Last night I was invited to attend a gala party to re-open the California Grill at the Contemporary Resort. In addition to a revamped menu, they remodeled the dining area with a mid-century modern look inspired by Disney artist Mary Blair, added a new show kitchen, even upgraded the exterior with new windows and allowed easy access to the south observation deck for the first time. On both observation decks they added new lights and a new sound system that delivers the fireworks soundtrack clearer than ever before.
After dinner we were all invited outside to watch Wishes performed in the air over the Magic Kingdom. We choose the new south observation deck which allows a better view of the Magic Kingdom and Cinderella Castle. You’re able to see the front of the castle, which if you have great vision or a zoom lens, lets you get the digital projection show too and I’m sure will be spectacular when it’s lit up for Christmas season.
Below is a video of Wishes taken from the very end of the deck.
I want to ask you what you thought, but first you should know that the sound cutting out wasn’t my fault. Instead YouTube messed with the video to delete a copyright claim by UMG (Universal Music Group) on one of the songs Disney uses in the fireworks show. I understand Disney doesn’t control the rights for all of the music they use, but they should make an effort to use music that will be approved for use on social sharing sites, like YouTube, or get clearance rights that includes social sharing by fans.
Disney spends hundreds of millions a year on marketing to convince families that they should come to the park, create memories, and then share those memories with friends and family. Having your family’s home video deleted or censored for copyright infringement leaves a bad taste in one’s mouth and instantly defeats all the work marketing put into the ‘memories’ campaign. I’m not sharing a video with a chunk of audio missing and I might even delete it rather than face an uncertain copyright issue. I can tell you that from personal experience.
A quick Google search shows that UMG, the company that claimed copyright on the portion of audio from the Wishes fireworks that was deleted in this video, does not necessarily own the copyright on all the video it places claims on. They use an automated system that is far from 100% perfect. There’s a chance Disney owns or has proper license for the music, but as an individual user there is no ability to find out the real status and no recourse through YouTube even when the claim is in error. However, I think a company the size of Disney could exert enough leverage to resolve the situation in the favor of their fans and marketing needs if they wanted to. In fact, Disney has a partnership with UMG already (see press release). Perhaps a simple phone call would do.
Okay. Given that aside, what do you think of the new place to watch the Fireworks shows at the Magic Kingdom?