Hey there-hope y’all had a great weekend! Today I’m addressing the frustrated mom’s social media rant against childless millennials at Disney that recently went viral. In case you haven’t heard, a mom got upset that childless millennials made the line for Mickey pretzels too long. As a result, her three year old broke down crying when she told him they weren’t waiting in that line. She then took to Facebook to vent, stating that childless millennials should be banned from the parks. The Facebook rant went viral after someone tweeted a screenshot. You can read more here, but beware of bad language. I disagree with this angry mom’s views on adults without kids at Disney for a multitude of reasons. So, today I want to share an open letter in defense of childless millennials at Disney.
Furthermore, I recently shared my disdain for the mom’s irrational diatribe against childless millennials at Disney World on my Instagram stories. I received multiple messages of agreement from my Insta friends. Then when I mentioned that I was considering writing an open letter in response to angry Disney mom, I received an overwhelming positive response. Even though many other childless adults have defended their love of Disney World vacations, the NY Post sided with angry Disney mom in this article. Thus, I feel a need to add to the voices of reason online who support childless millennials at Disney World!
Dear Angry Disney Mom,
Although we clearly disagree on the issue of childless millennials at Disney World, I don’t want to resort to attacking and name-calling. I also desire to conduct myself in a way that reflects my faith in Christ. Thus, why I’m using “angry” rather than other adjectives in this greeting. I’m sorry that the frustration of long lines outweighed the joy of being in the most magical place on earth. However, Disney World is for people of all ages who are willing to pay money for a park ticket and wait in long lines. Here are just a few reasons why childless millennials DO belong at Disney:
1. Not all childless millennials at Disney are childless by choice.
I never thought I would still be childless at 34. Becoming a mom has been a desire of my heart for years. However, life rarely goes according to plan, and I haven’t met the right man yet to share my life and build a family with. Single parenthood via fostering, adoption, or a sperm donor isn’t the right option for me for various reasons. And I’m not going to settle down with a guy who isn’t God’s best for me just so I can check marriage and motherhood off my bucket list. Even though I struggle with the unfulfilled desire to be a wife and mother, I find a lot of joy in the memories from a girls’ trip to Disney with my best friend at age 30. It will always be one of my fondest memories of my single years. Oh, my bestie is a childless millennial too!
In addition, I also know of childless couples who love going to Disney World. They have been married for years and desperately want children. However, this isn’t a reality for them yet due to infertility. And the right doors haven’t been opened through adoption yet.
People who love Disney shouldn’t be denied the opportunity to vacation at Disney World simply because they don’t have kids. And for those of us who would love to be parents, but haven’t had the opportunity yet, hearing someone say “childless millennials should be banned from Disney” is basically like rubbing salt in an open wound. Next time you feel inclined to go off on a group of people, I challenge you to remember that you don’t know their full story. Careless words can exacerbate already-present wounds.
2. There’s nothing wrong with childhood nostalgia from Disney World.
For many childless millennials like myself, Disney World is a source of childhood nostalgia. I am fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to go to Disney World multiple times during my childhood and adolescent years. These Disney trips were a highlight of my childhood. I was anxious and insecure through many of these years. However, those feelings ceased to exist the moment I walked through the gates at Disney World.
Although I’m no longer an insecure child, I still struggle with anxiety, and going to Disney World is still an opportunity for me to get away from the stressors and routine of everyday life. My trips to Disney as a young adult have been opportunities for me to relive fond childhood memories, and make new magical memories!
3. Not all childless millennials had the chance to go to Disney as a kid.
Although I can’t personally relate to this one, I did read several comments on social media where childless millennials said their parents couldn’t afford a vacation there during their childhood. I was blessed to enjoy seven family vacations to Disney World during the first 18 years of my life, and I don’t take that for granted. I’m well aware that this is not typical of the average American’s childhood. So, if someone’s family didn’t have the resources to take them to Disney World as a child, they shouldn’t be denied the chance to go as an adult when they have the funds to go. In fact, they should be commended for working hard and doing well for themselves despite lack of family resources.
4. There’s nothing wrong with being a kid at heart.
I wholeheartedly believe that you can be a responsible adult, hold down a full-time job, pay your own bills, but still enjoy childlike pleasures like Disney magic. Going to Disney World as an adult doesn’t make you immature or childish. Furthermore, there is so much to do and see at Disney that you can appreciate it from a new perspective as an adult. For instance, I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed spending a whole afternoon traveling around the world at Epcot when I was a kid. But I did this on my most recent trip, and it was amazing.
I also still enjoyed things like meeting the characters and riding the carousel and Dumbo as an adult. During a character breakfast at Cape May Cafe, the characters visited our table of two childless millennials twice. Minnie literally begged us to take more pictures with her the second go-round. I also had the most magical interaction with Duffy the Disney Bear. It’s safe to say that I enjoyed my Disney World vacation as a 30-year-old childless adult just as much if not more than my childhood Disney trips.
Side note: Walt Disney World is a massive resort approximately equal to San Francisco in square miles. There’s plenty of room for children and childless millennials to coexist. This isn’t like the playground at Chick-fil-A that is a small enclosed area with signs clearly indicating it’s for people under a certain height.
5. Learning how to wait in lines at a young age will benefit kids later in life.
As long as the childless millennials at Disney aren’t shoving kids out of the way, it’s actually a good thing that they cause kids to wait in longer lines. Waiting is a part of life, with respect to both short-term and long-term desires. In my humble opinion, it’s best that kids learn how to patiently wait their turn at a young age. Learning how to wait in line for a Mickey pretzel at Disney World will help prepare kids for having to wait on even bigger things later in life. Believe me, there’s certain things I have been waiting on for years. I wish I was simply waiting in a long line at Disney World. Also, my parents waited in 30 minute lines with me so I could ride Dumbo over and over when I was four. I’m sure it wasn’t the most fun for everyone, but we survived and still had a good vacation. (Minus the tantrum I threw in a restaurant at the Polynesian when I spilled water on my menu).
6. People have the right to choose where they want to spend their vacations.
Vacations as an adult are different than those as a kid. You have to pay for it yourself, and schedule time off work. Thus, they are much more intentional than simply tagging along with whatever vacation your parents planned and are paying for. Childless millennials work hard to support themselves, and vacation time is well-earned. They have the right to spend said vacation time however they please. As long as it’s not illegal or harming anyone, they can go anywhere they want. And causing kids to wait in longer lines does not constitute harm.
Not everyone enjoys doing the same thing for vacation, and our differences are what make life interesting. Some people may not see the appeal of going to Disney World as an adult without children, and that’s fine. However, it is not fine to belittle, judge, and name-call childless adults who do want to spend their vacation time and money at Disney World. I personally don’t understand the appeal of going camping or backpacking for a vacation, but if someone else wants to spend their vacation that way, it’s their choice! I’m not going to begrudge them.
I realize that this letter may not have changed your mind about childless millennials at Disney, but I hope it did encourage you to see things from a different perspective. People aren’t called to agree on everything, but we are called to treat everyone with kindness and respect. As I mentioned earlier, it’s totally fine if you don’t understand childless millennials wanting to go to Disney. However, I hope that you can see that they have just as much right to be there and experience the Disney magic as anyone else.
Liz (aka a Childless Millennial Who Loves Disney)
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