. Lenny says:

    There’s a bunch of social media connections out there for Disney. Have you seen this? http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/social-media/

    I also noticed that Disney’s leveraging twitter and facebook for jobs seekers… just search #disneyjobs on twitter and you’ll get a slew of feeds; and http://facebook.com/disneycareers has a list of facebook pages dedicated to working at Disney too.

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  5. Jones says:

    If people enter the MK or Epcot and the first thought on their minds is “Wait, do they have a Twitter account?” or: “Heck, still no WiFi in the park?”, if there are people standing in front of me *during a parade* who are happily (or rather: unhappily, judging from the bland look on their faces) typing away at their iphones or iwhatevers (I have seen this more than once) – then there is sth seriously wrong with the world, if you ask me. Am I just a grumpy old man? Maybe, but trust me, kids – you´re running the risk of missing the fun – try leaving your smartphone back in the hotel room, just try it once, you may find there´s a whole world out there, very old school and slow – but it´s in High Def, and Surround Sound! And the motion capuring looks very convincing, too.

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  7. Adam says:

    First, thanks for mentioning my blog.

    Second, I would agree that the parks & resorts division of the company needs some social media love. Not only would guests love it, but it would reduce a LOT of costs from call centers.

  8. Pingback: An Analysis of the Disney Parks Blog | The Disney Blog

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