Uploading Full Ride POVs to YouTube

February 15, 2023, 4:54 PM

Hi! I’ve been running a theme park YouTube channel for just over a month now. I’m still a relatively new YouTuber. My channel is Maxic Kingdom, which can be accessed via YouTube.com/@MaxicKingdom. I’ve been wondering, I have been documenting theme park trips, but would I need to ask Disney, Universal, and other theme parks permission to upload full POV videos of their rides onto my YouTube channel?

Replies (6)

February 15, 2023, 5:02 PM

If you violate park rules to create a POV, or you film something that is copyrighted, parks can - and have - issued takedown notices, copyright strikes or claimed revenue shares over uploaded videos.

And on some attractions, ride ops will stop the ride if they see you with a phone or camera out.

However, given the number of videos already up on YouTube, it's clear that the public's response to all that is, "'tis better to ask for forgiveness than permission."

Edited: February 15, 2023, 6:13 PM

Thank you, Robert! That’s really good information to know and I really appreciate your help! I’ve heard that Universal is generally stricter about it than Disney, which is interesting.

Edited: February 15, 2023, 7:59 PM

In my experience...

-Disney will permit you to film on pretty much anything unless it's entirely screen based or there's a third party IP involved.
-SeaWorld parks will generally allow filming on all attractions with a mounted camera. I've taken my wrist-mounted Akaso on everything at both Florida parks and never had any issues, but others may require chest mounts and/or want to inspect it before you bring it onto rides. Handheld cameras are generally prohibited.
-Universal does not allow cameras on any thrill rides, but may allow filming on some of the tamer rides.
-Cedar Fair and Six Flags have a strict no filming policy on all attractions except for select scenic rides (such as a railroad or observation tower). Filming on attractions at these parks is against park rules and may result in ejection and a trespass ban if caught.
-For other parks, check the website or contact the park before you go to see what their filming policies are. In my experience, they mostly range from "mounted cameras ok with approval" to "no cameras on rides period."
-If you film a POV video that did not break any park rules, it is usually completely okay to use it for personal use without any additional permissions, which would include uploading it to a YouTube channel. However, if the video is being used for commercial purposes and/or was obtained illegally, you may encounter trouble.
-Whatever you do, NEVER take a camera onto a ride that is not secured to your body in some way. Loose articles are the most common cause of rider injuries on thrill rides, and this is the reason parks are starting to employ mandatory lockers and metal detectors on more extreme thrill rides. If a ride goes faster than walking speed or has any sort of dynamic motion, it is dangerous to attempt any sort of photography with an unsecured camera.

Edited: February 15, 2023, 6:58 PM

Thank you, AJ. That’s really helpful and good to know.

I really appreciate all the help and advice from everyone on TPI and thought I would ask experts to be sure!

February 16, 2023, 7:49 AM

I think it's really important to be up front with parks if you want to film on-ride POVs. Busch Gardens/Sea World has made it easy by having a pretty open policy as AJ noted - show an ambassador the equipment you plan to use at the beginning of the day, and if they approve, you're good to go. Other parks can be really picky about filming, particularly Six Flags and Cedar Fair where they will only allow you to use cameras physically mounted to the trains in order to create POVs.

As AJ notes, Disney attractions have pretty much become a free for all, but there are certain rides where there is a distinct announcement to not perform any photography or videography. Unfortunately, because Disney's rides are highly themed, those announcements are typically performed in the context of the attraction's theme, so the prohibition might not be crystal clear, i.e. there's an announcement during the preshow of GotG:CR that references recording devices, but never uses the words "camera" or "phone". I wanted to capture the transporter effect during the preshow, and this warning caused me to put my camera away - it's most like due to contracts with the actors who are paid a flat fee for their performance instead of a per showing rate that is often negotiated for residuals.

As AJ notes, on-ride cameras should ALWAYS be mounted in some way, and not free-held (even with a safety tether).

February 20, 2023, 4:12 PM

Thank you, Russell! I’ll be sure to contact the park/ ask an ambassador before uploading a POV. That’s a really smart idea.

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