Disney Adults Phased Out of Theme Parks, Families Targeted

in Disney Parks, Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World

walt disney world burnt out sign

Credit: SouthernDisney Belle

It seems that Disney is back in hot water, as they are now offering their lowest-priced discount yet in an attempt to get guests to come back to their theme park and take a Disney vacation. Although this is good for certain guests, it does single out Disney adults, a group of park-goers who have been ridiculed on the internet for loving all things Disney without having a kid.

A group of young adults pose in front of the entrance to Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind at EPCOT during an After Hours event
Credit: Disney

It’s no secret that traveling to Walt Disney World is costly. That is because when it comes to spending money at Disney, it is the easiest thing any guest can do. Take Walt Disney World Resort, for example. Do you want to purchase tickets when you visit? Will you be going to Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and EPCOT? Will you be eating at Disney Springs? Will you be getting a snack at Magic Kingdom, like a churro? Will you enter World of Disney or the Emporium on Main Street, U.S.A.? It is honestly so easy to spend money at Disney — it’s impossible not to.

Over the years, The Walt Disney Company has really ramped up its theme park division, creating new and exciting rides and attractions for guests to enjoy. From Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida to Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure in California, there’s no end in sight to all of the incredible and magical experiences that await guests at every Disney park.

Two Disney Adults dining at Topolino's
Credit: Disney

This is true for international theme parks as well, like Disneyland Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, and Tokyo Disneyland. Because of this, we’ve seen interest in a Disney vacation spike, with guests eager to experience all of the new things to do at Disney.

The Walt Disney Company is no stranger to controversy, with CEO Bob Iger managing multiple issues as of late. However, despite all of the exciting things to do and see at Disney, these theme parks have all been facing low attendance numbers over the last few months.

Walt Disney World hit record-low attendance numbers over the month of July, with crowds being their lowest in a decade. Disneyland’s crowds have been more steady, though there have been times when the parks were more empty than normal. July is usually one of the busiest times to visit Walt Disney World, as kids are out of school. Prices tend to be higher during this time due to the demand, but over the summer, the lack of guests showed Disney that price gouging will no longer work, as the demand is no longer as strong.

That being said, Disney has raised the prices of tickets, Annual Passes and Magic Keys, as well as food and drinks, making the cost of a Disney vacation higher than ever.

Credit: @DrewDisneyDude

In an attempt to curb low attendance, we have seen deals offered on both coast. Disney World Annual Passholders of all tiers (Disney Pixie Dust Pass, Disney Pirate Pass, Disney Sorcerer Pass, Disney Incredi-Pass) a few months ago, Annual Passholders were able to experience V.I.Passholder days where they received 30% off most merchandise, further food discounts, and a private Annual Passholder lounge which offered speciality food for purchase themed to Figment and nearly expired M&M’s.

When the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser began having issues getting more guests to pay the nearly $6000.00 price tag for the two-night voyage, Disney also started offering discounts. In fact, one of the discount offerings was given to DVC members at first before also expanding to Cast Members and other guests. That being said, they did offer those deals in a last-ditch effort to save the hotel, which shut down forever last week.

Now, however, Disney is targeting families and they are leaving Disney adults behind in their quest to boost sales and attendance.

The Walt Disney Company on Wednesday announced new, limited-time discounts on children’s tickets at Disneyland and Disney World.

Magic Kingdom looking empty
Credit: @innoventioneast via Twitter

As announced by NBC, “Starting Oct. 24, parents can purchase children’s tickets (valid for kids aged three to nine) for the California-based Disneyland resort for as low as $50 each. Tickets can be used between Jan. 8 and March 10 of next year.

As for the Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, children’s tickets and dining plans will be half-off for guests who purchase a four-day, four-night vacation package at one of its resorts. The deal starts Nov. 14 and can be used from March 3 through June 30, 2024.”

The price cuts come as the company’s U.S.-based parks have seen a slowdown in attendance and hotel room occupancy as consumers face higher costs due to inflation. Disney is not the only company facing these issues. Universal’s domestic parks, as well as region players like Six Flags and SeaWorld Orlando, have reported lower attendance this year.


Travel agents have pointed to higher ticket prices and a rise in trips to Europe as the major factors in declining domestic theme park attendance.

Tickets to Disney World can cost to as much as $180 per person per day. That does not even include Disney Genie+, which is nearly always adding an additional $25-$30 on each guest’s credit card. Couple that with hotel rooms that cost $700.00 a night for a two bed room, it is easy to understand why traveling to Europe now seems like the more affordable option.

By targeting kids with this deal, Disney will inevitably get at least one or two adults coming with them, paying full price for a ticket each day, which will also mean more people eating their food, buying their merchandise, and booking hotel rooms. Although the deal is a great way to save a couple hundred bucks, it will not decrease the cost of other aspects of the vacation.

Aerial view of the Grand Floridian at Disney World
Credit: Disney

As we noted, this does not incentivize adults coming to Disney who do not have kids. Disney adults have been under scrutiny for a long time, as many have taken an issue with adults visiting Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, EPCOT, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom without children. It seems that riding the Seven Dwarfs Mine train with your best friend or partner instead of your child is a topic that leaves some folks on the internet in quite a stir. Now, it seems that the lack of love will sadly continue as they have no escape from the costly vacation prices.

Why is Disney Excluding Disney Adults and Targeting Families?

Although Disney will likely take any guest that they can get, there has been a lot of talk about “Disney adults” and their behavior in the theme parks as of late.

A good example of this comes from rule breaks that have been reported by adults at Disney.

One rule that many Disney fans know should never be broken is that the ashes of loved ones who have passed on are not allowed to be scattered on the property. This had become a more common occurrence at Disney, and now, cast members are well-trained to spot out guests who may be attempting to make Disney into a burial ground.

Four Disney Guests holding pins in front of Cinderella Castle
Credit: Disney

Areas such as The Haunted Mansion have been known to be a popular dumping spot, as well as water attractions like “it’s a small world.” What these guests may not know is that Disney has cameras operating at all times, with cast members watching in full view. Even in the dark, the cameras can pick up guests’ activity perfectly.

That being said, many guests still continue to try and attempt to dump the ashes of loved ones into sections of Disney property. They do this so that they can be “immortalized” at Disney forever and have the theme park be their resting place.

Oddly, many Disney adults would like to be “immortalized here”, even if it goes against Disney policy.

Another big issue that we have seen lately are fist fights, which typically always involve adults. Over this past summer, there have been countless fights at the Disney parks which have caused a scene, left many injured, and involved the police. If Disney is looking to be the most magical place on earth, these fights will only deter from the image.

Plus, with the new deal being placed for children, guests at Disneyland who are looking to visit for less while the Magic Key sales remain on pause will not have the ability to do so. Many Disney adults have shared that they are heartbroken that sales were paused, and instead of offering those guests an enticing deal, Disney chose not to.

That being said, there are still plenty of Disney adults with children that can cause trouble. Recently, multiple reports of Disney guests leaving their children nearly drowning in Disney pools have been made. “I watched the lifeguards at AKL pool pull a toddler from the bottom while his parents were at the bar. They said he wasn’t supposed to leave the splash pad,” said one cast member.

A Disney cast member hands a family some drinks at one of the two Disney World water parks.
Credit: Disney

Another chimed in, “We saved multiple kids per day in the wave pool, and then supervisors ALWAYS had to go track down the parents. They never even knew their kid was in distress and had to be rescued.”

Sometimes, parents my not be the most responsible, and that is how children are lost at Disney World, but it many times, it is not entirely on purpose. Regardless of the reasoning, it is the outcome that we are focusing on, which is that more and more often, guests in the parks are noticing children get left behind. 

This discussion was recently sparked online, when one parent spoke on what they noticed at Magic Kingdom on a recent vacation. Bindy0906 stated, “I went Magic Kingdom yesterday. I could not believe the amount of young kids (2-6) that were wandering alone. Parents would look back and keep moving or we didn’t know who they belonged to. One situation was by the bathroom and three boys were fighting with swords. One fell over and was tripped over. Dad was right there and never said a word. I had my 15 yr with me and she never left my side”.

The poster added, “Clarification, My daughter is allowed to walk alone. She knows the “rules” of navigation and when to get out of a situation if need be. It was just a point of how easy those crowds can absorb a small child.”

As we already noted, crowds can easily be one of the main things that engulf a child, even if the parent thinks they have a good eye on them. Bindy’s decision to bring up the topic online sparked a much larger conversation as hundreds of comments rolled in. 

One guest pointed out the first spot that it is easy to leave your child behind, the turnstiles. When entering any Disney park, from Magic Kingdom to EPCOT and everything in between, guests must scan their fingerprints. Without scanning in, entry is not permitted. At times, the finger scanner can be finicky, especially if the guest cannot remember what finger they previously used to scan in, which is what likely happened to this family.

Spaceship Earth at EPCOT inside Walt Disney World Resort
Credit: Disney

“My husband and I went there a few weeks ago, and the family entering the park in front of us accidentally left their 8-year-old daughter. They all got through the entry pads and just kept walking, but her fingerprint wouldn’t take for some reason. She started panicking and kept trying but she was clearly in distress without her parents nearby. They didn’t even realize they left her for quite a while, and we finally saw Dad come back to get her.” Others noted that in the future it would be smarter to have the parents sandwich the kids in line, so that the adult is the final one to scan.

One parent noted that they still sandwich their adult children, just to ensure everyone is all together, as it is very easy to lose each other in a Disney park, even if you are a grown-up.

Some were not as understanding, one Reddit user commented, “How selfish and horrible. Poor girl was probably so sacred she would be left behind.”

Overall, it seems that Disney may be looking to phase out some of the Disney adult population at the parks, and replace them with calmer families who are more predictable in behavior.

Will you be taking advantage of this new deal?

If you are looking to visit Walt Disney World Resort for a magical vacation, the Walt Disney World Website can be a great tool to begin planning your trip! You can begin exploring their theme parks: Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and EPCOT. You can also take a look at their water parks where you can splash around in the chill of Disney’s Blizzard Beach (alongside new Frozen characters, Anna, Elsa, Sven, and Kristoff), or hit the waves at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon. When you get hungry or want to go shopping, Disney Springs is the place to be, especially with World of Disney there ready to help you pick up some souvenirs! You can also begin looking for your Disney World Resort! If you are looking to stay at a Deluxe monorail Resort like Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa or a Value Resort where you can hop on the Skyliner like Disney’s Pop Century Resort, it is always fun to begin looking for a room that would best suit you and your party. Plus, it has all the information you need to know on Disney Genie+ so that you will be ready to go on your My Disney Experience app once you download it! Click here to check it out today.



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