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What is a ‘Disney Adult’ and Why Do People Hate Them?

Surely you grow out of loving Disney?

Credit: Alliance Images / Shutterstock

A recent video of a woman at Disney World has re-opened a debate online about adults who love Disney. In the video, TikTok user Sarah Rachul (@everdayisdisney) is seen at Disney World waiting to see Goofy. Her excitement is overwhelming as she runs toward him crying for a hug. The video was posted on the 3rd of May and now has more than 1.8 million views. Screenshots of the video made their way to Twitter where Twitter users shared them with the caption: “We need to do something about Disney adults.”

@everydayisdisney

i can’t remember the last time I cried this hard…it might sound silly but my papa’s favorite character was Goofy and when I hug Goofy it’s like hugging my papa again. Thank you so much @disneyparks for making real magic for me today ❤️ #disneyadults #disneycreator #disneyinfluencer #disneytrip #disneycharacters #disneymeetandgreet

♬ original sound – Disney Parks
Credit: @everydayisdisney / TikTok

But what is a Disney Adult according to the internet? On Urban Dictionary, the definition of the term states that a Disney Adult is:

“a millennial adult, with or without kids, that can’t stop talking about Disney, including the movies and the parks […] They probably engage in casual “Disneybounding” and visit the theme parks at least once a year. They are obsessed with everything Disney and probably have a Mickey Mouse bumper sticker and/or tattoo. One of the most terrifyingly intense people you’ll ever encounter.”

Yikes, not exactly a positive description. The vast community of Disney adults has been memed about and hated by the internet for years. Most people see the community as a whole as cringe-worthy, whilst others believe it sums up everything wrong with millennials: they don’t know how to grow up and be adults. Critics of Disney adults tend to compare them to ‘car guys’, another group the internet loves to hate, who are men who love cars so much that their lives revolve around them.

However, those in the community tend to brush off the hate, accepting that not everyone is going to ‘get it’ and understanding that online, people love to hate on anything which has already gained a negative label. Even so, it’s still confusing to those looking in from the outside as to why adults love Disney, something which is aimed primarily at children.

Inside the world of Disney Adults

According to actual Disney adults, there are several reasons why they are so obsessed with Disney. For some, they grew up going to the theme parks and being emersed in the ‘happiest place on earth’.  Now as adults, the parks are very nostalgic to them and bring up joyful memories. It makes sense that Disney has a special place in their heart.

Credit: Jerome Labouyrie / Shutterstock

For others, Disney films and characters helped them cope with painful events in their childhood, and Disney has continued to be a source of comfort in their adult life. By visiting the parks, rewatching the movies, and ‘Disneybounding’ ( creating every day, non-costume outfits of Disney characters), they can still get that same comfort and can escape from whatever troubles they have in their adult life.

Often when someone lives an unconventional lifestyle, there seems to be a need to comment and critique it. The hate Disney adults receive seems to be a combination of Gen-Z’s need to hate on millennials and a knee-jerk reaction to adults enjoying something which is considered to be only for children. Really, they aren’t doing anything wrong and are just passionate about

Written By

English student at Queen's University Belfast

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