This article's tone or style may not reflect the encyclopedic tone used on Wikipedia. See Wikipedia's guide to writing better articles for suggestions. (January 2024) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
The neutrality of this article is disputed. Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page. Please do not remove this message until conditions to do so are met. (March 2023) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

A Disneyland social club is an organized group of Disneyland fans who express their fandom by wearing matching jackets or vests adorned with back patch designs that are reminiscent of motorcycle clubs.[1] Disneyland social clubs are not considered actual gangs[2][3] even though they borrow certain aesthetic traits of a motorcycle club. The Los Angeles Times described the social club as "harmless alliances of friends and family who meet up at the park to share a nerdy obsession for all things Disney."[4] The OC Weekly called the clubs a "new generation of hardcore Disney fans."

Every club has their membership requirements and guidelines, but are required to follow Disney Parks' rules, including the requirement to cooperate with the Disney cast members, and to be courteous, friendly, and respectful to all park visitors. Some clubs are named after popular Disneyland rides, such as the "Hitchhikers" (named after the hitchhiking ghosts of the Haunted Mansion), and "The Jungle Cruisers" (named after the Jungle Cruise attraction).  Other Disneyland social clubs have more generic names, such as "The Hidden Mickeys," "Walt's Misfits," The "Main Street Elite" (the largest and most visible gang).  

Identifying traits

Each Disneyland social club bears a unique name, usually derived from a Disney franchise (e.g. theme park attractions, movies, TV shows, etc.) and each club has its own leather jacket, jean jacket, varsity letterman jacket, or vest which bears custom-made patches of its mascot, logo, and club name on the back of the jacket.[5] The jacket/vest fronts often feature the member's name and favorite character or attraction, with Disney trading pins.[1]

Group members wearing patches created a style, and other groups quickly copied.[2][3][4] Subsequently, the number of patched Disneyland social clubs grew. By March 2014 there were over 20 social clubs in existence.[6][7][8] Coincidentally, in July 2013, the Disney Channel premiered a Disney Channel Original Movie entitled Teen Beach Movie which featured a group of motorcycle bikers calling themselves "The Rodents Social Club" who wore matching motorcycle jackets emblazoned with their club name and a picture of a mouse.

History

The Neverlanders were founded in October 2012,[9] and are believed to be the first patched social club to wear jackets/vests bearing back patches.[3][6] The Neverlanders is a gang of over 30 members ranging from ages 2 to 63.[6] There was an earlier Disneyland social club formed in 2012, named "The Black Death Crew," which began on March 29, 2012 as a group of friends wearing all-black clothing to Disneyland in Anaheim, California.[2][10]They were followed by The Hitchhikers, which was founded in February of 2013,[3][11] and The Main Street Elite, which was founded in early 2013.[3][12]

By April 2013, the first known reference to Disneyland social club appeared in an Internet forum post called MiceChat.com.[2][13] By the end of 2017, there were more than 100 Disney social clubs founded by Disney Park fans.[14][15]

Controversy

On August 6, 1970, hundreds of Yippies conquered Tom Sawyer Island, climbed the Main Street flag pole, blocked major thoroughfares, got into fights with park guests, security, and police, and forced an early, unexpected closure.[2][16][17][18]

On Sept. 11, 2017, a member of a Disney Social club filed a lawsuit in Orange County Superior Court. The plaintiff John Sarno, who founded the "Main Street Fire Station 55 Social Club," claimed he was bullied and terrorized by members of the "White Rabbits Social Club."[15] Sarno accused its members of cyberbullying, defamation, invasion of medical privacy, infliction of emotional distress, and alleged that their conduct caused his wife Leslee Sarno to lose her job.[15] The lawsuit claimed that John and Leslee Sarno organized a September 11 attacks benefit memorial walk in 2016[4] and that one week before the event, Jakob Fite and four members of the "White Rabbits Social Club" approached the plaintiff and demanded "$500 in protection money."[4][15] Sarno refused to pay the money, and claimed that Fite and others subsequently cyberbullied him by creating malicious rumors on podcasts and social media frequented by other Disneyland social clubs.[4] Sarno's lawsuit also alleged that Fite attempted to make him and his wife appear to be drug addicts by hacking into confidential medical files and publishing the medications that were prescribed to them,[15] which violated their medical confidentiality rights pursuant to HIPAA.[4] Sarno named Kaiser Foundation Health Plan as a defendant in the lawsuit, claiming that Kaiser failed to protect his medical information.[4] Sarno also named Disneyland as a defendant in the lawsuit, because it took “no steps to stop the 'White Rabbits’ malicious conduct.”[15] As a result of this dispute, John Sarno disbanded his social club, and shut down its website. Following the lawsuit, Disneyland declined to permit further memorial walks.[15]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Denim-Clad Gangs Are Descending On Disneyland". Business Insider. Retrieved 2018-02-12.
  2. ^ a b c d e "The Very Merry Un-Gangs of Disneyland". www.ocweekly.com. 27 February 2014. Retrieved 2018-02-11.
  3. ^ a b c d e "FAQ | Disney Social Club | Social Clubs Of Disneyland". Disney Social Club | United States | Social Clubs Of Disneyland. Retrieved 2018-02-11.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Martin, Hugo (9 February 2018). "They're Disneyland superfans. Why a lawsuit is alleging gangster-like tactics against one social club". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2018-02-11.
  5. ^ "Back patches of social clubs | Social Clubs Of Disneyland". Disney Social Club | United States | Social Clubs Of Disneyland. Retrieved 2018-02-11.
  6. ^ a b c "Disneyland Social Clubs Welcomes "Gang" Members · Guardian Liberty Voice". Guardian Liberty Voice. 2014-03-10. Retrieved 2018-02-11.
  7. ^ "Gangs in Disneyland? Yes, but it's not what you think". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2018-02-11.
  8. ^ Aran, Isha. "Disneyland Social Clubs Are the "Gangs" You Always Wanted To Join". Jezebel. Retrieved 2018-02-11.
  9. ^ "Neverlanders SC: FAQ".
  10. ^ "Disney Side Monday: Disneyland Social Clubs, the Truth behind a West Coast "Family" - The Main Street Mouse". The Main Street Mouse. 2014-03-10. Retrieved 2018-02-12.
  11. ^ "Insignt Into Disneyland Social Clubs: The Hitchhikers". Disney Geekery. 2013-10-03. Retrieved 2018-02-11.
  12. ^ "Insignt Into Disney Social Clubs: The Main Street Elite - Disney Geekery". Disney Geekery. 2013-10-04. Retrieved 2018-02-11.
  13. ^ "does anyone know the name of this disneyland crew??". MiceChat.com. Retrieved 2018-02-12.
  14. ^ "List of clubs | Social Clubs Of Disneyland". Disney Social Club | United States | Social Clubs Of Disneyland. Retrieved 2018-02-11.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g Koenig, David (2017-12-07). "David Koenig: The Not-So-Social Clubs of Disneyland". MiceChat. Retrieved 2018-02-11.
  16. ^ Hill, Jim (2011-08-04). "Yippie-Dee-Doo-Dah, Part 1: When The Yippies Invaded Disneyland". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2018-02-11.
  17. ^ Hill, Jim (2011-08-05). "Yippie-Dee-Doo-Dah, Part 2: When the Yippies Invaded Disneyland". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2018-02-12.
  18. ^ Hill, Jim (2011-08-08). "Yippie-Dee-Doo-Dah, Part 3: When The Yippies Invaded Disneyland". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2018-02-12.