With all the craziness going on in the world right now, it’s easy to get caught up in the neverending news cycle. This is especially true for people who have Disney vacations already planned. This is a truly unprecedented situation none of us have gone through before. Naturally it’s easy to wonder and speculate as to how Disney (and all theme parks/tourist areas) will handle this pandemic. The biggest piece of news to come out of this pandemic is the obvious Disney park closures. It’s never happened before, and naturally people can’t wait to see when they’ll open again.
However, in the past few weeks, a LOT of misinformation has come about as well. Misinformation comes out due to many different reasons. Most people are genuinely trying to help and think the information they have is legitimate. Some people are just trying to create flashy clickbait to enhance their site traffic. Finally, some people just want to watch the world burn, and think it’s entertaining to watch the internet scramble around rumors surrounding Disney.
To help combat this, I put together a tiny guide on how to filter out all this information to find info that is TRULY helpful and accurate. Remember, NO ONE knows how this is going to play out, not even the experts. News changes day to day. This guide is meant to help you determine what is real and what is not. This way you can stay informed without the headache of having to track down sources or determine if the news you’re reading is legitimate!
**this post contains affiliate links! This means I may receive financial compensation for my recommendations. Please see my disclaimer for more information!**
As far as I’m concerned, Facebook is the absolute WORST place to get accurate information on ANYTHING. This is simply because there are so many people on there sharing so many stories and different sources. Facebook is also notoriously bad at weeding out fake news. While they have gotten better, there is still a lot of work for them to do in order to truly determine what is real and what is not. While I love Disney planning groups, I have seen SO much false information sprout up in these groups the past month! One person posts a story, someone else shares it, someone else piggybacks off of that – and away we go.
If you’re looking for updates on Disney regarding COVID, stay away from Facebook. For most other cases, it’s helpful – say, for example, you wanted a review of a restaurant. Then it’s a GREAT place to get information from real people and start a discussion. As far as spreading news goes – there’s far more reliable places out there.
Twitter is, unfortunately, just a step up from Facebook in terms of how accurate and reliable it is. The groups spreading misinformation on this site are a little different. Most information gets posted on Twitter because a highly followed “Disney Influencer” or someone claiming to be a cast member will post something, and it gets retweeted (or shared) out of control until it takes on a life of its own.
Thankfully, people who use Twitter tend to be more tech savvy for whatever reason, and I’ve found through experience that most of the time, people will comment and take the time to debunk claims, making it easier to spot misinformation. This obviously is not the case for ALL false tweets that go out there (and it’s also true that on Facebook, many people will call out a fake story if they see it) but that seems to be the common trend. On both Facebook AND Twitter, people are eager to get information out and share it with people if they think it’s true, and are all too quick to share or retweet without checking sometimes.
Credible Sources vs. Non-Credible Sources
As you probably gathered from my first two entries on this post, common social media platforms are usually NOT a good way to stay up to date on Disney parks news regarding COVID. Not only is it difficult to get true information, it creates a problem for people who are looking for legitimate sources because they have to weed out the bad articles. Also, could you imagine being a cast member and having no idea when you’ll return to work, and seeing all the misinformation flying around Facebook? I’d be livid!
So how do you know if a source is credible or not??
Non-Credible: Social Media, Disney Blogs, Disney Influencers
The bottom line is this – if it doesn’t come straight from Disney, it’s not a confirmed piece of information. As I said before, I think that the majority of people who are sharing information are truly trying to help. They’re trying to be realistic and help people who are in a tough situation. However, just because you heard something from someone who heard from someone who CLAIMS to work for Disney, doesn’t make it true. Unless your favorite Disney Instagrammer actually WORKS in Disney’s corporate office (and I cannot think of anyone off the top of my head who does) the information they are giving you, while probably good intentioned, is NOT true unless confirmed by Disney.
Same goes for Disney blogs – yes, even this blog! Every time I write an article I make sure I am doing my fact checking. This means cross referencing things with Disney media and news outlets. However, I can’t say the same for all my fellow bloggers out there. Some people will take a story and run with it, and just like with tabloids, “an inside source” is not a REAL source.
Remember that the driving force behind some people’s desires to write outlandish, untrue articles is clickbait. They WANT you to click the article and bring traffic to the site. Even if you click the article and the article starts off by saying “Well, actually, none of that is true” it’s still clickbait, because it got you to CLICK and travel to the site. However, the mother of 3 on Facebook just saw the headline, shared it, and didn’t bother to read it. So now false information is swirling around the Disney mom groups!
Credible Sources: Official Disney news sites, Disney Social Media accounts
It may feel like finding real information in a sea of misinformation is nearly impossible in times like these. However, there are plenty of places to keep up to date on Disney news and KNOW it’s coming straight from Mickey’s mouth. For one, you can check out wdwnews.com or the Disney Parks blog. These are OFFICIAL news releases from Disney, and where I get the majority of media for my posts. The majority of major news outlets will also be covering Disney’s reopening when the time comes, like CNN. If you see it on there, it’s fairly likely that it will contain an official release from Disney, so you know that story is legitimate.
Disney social media accounts are the ONLY social media accounts you should be following for legitimately news. You can tell it is a REAL Disney social media account because it’ll be verified by the platform. For example, the Disney Parks Twitter has a blue checkmark next to it. This means that Disney and Twitter have verified it is a company account. It also means you can trust the news they tweet from this account.
How to Fact Check
Now remember – just because a site has NEWS in the title, doesn’t mean it’s affiliated with Disney. Be sure you’re actually READING all articles you stumble upon, and check what their sources are. A news article is likely NOT confirmed or legitimate if it has any of the following red flags:
- Nondescript language about where they got their information, such as “an inside source” or “Sources close to Disney say” etc.
- No links to Disney news articles or press releases to confirm their claims
- A disclaimer stating that they are not affiliated with Disney. While that doesn’t necessarily mean the information is inaccurate (I’m not affiliated with Disney either!) it DOES mean that they do not have a working relationship with Disney. Therefore you should be checking to make sure they have sources for their articles.
- An outlandish title or description. This is likely clickbait, and the wild title is meant to draw you in and will probably be full of misinformation – if it even has any information at all.
I know what you may be thinking – this sounds almost like doing a research paper for school! In a way, consuming news IS very much like that. You have to always be weary of the source and the intentions behind the spread of news. It’s sad that we live in an age where we have to do that. However, in order to get the best information, it’s necessary.
Now you know how to weed out bad information about Disney vs. helpful, confirmed information in regards to Disney parks and their closure due to COVID-19. How are you staying positive with Disney activities at home while in the midst of this pandemic? Let me know in the comments below! And if you’re planning a few trip for when Disney reopens, be sure to check out my favorite Disney planning guide – The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World. They have everything you need to plan the most magical trip!
Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter while you’re here! You’ll get my FREE WDW Planning Checklist AND a newsletter each Sunday covering Disney news of the week. And yes, only CONFIRMED Disney news makes it in the newsletter!