The epidemic of Disney Adults: Why are so many adults obsessed with Disney?


Julie Smith

Haley Humphries gets engaged in Walt Disney World.

Alyssa Smith, Social Media Manager

Disney World is the happiest place on earth for kids —and apparently for some adults. For many, you can never be too old to experience the magic of Disney. But what about this theme park keeps so many coming back even after they have grown up?

Childless millennials and so called Disney Adults have been joked about for years on social media.

A Disney Adult is not just a person above 18 who goes to Disney. A true Disney Adult is a person so infatuated with Disney that their entire personality is centered around the franchise. These people live and die for a mouse with pants, they sob at the fireworks and their life revolves around their next Disney vacation. 

Haley Humphries is an avid Disney fan. “As much as I hate to admit it, I would probably consider myself a Disney Adult. Growing up for me, my family went to Disney a couple times a year and never really went on vacations anywhere else. So I’d say it’s the most memorable thing about my life and probably why I still love it so much,” she said. 

 The obsession so many people have, leaves many baffled as to what is so intriguing about disney. 

 Senior Corrine Johnson enjoys taking trips to Disney World with her family often. “There are always different levels of offerings in the parks, whether it be ride wise, food wise, or entertainment wise,” she explained. “You are responsible for choosing what interests you or your family the most. My parents can get drinks, I can get cute pictures, the food is so fun. My younger siblings love the rides and the characters.”

Disney does not only cater to children; there is plenty of entertainment for all ages. So it is really no surprise to see so many adults enjoy the parks. When these adults seem to forget the park is also for children it becomes frustrating to many. 

To some, the fascination Disney Adults hold for the park is cringe-worthy; to others, it is perfectly understandable to cling on to one’s inner child. 

Johnson sees no problem with adults loving Disney. “A Disney adult, to me, is someone who has a passion and love for Disney”, she said. “They often incorporate their love in various areas of their lives. They enjoy visiting the parks, being a part of the fandom, and love finding ways to represent this. I don’t think they are all annoying, it just may not be a perspective that is shared by everyone.”

Not everyone shares the same compassion for Disney Adults. Disneyland and Walt Disney World are not just full of families; many people without children enjoy the parks. This sent one mom on a furious Facebook rant; she took a stance that Disney was just a place for families, going as far to say Disney should ban people without children. 

This post was met with backlash from said people without children. Ironically, the post immediately became a meme for the childless Disney fan community. Now, many can be seen throughout the park sporting t-shirts with “Childless Millennial” written on them.

There is no shame in loving Disney, yet some Disney lovers still find ways to ruin the magic. When new merchandise is released, many carelessly rummage through the stores and buy everything they can to make a quick buck on eBay. 

Disney Adults profit off of other Disney Adults. They sell out items at the parks to resell them to someone who is desperate enough to buy it for triple the price. Items such as mugs and T-shirts sell for hundreds of dollars on eBay.

The term Disney Adult comes with a negative connotation and is used to poke fun.

While many of the jokes are light-hearted and fun, some seem more serious and hateful. Is this a reflection of society’s jealousy on those being able to find joy and connect to their inner child? 

People are so quick to judge when someone lives a different life than them. “Our society often portrays people who refuse to conform in a negative light. In this way, I think Disney Adults, who refuse to abandon their childhood joy and wonder, are often seen as less professional or mature than others,” Johnson said. 

Often when someone lives an unconventional lifestyle there seems to be a need to comment and critique it. 

Good for these Disney Adults for living their life how they please no matter the criticisms. Majority of Disney Adults are just there to enjoy themselves, but a few are so obsessive it is peculiar.

Some Disney adults become entitled and display strange attitudes about Disney. Humphries sometimes encounters obsessive fans. “There are Disney Adults who will lose their minds anytime Disney wants to to change anything about their parks or resorts,” She explained. 

To be in touch with your inner child is different then acting like a child in Disney parks; however, some adult Disney fans fail to realize this. Nobody wants to see an adult upset over the long lines of children’s rides or annoyed at the sound of a crying child because those are things to be expected at Disney. 

It is even worse when they make it the problem of Disney employees; there is no need to make a scene when something is out of stock or a ride is out of order. 

Most Disney Adults are essentially harmless and deserve to enjoy the parks with no judgement. It is the ones who act like children that give Disney Adults a bad rep.