Disneyland in Its “Flop Era” According to Guests

in Disney Parks, Disneyland Resort

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With so many new projects being announced for the Disney Parks, fan expectations are high. But even as Guests prepare for the upcoming changes, many fans aren’t entirely happy.

In a recent Reddit thread, users took to the platform to discuss the biggest “flops” at Disneyland lately. From merchandise to rides to technology, fans have a lot to say about their disappointment in the theme park.

concept art for Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway at Disneyland Resort's Toontown
Credit: Disney Parks Blog

Several users mentioned the letdown of MagicBand+. MagicBands have been used in Walt Disney World for several years now, and are able to be used as hotel keys, payment, Park tickets, and more. Recently, they were upgraded to the MagicBand+, which operates similar to the original bands but now has interactive elements throughout the Park. The technology was brought to Disneyland for the first time in late 2022, but without all of the perks and uses they have in Disney World. One commenter, u/lxlegit, points out

“What’s funny is you have been able to use the MagicBand for all of those things at WDW since at least 2014. So they have had a decade to figure it out at Disneyland if they wanted to. They even gave MagicBands to all guests that were staying at a WDW hotel for free.”

Many users shared similar sentiments, saying that rolling out MagicBands at Disneyland felt rushed and like a “quick cash grab.” While useful at Walt Disney World, the MagicBands need a lot of work in order to make it worthwhile at Disneyland.

A young girl taps her Magic Band against a Cast Member's phone.
Credit: Disney

In addition to the complaints about MagicBands, other users complained about the lack of merchandise variety throughout the Park, with u/Chewbaccas_Bowcaster saying,

“Lately seems like every store carries the same merch, and a lot of it is very bland and unimaginative. For a company with such a vast and giant IP portfolio their current merch is sad.”

Another user replied saying it’s disappointing that Disneyland seems to be moving away from land-specific merchandise, and that they “don’t wanna buy a jack skellington plush in Tomorrowland.” It seems as though Disneyland is starting to step away from complete land immersion and separation, and is just putting as much of their merchandise in the Parks as possible. One user, u/mrmonster459, agrees, stating

“I remember popping into one of the stores in the Grizzly Bear Mountain area to hopefully get some kinda souvenir unique to it because I loved the area, and saw nothing but generic Mickey Mouse stuff.”

Disney Guests wearing merchandise in front of Cinderella Castle
Credit: Disney

As Disneyland moves to incorporate more IP (intellectual property) based attractions and areas to the Parks, it seems like their merchandise is following suit as they try to market more towards children who recognize familiar characters instead of adults who appreciate the Parks for what they are. Several others mentioned the direction of the clothing, with a lot of the tops being long sleeves or sweatshirts sold in Florida and California, making it almost impossible to be worn while there on vacation. Other comments pointed out that the majority of the other shirts are cropped “belly shirts,” that are charging Guests the same price as a full-length shirt.

Disney100 Platinum Celebration Mickey Mouse and Friends Spirit Jerseys Adults
Credit: Disney Parks Blog

While Disney CEO Bob Iger has recently touched on the prices of the Disney Parks, the cost of tickets and the full experience of a Disney vacation is growing ever higher, with many people being priced out of the Parks along with annual passes being rolled out on a limited basis. While MagicBands and merchandise are just a small part of a Disney vacation, they’re indicative of a larger problem, especially considering the financial cost and time needed for a trip to Disneyland. As changes are made to Walt Disney World and Iger claiming that changes are coming, it remains to be seen how the smaller parts of Disneyland will be affected.

in Disney Parks, Disneyland Resort

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