Why is Disney so Popular Among Adults? – Hour Loop
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Why is Disney so Popular Among Adults?

Posted by Taryn Dryfhout on

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It has been over two years since we here at Hourloop established this blog for our readers. In that time, we have been lucky enough to interview many passionate adult Disney collectors who are willing to showcase their collections to other fans. We have spoken with some incredible people, and seen some amazing Disney collections.

With so many adult Disney fans to interview, I’ve been wondering – why is Disney so popular among adults?

For me, it’s largely about nostalgia – I love Disney as an adult, because it was such a large part of my childhood. I enjoy watching, collecting, and reliving the Disney that I was exposed to as a child. That’s not to say that I don’t like modern Disney – Tangled gets me excited, but not the same way that Sleeping Beauty does. While I enjoy watching modern Disney films, I mainly only re-watch films, and collect items from the films that I grew up on – Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast.

This week, we take a look at what makes adult Disney fans tick, and why Disney has become more popular among adults, than it has among children.

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Targeted Towards an Adult Audience

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One of the reasons adult fans are flocking around Disney, is because the Walt Disney Company is becoming increasingly targeted towards adults.

The cause and fragility of Jim Shore figurines indicates that they are not toys for children. Similarly, fashion accessories such as adult clothing and handbag lines, including swim wear and makeup inspired by Disney characters indicates that Disney is supplying to a demand – a demand for Disney products among adults. Online blogs are increasingly writing guides for adults visiting Disneyland, and Facebook groups and websites for adult collectors of Disney have in excess of 20,000 members. Disney fan art has also expanded its horizons, with a sub-genre of Disney erotica becoming popular – something which is not intended for children (I’m not sure Jessica Rabbit ever was intended for children either).

Adults are lapping up everything that the Disney company is putting out. They are visiting the Disney parks in droves each year, dressing up as Disney characters, wrapping their phones in Disney cases and collecting everything Disney they can get their hands on. Many of them are even getting married at Disney resorts, decorating their homes with Disney themes, and celebrating their birthdays with Disney trips.

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Peter Pan Syndrome

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Disney fans know that those who don’t like Disney, just don’t get it. They also know that the majority of people assume they are immature for liking something produced from a company that is commonly thought of as designed for children.

While adult Disney fans have a special place in their heart for G-rated films, kid-targeted theme parks, and costumes designed for Halloween (also known as Disneybounding), it’s a huge misconception that adult Disney fans are overgrown children, or immature.

What sets Disney fans apart, is that they can feel the magic. Like me, they associate Disney with positive memories from their childhoods and want to recreate those warm fuzzies for themselves, and with their own children. Reliving the magic of Disney helps fans to recapture something from their childhood. For those of us who grew up with Disney, Disney is a constant in our lives. We might get older, and life might throw ups and downs, but Disney stays the same. There is a lot to be said for the power of nostalgia.

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Celebrating a Disney Life

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For many fans, Disney has become such a significant part of life that celebrations take place in Disney fashion. This might mean Disney inspired birthday parties, a trip to the movies to watch the latest film or a trip to Disneyland for an anniversary. The following are some of the common ways that adult Disnerds infuse their life with a little Disney:

  • Disbrides

Getting married at Disneyland, or having a Disney inspired wedding offsite has become so popular that the term ‘Disbrides’ has been coined, leading to large social media groups where discussions take place regarding what Disney dresses are being worn, what themes are being used, and what rules exist for getting married within the Disney parks. While it might seem like a rare occasion, Walt Disney World alone sees 1,000 weddings each year, and 5,000 proposals.

  • Disney Pets

It’s common among Disney fans to name their pets after Disney characters, or names associated with the Walt Disney Company.

  • Disney Decorating

Disnerds don’t need an excuse to deck their house out in Disney – usually it’s done out of necessity, as the Disney items have overtaken the non-Disney items in the home. Pinterest even shows many people whose passion for Disney decorating has extended outside the house, with themed Disney gardens. Holidays such as Christmas and Halloween are also popular seasons for pulling out themed Disney items and decorating. 

  • Tattoos

Many Disney fans immortalise their passion for Disney by getting themselves inked with their favorite Disney character or quote. Read about the main types of Disney tattoo that fans get.

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If you can’t spot a Disney fan from the above things, then take a good, hard look. Disney fans will always have something themed on them – whether it’s a keychain, phone case or necklace.

Disney fans like myself, know that whether it’s visiting a Disney park, watching a Disney film, decorating the house in a Disney style or browsing Disney items in a store, there’s no more uplifting way to spend your time. The thing about Disney, is that it never disappoints. Visiting a Disney park will never deliver an average time. Watching a Disney film will never result in boredom. Everything that Disney touches turns to gold. In an age of disappointment, Disney nails it every time.

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Collecting Disney

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Ever since the first piece of Mickey Mouse merchandise was released in 1930, collectors have been clamoring to get their hands on Disney products. The world of Disneyana is growing every day and includes people of all ages. Those who collect include lovers of vintage Disney items, mid-priced figurines such as ‘Disney Traditions’, as well as inexpensive new lines such as ‘Tsum Tsums’. While some collect as a fun hobby, many consider it a life passion.

So just how popular is Disney collecting? Typing ‘Disneyana’ into Google will produce over 5 million results, and Ebay has over 600,000 Disneyana items currently listed, indicating the sheer volume of collectors around the world. Facebook groups for collectors also have in excess of 20,000 members and YouTube channels that cover Disney items garner around 30,000 views per week. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Janet Esteves has a record-breaking collection of Mickey Mouse items, totalling almost 3,000 items – the largest Mickey collection on the planet.

Walt himself always intended for Disney to become a collectable hobby, being the first person in history to produce merchandise to coincide with the release of his films. When Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs opened in theaters, it was accompanied by the sale of dolls, tea sets, toys, drinking glasses and soap.

Disney soon realised that while their products had been mainly aimed at children, adults were interested in collecting higher-end items for themselves. This initiated the production of pottery, figurines and other collectables that quickly became popular among adults.

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Whether you’re just starting out with your own collection, or have an established collection of Disneyana, collecting Disney is a fun and happy affair, with a little something for everyone. In fact, Disney is one of the few things in life that can engage the whole family. So…here’s to the next generation of Disnerds. May we raise our children to believe in the magic that has enchanted us as adults.

 

To start your own collection today, take a look at our range of beautiful figurines at hourloop.com


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2 comments

  • Muchas gracias. ?Como puedo iniciar sesion?

    yooanochuu on
  • It’s interesting, the opposite is true for me. As a child, I never really cared about Disney. I never wanted to be a princess, I didn’t watch the movies as they came out and didn’t have many clothes with Disney characters on them. It all changed as soon as I turned 20. It was when Frozen was released and after having seen the trailer and thinking it was adorable, my sister and I went to watch the movie. I was blown away about 5 minutes into it, thinking to myself “holy crap, is this what I was missing out on all along?” It’s where it all started. I began to read Frozen fanfiction and I was over the moon when my sister gave me a stuffed Olaf as a gift. Fast forward three years, I was going through a rough path in life when my sister brought over Zootopia. Instant obsession. Up until this day, these two are one of the movies I can watch over and over and not get bored of it. I’m 26 years old now and eagerly awaiting the release of Frozen 2. So I don’t know what’s the reason behind my love for these movies, definitely not childhood nostalgia. My only gripe is that it’s so hard to find adult merchandise that’s not Mickey Mouse or princesses. :(

    Someone on

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