Fan Phenomena: Disney (Book)

The first book to comprehensively engage with Disney fans and the company's relationship with them, spanning theme parks, film, television, stage productions and novels, as well as a variety of fannish interventions. It addresses timely issues such as race and queerness, the Covid- 19 pandemic and the advent of Disney+. 20 b&w illus.

Category: Cultural Studies
Series: Fan Phenomena


The volume provides an overview on fan engagement with the Disney brand(s), tackling theme parks, animated and live action films and television and stage musicals, as well as the Walt Disney Company’s reaction to it. It encompasses fan practices such as fan fiction, cosplay, social media engagement and activism.

Dr Sabrina Mittermeier is a postdoctoral researcher and lecturer in American cultural history at the University of Kassel, Germany, the author of A Cultural History of the Disneyland Theme Parks (Intellect 2021), and the co-editor of Fighting for the Future: Essays on Star Trek: Discovery (2020), as well as The Routledge Handbook of Star Trek (2022).

Introduction – Sabrina Mittermeier

Part 1: Diversity and the Disney Princess

  1. Frozen Fever: Fan Fashion, Costumes, and Revisions of Elsa and Anna Designs – Nicole Lamerichs
  1. ‘Let It Go!’: Child Fans, Song, and the Frozen Franchise – Ryan Bunch 
  2. “Dream Big, Princess”: Disney’s Princess Fandom as a Trans-generational, Feminist Fan Space – Tracey Mollet 
  3. That’s (Not) My Princess: Representation, Race, and (Anti-)Fan Activism – Christina Wurst 
  4. Panel Discussion: The Live Action Mulan (2020) and Disney’s Approach to Racial Diversity – Michelle Anya Anjirbag, Bertha Chin & Jingan Young 

Interlude: Representation, Censorship and Disney+

  1. “Please don’t censor Hamilton!”: Disney+, Social Media Fandom, and Censorship – Olympia Kiriakou 
  2. Musings of a Queer Disney Fan – Sabrina Mittermeier 

Part 2: The Disney Theme Parks and Their Fans

  1. Creativity and Connection: How Disney Parks’ Fans Responded During the Coronavirus Closures – Rebecca Williams 
  2. To Act Like a Kid or Not to Act Like a Kid: Disneybounding in the Parks – Rebecca Rowe 

Fan Appreciation: Victoria Wade 

  1. Friends Just Around the Riverbend: Performing Intimacy and Authenticity in Disney Park Character Meets – Victoria Pettersen Lantz 

Fan Appreciation: Shawn Rosell

  1. Haunted Waters: The Elimination of Liveness in Disney’s Rivers of Light – Tom Robson 
  2. From Mickey Waffles to Vegan Samosas: Evolving Disney Food Fandoms – Jennifer A. Kokai 
  3. The Traveling Disney Bear ‘Duffy’ and His Surprising Popularity in Japan – Katharina Hülsmann & Timo Thelen 

        Fan Appreciaton: Chris Nilghe

Part 3: The Brand and its Fans – How Disney Responds to Fandom and Monetizes Fan Labor 

  1. Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust: Disney’s Participatory Publics – Amber L. Hutchins 
  2. Disney's Social Media Moms – Kylie Torres 
  3. Fitting Inside the Mouse House – Disney’s Experiential Media Aesthetics – Chris Comerford 
  4. Disney Publishing and the Saturation of the Imaginative Market – Michelle Anya Anjirbag 
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