It's Disneyland's Birthday! Since We Can't Go There, Let's Explore Its 'Gangs'

 (Instagram/ @thesonsofanakin)

On this day in 1955, Disneyland opened for the very first time. And while Florida's Disney World is back up and running despite the raging pandemic, California's Disneyland remains temporarily closed.

As such, it's the perfect time to take a virtual tour around a lesser known element of the Happiest Place on Earth—the Disney Social Clubs. There are currently over 200 of them, and due to their enthusiasm for biker vests and tattoos, outsiders commonly refer to them as the "Gangs of Disneyland." (NB: They do not like this.)

Ranging in size from small family packs to crews with over 100 members, the social clubs are comprised of Disney-adoring misfits with an appetite for spending time with like-minded fans on their favorite rides. While also looking tough.

Because they often so closely resemble actual biker gangs, the clubs have been the source of some controversy, with wholesome parents at the parks alarmed by their appearance. Truthfully, the most annoyance they're liable to cause is during one of their "ride takeovers"—pre-planned excursions to one specific ride, with the goal of filling every available seat with a club member. (Hardly the stuff of nightmares.)

Roxy Tart, who heads up a social club called the Bangerang Babes, moved from the Bay Area to Southern California specifically to be closer to Disneyland. “Your club is like your immediate family and the other clubs are like your extended family," she told the Brought to You By... podcast in 2019. "Almost everyone in the social club scene was an outcast and then we found each other… When you walk into Disneyland, you’re transported… It doesn’t matter where we’re from, if we’re rich or poor, male or female or whatever, it’s a place we can go and we all feel like little kids.”

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Disney has gone on the record as supportive of the social clubs. Spokesperson Kevin Rafferty Jr. told Vice in 2014, in reference to the clubs: "We are fortunate to have guests who share such a strong affinity for Disneyland Resort."

So, without further ado, meet the Gangs of Disneyland Disney Social Clubs. (Well... some of them, anyway.)

The Main Street Elite, whose tagline is "All For Walt."

The White Rabbits Social Club, named for the Alice in Wonderland character, who members say was in a "secret organization to overthrow the evil Queen Of Hearts." K.

The Big Bad Wolves, who are exercising appropriate safety precautions in the time of COVID-19.

The Jungle Cruisers, who refer to themselves as simply "Disney enthusiasts" and "family."

Tomorrowland Rebels, a Star Wars-themed club that aligns itself with the rebel alliance.

Tomorrowland Ravagers hail from Northern California! So they're one of ours!

Fountains of Color, the largest and most active LGBT+ Disney social club.

The Space Rangers, whose tagline is borrowed from Buzz Lightyear: "To infinity and beyond!"

Mickey's Pink Ladies, who were "the first all-girl Disney Social Club."

The San Fransokyo Stormtroopers, another Star Wars-centric crew:

Order 66, who claim to be "Bringing BALANCE by FORCE, hunting Jedi scum and patrolling the world of Yesterday, Tomorrow, and Fantasy!" Whatever that means.

The Hitchhikers have been going since 2013 and have members from all over California:

Sons of Anakin, who definitely have the best name of all of the Star Wars-themed crews:

The Bangerang Babes are the social club most likely to leave you covered in glitter. (One of them is a drag queen.)

Tigger Army—a club honoring both Tigger from Winnie the Pooh and Tiger Army, the Berkeley punk rock band.

The Neverland Mermaids are the club most likely to eschew sleeveless denim for pretty dresses.

Flynn's Riders are celebrating their fifth anniversary by urging their fellow Disney fans to "stay safe, stay home."

Want to be a part of the action? Joining a Disney Social Club is much like pledging a sorority or fraternity, and there is usually an in-depth, sometimes lengthy, application process. Track down the club of your choice to find out more.