Disney Becomes Safe Haven for Childless Adults

in Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World

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 safe to say that due to Disney’s impact on our collective culture, it’s likely a brand we have recognized since infancy. The term “Disney Adults” might have some negative association in some circles, but they are simply the products of a successful name.

Four teenagers laughing and talking in front of the twilight zone tower of terror attraction in Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park on a sunny day.
Credit: Disney

While Disney’s primary audience has always been children and families, those kids raised on a diet of Mickey Mouse and the Magic Kingdom eventually grow up. That doesn’t mean the House of Mouse will let them go so easily. Moreover, there might be a method to the madness in the rise of the controversial fandom.

Related: “Magic Kingdom” No Longer: Classic Disney World Park Facing Expiration After 53 Years

The fact that Disney has advertised to children and families for generations is common knowledge, but places like Disneyland and Walt Disney World have slowly sprinkled in more and more adult-oriented experiences as their audiences grew, but there has been a noticeable increase in grown-up guests in the past few years, and @sayheyjames expands on why.

Disney Adults: Magically Misunderstood

@sayheyjames

Disney’s theme parks continue to make the company profitable. But, who is the main demographic? #disney #disneynews #waltdisney #disneyland #disneyworld #disneytiktok

♬ original sound – Sayheyjames

@sayheyjames is a TikTok creator that goes into great detail on the ins and outs of the Disney parks in a large majority of his content. In the video above, he explains why there has been an uptick in Disney Adults, but also why families are slowly being phased out of the core audience. Families and children are still the primary demographic for advertising, but Disney knows which age group to truly play to.

Related: Mary Poppins Reminds Guest at EPCOT to Hide Questionable Prop During Photo

The creator has several statistics listed in his video, but one quote pulls back the curtain on the cold reality facing Disney’s vocal fandom.

“A vast majority of Disney Adults are millennials between the ages of 27 and 42, and this generation grew up going to the theme parks with their families. Their childhood memories of simplicity and joy are intertwined with the parks… Millennials have lived through three recessions, 9/11, multiple oversea wars and most recently a plague…”

Not only does this shed a little light on why the “childless millennials” are the most drawn to Disney, but that the company is well aware of the fact as well.

Disney’s Master Plan

Disney Adults in monochrome
Credit: Inside the Magic

@sayheyjames continues in his assessment, and Disney Adults slowly become more relatable and less fuel for social media flame wars.

“The largest market for the Disney parks are no longer middle class families, it’s the children of those previous families, AKA the millenials with disposable income without children, AKA a good chunk of Disney Adults. And this kinda makes sense. Disney already has a decades-long-built fanbase with this group and said group has the money willing to spend. If you knew you could never afford a house or a family but had the opportunity to relive childhood simplicity, wouldn’t you?”

One one hand, it’s so easy to see how the Walt Disney Company might be using the situations that created the Disney Adults as an opportunity to prey on a vulnerable demographic. However, the fact that the movie studio and theme parks have made their materials open to all ages (emphasis on “all”) is still a comfort.

Related: Disney Officially Rethemes Hollywood Studios, No Longer About the Movies

Disney Adults might be capable of some outright cringe-worthy behavior, but is it any wonder so many fans cling to their favorite Disney movies and characters long after childhood? Given the information presented above, it’s safe to assume that Disney’s adult fanbase won’t be going anywhere any time soon.

Speaking as a member of the childless millennial demographic, the influx of Disney Adults has nothing to do with a housing shortage or income variants. It’s because Disney is one of the few places where life’s troubles don’t exist, where good always triumphs over evil, wishes can come true, and fairytales end with a kiss. Reality is a fascinating place, but we wouldn’t want to live there.

Are Disney Adults justified? Tell Inside the Magic what you think in the comments below!

in Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World

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