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You Might Want to Rethink What You Think of "Disney Adults": The Case for the Disney Adult

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You Might Want to Rethink What You Think of "Disney Adults": The Case for the Disney Adult

In the summer of 1955, Disneyland opened its' doors. During his dedication speech on opening day, Walt Disney said these prolific words that echo in the ears of many Disney park fans: 'To all who come to this happy place: Welcome.' Nearly 70 years later, that famous line associated with the birthday of Disneyland still rings true in the hearts of many Disney fans, most of these fans being grown-ups.

In 2023, the Internet in its typical cruel and unabashedly judgmental fashion, has found a way to turn something harmless, like an adult park guest donning a pair of Minnie ears and enjoying a delicious Mickey-shaped snack on Main Street, into something 'cringe-worthy' or 'creepy.' There are various forms of entertainment, like Disney, that transcend multiple generations, have the most fanatical fan bases (mainly adults), and yet don't get nearly as much hate as the adult Disney fan or commonly known as a 'Disney Adult.'

Several unapologetic self-proclaimed 'Disney adults' have spoken out in defense of their love for Disney and the fandom community, including Ken McGraw of WDW Magazine, who makes a very strong case for why adults love and should visit the Disney parks.

(Pictured: My fiance  and me at Hollywood Studios' Galaxy's Edge)

As a travel planner and a huge adult Disney fan myself, I will often get the same question with eye brows raised from clients, family members, and 'non-Disney fan' friends alike, 'what is there for adults without children to even do at Walt Disney World?' Contrary to popular belief, which in my honest opinion may be due in part to Disney's negligent marketing in this area, there is PLENTY for adults, both fan and non-fan alike, to enjoy about the Disney parks. Once we get past the belief that Disney is a theme park solely for children, it is a pleasant surprise as to how much there is to do for the grown-up audience.

Before meeting and falling in love with my now fiance, I admittedly was one of those skeptics. Not to say I wasn't a fan, I just didn't know how much there was to do for the adult fan. Despite going to the parks often growing up, I never knew there was so much for adults to do there until my fiance, a former Disney cast member and Disney College Program (DCP) alum, opened my eyes to those things. Now, I strongly encourage and recommend my adult 'non-Disney' fan friends and family to go.

(Pictured: After our proposal atop California Grill in Disney's Contemporary Resort)

Consider this your guide not only from the perspective of a travel planner who specializes in Disney vacations, but also as a skeptic turned 'believer' who will defend 'Disney Adults', and let you in on the many aspects of Walt Disney World there are for adult guests to enjoy:
  1. Thrill rides- Usually when people think of Disney World, they envision 'Its a Small World' or 'Dumbo', attractions catered predominately to families with small children. While Disney has its handful of those family friendly rides, it is not short of its thrill rides either. With the opening of Guardian's of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind in Epcot in 2022 and Tron: Lightcycle Run that opened in Magic Kingdom in April of this year, Disney's assortment of attractions is continuing to grow terms of thrill rides that adults can enjoy, too.
  2. Award-winning Michelin restaurants and cuisine- Disney not only surpasses expectations in terms of being a one of a kind immersive theme park experience, it is also the home of several Michelin restaurants that are well renowned  throughout the country. California Grill, where my fiance proposed, is on that list. A couple of others tucked away within various Disney resorts and along Disney Springs, include Victoria and Albert's in Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, Toledo's in Disney's Coronado Springs Resort, and the Polite Pig in Disney Springs.
  3. Broadway style musicals and performances- When I visited Walt Disney World for the first time as an adult in my 30s, I was blown away by the performance of Beauty and Beast: Live on Stage when I saw it for the first time. Beauty and the Beast was one of my beloved favorites as a child and, this performance was a quintessential Disney experience that made me feel as if I was inside Belle and the Beast's story. The Festival of the Lion King, a performance that includes puppetry and other cool effects inside Disney's Animal Kingdom park, is one that is so jam packed with incredible talent from start to finish.
  4. Fun, immersive bars and lounges with unique Disney theming- What surprised me the most was this part: Disney has multiple unique Disney themed cocktails, lounges, and bars that adults over 21 can enjoy. Whether you're looking to be transported into a watering hole in a galaxy far, far away at Oga's Cantina, with its assortment of out of this world alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, or you want to enjoy a cocktail that is specific to a different country of origin in Epcot, Disney offers an array of boozy options that adult guests can enjoy. Note: If you are going to drink, please drink responsibly :)
When Disneyland first opened its gates in July of 1955, the first person to purchase a ticket was 22 year old, David MacPherson. MacPherson is, you can say, the OG Disney Adult. As you can see, the case of the 'Disney Adult' is a tale as old as time (hehe, not really, but they've been around for a while).

David is proof that an adult guest can visit the parks and still have as exciting of a time, if not more, as the littlest park guest. This, after all, was Walt's vision all along when he created Disneyland 70 years ago. He wanted it to be a place where 'the young and the young at heart' can enjoy it for  many years to come.

Get in touch with Heather Bowman


Heather Bowman

You Might Want to Rethink What You Think of "Disney Adults": The Case for the Disney Adult

Tulsa Travel Agent Near Me

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I'm Heather Bowman, travel agent with Vincent Vacations. I curate custom travel experiences for families, singles, couples, multi-generations and groups! I enjoy planning and organizing trips that exceed my clients expectations and make their travel dreams come true! I look forward to working with you to plan the trip of your dreams!  

An expert destination wedding travel agent near me with five star luxury travel packages with a luxury travel company, Vincent Vacations.

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