Opinion

Why Do People Hate Disney Adults?

I’ve blogged a lot about Disney. While I love it, as far as being a Disney adult goes, I’d like to think I’m quite tame. I don’t go the parks every year or multiple times a year, I have other interests and hobbies, and I don’t spend all my money on Disney. Yet, the fact that I like it at all is something I’m noticing people react quite poorly to the older I get. So, why do people hate Disney adults?

It turns out, there are a few valid reasons behind why people hate Disney adults – like people acting like Karens in the parks or reacting aggressively to seeing more diversity in the franchise. However, most reasons people think Disney adults are cringe or Disney adults are weird are unfounded, and hypocritical. Let’s dive into them.

What Are Disney Adults?

person holding pink headband in disneyland
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Disney adult definition: Disney adults are adults who are obsessed with Disney. Generally, they’re millennials without children, but not always. Disney adults go to the parks as often as possible, collect merch, and basically love all things Disney.

The Urban Dictionary Disney adults definitions are quite harsh; “An eccentric or theatrical person who is often overly positive and lacks the self-awareness to know when people find them disruptive, or annoyingly cloying.” While other entries suggest Disney adults love Disney more than children themselves.

Generally, the term “Disney adults” doesn’t refer to the tamer adult Disney fans. If you’ve never been to a Disney park or don’t go often, if you have other interests outside Disney, people aren’t talking about you when they say Disney adults are weird. “Disney adults” are the people whose whole life revolves around all things Disney.

Why Do People Hate Disney Adults? 10 Reasons

1. Privilege

Going to the parks is expensive. Official Disney merch is also super pricey too. Sure, you can go to Disney on a budget and buy cheaper merch outside Disney stores or DIY it. A lot of Disney adults are influencers with more resources than the average person can dream of.

I managed to go to Paris in 2018 for around €500 for the whole 3-day trip, including two days in the park. That’s still pricey given how short the trip was, but for a Disney trip, I’d say it was quite cheap.

But, when you see people jetting off to Florida multiple times a year, with hundreds of Mickey Mouse ears and staying in fancy hotels, you’re probably going to feel resentful.

Hey, it’s their money. They can do what they want with it. If I had no financial worries, I’d probably do the same. But, I think it’s human nature, when you’re struggling financially, to feel resentful when you see people spending their money on things you think are frivolous.

What I will say, is you don’t know anyone’s financial situation. A lot of Disney adults are frugal in their every day life so the only time they splash out, is at Disney or they’re just good at finding the best deals.

2. Taking Magic Away From The Kids

disney figures on parade
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As someone who also loves Disney, I’d like to think I know my place. Adults can enjoy Disney. Walt Disney once said, “You’re dead if you aim only for kids. Adults are only kids grown up, anyway.” But I think there’s a line.

Some Disney adults are creepy. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to meet characters but it’s not appropriate to make lewd comments to “attractive” characters like Gaston, or follow Peter Pan around relentlessly. Even though Peter Pan is played by adult actors, the idea of finding someone playing a child character hot feels wrong. You might know it’s an actor in tights, a child thinks that’s actually Peter Pan.

I’ve never heard of Disney adults trying to befriend kids. There’s nothing wrong with being a child at heart as long as you can step up and be an adult when needed and behave appropriately.

I might not always love Disney sequels, reboots, and live actions, but those films are aimed at children, not me. If the kids like the new movies, great!

3. Disney Doesn’t Exist Out Of The Goodness Of Their Hearts

food wood red heart
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Disney is a company; like other major companies, the priority is profit. People don’t like to see Disney adults who think it really is all smiles and rainbows.

4. Mourning Splash Mountain Is Too Far

The new ride experience is going to be the same. You probably haven’t seen Song Of The South anyway. Disney tries to hide the film because it’s racist. It never should have been made and why Splash Mountain was themed after it in the first place is beyond me.

Some people say they’re upset because of nostalgia as the ride was a big part of their childhood. I don’t love change either, and it sucks to see parts of your childhood disappear, but read the room.

5. General Racism

I think a very small but very vocal minority of Disney adults are racist, which is an opinion many people who criticize Disney adults share. For example, being outraged at Halle Bailey’s casting in The Little Mermaid reboot just because she’s not white. I’ve seen people lose it about the Peter Pan & Wendy casting too for similar reasons. Yet, I didn’t notice as much backlash at the Tower Of Terror rebrand in California compared to Splash Mountain.

Ariel and Peter being redheads had nothing to do with the plot. It’s not like Disney deletes the old movies when they remake them.

In these instances, by all means, call those people out. Those Disney adults are the worst.

Again, these are movies aimed at kids; the most important thing is the kids are happy. Reboots are a great way to introduce a new generation to Disney – and help kids feel seen when others in our generation and older didn’t. I get the nostalgia factor to an extent, I don’t think any of the live actions are capturing the magic either, but read the room.

I think the new actors have all done great jobs. There’s only so much they can do when scripts feel lazy or the remakes are bringing nothing new to the table.

6. Misogyny

woman standing in front of a blue building as part of explainer on "why do people hate disney adults"
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Don’t get me wrong, there are lots of reasons why Disney adults are cringe (the extreme ones at least). Like the Splash Mountain fiasco or people acting far too entitled in the parks and ruining it for the kids.

One thing does come into play, is misogyny. Most Disney adults are millennial women. So, there’s always been a hatred for things women like. Like Twilight, there’s countless valid reasons to criticize it that the haters never address; they just hated to see young girls feel passionate about something.

Some of the reasons why people hate Disney adults are really good points. In order to grow, issues in fanbases need to be acknowledged. Most of the reasons people say Disney adults are weird are things they really have no business caring so much about. When you hate something, but focus on the petty reasons, it means the serious things go unnoticed and unchecked.

7. The Resentment Towards Child-Free Adults

stitch in disneyland during halloween

I’ve seen parents advocate for child-free people to be banned from the parks, which is a bit extreme. I get the frustration that the queues in Disney are long, but you really can’t expect child-free people to sacrifice their own joy for complete strangers.

Parenting is hard. I don’t want to undermine that. But you can still have fulfilment and meaning in your life without having children. It’s not a crime if child-free people are happy. It’s okay to be stressed and frustrated, it’s not right to take it out on random people who made different life choices. Plus, you have no idea why some people are child-free, and it’s not your business either.

8. Misery Loves Company

Some people are just cynical. So, for some, if they see anyone happy and thriving, they feel the need to knock them down a peg or two.

9. Seeing Adults With Hobbies Is “Weird”

a couple dressed as jessie and woody from toy story as part of explainer on "why do people hate disney adults"
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A lot of adults force themselves to grow up. After a certain age, there’s a notion that having hobbies beyond going to the pub or being a wine mom and watching true crime is weird and immature. As is having a unique, youthful sense of style. So, Disney adults are weird to people because they try to bring fun into their lives.

To see grown adults be carefree strikes a nerve. You should always strive to grow as a person, but I think it’s okay to hold onto old hobbies and interests as you age if they still make you happy and you’re not doing anything inappropriate.

It’s perfectly normal to still want joy in your life as an adult. You don’t have to turn into a Disney adult, but you can still be a mature, functional person and have passions and interests outside parenting and work. Of course, not everyone has the means to do those things, but don’t actively make yourself unhappy if you don’t have to. Tearing down others for not stooping to your level is what’s immature.

10. Ableism

Some Disney adults are autistic people whose special interest is Disney. A lot of people are adamant that they would never bully an autistic person or disabled and neurodivergent people in general; yet, criticize people for what are autistic or neurodivergent traits. If you want to learn more, I highly recommend the Articulate Autistic blog.

Why Do Disney Adults Exist?

smiling girl in front of a disney castle
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If you think Disney adults are cringe, the biggest question you might have is why do Disney adults exist? There are a few reasons:

  • It’s fun: The parks are fun.
  • Having something to look forward to: Having something to look forward to helps make life more exciting when your day-to-day life is dull.
  • It’s nice to have a hobby: It’s good for your soul to have hobbies that aren’t monetized. So, if you like scrapbooking, collect postcards, pins or Mickey Mouse ears, knock yourself out.
  • The movies are entertaining for adults: Unlike a lot of media aimed at kids, Disney movies hold up well. I had a series revisiting the likes of Simpsons Hit & Run, Rugrats In Paris, The Grim Adventures Of Billy And Mandy etc, a lot of my old favourite things don’t feel the same these days.
  • It’s comforting: If you grew up with Disney, watching a movie when you’re upset or stressed is comforting. I like to listen to The Lion King score sometimes.
  • Nostalgia is powerful: Nostalgia content is everywhere at the moment, clearly it works.
  • Healing their inner child: As people come into adulthood, they can find old feelings and memories resurface. Some people channel that into Disney. I’m not a mental health professional so I can’t tell you want to do.
  • Making up for lost time: This ties into healing your inner child, if you don’t feel like you had a “magical” childhood, you might want to make up for it as an adult. As long as you behave appropriately, I think it’s harmless.
  • Your ideal vacation is laying on a beach, for others it’s Disney parks: We all deserve to unwind and relax.
  • It makes them happy: We all want to be happy. You might not get it, but if someone isn’t harming anyone, let them be.

Why Do Goths Love Disney?

black loungfly backpack with disney themed pumpkins and halloween designs
Image by Oscar Ochoa on Unsplash.com

Within the Disney adults, you might have noticed quite a lot of them are goth or alternative. So, why do goths love Disney so much?

Personally, I think people already involved in alternative sub-cultures just don’t care what others think. If you’re gonna be judged for being emo or alt, you might as well embrace Disney while you’re at it. I’m a more well-rounded person than people think; I have other personality traits beyond My Chemical Romance.

Plus, Disney has a lot of Halloween films and books to appeal to them, cool rides, and go all out for Halloween. Check out my Disney bucket list and Disneyland Paris Halloween experience.

Two tickets to disneyland one with donald duck and pluto in front of a ferris wheel and another with a stormtrooper  from star wars
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Do you agree with these reasons people hate Disney adults? Do you think Disney adults are weird, or are you one? If you are a self-proclaimed Disney adult, check out these Disney books and life lessons from Disney princesses.

2 thoughts on “Why Do People Hate Disney Adults?

  1. I enjoyed seeing my kids enjoy various Disney parks across the world but I find it weird and irresponsible for a 35 year old woman to spend more on pins and hats than they do for their children’s needs. The kids are in shabby clothing and I don’t mean ripped jeans yet the mother is spends 200 on Disney pins. Priority issues in my opinion. Enjoy the visit to the park, buy 1 souvenir but be sensible. I know one woman who wants Disney jewelry for anniversary gifts…it’s a personal preference but a weird one.

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