Opinion: Disney magic is for everyone, not only families

By Tacye Hong, University of Cambridge

A mother’s rant about ‘childless couples’ visiting Disney World is another example of people making unfounded criticisms of millennials

By Tacye Hong, University of Cambridge |

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Crowds flock to Disney World, which wasn’t designed solely with families in mind.

An old rant from an annoyed mother about “childless couples” visiting Disney World, in the US state of Florida, resurfaced on Twitter recently. She criticised “immature millennials” for throwing their money away, arguing that women with children should be allowed to skip lines.

A New York Post commentary by Johnny Oleksinski, titled “Sorry, childless millennials going to Disney World is weird”, only added fuel to the fire.

Disney World is an amusement park, meaning that it is suitable for people of all ages; it was not designed solely with families in mind. It has many cocktail bars and offers package deals for people to celebrate their weddings and honeymoons.

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Unlike Legoland Discovery Centre, which specifically states that all adults must be accompanied by a child, Disney World makes sure that everyone can have a magical experience in its parks. What’s more, Legoland has started hosting adults-only nights, recognising that their attraction can also be enjoyed by those without children.

Regarding the comment that mothers with children should be allowed to skip queues, not only would it be impractical since many people are accompanied by their kids anyway, it would also be unfair for millennials who pay the same entrance price as all the other visitors of their age. Long queues can always be expected at these attractions and the mother should in fact use the opportunity to teach her child to wait for their turn patiently.

Oleksinski also argued that “letting a kids’ brand control your adult life” contributes to cultural ignorance. While millennials enjoy the nostalgia that films such as Toy Story 4 and the live-action remake of Lion King bring, it does not mean they will neglect other cinematic masterpieces.

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Millennials have always been labelled as lazy and entitled by baby boomers and Gen-X, who often feel the need to criticise young people’s behaviour, such as buying avocado toast (they are expensive at Disney World) when they should be saving money to buy a house.

How millennials spend their money or free time should not worry others, especially since people have different priorities in life. In fact, an elderly couple visiting Disney World would probably be praised for being young at heart and keeping their romance alive.

People on social media have fired back at the “angry” mother. They say it is actually weird for parents like her to bring their three-year-old to Disney World when the child is unlikely to remember any of it afterwards. Most of us have no recollection of the holidays we took in our early years. While children can look back at photo albums when they grow older, perhaps a trip to Disney World would be more worthwhile if all visitors can fully appreciate the experience.

Knowing millennials, the sales from “childless couples” at Disney World might actually increase, if only to spite the haters. In fact, this whole debate can very well be another clever marketing ploy by Disney.

Edited by M. J. Premaratne