If you're reading this blog, chances are you have a Disney side to yourself. And now you can more readily share it with others.
Each year, the Disney Parks launch a marketing campaign that is carried through in national advertising and in the parks. Last year, guests were invited to experience "Limited Time Magic" -- special offerings in the theme parks that were only available for a short period. Several years ago, it was the "Year of a Million Dreams," which actually was extended to a second year. That campaign empowered cast members to give visitors daily surprises that ran the gamut from simple to almost unbelievable, with the most coveted being an overnight stay in the Cinderella Castle Suite each day.
So, what magical campaign is taking place this year?
If you're the least bit social-media savvy, then you already know that the 2014 campaign is "Show Your Disney Side." We started hearing about the new promotion in the fall when Social Media Director Thomas Smith announced it on the Disney Parks Blog. He said that a person's "Disney Side" is "the side of you that says 'yes' more often, laughs louder and lives life to the fullest. It's the side of you that embraces fun and comes out to play the moment you step through the gates at Disney Parks."
Disney fans are invited to share their "Disney Side" on social media platforms using the hashtag #DisneySide. (Walt Disney World has official channels on Twitter, Vine, Instagram, Google+ and Facebook.) And you can see others' images and videos at DisneySide.com.
The worldwide launch of "Show Your Disney Side" took place in November at Disneyland with a group of "all-star" bloggers -- those with some of the biggest followings and most memorable moments on social media -- who were invited to create "Disney Side" content for social media channels. Happiest Selfie on Earth, anyone? How about a look at what the creator of The Grumpy Cat videos can create at Disneyland?
Now, #DisneySide is making a concentrated splash again on social media because hosts of the Disney Side Home Celebrations have been notified and they are talking and tweeting up a storm. Families were invited to apply (through Jan. 5) to host at-home Disney parties during the last two weeks of February. To accomplish this, hosts receive a box of goodies for at least 10 parents and 10 children. The package that includes party favors, decorations, games, activities, recipe ideas and a special hostess gift. In exchange for taking part, winners agree to share their experiences online and offline.
Marketing a product via home parties is not a new concept, by any means, but it's been a while since Disney has used the technique. Clearly, the strategy is a great fit with social-media moms. How could they resist posting photos and showing off their Disney sides?
Although I haven't hosted a Disney-themed home party like this, I have enjoyed doing so with another kid-friendly brand that also was promoting its uniqueness with a crafting-party theme. It was a fun and special activity for my daughter and I, and I'm certain Disney's efforts will bring a lot of smiles and memories, as well.
Just because you may have missed out on the party promotion doesn't mean you can't show your love of all things Disney. For fans of the parks, the website is a fun one to explore. And with a little creativity, you even can make it a fun family event with the kids, too.
At the DisneySide.com site, you can upload your Disney-themed photos and videos for the world to admire. They can be vacation photos, of course, or staged ones, too. And the more over-the-top, the better your visual media might seem.
You can, of course, plan your Disney park visits at the website, too, and learn more about all the parks offer. Locals here in Orlando and other annual-pass fans might instinctually skip this section, but don't be so quick. After all, you might get reacquainted with some park attractions you haven't visited in awhile. And kids especially can have fun exploring at this part of the site if you have a weekend visit planned.
Finally, choose the “Reveal Your Disney Side” at the bottom left of the page. There you will find a fun quiz that will, in theory, reveal your true Disney side.
The previous post in this blog was Disney's 'Frozen' is being adapted for Broadway, Iger confirms.
The next post in this blog is Shamu Up Close attraction debuts at SeaWorld Orlando, giving visitors an inside look at orcas' training and care.