As a general rule of thumb here on Guide4WDW.com, we typically take every necessary step in order to develop completely transparent reviews, commentary, and many other aspects of what we share here on the site. Everything is completely our own opinion, but we do have certain endorsements, kickbacks and other compensation along the way. While we always state that your use of certain things, products, or services we advertise does help us out with the site upkeep, it is also a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guideline concerning endorsements and testimonials as well. We intend to offer full disclosure of anything we advertise here on the site and will continue to do so.
While we make very little money off of the site and fund our Disney travels almost entirely on our own (unless stated otherwise for media events, etc.), we do use advertising to cover site upkeep costs and offer external services to our readers. Here’s a closer look at all of the current advertising options featured on the site:
As with many internet based blogs and informational websites, we do on occasion use affiliate links. An affiliate link is essentially a link or banner to a given product/s that provides us a very small percentage monetary kick-back if an item is purchased through our link or a banner of ours is clicked on and engaged with.
As a small part of our website earrings, we are partnered with the Amazon Associates program. In the program, any product we link in a native banner (product image in a banner) that is bought by one of our readers, we receive a small percentage kick-back from the purchase (Typically less that 5-8%).
Another program we utilize is an ad platform called media.net. The program itself serves a similar purpose. As readers click these banners, we receive a very small commission (typically pennies) from the click. Trust me, we’re not making much off of these ads but it also helps keep the site alive and pays a small percentage of our upkeep costs, domain costs, etc. Honestly, we make very little off of these advertising platforms and essentially use to minimize out of pocket expenses whenever possible. These links do not affect the cost of anything you buy from the links in any way. We do also use google adsense in addition to media.net advertising services in a similar way.
A program we currently use but do not receive compensation for is a partnership with the DVC Resale Market.
Another affiliate of ours is The Official Ticket Center. For any purchases made through our affiliate banner and links found throughout the site (seen below), we do receive compensation for any purchases made. Of course, the Official Ticket Center is a Disney Authorized Ticket Reseller.
Travel Agency Partner:
In a quite similar way to our affiliate links and banners, we are affiliated with the Destinations to Travel travel planning organization. As an affiliate of theirs, we can offer a travel planning service to our readers that we do not personally play a role in, but can offer to our readers at no additional cost to them. Of course, vacations are not free, but booking through our friends at Destinations to Travel will not add any additional costs to your Disney booking experience. They do not charge their customers to utilize their service and operate on a similar kickback structure for bookings.
If a reader books a vacation through this travel organization, we do receive a monetary percentage commission as a result of the vacation planning referral based on the cost of the overall sale. In addition, this service allows us to take part in many events the organization is invited to participate in by other companies, but in those cases we will state so in the review or informational article. Pictures from events that can be taken by the general public will not likely be disclosed as “taken at a media event” because these are open and public guest areas. If we continue to talk about a strictly invite or free to us event, we will explain so in the context of the article itself. (example banners are listed below)
We recommend this group because it is the only travel agency we have used. We had a great experience with them trying something new not too long ago and we truly appreciate their approach to travel planning and helping guests. It’s a great fit for our site and a very family friendly organization. Update: December 7th, 2017 – We continue to use their services and have recently booked an additional vacation through them. They have also create a guest loyalty program that is not exclusive to us but it is something we promote due to the added benefits it may bring to your vacation experience, as described in their informational flier below:
As mentioned above, Disney and other companies that may be written about on this site do on rare occasions offer media events at no cost or a discounted cost to members of the media (sometimes including us). In those rare cases, it will be stated that the review or description was a part of a media related event hosted by the given organization/company. We are blessed to be invited to a few rare events, but our reviews of experiences will always remain unbiased, open, and honest in every case. As one of the many perks of not being associated or affiliated with the Disney company directly in any way, we can be completely honest in our reviews despite the circumstance and who payed for what. Again, we still pay for an overwhelming majority of our dining, resort accommodations, flights, and any other travel expenses out of pocket with money unrelated to this site’s operation. We really just love the Disney parks! Occasionally, Disney and other groups will provide items at these events exclusively to media that may or may not be available to daily guests but it is a tough regulation to explain under FTC guidelines.
With the rare exception of media events, all dining, resorts, and theme park related reviews are as a result of out of pocket expenses rather that any type of promoted activity. We will not review anything that has been given to us any differently that if we bought it ourselves. We have been given promotional items for review, but all opinions stated in those articles are our own and we will tell you if the product is or isn’t worth your time and money.
Media Rates/Free Tickets:
Disney does not currently offer any discounts to media regarding tickets, dining, resort accommodations, or other costs on Disney property. We pay what everyone else pays in every way with one sole exception. On one chosen day of the year, Disney offers media, (of a certain standing and qualification) on a per application basis, two one day park hopper theme park tickets at no cost to our site or other sites promoting and regarding their parks. We have used this service one time and it was an outstanding way to get a few extra pictures from the trip and a great way to avoid using personal vacation time for website related activities (even though we often use our park time for that as well when it is paid for by us). The passes are provided at no cost to us and must be used by two different individuals within a set timeframe of dates. It is a far stretch from “covering” our costs of admission for the Disney parks each year, and we do return many times throughout the year paying the exact same rates as all other guests. Either way, having one day reserved for strictly media related photography and preparations is a great offering (and the only real offering) available to the media provided by Disney at this time.
With all of that being said, feel free to link this site at any time and feel free to share any photos on the site for non-comemercial use crediting us as the original creator of the images. If you would like to use our photos/articles for commercial use, feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org to contact Collin directly.