Creativity and Connection: How Disney Parks’ Fans Responded During the Coronavirus Closures

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


During the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020, Disney responded by closing their theme parks around the world, leaving fans without easy access to their ‘happy place’. This chapter explores how fans reacted to these closures in inventive ways. For some, the sharing of recipes for park food and drink by unofficial and official sources (such as the Disney Parks Blog’s revelation of the recipe for the popular Dole Whip) allowed the recreation of the experience of ‘being there’ in their own homes. For others, the reconstruction of ride experiences offered an avenue for recreating the magic, as blogs featured home-made versions of iconic attractions such as the Haunted Mansion and Jungle Cruise, and other fans undertook virtual visits to the parks via online ride-through videos on sites such as YouTube. This chapter thus argues that, at this unique moment in Disney history fans of the parks maintained their emotional and affective connections during this period of social distancing, and the physical inaccessibility of beloved sites, in a range of creative and imaginative ways.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFan Phenomena: Disney
EditorsSabrina Mittermeier
Place of PublicationBristol
ISBN (Electronic)978-1789386790 , 978-1789386783
ISBN (Print)978-1789386776
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


  • fandom
  • theme parks
  • COVID19


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