After being bullied online, one “Disney adult” is speaking out.
Because of the “magical” nature of the Disney Parks, Guests tend to form strong emotional connections to the Parks and Resorts across the world. Nostalgia can take quite a hold on Guests, reminding them of their past trips with their families and friends.
Some Guests take this a step further, becoming what many refer to as “Disney adults”, AKA Disney superfans. These superfans can range from just having a deep passion for the Disney Parks to completely theming their house and outfits to specific areas of Disney.
Theses Guests often do what is called “Disney bounding” where they dress up and represent certain characters, without specifically copying their looks. They do this because Disney has strict rules about Guests actually portraying characters in the Park. Unfortunately, some take issue with how mich certain Guests love Disney, resorting to bullying and name-calling.
Recently, one Guest evoked a malicious response from much of the internet after she posted a video of herself meeting Goofy at the Disney Resort. Due to Goofy’s connection to her late grandfather, the creator can be seen sobbing as she hugs the beloved Fab Five Disney character, leading to backlash over Disney Adults at the Parks.
Sarah R. (@everydayisdisney) shared the TikTok a few weeks ago which happened to go viral. Most saw the video as a sweet interaction between the Guest and Disney Park characters but some bullied her and made fun of her for her display of emotions. Sarah shared an update and said the following:
“Last week, I posted a video of what was a heartfelt video of a character interaction at Disney World, what happened next was absolutely shocking. Let me give you a quick recap, last week I got to hug Goofy again for the first time since 2019. It was one of the most special character interactions I’ve had in a long time and all the Cast Members involved were absolutely wonderful. I saw Goofy turn the corner, and honestly, to a surprise to myself broke down in tears. Why? Because Goofy was my late papa’s, AKA my grandfather’s, favorite character.”
Sarah then states that while her intentions were to spread this message, a lot of comments were horrific and “vile” in nature, making fun of how much she enjoyed the Disney Parks. To her surprise, the creator noticed that a lot of the backlash and malicious comments came from the youth community, and decided to use her platform to discuss the immense danger of cyber-bullying:
“Based on what I’ve observed, we’re teaching them that as long as it’s behind a screen, you can say what you want without consequences […] and some of those consequences are irreversible.
Recently, Sarah H. had an interview with Insider in which she got to explain the situation a little more in-depth.
“Goofy was never my favorite character, Tinkerbell was, but he became my favorite after my grandpa died,” she told Insider. “He was my papa’s favorite and he loved interacting with Goofy at the parks. I have really nice photos of them together. A few of the comments I deleted. They were outright vile,” she said. “Others were well written but so cruel, like, ‘I urge you to seek therapy for what seems to be a very aggressive mental-health problem.'”
“It’s not about me,” she told Insider. “It’s the fact that there are teenagers who think it’s appropriate to suggest a stranger should go to therapy when they don’t know that stranger’s history with mental health. I was angry seeing people write, ‘This is why I’m afraid to go to Disney, I don’t want to be judged,'” she said.
Sarah ended the interview with, “I know the Disney cast members also got a lot of hateful comments from my video, like people implying they hate their jobs, but I just want to thank the ones who were involved,” she said. “They never made me feel like I didn’t deserve a magical character interaction because I’m an adult.”
Enjoying the Disney Parks and Resorts is nothing to be ashamed of and people should always be respectful of the passions and interests of others. The Disney Parks mean a lot to a lot of people, acting as a way to connect and bring friends and families together and are a place where everyone should always feel welcome in.
Do you enjoy the Disney Parks?