Op-Ed: Magic is for All Ages

Recently, I came across this article, which, in a nutshell, states that childless adults should not go to Disney theme parks because adults are not entitled to fun.

While I am a proud GenZennial (Neither a millennial or Gen-Z-er, as I was born on the cusp of both in 1999), I don’t see what’s wrong with people of all ages enjoying the magic of Disney—or whatever the hell they enjoy. Why do we need to pick apart how people choose to spend their free time? Let’s just let others be and enjoy whatever it is that makes them happy when it doesn’t harm anyone.

No? Alright, then. Since everything has to be a giant debate these days (and probably all the days before now, just not with the power of the internet), here’s my take on the issue.

I have been to Disney three times, once when I was too young to remember, and twice during high school band trips. While I can’t vouch for my enjoyment as a toddler, I can say that I enjoyed the magic of Disney World as a teenager with my fellow teen friends, despite the argument that the parks are made “for kids” or “for families.” The food was great, the rides were fun, and I made memories to last a lifetime. These memories were not at all exclusive to my age: I enjoyed the roller coasters for older riders (Space Mountain, Everest) just as much as I liked the “little kid” activities like the Dumbo-esque flying dinosaurs in Animal Kingdom. This might just be my personality, but going into Disney with an open mind made everything about the experience fun, even waiting on each ride’s themed line and looking at all the work that went into creating every moment in the park.

On the same trip, I saw my teachers having just as much fun with more adult activities in Epcot (drinking responsibly, of course) and going on many of the same attractions I did as a teen. In other words, our whole group had a blast, even though our ages ranged from fourteen to fifty.

As for the “lifelong immaturity” argument made by the article, the author must have problems with novels, movies, and plays as well! Disney is the perfect example of escapism much like those that make other forms of entertainment popular. There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking a week at Disney to get away from “adult” responsibilities like paying bills, working, and being miserable every day. A person can don Mickey ears for a few hours without “[returning] to the safety and comfort of the womb.” In fact, being able to enjoy things they love will likely make people more focused and happier when it’s time to return to the real world.

And for the mom included in the article whose child’s lack of a pretzel “broke his poor little heart:” Maybe you should get out of the womb and teach your son the powers of patience and acceptance that you clearly do not have.

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