Disneyland 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.
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.
How Many “Social Clubs” are There?
There are many social clubs but here is a list of the most popular ones:
- Main Street Elite
- 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.