Man claims Disney 'brainwashes' guests into buying food at theme parks: 'Not being dramatic'

·2-min read

A theory that Disneyland “brainwashes” guests into buying food went viral on TikTok.

User @hangryblogger shared the conspiracy with his audience. He claimed “Smellitizers” make the park smell like delicious food — and there’s some truth to the claim.

“Did you know Disneyland actually brainwashes you every time you visit?” a voice said in the video, which now has more than 5 million views. “Have you ever walked by a building with a bunch of speakers on it but no sound is coming out?”

Those speakers actually emit certain aromas throughout the park. 

According to a June post from user @JustTheNobodys, who created the original audio @hangryblogger shared, candy shops, ice cream shops, popcorn stands and rides all use Smellitizers.

In a 2017 interview with Fast Company, former Disneyland employee Jody Jean Dreyer said they used Smellitizers to “provide a complete experience.” 

They didn’t design them to brainwash you into buying churros. The patented machines just appeal to your emotions and enhance your experience.

According to a post titled “Science of Disney: Smellitiziers” from the Ph.D. Princess blog, these Smelletizers are intricately designed and programmed.

“What’s so special about Disney’s Smellitizers is that the smells are timed precisely, released relatively discreetly and directly, dissipate quickly and can be used repeatedly for around 80 to 100 showings a day per theater,” the blogger wrote. “Combining knowledge from chemistry, engineering, and neuroscience, Disney’s Smellitizers make riding their attractions much more magical and realistic.”

Movie theaters used to use something called “Smell-O-Vision” in the 1950s, but the smells distracted from the actual film and it took too long for them to reach the audience. Thus, they never properly synced with the movie. Disney refined the technology from there.

Another Disney expert, the voice behind the Duchess of Disney blog, said this kind of thing is what makes Disney so special.

“That’s the Disney difference,” they wrote. “When Disney fans say the parks leave no detail imperfect, we’re not being dramatic. Sight, sound, taste, touch and smell all work together to tell the Disneyland story.”

Many commenters agreed — if this is technically brainwashing, they don’t worry about it.

“And I’m completely okay with that,” one wrote.

“I love being brainwashed by Disney,” another said.

The magic of Disney didn’t reach everyone, though.

“Not everyone loves Disneyland,” one person wrote

“Disneyland is overrated and expensive,” another said.

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