Millennials at Disneyland: Adults Doing What They Want With Their Money

So, perhaps some of you have already been made well aware of the latest criticism of Millennials, the proverbial punching bag for almost every other generation. (Note: Thank you Gen Z for coming in and taking some of the heat for your older siblings, you’re a babe.) And for those of you that are a little late to the party, or far more likely are just too preoccupied with things that actually matter, then here’s the scoop: people are mad that millennials are choosing to vacation at Disneyland/Disney World without children and this apparently comes as a huge and creepy inconvenience to everyone else who is trying to have a wholesome FAMILY vacation.

How dare we, Millennials, spend our own money and vacation time on whatever we want? So entitled. So typical; infantilizing ourselves because we’re too emotionally stunted from the “my child deserves to be awarded for breathing” rhetoric that we have been raised with. HowblooydareyouIcan’tbelieveyou’redoingthisagainSharonnoteverythingisaboutyou!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!~@

Yeah, cool, what else is new.

Central to these criticisms is the Millennial hater himself, Johnny Oleksinski, who wrote the New York Post article, “Sorry, childless millennials going to Disney World is weird,” which is filled with rhetoric supporting his stance that Millennials and Disney parks shouldn’t mix. This was largely a response to a viral tweet by @JenKatWrites, which can also be seen in the article.

Oleksinski writes, “Millennials are indeed in an unhealthy relationship with Disney, having granted control of so much of their leisure time and personality to a single, enormous corporate entity meant for children. Want to see a movie? Let’s go to the remake of 1994’s “The Lion King” or 1992’s “Aladdin.” Want to go on vacation? Sure, let’s jet off to the new Toy Story Land at Disney World, based on my favorite film from 1995. While we’re at it, why not return to the safety and comfort of the womb?” 

He goes on to criticize how this is an issue that goes beyond Millennials vacationing at Disney, “The usual complaint about those born between 1981 and 1996 remaining constant 12-year-olds is that the behavior amounts to self-infantilization and a lifelong immaturity that bleeds into basic decision making: getting jobs, paying bills, staying alive.”

Ouch. 

But what does Oleksinski know? Surely this is just some baby boomer social commentator that is just getting his weekly thrills by hating on millennials, right, right?

Nope. He’s one of us. Oleksinski is a millennial and has made his opinion of our generation perfectly clear through his other New York Post article, “I’m a millennial and my generation sucks,” as well as his appearance on Fox News in which he comments on said article. In both, he goes on to talk about how millennials are spoiled, entitled, and too insular. We are unwilling to admit that others came before us, that we are not the be-all, end-all, and that if we just took a moment to claw ourselves away from our phone screens, that maybe, just maybe, we might become enlightened like him. He goes on to mention how other generations, like our apparent sworn enemies the Baby Boomers, even invented computers. 

Shocker. 

Instead of being so dismissive, us millennials should be grateful to our elder overlords.

But here’s the thing, I don’t necessarily disagree with Oleksinski. 

Now wait, put your fair trade BPA-free pitchforks down. What Oleksinski is arguing is objectively good advice: looking outward instead of solely inward, getting out and seeing the world and meeting people from different walks of life, and respecting views that are different from your own, even if they come from someone older. 

Who’s arguing with that? Certainly not me. However, I do think that the way that Oleksinski argues these points is flawed and with an equally as entitled attitude as the millennials that he seems to abhor with such disdain. 

To argue that millennials are entitled because they’re so accustomed to getting what they want because that’s how they were raised, if far less a criticism of millennials, and more a critique on Gen X and Boomer parents/grandparents that raised us. 

Ha. Typical millennial, passing the blame onto someone else. 

No, but really, if someone is arguing that our upbringing is to blame, then how is that a fault of ours? Frankly, it’s not, it the “fault” of the generation before us that made the choices that they did while raising us.

Similarly, the argument that “these generations are great, and you don’t even realize because you’re so self-absorbed, I mean hello, they invented the computer, you ignorant swine” is all well and good for cherry-picking evidence. This is also the generation that went to war after war with various nations, were openly racist and continued segregation for decades, and are directly to blame for the current climate crisis that many are refusing to even acknowledge exists. 

Do you see my point here? Every generation in human history has both its positive and negative contributions and we can sit here pointing the fingers at who to blame, but the truth behind it is that Boomers and Gen X’s did what they did and that’s that. 

Trust me, I’m sure that millennials will have our share of blunders and glory. After all, we’re still a relatively young generation. The oldest among us haven’t even hit 40 at the time that I’m writing this. We still have plenty of time to invent, innovate, and fuck up. 

Next is that we should “get out there and see the world” because we’re all a bunch of idiots that don’t realize that the world consists of far more than Disneyland and our Instagram feed. Oleksinski mentioned in his Millennials at Disney article that a ticket to the Disneyland park is approximately $350, the equivalent as some flights to Europe. He argues that instead of wasting our money on something as trivial as a park pass, we should instead focus that money towards something that is going to allegedly be far more enriching. And in some ways, Oleksinski is right. On occasion, the dollar amount for both trips would be about equal. However, what Oleksinski fails to mention and probably realize is that only 42% of Americans in 2016 had a passport, which was a staggering 15% increase from the previous data taken in 2007. (Convenient that this stat goes up as more and more millennials come of age, huh? I’m just saying.) This means that to this day, less than half of all Americas have the bare necessity for traveling abroad, which if you don’t already have is an added cost of $145. Not to mention that most attendance for a theme park is on the weekend, as it is much easier and financially viable to take one day off, or even a half-day off from work than it would be to take the standard week that it would take to go to Europe, Asia, or South America. I mean, sure you definitely can go to Paris for a three-day weekend, but like, what kind of monster are you? What am I just supposed to get off the plane, go see the Eiffel Tower, eat a macaron and then head straight back to Charles de Gaulle? Yeah, $350 well spent.

Instead, a far more viable option is to take an extended weekend trip driving down to Disneyland, which was what my friends and I did over this past Labor Day weekend. I was that millennial denying baby Aiden his Mickey pretzel. What a bitch, what a harlot. I should be made to pay for my concessionary digression. 

But there’s a larger issue here. Johnny Oleksinski doesn’t get to tell me, or anyone besides himself what to do with his finances. For him, maybe the single macaron and Eiffel view is enough for one weekend. Maybe blowing $350 on scratchers sounds about right for you. Maybe going to Disneyland fits the ticket. Point is, the decision is mine to make. 

And yours.

Yes, you reading this, it’s yours too. What you do with your money and how you choose to spend it has very little to do with anyone else. 

So, if you want to spend it at Disneyland, then go right ahead. You eat that churro, you wait in that line, and wait some more, seriously you’re probably still waiting even with a FastPass, and then you watch those fireworks because you want to and because you paid for it. 

Finally, to Oleksinksi and others like him, know that millennials are far from perfect, but often we are also unduly criticized. And I for one, am going to continue vacationing both around the world when I can, as well as enjoy my Disneyland churros and dole whip floats. 


(Author’s Note: This article was heavily inspired by a YouTube video by the channel Spill. I highly encourage that you take a minute to go and watch that video as well.)


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