We strive for transparency and objectivity, among other things, in the content of our blog. Transparency and objectivity are the reason this page exists. That, and because the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising requires us to have this page.
First things first: you readers should know our little secret…blogging about Disney is one of the last get-rich-quick schemes that really works (right up there with dealing Beanie-Babies and investing in scratch-off lotto tickets), and is a surefire way to become good-looking, endowed with magical powers, and friends with Christopher Walken. If blogging about Disney couldn’t deliver all of these wonderful things, why on earth would there be the ridiculous number of Disney-fan blogs that there are?! (Note to the IRS: the preceding is a joke…except for the Christopher Walken part; we assume he loves this site.)
In actuality, we pay for the vast majority of the experiences you read about here and spend a decent amount of money on operational expenses of this website. Yes, we travel frequently, but almost all of the costs associated with such travel are borne by us. We spend an obscene amount of our own money at Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and the international Disney Parks each year.
That said, here are some items of interest for you readers…
1) Media Events – on rare occasion, we’re invited to media events that aren’t available to the general public; the FTC guidelines are murky as to treatment of these events, but any post we write that comments on and reviews experiences had at a media event we will clearly indicate that said experience discussed involved a media event. It is not uncommon for media attendees to receive various perks and benefits (for free) at these events that are unavailable (or available at a cost) to the general public. When we are writing about our experience at such an event, we’ll disclose what was comped to us.
If we’re simply sharing photos taken at a media event that could have been taken on any ordinary day, we will generally not make such a disclosure, nor is one even conceivably required under even the most expansive reading of the FTC guidelines.
2) Reviews – as is the case with virtually every site on the internet, we receive review copies of movies, games, and books. The reader should assume any of these products that are reviewed here were provided to us for free; a lot of these movies suck, and we’ll certainly let you know when they do!
At various times we may review other things or experiences on the blog, if the product, service, or experience was provided to us complimentary, we will disclose such in the text of the article. If we’re silent as to who footed the bill, we did. (You’ll notice that none of our Disney dining or tour reviews have disclosures…that’s why!)
3) Media Rates – hotels and other travel destinations and experiences sometimes offer discounts to bloggers; occasionally, we receive these discounts. When we do receive these discounts, we are under no obligation to report favorably on any experience that we received at a discounted rate.
Much more frequently, we pay out of pocket for our rooms, usually booking discounts at Walt Disney World for Annual Passholders or Florida residents.
Regardless of who is “footing the bill” for something we write about here, we will always call things as we see them as we strive to remain objective. We’ve panned “bare-bones” Blu-rays and we’ve criticized things we’ve experienced at media events. We plan to continue calling things as we see them as long as this site is in existence.
Websites are expensive. In order to pay for the operational costs of this website and a portion of various expenses, we use ads and affiliate programs.
Ads: We currently run static banner ads and contextual advertising via Google AdSense and AdThrive. Google delivers ads to the vast majority of websites on the internet, so you’re probably familiar with these ads. We do not have control over what ads are delivered through contextual advertising, but you do. Google delivers these ads based upon your known preferences and browsing history (sort of Big Brother-ish, right?). Since this is a Disney fan-site, we have blocked a number of questionable categories of ads from displaying here. Static, paid ads also appear for Be Our Guest Vacations and DVC Rental Store.
Affiliate Programs: Like virtually every website on the internet, some of the shopping links on DisneyTouristBlog.com are referral links. These links track the source of the purchase back to this website through an affiliate program. When you click on one of those links and buy something (including car rentals and hotel rooms from Priceline, Expedia, Hotels.com, etc.; theme park parks from Undercover Tourist, ParkSavers, and Get Away Today; photography equipment and items to pack from Amazon or B&H, etc.), we receive a small commission from the linked site for referring you.
We only link to products and services that we personally use and recommend, and our linkage is not motivated by the prospect of being enriched by some pocket change. If you have a purchase to make, though, we’d really appreciate it if you’d use these links! They don’t affect the price of anything you buy. The only thing they do is help us keep operating the site. And hopefully you do like the site.
Conflicts of Interest
While we take seriously our critical nature and objectivity, it is important to note that The Walt Disney Company has been a client of Tom’s, as he has provided photos to the Company on a strictly freelance basis. To some, this may call into question the actual or perceived impartiality of this site or present a conflict of interest. We contend that it does not, and at no time has Disney had any editorial control, actual or implied, in the content, message, or tone of this site. Still, we disclose this so that you may make an informed decision when reading this site, as you may disagree as to impartiality, in which case you should weigh the opinions presented here accordingly.
Finally, DisneyTouristBlog.com is not an official site of The Walt Disney Company nor is it associated with TWDC in any way. Content on this site is all © Tom Bricker unless otherwise noted. Feel free to link to the site and/or its photos, or to use any of the photos for non-commercial uses.
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