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What Went Wrong With Camp McDonald's?

Customers are not happy—and it's all Grimace's fault.

Camp McDonald's is off to a rocky start this week—and it's all Grimace's fault. Following an apparently successful launch earlier in the week, attendees of the virtual camp have been taking to Twitter to complain about hour-long wait times, mismanaged promos, and, yes, a Grimace pool float that is missing in action.

The camp kicked off as scheduled on Tuesday, July 5, in the McDonald's app. Billed as a "first-of-its-kind…virtual camp experience," camp-goers were enticed with promises of food discounts, limited-edition merch, menu hacks, and music performances from a lineup of big-name pop musicians.

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Just a few days in, however, and it appears Camp McDonald's already has a mutiny on its hands. Day One's big event—the release of a much-hyped Grimace Pool Float—was a swing-and-a-miss: From the looks of it, demand for the pool float greatly exceeded expectations, leaving some customers waiting in line for multiple hours, only to be informed at the end of their wait that the merch had sold out.

Grimace-gate was accompanied by complaints of mismanagement of the menu deals, with customers claiming that workers at their local McDonald's were unaware of the Camp McDonald's promos.

Camp McDonald's
Courtesy of McDonald's

While McDonald's has insisted that the fault lies with a third-party merch vendor, and not with the McDonald's app, the chain has taken steps to remedy the pool float situation, promising to "[reach] out to fans who tried to buy the float (Tuesday) on a first-come, first-serve basis to fulfill orders at no cost."

With three weeks of Camp McDonalds remaining—and two other scheduled merch drops, plus four in-app music performances—there's no telling what other best-laid plans might go awry.

Owen Duff
Owen Duff is a freelance journalist based in Vermont, home of Ben & Jerry’s. Read more about Owen
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