Disney Adults: The Next Generation’s Reconciliation Tale

in Disney, Entertainment, Theme Parks

Disney adults the next generation

Credit: Disney

Disney transcends generations, and the newest of us get a chance to create a real-world reconciliation tale. Anything that can exist beyond the scope of 25 years has to since that’s the average duration of a single generation.

Disney adults, the next generation, is basically about interest in theme parks beyond childhood. It isn’t about Disney Parents bringing kids to enjoy the magic. But it’s certainly a crucial part of it.

Disney adults the next generation
Credit: Disney

Disney Adults: The Next Generation

The idea of Disney is that it has features that appeal to pretty much anyone. Known for its family-friendliness and emphasis on the possibility of life having a happy ending, it has a transcendental appeal. Since 1923, Disney has impacted the world. The Disney Adults, a next-generation movement, is a way of moving forward and incorporating everyone in real inclusion.

What are Disney Adults?

Disney Adults are those who enjoy Disney as much as or more than children. It shows genuine interest in Disney Theme Parks, despite many closings. This also shows that there’s interest in film productions amongst those outside the main demographic, parents and kids.

Yet with Disney asserting itself as a firm friend of all generations, it provides a unique opportunity to use this era of rich content and modern technical marvels to increase inclusion.

Disney adults the next generation
Credit: Disney

What was the first Disney generation?

Disney Adults’ next-gen celebrates diversity, incorporating those of all ages. The ‘Greatest Generation’ is the first to have experienced Disney as a toddler since the gap extends to 1925. It began with the Alice Comedies, including Alice Cans the Cannibals and Alice in the Jungle, appearing as regular shorts.

To be fair, the ‘Silent Generation’ and ‘Baby Boomers’ span 1925-1964. For ease of reference, the first Disney generation is aged 98 to 59. This spans the first full-length animated feature Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and runs through Disney’s construction of Disneyland in July 1954.

Disney adults the next generation
Credit: Disney

Which generation saw Disney at its prime?

That era saw some great content during a time when entertainment was scarce. Second, on the list is ‘Generation X,’ which takes Disney to 1980, the age of theme parks and the growing attraction demand. This was the age of films like Swiss Family RobinsonOne Hundred and One Dalmatians, and Pollyanna, from Mary Poppins to The Jungle Book and Blackbeard’s Ghost.

Pollyanna’s line, “See here, why don’t you find someone your age to talk to?” highlights the clear boundaries between generations common at that time. But she also believed in playing the ‘Glad Game’ and finding the bright side of things. Disney adults, the next generation, can help show that the silver lining was genuine. It’s a step towards true reconciliation.

Disney adults the next generation
Credit: Disney

Does Disney do multigenerational family vacations?

Multigenerational family vacations can be a smashing success or an absolute train wreck. A specific site guides singles and groups in curating an ideal Disney vacation. It’s all about finding the right way for the Disney adult next generation to approach the ‘Happiest Place on Earth.’

Millennials and Disney

Millenials range in age from 25 to 40 years old, meaning the formative years included the Disney Channel in the background. Lucky kids even got to throw tantrums from over-stimulation at a Disney theme park. But the Disney adult next-generation movement for Millenials is about the forgotten players: the parents.

The thing is that Millenials have both kids and parents. This is just to say that Disney is great for all ages. Taking our kids is top of mind, but a trip with a parent to bond over some serious nostalgia is well worth the endeavor. It’s also a way to reconcile, heal, and move forward.

Disney adults the next generation
Credit: Disney

Why It Matters

While we were watching Tron, parents and caregivers were sheltering, feeding, and looking out for us. We were watching Disney, after all. This is the generation of MulanA Bug’s Life, Splash, and The Lion King. It’s also the era of Disney channel icons like Dinosaurs and So Weird. 

The gift of straddling the millennium makes it hard to relate to kids and parents, and Disney can bridge that gap. It provides the tools that make it so Disney adults of this generation can reconcile. Yes, it requires some reach, but someone has to take the first step.

tron 1982
Credit: Disney

Paying It Forward

It’s an age where there’s no uncertainty about it; Millenials rely on parents more than ever. From financial security to shelter, Gen X or the Silent Generation were there during those Disney times (even in the peripheries). The idea behind Disney adults, the next generation, is to pay it forward and use Disney as a way to connect.

Can you imagine the sheer wonder of the Tron Ride if your loved ones adored Tron in the film? Even recently, a WW2 veteran was brought to tears by Disney’s enchantment. It really is a magical place.

Gen Z and Disney

It’s generally agreed that Gen Z was born somewhere between the late-’90s and the early ’10s. Some think the cutoff is Y2K. This is the generation of Finding Nemo, Pirates of the Caribbean, Lilo & Stitch, and Frozen. It was the era of going to the theatre to watch the Frozen short before Cinderella.

Somehow, it’s also the generation of Frozen II and Finding Dory. The content volume increases exponentially from Encanto to Luca to Avatar: The Way of Water. This generation was born into a time when the only way to access the world was through a screen. The marks of the apocalypse showed in theme park trip numbers.

Disney adults the next generation
Credit: Disney

Disney Adults: The Next Generation Relating Through Shared Interest

The premise behind Disney’s next generation of adults is to use the plethora of bonding opportunities it offers. While the kids were reciting “Let it Go” at the top of their lungs, parents were experiencing it too. It shows in the themes behind Finding Nemo and Finding Dory.

Disney’s messaging changed with time, as Gen Z lives the intro of Bob Iger as CEO. The so-called “woke” movement, meant to promote inclusivity and representation, causes many intergenerational issues. But if there’s anything that can break through the ‘frozen heart,’ it’s Disney and its unique position as an entertainment powerhouse.

Disney adults the next generation
Credit: Disney

Disney Adults, the Next Generation

This is another interesting one. Gen Z was born into the era of pandemics and TikTok. Streaming dialup-free, and there are actually artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and immersive experiences. These things were a fantasy just one generation ago. Remember Harry Potter with the moving pictures that seemed so futuristic? Just pass by a billboard, and there you go.

As the only certainty, the changing world seems frightening, but it also presents opportunities for personal growth. Disney makes some pretty clear parallels in its intergenerational themes, with some metaphors you might have missed:

(left) Mariachi band member being threatened by (center) Abuelita Elena Rivera, while Miguel (right) looks shocked, from Coco (2017)
Credit: Pixar Animation/Disney

Coco: “Nothing’s more important than family.”

Disney Adult’s next-gen approaches mean understanding the value of family. Some households steadfastly adhere to family-first values. The theme of Coco is that memory holds despite death.

Family history can transcend time and allows us to embrace the past and shape the future. It’s available to watch and as an attraction at Disney World, where you can see the Aztec Pyramid in the Mexico Pavillion.

Disney adults the next generation
Credit: Disney

Encanto: “The miracle is not some magic you’ve got – the miracle is you.”

The premise supporting Disney adults, the next generation, is about inclusion. Everyone has inherent value as a human, regardless of circumstance. It speaks powerfully, though subtly, about immigration policy. Encanto got thrust into popularity with the song “We Don’t Talk About Bruno.”

Yet we must talk about Bruno, metaphorically, that is. It represents intergenerational trauma that only breaks along with silence. The power behind that song transcended generations because it speaks to things that most possess: secrets and fear. As Encanto showed, families change through generations—which can be marvelous. See for yourself at the Magic Kingdom.

Disney adults the next generation
Credit: Disney

Up: “I can’t tell where we are.”

Here it is, folks, perhaps the ultimate intergenerational movie that proves the concept of Disney adults, the next generation. The show effectively preaches the values that life can offer bountiful adventures so long as there is breath. Your dad or grandpa might be a grump, but they might love a stroll down Main Street, U.S.A.

It really speaks to the concept of failing to realize blessings that are right in front of us. The balloons represent the breath of life, and the journeys show that there is always hope for something extraordinary to happen. If there’s someone that Up reminds you of, maybe call in to watch a film and connect.

Disney parent from 'Mulan'
Credit: Disney

Mulan: “The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all.”

A film crafted long before the current era of inclusivity, Mulan is a testament to changing values over time. It’s set centuries before the movie and involves the courage of a woman to save her father from sure death or at least dishonor. It’s a remarkable piece that led to the divisive live-action remake and the iconic characters appearing at Disney World and in merch.

The idea of the film has roots in the value of independence, bravery, and sacrifice. But its stronger story is the tale of a family that literally went to war for each other. While there might not be such extremes, arguments between families do arise. Disagreements. Disappointments. But if we let it, love actually can prevail if we “have courage and be kind.”

Disney adults the next generation
Credit: Disney

Inside Out: “I just want Riley to be happy.”

Inside Out is a film centered on a family moving, triggering Riley into a new stage in her emotional self. It lends the message that it’s alright to not be ‘okay’ all the time. The focus on honesty and self-growth not only helped a generation of kids learn to accept their core memories and embrace new ones but helped parents learn to give kids space.

The idea of Disney’s next generation of adults is that we see the parents stressing behind the scenes while we have a meltdown over a crush or embarrass ourselves at school. At the core is love. Think about the first person “Who’s your friend who likes to play?” The nostalgia is real, and so is the intergenerational commentary in the show. Seize the moment with a rewatch or a trip to its newest attraction.

'Turning Red' parents scene
Credit: Disney

Turning Red: “Be careful. Honoring your parents sounds great, but if you take it too far, well, you might forget to honor yourself.”

Based on a family curse, Turning Red sits at the intersection of culture and family. It’s about expectations, with the main character Mei and her mother’s assumptions about her. There are plenty of parallels in the Pixar-animated, Toronto-based film. It highlights Canadian diversity and relays a message of balancing family and self.

There is family. There are chosen families. But most of all, there is an opportunity to engage with loved ones, even on a cheesy theme park ride where you hit up the Pixar-Pal-A-Round at Disney California Adventure. There’s also the option of watching it as a family, but there’s a better excuse to turn red on a ride.

Disney Adults, Making The Next Generation Great

Disney, whether the movies or the theme parks, is for everyone. The chance to pay it back and pass it on means more opportunities for magic and memories. It all comes down to choosing to “do the next right thing” and make magical memories that transcend time and generation.

What are your thoughts on Disney adults, the next generation? Would you bring your parents or loved ones? Share your reasons in the comments below!

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