Hello folks! Welcome to my blog if you are new. Today’s post is somewhat unique and calls for a different kind of introduction: I have a guest for the first time! Welcome my friend Victoria, or as some may know her, PixieDustandPlanes.
Since this is a hot-button/popular topic right now, I want to preface this entry by saying that I do not wish to start any drama, nor do I wish to belittle or insult anyone involved in this project. I know a few people involved (albeit not well) and do not want to be talking behind their backs or speak ill of perfectly wonderful people. But, I started this blog to have an outlet to discuss Disney-related topics and write about my opinions, and this fits that criteria.
Some of you (well, probably most of you by now) have probably heard of something called DisFlix. While the exact details have yet to be released, so far what we know is that some social media personalities, dubbing themselves “Disney influencers” have started a $10/month subscription service to distribute their content. From what I know right now, that content includes live streams, videos, classes (can they hit me up with that college credit though?), exclusive merchandise (not to be shady, but I’m honestly unsure as to what that means in this context), and other exclusive content. This content is created by creators who already have existent instagram, twitter, youtube, or tumblr pages dedicated to all affairs Disney. Some of these creators are actually cast members.
Now, I am not one to put down my peers’ efforts, even the more adventurous ones. I admire the dedication that it takes to frequently upload content– I am an instagrammer myself, and have been fairly active for a few years. I’ve met some of my nearest and dearest friends due to the Disney social media community, but I have also seen some very ugly sides of people caused by how superior being social media “famous” can make them feel. I’ve seen grown people put down preteens for being “basic disneygrammers”, seen people openly make fun of how others choose to dress, edit their photos, and I’ve seen young adults attempt to become closer to popular social media figures and cast members in order to climb the social media ladder. I, myself, can admit to being less kind than I could have been in certain situations, or stressed over small things that meant nothing outside of the Disney bubble. All of this is to say, we do not need a reason for people to be uglier to one another under the guise of meaningless, social media popularity.
Disflix is something that I can easily see, and already see, becoming a frenzy of that sort. It is a popularity contest, however unintentionally, because it directly will add to the idea that some people’s content is worth paying for and some are not. This can lead to those who are less experienced being further belittled, or their content not being appreciated because they are not a part of this group. Let’s be honest. Elitist behaviour and conceptions lead to feeling bad about yourself if you are not a part of that select group. For example, my honest reaction to the announcement, after my initial “this is silly” thought, was “why was I not asked to do this?”. I even went and looked up some of these people to see who they were and how many followers they had. Some have less than me, some have more. I say this not to make myself seem better than those who have less people following them, but rather to demonstrate how it feels to see this happening as someone from within the Disney social media community/bubble. I began to wonder if it was because I was not friends with people as “popular” as them, if it was because I stay more low key, or anything along those lines. I wondered what was wrong with ME for not being asked to be involved with this project. I know I am not the only one, not by a long shot.
Now that we have that down, let’s talk about the legalities of this. Now, I am no lawyer. But, I do know that Disney Parks has established rules, and as the owners of private property, Disney can trespass you from all 27,000 acres of their land. One of these established rules is that you cannot film or record anything on their property that would be used for monetary profit. That is to say, if I were to film a movie on Disney property (some of you know this has happened before, but…. anyway) right this second, Disney has every right to escort me off property, revoke my annual pass (while keeping all my money) and make it illegal for me to drive through their gates. This filming is exactly what DisFlix implies, and this consequence is exactly what could very easily happen to every one of them. Further, some of these creators are cast members. This makes it especially sad to me because from what I know of them, they are very sweet, capable, passionate cast members. However, I do know that making a profit off of free admission benefits granted to cast can be a terminable offense in itself, and having that violation in addition to that from which anyone can be trespassed– It creates a perfect storm for losing their job. I sincerely hope that I am somehow wrong about this, that there is a loophole that I missed and these creators found in their 2 year path to this website, but I honestly do not see how there is one.
All of this is not to say that I think those involved with Disflix are completely unaware of these implications. But these implications are why I would never purchase their service. I can watch my favourites on YouTube, see lovely photos my friends take on Instagram, and continue to live my life and post my own content while not making a profit off of being a local, annual passholder, or cast member. If this works out, all the more power to them. I will never tell anyone not to work for money on their terms or how to spend their own money. However, for the reasons listed above and more, I cannot support or even positively promote this attempted brand. I do not think this is a good, or legal use of the supportive Disney community or the Disney name itself.
Now, with my piece being said, let’s see what Victoria has to say.
So I’m a guest blogger of sorts for my good friend’s blog today, visiting from my own blog, PixiedustandPlanes. Here to share my own opinions on today’s topic. Before I begin, I will state right off the bat that I won’t be name dropping or anything shady but simply stating facts and my opinion.
To begin with, when I first heard announcements of the project “Disflix”, I was very curious. It was announced as what the Disney community has been asking for and had been in the making for years now. Two days later, I received the email regarding what the project was. If you didn’t know, it is basically a combination of exclusive livestreams from the Disney Parks, videos from vloggers who are Disney fans, online classes where one can get vacation planning tips and such and where one can buy exclusive merchandise not easily available in the parks. My first thought was “okay this is kind of different. Combining everything all disney fans are doing now all in one place. That’s neat i guess.” So I go to join and then I see a price tag. “Early Bird Access $9.99”
Okay I’m not ready to pay for a service that I’m not entirely sure how it works. Not to mention there are NUMEROUS disney outlets that provide many of these services for free. Since it’s “Disflix”, I assume there is a free trial. There is not.
Now let me address some concerns I have with Disflix. Again, no shadiness. Just stating my facts and opinions. Now to start my first concern when I saw that one could apply to be a Disflix host is that this will cause chaos. In the Disney community there are many many wonderful and kind people who simply want to share their love of disney and make friends who are like them in the community. Then there are those who are in it for the attention and let’s just say not very good reasons. But mostly the Disney community is full of amazing, special and talented people. But there are those who would take advantage of this service. There are some out there who simply want the follower count and want to be popular in the community, especially on instagram and youtube. This could easily become a popularity contest based on just the founding group. All are very beloved and popular in the community for their instagram and the content they share. I am almost certain this was not the intent of the project but this is how it comes off to as me. Also to call oneself a “Disney Influencer” seems to be…..I can’t think of any other word besides conceited. Calling yourself a Disney expert is one thing if you have the credentials but that term seems a bit extra.
Back to the services themselves. There is absolutely no reason in my opinion to pay for services that some of the founding members of this group were originally sharing for free prior to this. However the price tag just concerns me because that’s an early bird price meaning one is to assume that this isn’t the actual price and that it will go up shortly. Now I’m not saying the content isn’t worth paying for but myself personally would not pay for it. I will say this content seems to be more going for people planning future disney vacations,which again does not make much sense to me since Disney provides that service for free as well. Now if you wish to pay for it, feel free. It’s your money and you can choose to spend it however you choose. Now I don’t need to go into my legal concerns since my gracious host has pretty much explained my same notions on the matter.
Personally if the site was free or at least offered a free trial , there would still be the issue of vloggers, youtubers, instagrammers, etc possibly trying to climb the social media ladder but that’s nothing new in the community. We could all deal with that I’m sure. And I do like that they offer sponsorship programs for businesses who would like to form a relationship with the site.Otherwise I cannot in good conscience support it. I will never tell anyone they should not support anyone trying to venture into a disney themed project but this is just my opinions on it.
Because it feels like this post needs it, here are Victoria and I (and our other friend, Ryan) last summer. (: