mil·len·nial/miˈlenēəl/ noun plural noun: millennials
- a person reaching young adulthood in the early 21st century.”the industry brims with theories on what makes millennials tick”
I, Brian, author of this article, am one of these millennials. And I, Brian, author of this article, love Disney. I, once, did a Disney trip, just me and my wife, but our excuse was we did it through a conference she had at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. There are several agents on the Believe Vacations team that are, in fact, millennials and actually DO visit Disney without children. Why is this important? For a few weeks now, social media has been debating whether it is weird for “childless millennials” to visit Disney. It makes for an interesting debate and thus, this week’s article!
Welcome to Believe Vacations Weekly Post where today, we’ll look at this outstanding debate and offer opinions. For our article, we are not going to focus on the profanity-laced social media post that started this topic, but rather quote from Johnny Oleksinski’s 7/26/19 article in the New York Post, “Sorry, childless millennials going to Disney World is weird.” We will look closely at his words and use it to explain our opinions on if it truly is weird or not.
“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.” – Mr. Oleksinski comes out swinging and admittedly, it’s a good first punch. I think of those over-the-top fanatics that dedicate an entire room in their living quarters to Disney themed collectibles, merchandise or marketing materials. Then, I remember the new relationships with Star Wars and Marvel and sigh because, it may actually get worse with the fan base those 2 entities bring to Disney. And yes, at one time, we were children and had our first visits to WDW or were first introduced to the Disney Channel. But, are we supposed to complete depart from a company that produced so many incredible movies, songs, TV shows, characters, life situations and memories during our elementary ages simply because we are now ADULTS? Are we frowning on 65+ grandmas and grandpas for still enjoying the songs of Elvis, the notorious rebel and enemy of cultural norms in the 50s and 60s? No, because they grew up (maybe fell in love) with the songs of a tremendous artist. Millennials grew up and definitely fell in love with the parks at Disney and now, we want to experience it in different ways as adults. There are behind-the-scene tours that kids will not enjoy, restaurants like Victoria and Albert’s that are catered towards adults and even honeymoon packages that keep people of all ages coming back to the parks and resorts as well.
“Want to see a movie? Let’s go to the remake of 1994’s “The Lion King” or 1992’s “Aladdin.” Want to go on vacation? Sure, let’s jet off to the new Toy Story Land at Disney World, based on my favorite film from 1995. While we’re at it, why not return to the safety and comfort of the womb?” – Again, a good point and subtle jab at the amount of live-action remakes. Surprised he didn’t use the new Dumbo movie for reference because, sadly, that one was not good. And thankfully for Mr. O (with all respect, I can’t type his name in full anymore), we are running out of potential live-action remakes. That is until we think we NEED that Oliver & Company live-action movie! But I enjoyed Harry Potter in high school and now, it is one of THE biggest theme park draws ever. But that does not mean I’m returning to my Napster-downloading, Aeropostale and pooka-shell wearing comfort of 90’s coolness. It’s simply me wanting to experience a world I thought was tremendously engaging, other-wordly and dare I say, magical. So if I want to pretend to be a toy, or a Jedi knight, or in the 1800’s wild west or even living in a prototype community of tomorrow, that’s okay.
“You’re skipping great films such as “Booksmart” and “The Farewell” to relive second grade. And your annual (or more, God help us) trip to Disney World costs as much — and more in some cases — than a trip to Europe, South America or Canada, where you would meet people different from yourself.” Again, I agree with Mr. O that we are missing newer films, but isn’t Hollywood altogether in this craze of remakes and sequels/prequels and not just from Disney classics? It, Fast and Furious, Rambo, Godzilla are all still popular because the demand for them is there and their formulas still work. It worked in second grade and still works in 2019. And regarding trips to Europe and other continents, Mr. O needs a return (maybe more than once this year) to EPCOT. No, you are not planting your feet on foreign soil but you are getting AS CLOSE as possible to visiting 11 completely different cultures and countries within a mile or so walk in the World Showcase. You’ll meet people from those countries and there are experiences catered towards both kids and (gasp!) non-kids to give you a better understanding of that country’s culture.
“It currently costs $109 per day to visit one of Disney’s four parks — $654 for a six-day trip.” – Yup, and imagine the price for toting children as well. Maybe going as a childless millenial is a good investment? In all seriousness, it’s not getting cheaper, with or without children. But part of the reason my wife and I visited the parks during her conference was to do a quick walk-through to envision what our children would enjoy on the return visit, all the while working out any complexities like Magic Bands, Fast Passes, Disney Dining and more. Thus, when we did have our children in tow, we felt prepared and ready to face our (expensive) family vacation with no problems.
“But many millennials are fine with sticking to “A Whole New World” rather than exploring a whole new world…Why do the same old, safe, boring thing when you could buy a round-trip Norwegian Airlines flight from New York to Paris right now for $280, get an AirBnb and sit along the Seine drinking rosé?” – My knee-jerk reaction is “Because this may be the last time I get to see the Country Bear Jamboree!!” Again, technically, Mr. O has a point. But it comes full circle – the reason I believe millenials go to Disney is 3-fold: 1) It’s familiar. Many millenials truly have grown up on Disney and are well accustomed to what over-sensory experiences they will be engaged with on their vacation. 2) It’s nostalgic. Some grew up going to the parks and remember their first fears of riding space Mountain or remembering when a relative bought them their first Dole Whip. They return to the spots of those “core-memories” to reflect and smile. 3) It truly is a “whole new world” when you are grown up. The castle make look a little smaller, the ghosts in the Haunted Mansion may still be the same and perhaps you don’t get as excited to see Mickey. But there is a small child still inside, ready to explore and enter a world of magic. To embrace the technology of tomorrow while stepping into the variety of cultures that makes up our world today. To step onto faux movie sets and experience cinematic themed lands. To watch animals in man-created habitats that you could not discover in your local zoos. Or, maybe to dance the night away at one of your favorite establishments in the Disney Springs district. That’s where Disney becomes more than childish. It truly is about learning and growing up.
We hope you enjoyed something different from us this week. All thanks to Mr. Oleksinski for giving us a fun topic to debate and regardless of where you stand on the issue, know that Disney truly does strive for making memories for all ages. We at Believe Vacations will assist any ages, party sizes or reasons to celebrate. After all, there’s a great, big, beautiful tomorrow…even for those darn millenials!