As I basically live on the internet, I’ve noticed the slow, mellow spread of hate for “Disney Adults.” It sprung up shortly before the beginning of the pandemic when one woman took to Facebook to complain that childless adults had deprived her kid of a Mickey pretzel.
Oh, holy shit. I just re-read that post for the first time in who-the-fuck-knows and am now realizing I changed the story in my memory to be way more rational that it actually is. I thought she had been in line with her kid for a pretzel and the ‘immature millennial’ had bought the last one. Nah. Not even that. The ‘immature millennial’ was minding her own fucking business with a pretzel, the kid saw it and threw a hissy fit for one, and somehow this is the millennial’s fault simply for existing with a pretzel? Not the kid for throwing a temper tantrum, and not the mom for not managing the kids emotions. No. The unrelated human whose only crime was paying eight bucks for a shitty pretzel is the real villain of this story.
(Off-topic rant: Just because you’re at Disney World doesn’t mean your kids don’t need their afternoon nap. They do. They do.)
Anyway, for the most part the Internet was not on the poster’s side about this, but then the pandemic shut the parks down and a bunch of people started making posts about how much they missed the park and they couldn’t wait to go back. And then the parks re-opened – far too early, in my opinion – and the same people posted a bunch of videos and pictures of them running into Mickey’s open arms and crying about it.
Since then, this idea that Disney Adults are some sort of group to be hated and pitied has been casually bandied about. Never blowing up into an actual Interent Kerfuffle but never really going away either. The whole thing has left a bad taste in my mouth.
If I Still Lived in Florida, I’d Probably Be a Disney Adult
Fuck, I basically was one before we moved, before the term was a thing and no one really seemed to give a shit. When I was in nursing school, I told myself as soon as I had my very first Real Job I was going to treat myself to a Disney Annual Pass. And I did. And I used the shit out of it. Easily got my money back and then some. My family would come in and we’d go. One of our favorite things to do was go to Epcot and just sort of hang out drinking all day. Bonus if it was the Food and Wine Festival. Every January for over a decade we did one race or another in the Disney Marathon Weekend. Fuck, I even did that thing on Leap Day in 2012 where the parks were open for twenty-four hours, and I stayed for the whole twenty-four hours. Fell asleep in the Hall of Presidents. Truly magical.
I guess I no longer qualify as a Disney Adult as I now live thousands of miles from both sets of parks and have no desire to fly in either direction solely to go. And anyway, this is basically the tiniest reason for why this whole thing is making me uncomfortable. Even if I was still showing up every month in my personalized Mickey Ears I wouldn’t worry what shitheads on the internet were saying about me.
This Feels Like Another Way to Hate Women…
I know! There’s already so many ways! Like, wow, do we really need another one? How about you finish the other ways you have to hate women first, and then we’ll consider getting another one. Sheesh.
Actually, this stems from an incredibly popular way to hate women: hate the things they love. You’ve noticed this, right? Every time there’s something that becomes popular with women, suddenly there’s a big backlash against it. It’s been happening to teenage girls forever. This idea that anything they specifically like – makeup, boy bands, the color pink, fashion – are all vapid, airheaded dreck that should be mocked at every turn even by full grown adults who surely have better things to be doing is so ingrained in society that an entirely other culture of teenage girls – the I’m Not Like Other Girls girls – has grown up around it.
Adult women aren’t immune to this, either. Women like rosé and fruity drinks so these drinks are perceived as weak, immature, and basically little baby drinks compared to a Real Man’s drink. Which is totally backwards because after a night of drinking Manhattans I’m a little hungover but after a night of drinking Blue Hawaii’s I wake up to my liver, stomach, and bowels sobbing in the corner and preparing a mutiny.
Women like true crime? It’s dumb and they’re weird for fetishizing violence. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m right in the middle of the fortieth book on World War II I’ve read this year.
Disney Adults aren’t exclusively women but it sure does seem like they’re in the center of this shit every time it pops up. If you Google ‘people crying at Disney’ all of these articles are about women. Two r/AmItheAsshole threads on the topic both featured women as the Disney Adult (we’ll circle back to those). And the incident I mentioned earlier, with the mother complaining about the younger woman daring to enter Disney as a childless adult? Yeah, in the middle of her rant she also goes out of her way to call the woman a “cunt in some very SLUTTY shorts.”
Not all Disney Adults are women, but it seems they are the ones who catch shit for being one.
…And Also Millennials
Look, I don’t need to explain this one, right? Just last week, in the Year of Our Lord 2022, there was yet another article about how Boomers think that all Millennials need to do to afford a house is cancel Netflix and stop ordering take-out. These fucking “think” pieces have been coming out since right around the time Millennials started graduating from college (directly into a recession, by the way). Millennials are childish, coddled, selfish people who have no money management skills and therefore overspend on streaming services and avocado toast (why is it always the avocado toast??) and could have had a house and a couple of babies by now if they just shaped up!
The whole Disney Adults thing slots in very nicely. How dare these grown adults enjoy something made for kids? How dare these people complain that they can’t afford a house (or rent) and then turn around and spend their money on something fun? Don’t they know they’re not allowed to have fun things?
As with the women demographic, Millennials are not all Disney Adults, they’re just the ones in the middle of all this.
Also, in my own experience, all of this Boomers Hate Millennials shit is just more drama made up for the internet and twenty-four hour news stations. I’ve never actually had a Baby Boomer say to my face that the reason I can’t save for a family is because I got participation trophies as a kid, or whatever.
Further, the whole ‘generation warfare’ thing is manufactured to distract people from the class war we should really be waging, and by class war I mean ‘billionaires versus literally everyone else on the planet.’ Millennials and every other generation alive are having an exponentially shittier time paying for housing, rent, gas, groceries, basically everything because we have a government beholden to corporations and not the people, and those corporations jack up prices for their own profits and then turn around and tell people the actual problem is their parents or their kids.
But Back to Disney Adults
Here’s a summary of those two r/AmItheAsshole posts:
In the first, a twenty-eight year old woman wants to know if she’s the asshole because for her wedding instead of paying for catering and bar services she spent those thousands of dollars to have an hour appearance by Mickey and Minnie.
In the second, a man asks if he’s the asshole because he told his sister she needs to stop being obsessed with Disney. ‘Obsessed’ here meaning, by his own account, she wears Disney-printed scrubs at work (but she doesn’t work pediatrics, she works with old people!), she has Disney-related items in her own home (but ‘her house isn’t overtaken like some of the fanatics I’ve heard online’), and she spends all her vacation time going to Disney World, Disney Land, or on a Disney Cruise. Like, that’s it. That’s her ‘obsession.’
First off: I know there’s a non-zero chance and most likely a high probability that either or both of these posts are entirely fabricated. I basically read this subreddit like it’s reality TV: obviously scripted but juicy nonetheless. Even if both are fake, whoever wrote them is still trying to capitalize on the Nonsense Du Jour so I think it still stands to take a look at them.
The first lady was voted the asshole, and for obvious reasons.
The second dude was also voted the asshole, also for obvious reasons.
And I think the difference in these stories makes a point worth looking at.
For Anyone Actually Complaining About Disney Adults: How Are These People Hurting You, Exactly?
The first lady, yeah, shit dude, what the actual fuck? But the heart of the issue isn’t the fact that she’s obsessed with Disney. It could have been any obsession at all. She could have spent that money on a giant fireworks display, or a celebrity appearance by Dwayne Johnson. The sticking point is that she deliberately chose to not feed or water her guests so she could indulge in something unnecessary.
That second post, though. This guy is basically the face (or the ass) of all this. He was also voted the asshole, and the top comment gets to the heart of the matter:
Info: Her vacation preferences harm you how, exactly?
This is basically what I think every time I see a new thing about Disney Adults. Why the fuck does anyone care what people do with their own time and money? How is it hurting you, exactly, to see people so excited to be in the Magic Kingdom they start crying? Why do you care that strangers are getting some sort of contentment from putting on Mickey Ears and dressing up to go see the latest movie? How does it impact you in the slightest if a childless woman decides she wants to wear fun prints to work to liven up her day?
Just like the whole Boomers versus Millennials thing, this whole Disney Adults situation primarily lives online, and is entirely fueled by bored idiots behind a desk or people with a deadline. As Sony recently learned the hard way, the internet is not actually a good indicator of what goes on in the real world, and I bet the stories of Disney Adults running into someone in real life who gives them shit are few and far between.
I get it. You’re at the computer and you want to simultaneously complain about something and get attention for your sweet, funny Hot Take. But, I don’t know, maybe instead you can fuck all the way off with this shit and complain about something else?
The Irony Here is Palpable
I know. I’m part of the problem. I, too, have deadlines.
There Are Legitimate Reasons To Hate Disney
They are a mega-corporation who has spent the last decade eating up lots of other little companies and are on their way to becoming a monopoly.
The prices for their parks and cruises has sky-rocketed to the point where if you tell the younger generations that Disney used to be sort-of reasonably priced they absolutely will not believe you. When I was a kid in the nineties my family was so broke we almost lost the house a few times and we still managed to afford a trip every April.
They are excessively wishy-washy about LGBTQ rights, touting their newest blink-and-you’ll-miss-it gay character and/or interaction while quietly removing that scene for releases in other countries and also making their creators fight tooth and nail to even get that scene in.
They pushed opening their parks after COVID way, way too early.
They have been completely ignoring paying royalties to authors who wrote Star Wars tie-in and EU novels even after they bought all the rights to said novels.
Disney as a corporation objectively sucks, and I can see why some people feel gross watching other people climb into the heart of the beast and start crying about it.
Didn’t we all watch The Good Place? Didn’t we all learn the lesson that capitalism has twisted so much of our everyday life that it’s literally impossible to make completely ethical choices? Everything is fucked up.
EVERYTHING IS FUCKED UP
The world as a whole is so FUBAR its hard to see a way out sometimes, but if we ever do find it its going to be through voting, legislation, and maybe some sort of fucked up revolution. You know what isn’t the way out of it?
Mocking people online for clinging to the few things in life that can give them joy. The world is ending, guys, let people have the things that keep them from the brink of insanity. Shit.