Booking a trip to Walt Disney World is like signing up for a marathon. It requires training, strategizing, and choices…lots of choices.
Since the opening of Magic Kingdom in 1971, Disney has worked to expand the Orlando location to include multiple parks, resorts, and experiences for their guests. In this way, they have made it possible to take trips to Disney that are unique to individual’s preferences.
Most visitors of Disney World dream of their next vacation there as soon as they head back home, and a small group of visitors decide to make it part of their career. Some may call it “working for the mouse.”
In speaking with three individuals who did that, it became clear that combining the growing job of influencing on social media with the creation of regular content centered on theme parks is both a viable option and an enjoyable path. Though these influencers are unique in their backgrounds and content, they share an affinity for Disney and influential platforms on social media, emphasizing that perspective matters.
Through the past years and evolution of social media, there’s been a drastic growth of influencers who utilize their following and employ marketing strategies to gain brand deals and promote products. Alexis Haynes works two jobs while growing her social media on the side, creating beauty, lifestyle and travel TikToks.
Speaking with Alexis, it became clear that growing her following on Instagram and TikTok is a passion project. She includes bits of her daily life into her social media, sharing personal stories with her followers.
“I used to think, ‘Well, why would someone want to see me do the exact same thing?” she said. “But I’m someone completely different with a completely different take on things. I look completely different, I have different opinions. … And if everyone had the same thought we will never have influencers and we will never have different creators.”
As a creator, Alexis doesn’t rely on flashy editing or dramatized content to gain attention. What stands out most about her videos is her personality. Reading the comments on a recent TikTok, one user commented “You have very high best friend vibes.”
This personal approach to filming content has gained Alexis attention on the app, and she is intent on making even more videos in the future.
As Alexis’ social media continues to grow, she hopes to expand the content she makes. In a recent trip to Disney World she captured content in the parks and while getting ready at her resort.
“It’s something I really want to continue forward with. And I’m hoping this time next year, I’ll have an annual pass,” she said. “I’m hoping once I get back and go a lot more often I’ll do outfit videos and get ready with me videos, which are really fun and just different videos regarding Disney. And I think hopefully in the future I could get a Disney collaboration. That’s my ultimate dream,” she said.
Courtney Callicutt works from home, though her job brings people to the parks. She is a travel agent specializing in trips to Disney World. As a result, Courtney’s social media reflects the joyful experiences she coordinates for her clients. As an agent with the Mini Mouse Counselors and a mother of two, she is an expert at planning for long family park days.
“If you want to book it and have the knowledge bases you need, you need to travel there, and you need to experience it yourself,” she said.
Courtney travels to the parks for the experience of new attractions and events she can be knowledgeable of, and to capture content for her social media. Her strategy for gaining clients is tied to the audience she has on Instagram.
“The bulk of my bookings come from my social media, and you book where you show. I travel a lot and as a result, and sometimes I travel with girlfriends and sometimes I travel with just my husband, and sometimes I travel with my children,” she said.
Of her media-heavy job, Courtney says “I have to be careful on family trips, balancing things, it’s a lot easier when the Minnie Mouse counselors are traveling together because we’re all focused on creating content. And we’re all focused on creating stories, creating slides, creating reels.”
With a business-forward approach, Courtney’s perspective shows how a working mother can use a passion for Disney to help others in the same position.
For Kate Juneau, the path to Disney wasn’t chosen; she was pretty much born into it.
“I’ve just always loved Disney. I mean, from my existence, I came home from the hospital in a Disney blanket. My nursery was Disney. So that’s truly where I got my Disney start,” she said.
As far as her Instagram relationship with Disney content, Kate was on the front end of the trend when Instagram pages were first gaining momentum. At the time, she lived in Hawaii and captured content of Disney’s Aulani resort.
Now she lives in Orlando and visits the parks often. When she does, Kate utilizes Instagram stories and reels to show new merchandise, rides, and attractions. In documenting these things, she follows an organic approach.
“I have fun with it because I really truly share what I want to share and I don’t necessarily feel obligated to, you know, promote something or do something that I don’t necessarily want to do,” she said.
According to Kate, she lives her life and documents it, showing her trips to the Disney parks and anything interesting. “It has always just been an extension of daily life for me,” she said.
There is no one way to document Disney, clearly. Across the wide array of social media options, individuals with a passion for Disney World bottle it up into bits that their followers enjoy. While they enjoy creating content, it is also a business venture in some aspects, and can add extra stress to a trip to the parks.
Within the realm of the “Disney Influencer”, many different approaches to business and social media are present. In speaking with several passionate content creators, it became clear that social media platforms enable individuals to share what they love, and get noticed because of it.
People want to see what other people are interested in, and where they’re having fun. As evidenced by these influencers, it’s possible to work for the mouse without being an official Disney cast member.