This week, the New York Post published an article titled "Sorry childless millennials, going to Disney World is weird."
After reading this article, rolling my eyes so many times that I wondered if they would fall behind my head, I feel that childless millennials who enjoy Disney need their voices to be heard in this discussion as well.
The author of the article writes, "Millennials are indeed in an unhealthy relationship with Disney, having granted control of so much of their leisure time and personality to a single, enormous corporate entity meant for children... While we're at it, why not return to the safety and comfort of the womb?"
The author writes those who were born between 1981 – 1996 live in lifelong immaturity, choosing to prioritize our funds towards watching movies for children and visiting parks that are intended for children.
The author states this generation is uncultured, choosing films based on our childhood such as the new "Aladdin" remake compared to "Booksmart," which came out around the same time.
First, Disneyland and the Walt Disney Company has never seen children as their targeted audience. Such as stated by Calyle on Twitter, Disneyland has marketed to young adults since the 1950s.
Walt Disney himself has a well-known quote that says, "You're dead if you aim only for kids. Adults are kids grown up, anyway"
Even Brad Bird, a director for Pixar, a company owned by Walt Disney Company has stated the movie he creates are not directed for only kids to enjoy. They are only part of the demographic.
The Walt Disney Company does not see itself as a company for kids at all. They view themselves as a company for all people.
They are aware that their demographic is not simply families. It's why on their cruise lines they have adult-only restaurants and pools. It's why they offer a variety of different experiences at their parks to appease those with different lifestyles. It's genius, it's working, it's why they're the best at what they do.
The top two movies in the world are both owned by the Walt Disney Company and that isn't simply because of luck. It's because they know how to create experiences for all ages. When I recently went to the "Aladdin" midnight premiere, (I also saw "Booksmart" opening weekend, in case you were wondering), it was not only kids in the theater. There were seniors, teenagers, multi-generational families, and yes, millennials.
The beauty of Disney is that there is an appeal for almost everyone.
Since the article brought up millennials disinterest in movies such as "Booksmart" and gave their money to Disney instead, let me explain why. When I saw "Booksmart," we started with a full theater and when it went we had people leave the theater. There was one elderly couple next to us who didn't have an interest in it and ended up walking out about thirty minutes in. There was a mother with children who were a bit young for the content, caught on and escorted her family kindly out of the theater. "Booksmart" was indeed a great movie. It had a specific demographic and that demographic loved the movie. Disney happens to have a wider one.
Getting back on the subject of those dang childless millennials who decide to spend their money at the parks, well, why do you care?
For the woman in the article who had a negative experience with her children in Disneyland with millennials, I do feel for her. There are some people in this world who aren't very kind and maybe she did have some rough encounters. She could easily have those same encounters on any other vacation, too.
I personally go to Disneyland once to twice a year and yes, without children. I love walking around the park and seeing little kids dressed up in their Cinderella dresses, anxious to meet the characters. My experience at Disneyland is simply different than someone with kids. Our priorities are different. Our memories are different.
My most recent trips to Disneyland were with my mom and my aunt. We all had a great time together and have memories we STILL talk about all the time. Such as when my mom and I made a bet, she lost and had to sit front row at Splash Mountain.
I more than understand that a child's trip to Disney is important, but so are our trips as well. Millennials are not attending the parks with intentions to make your family trips with children hard or inconvenient. We want to have a magical time, too.
As for accusing millennials that we are living a life of immaturity and choosing Disneyland over spending money on bills or visiting museums, I'm sorry that you see it that way. I am a double major and one of my majors is in English. My fellow English major friends and I have read so many "cultured" classic novels for our classes or for our free time. We visit our local art museums, we watch documentaries, we look at houses we will never be able to afford and we work really hard every day.
In fact, my friends and I are taking a Disneyland trip together in a couple of months. We chose to go to Disneyland not because we didn't want to leave the security blanket of our childhoods, but because we want to experience the magic of a place we have grown up to fall in love with.
Please, leave millennials alone about going to Disneyland and worry about something else. Trust me, there are plenty of other things happening in our world that you can invest your time into.