Former Imagineer Speaks Out On “Disney Adult” Controversy

in Disney, Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World

Joe Rohde explorer outfit

Credit: D23

The term “Disney Adult” typically refers to a childless adult who loves Disney films, the Disney Parks, Disney Cruise Line, and Disney merchandise. It’s been used to describe Disney fans for years!

Disney Guests at Spyglass Grill at Walt Disney World's Caribbean Beach Resort
Credit: Disney

However, recent viral incidents at Disney Parks around the world have incited online hatred and abuse directed towards so-called “Disney Adults.”

One woman shared a video of herself hugging Pluto for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the viral TikTok, the Disney Guest broke into tears as she was reminded of her late grandfather, who loved Pluto.

The seas with nemo and friends guests
Credit: Disney

Unfortunately, her emotions made her a target of cruel Internet bullying. She later spoke out, calling the comments she received “vile.”

The most recent viral “Disney Adult” incident occurred when a newlywed bride posted to Reddit, asking if she and her husband were “a**holes” for not feeding Guests at their Disney Fairytale Wedding at Walt Disney World.

Guests wearing face masks at disneyland resort
Credit: Disney

Allegedly, the couple opted to pay nearly $6,000 to have Mickey and Minnie Mouse attend two of their wedding events and told Guests to find dining options at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort or nearby vending machines.

Retired Imagineer and Disney Legend Joe Rohde spoke out on the controversy today. Not only did Rohde help design Pandora, inspired by James Cameron’s Avatar (2009), but he also imagined and designed the concept of Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

Joe Rohde in DAK
Credit: D23

Related: Ex-Imagineer Joe Rohde Says Animal Kingdom Is Lacking In One Area

Rohde linked a Rolling Stone article, criticizing the author for arguing that the Disney Parks are designed for children:

Early in this article a claim is put forward that the parks are designed for kids.The bulk of the article then analyzes why adults would be attracted to such a thing.But the parks were and are not designed for kids.They are explicitly for everyone. So…..?

Rohde’s claim is correct. Adults have been going to the Disney Parks since Disneyland opened in 1955 and Walt Disney World in 1971. Walt Disney intended his theme Parks to be for all ages:

“To all who come to this happy place: Welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here, age relives fond memories of the past… and here, youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America… with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.” – Walt Disney.

Joe Rohde
Credit: Disney

Are you a proud “Disney Adult?” Let us know in the comments. 

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