What’s it like being a Disney adult?

We spent a day at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in Orlando, the largest theme park in the world, to meet those fans, still, with the child in their eyes.

Taken from the new print issue of THE FACE. Get your copy here.

For some, visiting a Disney theme park is a childhood rite of passage. For others, the magic of the Mouse never gets old – even when they do. These grown-up disciples of Walt spend holidays travelling the world, intent on experiencing every resort, pilgrimaging to Florida, California, Paris, Tokyo, Shanghai and Hong Kong. We speak to them below.

Greg, 61, Wisconsin

How old were you when you first visited Disney World?
I was about 10, somewhere around 1971. I loved Winnie the Pooh, and I wanted a Pooh Bear plush they had in the gift shop. My mom said no. But when we went to dinner that night, there was a giant Pooh at the table – my mom and grandma surprised me with it. I still have the bear and it reminds me to always remember what it’s like to be a kid. My wife and I were never able to afford to take any vacations other than a few camping trips. Now we’re empty nesters and we both love being here.

Jazzmin Jolly, 37, Philadelphia

How often do you come here?
I have an annual pass, so I try to come down every month, whether it’s for a couple of days or for an entire week.

Who’s your favourite Disney princess?
Jasmine! Growing up, I remember the other little girls playing princesses during recess and telling me that I couldn’t join them because of the colour of my skin. But when Aladdin came out [in 1992], suddenly there was a princess for me! Plus, we have the same name. So she’s my favourite forever.

Judy Wilcox, 79, Celebration, Florida

How does visiting Disney make you feel?
My husband and I used to always go to the parks together. Our last visit was at the start of 2022, before he died that April. My daughter also passed away a year ago. It’s been a tough year, but luckily we live close to the happiest place on Earth. Sorry, the most magical. My grandson would correct me. Disneyland is the happiest and Disney World is the most magical. My grandson and I go to the park together a lot.

Travis and Roshelle Dryden, 36 and 31, NYC

Favourite characters?
Roshelle’s is Mulan. Mine are Darth Vader and Aladdin, who through the power of love and heritage was able to rise above the odds and marry the love of his life.

Would you get married at Disney?
Absolutely! We’re celebrating our anniversary now, but we also celebrated my wife’s birthday here.

Is it better than the real world?
It’s an escape from reality and a chance to let go of our troubles. A Disney vacation makes us feel happy. It brings us back to a time when all of our troubles were simple.

More like this

The best of THE FACE. Straight to your inbox. 

00:00 / 00:00