By: Alex Masse, Peak Associate
The toy stores open during this pandemic — endangering workers just so some kid can play with Lego for five minutes then lose interest — found their Disney sections utterly gutted by a different plague: Disney Adults.
Following the sweep of anything remotely Disney-esque, parents were left wandering countless aisles, looking for anything with Elsa’s face on it for their children’s gifts. As the neck of the last Cinderella Barbie snapped, so too did the Karens and Sharons in the store. A lunchbox with Woody’s face on it was carried away by a woman in torn clothes while she mumbled the words to “You Got A Friend in Me” to herself.
An adult that likes Disney morphs into a Disney Adult when their fondness for the franchise overrides natural instincts regarding social norms and self-preservation.
A Disney poster in your room? That’s fine.
A Little Mermaid tattoo? Chase your bliss!
Spending your child’s college fund on vintage Mickey memorabilia? Yeah, you’re pushing it.
Risking your asthmatic partner’s life just to go to Disney World right now because of your withdrawal symptoms from churros? That’s a Disney Adult.
Disney Adults present themselves as benign, if a bit saccharine — but at the end of the day, you don’t matter to them. They don’t matter to themselves. All they care for is their Mouse God.
While reporting on a Walmart hit particularly hard by a swarm of Disney Adults, I actually encountered one named Marina in the wild. She was Disneybounding as Snow White and taking singular bites out of every single apple in the store. For those who don’t know, Disneybounding is essentially modeling outfits off characters in a more subtle style than cosplaying.
Please don’t ask me why I know this.
Marina explained that this was the first year Disney had experienced financial loss in decades, despite owning basically half of all media and churning out toys every second. This terrified her. All the Disney Adults rallied together in hopes of turning profits around.
“I’m more into the old stuff,” she told me. “Like, 70s or earlier. But I’m putting taste aside for the sake of a good deed. I even bought a Star Wars Funko Pop!”
I knew someone who collected vintage Mickey Mouses (is the plural Mickey Mice? Mouseses? Meese?) — well, whatever the case, those things are terrifying.
I explained that every company is losing money right now, and that Disney’s monopoly would easily bounce back once this pandemic ended. Why not support local businesses?
Before I could go on, Marina assured me that her devotion would be rewarded, if she just wished upon a star. Gross.
To which I admitted that, yeah, these were bound to be vintage and valuable someday.
“Oh, for sure, but I’m talking about the day I get my citizenship,” Marina told me.
I asked what she was talking about.
“It’s inevitable. One day, Disney will have enough power for its parks to become independent and expand into proper empires. Those of us who help Disney the most will get Disneyland citizenship and be permanent residents in the Happiest Place on Earth. My husband and I have been at it for years. The rest of you, well . . . ” She chuckled.
I waited for some sign she was joking. It didn’t come.
Marina took my silence as awe. “You know, if you want, I’ll put in a good word with the Mouse.”
I told her she could do whatever she pleased. Then, because I needed to get the hell out of there, I asked her about Mickey Waffles. Specifically, what the difference was between a Mickey Waffle, a renowned Disney Parks delicacy, and a regular waffle in the shape of Mickey Mouse.
Her eyes glazed over. I made my escape.
Gets ‘em every time.