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Go to Disney Parks for Free Any Day of the Week—the Streamer Army Will Take You | Frommer's YouTube: Theme Park Steve

Go to Disney Parks for Free Any Day of the Week—the Streamer Army Will Take You

Some Disney fans broadcast live streams of the rides and shows of Walt Disney World or Disneyland for hours every day. Here are a dozen of the best ones on YouTube.

This week, a staggering new price increase took effect at Walt Disney World in Florida. Now if you want to spend a single day at the world's most popular theme park, Magic Kingdom, it could cost you nearly $200 for the ticket alone.

It's no wonder our Frommer's guide book to Walt Disney World is so popular and has won industry awards: People simply need help seeing Disney.

But now there's also anther way to see the the Disney parks—for free.

The robust free Wi-Fi signal at Disney parks, combined with the new power of smartphones to capture low-light images, has given rise to a new genre of YouTuber and TikTokker. They're the live streamers, and they have made a cottage business out of carrying motion-stabilized cameras through the parks for as long as six hours at a time.

As they banter with their viewers and take requests through an onscreen chat message box, they transmit their adventures on the rides, at the shows, and under the nightly fireworks spectaculars. All you have to do to follow along is click. 

Disney streamers are like street buskers; they do it for the tips. A few of them have grown such large followings that they even have their own themed merchandise, and regular advertisers, or sponsors. All of them will incessantly beg you to "hit that Like button," because in the social media world, a like is a currency that translates into more prominent promotion by the platform, which translates into a better living.

You might ask if live streamers are disruptive to fellow guests, and the answer, increasingly, is yes. Although there are many types of influencers and not all of them are guilty of intrusive behavior, some Disney regulars in the U.S. are growing so hostile to vloggers' cameras that they are sharing new ways to sabotage their filming.

Disney, too, is growing frustrated with the reckless ones. In September, the company that operates Tokyo Disneyland banned "public transmission or recording of any kind that may inconvenience other guests," and as of December, visitors to Florida's Space Mountain are no longer allowed to hold their phones in their hands to film their rides. Some indoor rides defy live streaming anyway, because large structures can interrupt phone signals.

Watching a Disney streamer can be a way to vicariously scratch the itch to go to Disney but without having to pony up huge sums for tickets, hotel rooms, and parking. And if riding Pirates of the Caribbean via a smartphone saves you enough money to take a real trip to the actual Caribbean—well, I'm all for it. 

Most streamers make a point of being among the first to broadcast the coolest new additions of the day. They buy tickets to the special themed parties, they scope out the new character appearances, they trawl the souvenir shops to highlight the latest merchandise releases, and they might even try the newest dishes on the menus for you. They often see themselves as performing specifically for their groups of regular viewers—many of them often refer to themselves during streams as "we" instead of "I."

The streamer you choose will depend a lot on how you respond to the personality behind the lens. Some of them spend a lot of time getting to know their fans and discussing their lives, or they might pass long stretches eating meals on camera. Others try to keep the monologues to a minimum and make sure to frequently place the camera in postcard-pretty locations so you can simply soak up the atmosphere.

The easiest way to watch them is using the YouTube app on a smart TV, if you have one. Just subscribe to the accounts you like, and when they're live, their transmissions will appear in your Subscriptions tab, where the completed recent broadcasts are also usually archived for later viewing. But viewers who want to be able to communicate, send requests, or give tips will have to watch on a smartphone or laptop that enables the chat function.   

There are many more, but here are some of the best players—while Disney still allows them—in alphabetical order. I've made a few notes on my top favorites, which are the ones who spend the most time filming attractions instead of friends, giving you the sense of travel. The best choices don't usually talk during rides or exhibit much other rude behavior, so you'll have somewhere to start.

The accounts marked with an asterisk usually broadcast in 1080p, a high resolution level that looks good on a large screen like a TV.

Attractions Live*
19.1K subscribers
Home resort: Disneyland
A former Disneyland cast member, Christine spends most of her streams chatting to regular viewers and power walking through the parks, but not riding much.

Becky Plus Eli*
41.6K subscribers
Home resort: Disneyland
This couple is full of personality—you’ll probably also meet some fans or friends (the “B plus E Family”) who approach them during their broadcasts. Becky’s fingernails are always amazing.

Cory Meets World
45.7K subscribers
Home resort: Walt Disney World
Cory interviews Imagineers, chats with friends, and hangs out during meals on camera. He has a devoted fan base that helps him raise money for the respected Give Kids the World charity, which enables children with medical issues to visit the Orlando theme parks.

Ear to Ear Magic
26.5K subscribers
Home resort: Walt Disney World

6.5K subscribers
Home resort: Walt Disney World
A friendly face and easygoing manner, witih a special focus on new food offerings.

7.1K subscribers
Home resort: Walt Disney World

Living in DIZ*
12.7K subscribers
Home resort: Walt Disney World
One of the most commercial enterprises, with ads, sponsorships, and its own lingo ("Happy WednesDIZ!").

Mouse Talk
16.8K subscribers
Home resort: Walt Disney World

OneLittleSpark JL*
13.3K subscribers
Home resort: Walt Disney World

11.2K subscribers
Home resort: Walt Disney World
This young couple uses some of the most upgraded equipment available, enabling the two of them to host streams from multiple locations at the same time.

That Crazy Disney Lady
34.2K subscribers
Home resort: Walt Disney World

Theme Park Steve* (pictured above)
203K subscribers
Home resort: Disneyland
Steve favors streams of 3–4 hours, especially for fireworks and new merchandise alerts. He's always working in service of his viewers (“I hope you’re all enjoying this livestream I’ve got for you tonight!”) and his gentle touch is comforting. 

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