What's with all you people hating on Disney World?

At the end of January, Thrillist posted an article titled "What's with all you adult couples who vacation at Disney World?"

Hi. Allow me to introduce myself. I'm one half of an adult couple who enjoys vacationing in Walt Disney World and I'd like to address your letter to us.

risa xu walt disney world castle fireworks

Dear Author of Article:

While you spend your Wednesday almost-midnight sipping on your glass of wine "growing deeply perturbed" by how many of "us" there are out there, I'm spending my Wednesday night also sipping on a glass of wine reminiscing on my memories with my amazing fiancé, some of which happen to take place in The Most Magical Place on Earth, the place you speak of with such disgust and judgement.

While you say you aren't judging, your parentheses enclosed "well" begs the reader of your letter to question your honesty regarding your lack of judging. Remember, like our dear friend Stanford from SATC said: "Judgey-Wudgey was a bear."

I'm going to address the issues you brought up and maybe, possibly, kinda sorta answer the question you were so desperately trying to find an answer for.

First of all, let me just get these little Mousekeeping things out of the way. You're making three assumptions that just may simply not be true:

  1. All couples visiting Walt Disney World or any Disney Park for that matter are straight couples. You only address "girls" and "guys" in your article. Did you know that Disney Parks hosts Gay Days?
  2. Only females enjoy being in Walt Disney World. 
  3. All men hate being in Walt Disney World.

Anyhooooooo, now that I've gotten those out of the way, let's chat.

From a girl's perspective: By asking us "Why do you do this to your men?" you're actually making the sexist assumption that our men 1) don't actually enjoy WDW, when in fact, many do and 2) that all men are apparently sports addicted cave men who only care about the opinions of their buddies.

And, to be quite honest, if my fiancé's friends are 'roasting' him for going on vacation with me somewhere we both enjoy or for wearing Mickey Mouse ears? Well, they're not really secure in their masculinity, are they? 

And your section for guys? There's a couple things I just want to point out:

  • Last I checked, WDW is nothing like a bridge-and-tunnel bar cause frankly, I wouldn't want to be taken on a date to one of those anyways.
  • I'm a millennial and so are my friends (at least, last time I checked the definition for millennial) and I do not nor have I ever enjoyed "sloppily making out with commuters waiting for the 1:56 am train ride home."
  • And UGH IPAs? HAAATE THEM. I much prefer my alcoholic beverages to be either Sancerre, Rosé (I know, extremely basic) or some form of a Vodka cocktail. I do LIVE for the frozen Kirin in Epcot's Japan Pavilion though.

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But on a serious note, the fact that you're trying to sexualize Disney, let's stop that. Pump the breaks and back it up a bit. Just because your definition of "romantic love" has somehow made Magic Kingdom creepy???? Why does "romantic" need to equate to sex or sexualizing something?

To answer your question, what you're missing is not the fact that "the forcefield of Dumbo the Flying Elephant" makes us feel close to each other but it's the fact that I'm spending time with someone I love in a place where we can escape from the responsibilities of everyday life. What you're missing is that romance doesn't necessarily need to be wine, roses, candles and sex – romance can be laughing together, enjoying your surroundings, and letting yourselves forget for a moment that you're (as you've reminded us often in your letter) in your late 20's and early 30's. 

Here's what I picture as romance-dripping Disney World moments with my fiancé: spending the day in Epcot, reminding ourselves of our engagement shoot, drinking and eating food from the different countries or laughing at our PhotoPass images of me screaming my head off on Expedition Everest because it's the only face I can apparently make on roller coaster rides. Here's what I definitely don't picture: Someone who is extremely judgmental of how I spend my free time. (PS, if you're waiting somewhere where the line goes on and on and on and on, you're not using your FastPass+ efficiently 😉)

And I don't know how many times you've visited WDW yourself, but unless you actually want to take a selfie (is that still millennium lingo?) with your favorite – what's that you called them again? oh, right – life-size puppets, you won't be harassed by a "stranger not wearing pants." And have you ever tried putting pants on an angry duck? I personally have not but I can imagine it being quite difficult. 

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Let me be totally and completely honest for a sec: None of the #DisneyObsessed in my closest circle use the "warm weather" excuse. And why again, is the assumed male subject of this paragraph of yours having to take the "she" somewhere? Why can't I take my fiancé somewhere? Why can't my LGBTQ friends take their significant others, regardless of gender?

I will agree that Cinderella's Castle itself doesn't necessarily leave me starry eyed but the fireworks shows and nighttime spectaculars? Girl. If you haven't watched Wishes, you better do yourself a favor and take a trip down there now before it goes away. AND I hate to break it to you, but not every girl is in love with The Notebook.

Just because a couple decides to spend their vacation time in WDW doesn't necessarily mean they don't enjoy vacations elsewhere. This isn't a zero-sum game. For example, my fiancé and I have plans to visit Japan, China, Monaco, France, Italy, South Africa, Greece... the list goes on and on and on. I also wouldn't ever be caught dead in a pair of Tevas, mid-life crisis or not.

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Listen, I'm sure you wrote the article thinking it'd be funny to poke fun at the more than 1.3 million of us who enjoy Disney Parks and I'm sure you meant no harm by it. But for someone, like myself, who is in the middle of planning our dream wedding via Disney Fairy Tale Weddings, can you maybe try to understand my anger at your Judgey-Wudgey-ness?

Next time before you're so quick to judge, maybe put on a Disney movie and remember what it was like to let magic and wonder fill your heart. And maybe, just maybe, you'll take a trip to one of the Disney Parks (again?).

Magically yours,
Risa