Disneyland Social Clubs: Who are They?

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disneyland social club earsDisneyland has such an interesting and unique culture that is not found at any other Disney park around the world (well, maybe Tokyo). Having a Disneyland Annual Pass is like being in a club all its own, and Disneyland fandom is very strong on the West Coast. The creation of social media has made it easier to connect with people with this same passion. With the mix of passionate Disneyland fans and social media came social clubs. There have been a ton of articles written about social clubs lately but I am here to give you the quick facts, the history, and some insight on who and what social clubs are.

So, What Exactly are Disneyland Social Clubs?

  • Disneyland social clubs are an organized group of fans that gather together to share their love all things Disney. Social clubs have their own unique attire, to separate themselves from other Disneyland visitors.  Each club has their own guidelines and steps for members to follow before joining. All social clubs names reflect something Disney related and have a certain part of Disneyland they enjoy spending time at the most.

Disneyland Local
Disneyland locals were the socials clubs of the late 90’s. Picture from the documentary The Disneyland Locals.

When Did Social Clubs Start?

  • Groups like social clubs have been around for about 15 years or so but they were totally different in nature. Back in the late 90’s,  there was a large influx of teens that started to get Disneyland Annual Passes, and they would come into Disneyland in huge groups. Many of these teens would come to Disneyland, cause trouble around the park (vandalizing attractions), and not follow by Disneyland’s code of conduct. These rebellious groups of teens were known as the Disneyland locals. A few years after the Disneyland local teens started to take over, Disneyland started to crackdown hard on them. Eventually Disneyland cleared the park of these rambunctious teens. Fast-forward to 2011 , when Instagram started to become really popular, and social clubs started popping up around Disneyland. However, the huge difference between the Disneyland locals and social clubs is that social clubs do not vandalize and they follow Disneyland’s code of conduct. Social clubs have a deep respect for Disneyland and its guests. Social clubs just want to share their passion for Disney but do it in a rather unique way.

What Makes Them Different From Any Other Disneyland Fan?

  • What really makes social clubs standout is their attire. All Disneyland social clubs wear short sleeve, jean vests, that are embroidered with their social clubs’ name and their favorite Disney character. Also, to be a part of a social club there is a process that you must follow to officially join. This process is done through social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) and group meet-ups.

    Neverlanders Vest
    Example of what social clubs’ jean vest look like. Picture from Neverlanders blog.

How Many “Social Clubs” are There?

There are many social clubs but here is a list of the most popular ones:

  • Main Street Elite
  • Neverlanders
  • The Hitchhickers
  • Mickey’s Little Monsters
  • Sons of Anakin

Why are Social Clubs Such a Hot Topic?

  • There are two reasons why social clubs have been such a hot topic lately: social media exposure and the debate about whether they are “gangs” or not. With social media, it is easier to spread the word and that is what social clubs have done very well. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are their social media tools of choice, and they have been getting a lot of buzz because of it. There is a debate going on, in the Disney fan community, on whether social clubs are “gangs” or just a group of hardcore fans that show their love in a unique way.  There have also been numerous articles written about social groups using the term “Disneyland Gang” to describe them, which has not helped their image.

No matter what side you fall on with social clubs, we all have two things in common: we love Disney and want to share our passion with others. Either you do it with a  patched up,  jean vest or wearing Mickey ears with your family. We all just want to have fun, be safe, and create memories.

Fireworks Over Sleeping Beauty Castle
Photo – Tom Bricker

 

Ray

Growing up Southern California, it was hard for Ray not want to go to Disneyland everyday. He was a passholder for over 10 years until he left to teach English in Korea and now lives in Seattle. Even though he lives in the Pacific Northwest, he always has Disney on the mind. Ray is channeling his Disney passion to write for TouringPlans.

8 thoughts on “Disneyland Social Clubs: Who are They?

  • July 17, 2014 at 4:57 pm
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    This is a real thing. wow.

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  • July 17, 2014 at 7:34 pm
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    Is this not going on in Florida too?

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    • July 18, 2014 at 1:22 am
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      Not that I heard of. During my research, I’ve only read about social clubs being a Disneyland thing.

      Reply
  • July 18, 2014 at 3:57 am
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    This is a quality site with useful information. Please stick to your high standards and at least edit blogs before posting. This is a poorly-written piece with many grammatical and punctuation errors. It is also short on useful information. In my humble opinion, I preferred the days when you had a few writers who all were masters of their craft.

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    • July 18, 2014 at 5:47 pm
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      I’m sorry, but you should be ashamed of yourself! In what world is public castigation and humiliation appropriate? I would suggest changing your username from DisneyDad to DisneyDud!

      Reply
    • July 19, 2014 at 9:34 am
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      I completely agree with Andrea. This is a happy site that I love to visit to read up on all things Disney. I also love(d) the fact that comments were positive and informative, sometimes as much fun to read as the article. Not every article is going to contain “useful” information, and I found this particular piece very entertaining. I had no idea there were Disneyland social clubs.

      Please refrain from making nasty remarks and keep this site magical.

      Reply
  • July 19, 2014 at 7:04 pm
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    ” All Disneyland social clubs wear short sleeve, jean vests, that are embroidered with their social clubs’ name and their favorite Disney character.”

    ALL of them? That’s an over-simplification. I’m aware of Disneyland social clubs that do wear specific attire, but do not at all embrace the fashion sense of the denim-clad groups.

    Reply
  • October 5, 2019 at 6:23 pm
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    I was a member of a SC and I can tell you don’t join then. It’s a lot of drama feels like your back in high school. Also the white rabbits get mad if you don’t. Wave at them the founder Jake thinks he’s the sheriff of all clubs. If you don’t play by his rules they black list you and everyone will stop talking to you & and talk behind your Back. It’s not worth it

    Reply

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