Disney Phases Out Families, Sets Sights on Adult Market

in Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World

Disney Adults in monochrome

Credit: Inside the Magic

The term “Disney Adults” might make some people cringe, but there’s no denying that they are one of The Walt Disney Company’s biggest audiences. While places like Disneyland and the Walt Disney World Resort were designed with families with children in mind, Disney’s biggest demographic might be changing faster than many might think.

Three adult women in front of Epcot.
Credit: Disney

It’s no secret that Disney’s adult audience has been on the rise for a long while and the company has utilized that information extensively, especially with some of the Disneyland After Dark events in recent years. However, does this mean that the brand’s focus on family fun is on its way out?

Related: “Get Over It!” Animal Kingdom Expansion Stirs Disney World Divide

In the early days of Disneyland, Walt himself designed his park to be in a constant state of evolution. Just as the parks and movies are subject to change, so is Disney’s audience. It’s clear that taste is highly subjective, but Disney’s demographic has seen a massive shift that might change how the company treats the general audience. Creator and influencer @sayheyjames goes into greater detail in the footage below.

Disney Adults Trigger Culture Shift at Disney


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

Complaining about price increases at the parks is nothing new, but @sayheyjames elaborates that Disney is no longer setting sights on the typical family demographic or high income earners. There’s no denying that the vast majority of Disney’s visitors are likely childless millennials, as statistics show that (as of 2017) only 42% of U.S. households with children under 18 had visited a Disney park.

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

Based on that logic, a presumed 58% of Disney’s audience could be those pesky childless millennials. Although several years have passed since 2017, that statistic has visually grown if recent reports out of the parks are true. So why is this such a big deal for Disney and potential guests/consumers?

@sayheyjames said it best,

“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…”

Add that to the fact that millennials are also facing a housing crisis and many aren’t having children, and the pieces start to come together. This isn’t just hearsay either, as Disney has made no secret about pushing more adult activities at the parks and resorts. They just don’t advertise it as much.

What Has Disney Done

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

As pointed out in the video above, Disney has increased the sales of alcohol (namely at places like EPCOT or Disney Springs), pushed more merch directed towards an adult audience, and incorporated more adult-oriented themes at their after-hours events. This might not be such a big deal if it was just at Disneyland and Walt Disney World, but Disney rarely does anything small.

Related: Hollywood Studios Faces Massive Makeover, Rebranding Predicted

Disney has also implemented more adult experiences for the Disney Cruise Line, such as the multiple venues and activities aboard the Disney Treasure. Additionally, many of the newest additions to Disney+ such as Star Wars: The Acolyte and the upcoming Daredevil series might not be the best fit for younger viewers. Slowly, Disney’s family-friendly focus continues to crumble.

In reality, Disney was never made with an age restriction. Whether it’s the films, parks, merch, or experiences, Disney is made with something for everyone to enjoy. That said, money still talks, and the Disney adults are more than willing to chat.

Do you think Disney’s audience is changing? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

in Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World

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