Ever hear somebody referring to Walmart as Walley World?
Here's where the nickname comes from, why people use it, and what it means exactly.
Why do people call Walmart Walley World?
The original Walley World has nothing to do with Walmart the store. Walley World is actually a fictional amusement park from the 1983 movie, National Lampoon's Vacation.
The movie used the name, Walley World, in the movie as a play on the name, Walt Disney World. They couldn't use Disney World because of trademarks, so they called it Walley World instead of Disney World, and they replaced Micky Mouse with Marty Moose.
The film became so popular that people started using the term Walley World when referring to Walmart since Walmart stores are gigantic (ie. like their own world) and “Walley” sounds like “Walmart”.
Here is the Griswolds family arriving at Walley World in the 1983 movie:
At first glance, the Walley World amusement park really has nothing to do with the Walmart store.
But there are a few theories as to why the nickname caught on. In the movie, Wally World is absolutely massive, contains everything you can think of, and is labeled as America's favorite amusement park.
In that sense, the description isn't too far off from Walmart, a store with ginormous warehouses filled with anything and everything you could need.
Although the film is from 1983, the slang term Walley World is still used and understood today when referring to Walmart stores.
Is Walley World a real place?
When referring to Walmart – Sure, it's a real place in that sense.
The actual Walley World Amusement Park from the movie does not exist because it's not a real place. It was a fictional theme park from the movie, National Lampoon's Vacation.
Where did they shoot the movie then?
There are two versions of the National Lampoon's Vacation movie.
The original film came out in 1983. For this movie, Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California was used as the Walley World set.
In 2015, there was a remake of the Vacation film. In this new version of the film, Six Flags Over Georgia was used as the set of Walley World.
So technically, yes the Walley World sets are real places you can still visit today.
What other nicknames does Walmart have?
Here's a fun tweet by the official Walmart Twitter account sharing some of their most common nicknames:
Walmart: 10/10 it us
Wally World: 10/10 welcome y’all
The Walmart: 10/10 rep that Midwest life
Gualmar: 10/10 a fav
The Mart: 8/10 keepin’ it simple
Wal-Mart: 2/10 only for a #tbt
Wallymart: 9/10 vibes
High school hangout: 8/10 u know u did it
Datenight: 9/10 keeps it fresh
— Walmart (@Walmart) September 12, 2020
Sometimes, slang names catch on quicker than others. Some terms last longer than others.
People still referring to Walmart as Walley World has got to be one of the most longest-running slang usage in history. It's especially surprising since the original Walley World has nothing to do with Walmart the store.
Although not confirmed, most people believe it was in reference to Walt Disney, since the original Walley World set was shot in Disneyland.
Funnily enough, the slang term Walley World today is used in reference to Walmart's founder, Sam Walton.
They both work!
But, I've got to say, Walley World has a nice ring to it, and it's fun to say 🙂
There's a high probability that I'll start referring to Walmart as Walley World from now on.