Website review by
Jean Armour Polly, Common Sense Media
Ronald Website Poster Image
Ronald McDonald's happy site is cheerful and fun.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Positive Messages
Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

Products appear in some games.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that there are minimal McDonald's marketing messages here, but some important parts of the site are broken, like the Privacy Policy on many of the pages.

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Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008

What's it about?

In the Ronald section of this site, you can try some "magic tricks" that are really kitchen chemistry projects such as cornstarch "mush" or a vinegar/baking soda "volcano." There's an online coloring book here too; it's your big chance to make those Golden Arches, say, purple. The Hamburglar Hideout offers riddles and jokes (some are real groaners). There's also a Bun Fun "shell game" involving food stashed inside containers. In Birdie's Treehouse, see if you can pick the object that goes with each letter of the alphabet. Grimace's Garage challenges you to pick out what's missing from Grimace's various costumes.

Is it any good?

It's possible we caught Ronald while he was changing. While using the site we got quite a few error messages in the menus and in the pages themselves. Still, the parts that were working were quite tasty.

The Happy Meal Workshop contains the most marketing messages. You squirt sauce at passing chicken pieces in one of the two Mcnugget games. There are also printables in the Craft Workshop (why don't they tell you if you click, you'll immediately download a PDF file?) but why would anyone want a McDonalds themed light switch cover? Instead, find your groove at the Tune Studio where you can mix up some sweet beats.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how advertising isn't always separated from content on Web sites. If you're playing a game that's sponsored by a brand or features its products or characters, does that count as an ad? Why or why not? Families can also talk about fast food advertising. Do you think it's the responsibility of Web sites and TV shows to promote good nutrition for kids?

Website details

  • Genre: Brand Sites
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Last updated: November 15, 2019

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