In ways good and bad, Disney Speedstorm from Gameloft feels like We have Disneyland at home, a paradise of spending and microtransactions.

Disney Speedstorm Is ‘We Have Disneyland at Home’

Disney Speedstorm by Gameloft is by all means a pretty darn good battle kart racing game in the same vein as Mario Kart or Crash Team Racing. It’s built on a strong brand, has lots of cool characters and locations to draw on, and offers some top-notch music to work with to boot! Disney Speedstorm does a great job of making use of all these assets available to it, but something feels a little bit off. What’s it missing? Now, I love Disney — I even got engaged at Disneyland — but it wouldn’t be Disney without a little bit of price gouging.

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We all know Disneyland. We’ve either been there and experienced it ourselves, or we’ve at least heard of it and we’re all aware that every aspect of it is designed to cleverly drain every penny you have when you go for a visit. From the entry costs, to the food and drinks, to the merchandise, Disney is the master at fleecing us for our dollars, and we enjoy every minute of it even if our wallets don’t. If you can’t afford to take a trip to Disneyland, good news! Now you can tell your kids you have “Disneyland at home” and experience the joy of Disney trying to pinch your pennies from the comfort of your lounge or computer room.

Disney Speedstorm is a free-to-play game, so naturally there are going to be built-in systems for the developer to make money off of it; otherwise, it’s not worth putting out. Sure, that’s fair, but man, Gameloft really tries to max out the good name of Disney with a convoluted mobile game style that sees you having to either grind through a ton of races to unlock new characters and chapters to play or fork out the cash to make it faster to reach those new experiences. Wait a minute — this sounds familiar.

In ways good and bad, Disney Speedstorm from Gameloft feels like We have Disneyland at home, a paradise of spending and microtransactions.

If you’ve ever been to Disneyland, you’ve probably experienced the often hour-or-greater queues for each ride, with that time really adding up throughout the day, but you can’t miss out on experiencing the magic of each of the attractions. Don’t worry, if you need a little help, you can always buy Disney Genie+ to pay Disney to let you enter the faster queues and experience that new attraction you’d have otherwise been waiting around for much longer. Looks like Gameloft enjoyed that offering so much, it’d love for you to spend some cash to speed up experiencing new characters and content, Disney Genie+-style. See, you even get to experience that part of Disneyland from home with Disney Speedstorm!

Jokes and cynicism aside, Disney Speedstorm really is a great experience. The developers have crafted a great roster of characters with iconic favorites like Mickey Mouse and Goofy through to Pixar Monsters like Mike and Sulley. Each of them has their own abilities that they can gain from picking up the power-ups in races, and it really adds to selling them as their characters when you race with them. Mickey Mouse’s specific power-up sees him stand up in his kart, power up, and go wizard mode in true Disney Fantasia style as he conducts his way past his competing karts. The details like this really do help sell the Disney magic touch that the game has.

In ways good and bad, Disney Speedstorm from Gameloft feels like We have Disneyland at home, a paradise of spending and microtransactions.

The tracks too are well crafted and draw from familiar Disney movies like The Jungle Book and Pirates of the Caribbean. The Pirates of the Caribbean being one of my favorite tracks to have experienced, it features the Kraken, pirate ships shooting cannons, and of course a bangin’ drum and bass remix of the Pirates of the Caribbean theme song that will have you bobbing your head in approval while you race. A big part of Disneyland is that there is the beautiful Disney music pretty much wherever you go. From downtown Disney right throughout the park, Disneyland will brighten your mood and hype you up with its classic tunes. Gameloft has tried to incorporate this into Disney Speedstorm, and I think it’s certainly succeeded with that part.

While you’ll always enjoy an actual Disneyland trip much more than a Disney video game, Disney Speedstorm nails the “we have Disneyland at home” feel. From the characters, the iconic locations, and music right through to praying on people’s impatience and seeking premium dollars for experiences, you really are getting a full Disney treatment!


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Alex Berry
Alex Berry has been a freelance contributor at The Escapist since January 2023. His coverage ranges from funny takes on the latest games to a whole bunch of guide content on such titles as Honkai: Star Rail, Genshin Impact, and various new games. Alex is a jack of all trades when it comes to games, playing almost every new title that shows promise. From RPGs to shooters, all the way through to sports games, he plays it all, although he does have a soft spot for turn-based RPGs having started out his gaming journey with a copy of Pokémon Red on the original Game Boy. Alex has a master's degree in Business and is fascinated by online game economies, often spending a lot of time finding ways to maximize wealth in these games (but he should really be doing that in real life instead).
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