Why McDonald's is halting sales of Disney-themed Happy Meals

If you're a Happy Meal toy collector, or simply a happy kid, you may have to pause your collection for a while. McDonald's sent a notice to stores to halt the distribution of Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway toys (via Chip and Co). The toys affected are an old-fashioned nod to Disney's roots and feature Mickey, Minnie, and the original Disney character crew. This halt in toys also follows a delayed release of the new Disney attraction by the same name. Originally planned for a 2022 Disneyland Park opening, the railway ride has been moved to a 2023 debut due to the coronavirus pandemic (via OC Register). 

But that's not why the toys are being halted. McDonald's shared in a memo, "There is an issue with the QR codes that are packaged with the Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway toys. If the codes are scanned outside of our app (versus the McDonald's app as directed), they may lead users to an error message, or in rare cases, unintended search results" (via DWD News Today). The QR codes are part of the promotional tickets included with the toy, linking to a larger vacation package giveaway.

Mickey's Runaway Railway toys are not the problem

As far as we can determine, there's nothing wrong with the toys themselves. If you have a railway toy, it should be fine to keep it and enjoy. The issue is due to the QR codes only, and only when scanned with a non-McDonald's external app. Chip and Co shares that one user got a code that was already months expired, but we have yet to find a report of "unintended search results." Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway toys include 10 pieces that link together to make a train, although some purchasers are reporting that these items haven't been rolled out at all locations nationwide just yet (via Instagram).

Instead, expect to get a replacement toy until the error is corrected. Until replacement toys arrive, McDonald's restaurants are being directed to use generic Happy Meal boxes and generic toys. By generic, we understand this to mean a box and toy without any movie or media tie-in, simply specific to McDonald's. If you're not sure, it's probably best to ask your cashier.

Don't worry — the all-new toys will be back before you know it.