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March 31, 2010

The Disney Twitterverse

For many years Disney fans on Spaceship Earth have gathered on the Internet. Fans most commonly gather at Disney vacation planning sites and associated message boards. In 2004, I ventured onto my first discussion board at at site called INTERCOT. Billed as the "Internet Community of Tomorrow", fans discuss the Disney theme parks, restaurants, resorts and other topics. I stayed only on INTERCOT until about a year ago; I was searching Google for Disney photography tips since I had just purchased a new digital SLR camera. In my search I came across the DISBoards and its associated planning site wdwinfo.com, better known as The DIS. Searching for photography information opened my eyes to a whole new world of Disney fandom. INTERCOT doesn't allow any pictures or external links on their forums, so DISBoards was a Disney message board that looked more like forums for other topics I enjoy. At first I stayed in the Photography Board since it was the whole reason for being on DISBoards, but soon I was all over the entire forum. From here, I learned of the large Disney photography community on Flickr and The Magic in Pixels (TMiP). I also started listening to some podcasts including The DIS Unplugged and Lou Mongello's WDW Radio.

Leading up to last year's trip to Walt Disney World, I started dabbling in Twitter. For a while, I didn't quite get it. Why do I want to send 140 character messages to people? What good is this? Why should I use this instead of Facebook? The realization didn't come for a while, even after I set up scottinwdw originally for the purposes of live-tweeting from Disney World (the easiest way to see these early tweets is to read my trip report on DISBoards because I put them all into my report and Twitter doesn't make it easy to go back and read them).

I started noticing my Twitter followers as well as the people I follow came weren't all from the same discussion board. The group that started appearing on Twitter was more diverse than any one forum. Quick opinions from people on a hot topic as the news came out. Links to all sorts of websites, blogs and podcasts could be found. Disney fans who will talk about anything, including technology, the latest Disney home video release, or Disney Parks confessions (search #confessfriday on Twitter to read some of those). Twitter, it turns out, is poised to be the great Disney fan uniter that brings the fans out of the message board "silos" and onto one huge network.

Has The Walt Disney Company noticed? Among others, @DisneyParks, @WaltDisneyWorld, @Disneyland, and @DisneyD23 are all official Disney Twitter accounts. Many times, these accounts link back to official blog entries with company news, information, or something just for fun. They also poll the Twitter population and sometimes re-tweet the best answers. These official Twitter accounts show that someone is listening at Disney. Whether or not the opinions sent to these Twitter accounts reach someone of influence is unknown, but it's a step in the right direction for customer relations.

A Twitter post just wouldn't be complete without mentioning a few of my favorites on Twitter. @kidanikatie's (Katie Siloac) thedvclife featured my Premier Passport article recently and has become one of my favorite blogs even though I'm not a DVC member (but I have thought about it). @zannaland (Suzannah DiMarzio) and her site Zanna Land always have interesting things to read about Disney Parks. @cosmicreid (Chris Reid) hosts Cosmic Reid's Starlight Café on @beourguestmike's (Mike Rahlmann of the Be Our Guest Podcast) Magical Mouse Radio. Even though he's only had two shows so far, it's a great thing to listen to on a Monday around lunchtime. Last but not least, @progresscityusa (Michael Crawford) can be found thanking the Phonecians on Twitter and at Progress City, USA.


  1. Ha ha! It's always good to Thank the Phonecians!! Especially for something like twitter.

    Great summary of this incredible social media tool. I really do think it's changed the Disney community immensely.

  2. I remember reading about your tweets while you were on vaca! It's half the reason I joined Twitter in the first place.

    -Michele (@MyMuse18)

  3. Thanks so much for the nice mention!! I'm honored to be a part of such a great community and so thankful for all the wonderful friends I've met that way. :)