Over the last week, an old viral Facebook post has resurfaced and attracted a lot of media attention. What’s it about? Childless millennials at Disney. Since I do blog about Disney from time to time, I’ve decided to weigh in on the whole child-free at Disney debate.
The notorious Facebook post basically consists of a mum ranting about how her trip to Disney was ruined by these childless millennials. Not only did they have the audacity to go to WDW without kids but they also waste their money on pretzels. It’s completely ridiculous, contains a lot of expletives and its authenticity is questionable at best. But the discussion surrounding it online brings up the same old question: should adults visit Disney Parks without kids?
The Misrepresentation of Child-free Adults at Disney
The reality is that adults of all ages visit Disney Parks without children every single day of the year. And why shouldn’t they? Disney is for everyone. It’s not just for kids or families, it’s a place for dreamers of all ages.
And in any case, there are a large number of reasons why a child-free adult might be visiting a Disney Park without it being for nefarious reasons. They might:
- Have adult children
- Be taking a once in a lifetime trip due to ill health or retirement
- Have struggled with infertility or child loss
- Be going to remember a child they’ve lost
- Not want children ever or not be ready for them yet
- Just really like theme parks or Disney
The Perks of Being Child-Free at Disney
So why do child-free adults choose to go to Disney? Well I recently ran a little poll on my Twitter to find out.
A quick little poll for the child-free Disney loving adults…— Hayley 💜 (@HappilyEverHay) July 30, 2019
What’s your MAIN reason for going to Disney?
Unsurprisingly, child-free adults visit because they want to have fun. Just like everybody else who goes to Disney.
If I’m honest, being child-free gives you huge advantages when it comes to visiting the Disney Parks because you can do anything. You get to spend your time enjoying yourself instead of fussing over someone else. You’re free to eat whatever, wherever, whenever and don’t need to carry around a huge bag of spare clothes and snacks. If you want to buy something, you can just buy it.
As parents, a visit to a Disney Park becomes all about budgets and schedules. And of course, desperately trying to keep your young safe, clean and content which can be incredibly stressful.
Thoughts on THAT Viral Post
To be honest, I suspect that ‘angry pretzel mom’ is really a cast member. If so, I totally get it. I’ve worked in tourist attractions and dealt with entitled parents more often than I’d like to admit. They’re angry that there are queues and that everything costs so much money when they can buy the same thing at Tesco for a third of the price. They are super mad and they want their money back. During peak times, this happens several times a day.
But if this is a genuine post, I’d say that the issue isn’t the childless millennials. It’s this parent’s distorted view of parenting at Disney.
I mean this mum has clearly arrived at Disney World expecting it to be full of happy families, princesses and larger than life mice. Beyond that, there’s been no foresight. How anyone can go to a theme park expecting there to be no queues is beyond me but it happens a lot. If you’re not happy with a queue but choose to stay in that queue, you’ve got no-one to blame but yourself really. I’m sorry but it’s true.
Now there is one bit where I feel empathy for the OP. It’s where she talks about people giving her death stares because her 3 year old is having a meltdown. If you don’t have kids you might not already know this but annoying as they are, tantrums are actually a really important way for young children to regulate their emotions. It’s not a sign of bad parenting, it’s just child development.
What The Media Had To Say
One article I read was detested by many adult Disney fans. (I won’t give them the satisfaction of another back link but you’ll be able to find it easily on Google.) Anyway, it basically spouts out an equally absurd argument: that adults should be immersing themselves in culture instead of going to theme parks. Apparently the author has forgotten that popular culture is still culture and that there’s no right or wrong way to consume culture.
On the other hand, Yahoo shared a similar view to my own on the viral post. Preparation is crucial when you’re going to Walt Disney World. There’s a reason why seasoned pros plan out their dining and Fastpass preferences long before the date to actually book them rolls around. When you add kids into the mix, it’s even more imperative to get planning ahead of time.
Since Walt wanted his parks to be a place for everybody, we should just accept that everybody is welcome. If Disney isn’t your cup of tea then fine but there’s no need to tear others down because of it. Take some advice from Elsa: let it go and move on.
Have you been on a Disney trip without children? Feel free to share your magical experiences in the comments below!