Viral TikTok Theory Claims Disneyland 'Brainwashes' Guests Into Buying Food

A theory that claims Disneyland "brainwashes" its guests into buying food has gone viral on TikTok.

According to online theorists, "smellitizers" have been strategically placed throughout Disneyland causing guests to crave—and then buy—certain foods. As it turns out, theorists aren't wrong: smellitizers can be found throughout Disneyland. However, the machines' sole purpose isn't to entice parkgoers into spending money on snacks.

Richard, @hangryblogger, posted the conspiracy theory to his TikTok account earlier this week. Already, it has received more than 5 million views.

In his video captioned, "Do you ever smell the churros first before seeing them at Disneyland," he provides viewers with an up-close look of a park employee serving Disneyland's beloved churros.

"Did you know Disneyland actually brainwashes you every time you visit?" the narrator begins.

"So everyone loves Disneyland, right? It's the happiest place on Earth," the narrator continues. "But have you ever walked by a building with a bunch of speakers on it but no sound is coming out?"

The narrator then explains these "speakers" are "smellitizers" that emit different aromas in different areas of the parks.

The video's narration was pulled from a separate TikTok video posted by @JustTheNobodys in June. That video has received more than 6 million views and provides a more in-depth explanation of the smellitizers and their purpose.

"In Disneyland, if you walk down Main Street, there's a candy shop that shoots out the smell of peppermint to help remind you of candy," he said.

He added that ice cream shops, popcorn stands and rides all utilize smellitizers.

According to Disney experts, smellitizers do exist. But they're not just meant to market the food.

In an interview with Fast Company in 2017, former Disneyland employee Jody Jean Dreyer said the smellitizers are used to "provide a complete experience."

This is why the machines are used on rides—Disney's Imagineers want guests to feel like they've been transported to a different world.

To ensure the experience is as magical as possible, all aromas are released strategically.

"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," Ph.D. student Sarah wrote on her blog Ph.D. Princess.

"Imagine not smelling the dirt from Mt. Kilimanjaro until the Paris scene of Soarin'—doesn't really make you feel like you are transported to either locale, does it?" she said.

So, no—Disneyland is not brainwashing its guests. Instead, Disneyland is going the extra mile to make a day at the park special.

Commenters on Richard's post expressed that they love the smellitizers, a.k.a. being "brainwashed."

"I want to be brainwashed by Disneyland," joked Katie Kat.

"And I'm completely okay with that [being brainwashed]," added another user. "I love taking my daughter to Disneyland for her birthday every year."

LoveTram agreed, saying: "I love being brainwashed by Disney."

Disneyland
A theory that claims Disneyland “brainwashes” its guests into buying food has gone viral on TikTok. The parks due use "smellitizers" to "provide a complete experience" for guests, according to Disney officials. Barry King / Contributor/iStock