Your cart is empty.
Contested Kingdom - Fan Attachment and Corporate Control at Disneyland

Contested Kingdom

Fan Attachment and Corporate Control at Disneyland

By William McCarthy
Hardcover : 9781496854735, 240 pages, 39 b&w illustrations, December 2024
Paperback : 9781496854728, 240 pages, 39 b&w illustrations, December 2024
Expected to ship: 2024-12-16
Expected to ship: 2024-12-16

Table of contents

Chapter 1: Not Just Child’s Play
Chapter 2: Disneyland As a Place for Southern Californians
Chapter 3: Disneyland Online Fandom, 1990–2005: Unity and Resistance
Chapter 4: Disneyland Online Fandom, 2006–2020: Fragmentation and Resignation
Chapter 5: Fan Events, Meets, and Clubs at Disneyland: From a Few to a Multitude, 1990–2020
Chapter 6: Contestation of Disney and Fan Power Online and at Disneyland, 1990–2020
Chapter 7: The Evolving Intersection of Fans and Disney on Online Social Platforms and at Disneyland
Chapter 8: Platforms, Place, and Beyond
Appendix 1: List of Interviewees
Appendix 2: Online Survey Questionnaire

An analysis of the thirty-year struggle between Southern Californians and the Walt Disney Company online and at Disneyland


In Contested Kingdom: Fan Attachment and Corporate Control at Disneyland, William McCarthy presents a groundbreaking study centered on the history of Disneyland and Disney theme park enthusiasts. Focusing on two unexplored yet interconnected phenomena—the dynamic relationship between the Disney corporation and Southern Californian fans in both online and physical park settings over a span of more than three decades—this volume sheds new light on the meaning and purpose of Disneyland.

Through a comprehensive analysis of the interwoven dimensions of individuals, place, and cognitive, affective, and behavioral processes, McCarthy explores the fervent sense of place attachment experienced by the approximately one million annual passholders who visit the park. McCarthy’s analysis extends beyond the physical world of Disneyland by delving into the evolution of Disney fandom, discourse, commerce, and social formations in online social platforms like Usenet, web discussion boards, and social media. By employing a mixed-methods approach incorporating interviews, participant observation, surveys, and data analysis, this study establishes a novel analytical framework for comprehending the interrelationships between the Disney corporation, its fan communities, and online social platforms. As the first in-depth longitudinal analysis of the ongoing struggle on successive social platforms between fan users and a corporate entity, Contested Kingdom will also provide valuable insights for scholars and future investigations.


"Contested Kingdom is recommended for scholars of fan studies, theme parks, Disney studies, cultural studies, and popular culture as well as Disney fans. Author William McCarthy presents a unique perspective on a specific group of fans and traces their fannish cultural practices through the decades."

- Carissa Baker, assistant professor of theme park and attraction management, University of Central Florida