NPR: For some adults Disney is like a religion

I think this question is very compelling and something I have a range of thoughts on!

But mostly I just want to say how funny I find it that after so much politics and other taboo topics, we finally delved into talking about religion on the forum. :joy:


@mousematt has approved religion as one of the topics we can discuss. But don’t bring up spreadsheets :wink:


Beeeeecareful :grimacing:🫣


My theory - Disney is Vegas but with rides instead of gambling. Lots to do, gets incredibly hot, you can happily just sit around people watching for hours, everything is expensive, has really good food, a ton of extensively themed hotels to choose from and wander through. Also a fake Eiffel Tower.


Except Disney is fun. Vegas is a cesspool.


I have less than no desire to go to Vegas.



Another NPR article…


But I’m not like those other Disney Adults out there – I’m a cool Disney Adult.

Hahah in the voice of every “cool teacher” that just wants to “rap with ya” :rofl:


If you want to see a fandom that really verges on religion and ticks all the sociological boxes, go to a tailgate before an Ohio State football game. Or insert your preferred football-fanatic university here.

Or outside North America, pro soccer clubs.

Fans of some sports make Disney fandom look pretty sane and secular, lemme tell ya.


#disneyadultsaretheworst has almost 7 million views on TikTok”

I need to see this. Just curious.

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Hilarious. I am definitely a Disney adult with or without kids.

FWIW I first saw the religion professor article on Friday and I had to decide whether to go with the wedding or the religious angle

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I find the article mentioning pilgrimage as somehow relating Disney trips to religion rather…missing the point? Because you can say the same thing, then, for any destination people choose to be their relaxing vacation spot. For some, that might be the beach, or the South if France, or their own backyard.

I love Disney. Or, at least, Disney World…but it isn’t even close to being like religion. My religion is where I turn to explain the world. To find meaning. To find truth. I believe whole-heartedly in that truth, and so my religiosity comes out of that belief. I worship weekly at church, for example, because I believe the Bible is true, etc. It is real…very real…for me. And pretty much everything I do in life rests on that reality in some way.

Disney? It is quite the opposite…an escape from reality. It is a break from the mundane, the chaos of the daily grind. But I don’t find truth at Disney. In fact I am quite aware it is anything but truth. If someone told me I could never go back to Disney, I might be bummed, but I would move on. If someone told me I couldn’t practice my religion, I would find a way to continue any way I could, even if in secret.

Disney is nothing like a religion for me.


Well said. I also agree wholeheartedly with everything you said. It’s not a religion for me, either. Do I obsess over going again? Yes, probably much more than I should. However, I find meaning in my relationship with Christ. If I’m looking for meaning and truth in WDW, I would be sorely disappointed and miserable.


If that’s the criteria than I am a Disney adult with Disney adult kids lol


All fandoms are basically religions / cults. There’s a great podcast that covers fandoms, including Disney adults called - “Sounds Like A Cult”. No one is above this kind of behavior. Everyone thinks they thing they are into is “normal”, like putting on a jersey, face paint, drinking heavily to go watch children being paid millions to play. However, the same people think liking rollercoasters / cartoons and wearing a cartoon hat is “odd”. We all have some kind of an obsession about something.



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To answer this question seriously:

It’s been interesting to hear everyone’s responses. This is a very personal and individual question, because religion obviously means a lot of different things to different people.

For some, it’s a very grave error (and even sacrilegious) to mix up religion and secular objects of worship (“no other gods before me” type situation).

For others, “religious” has such a negative connotation that they would not associate it with anything positive.

And for others who are either not religious or don’t have a limited sense of what religion can be, there is no such baggage, so having a religious-like relationship with something is purely a positive.

For me personally, I have felt all of these things are different times in my life, but I’m generally pretty open-minded, so I don’t have any issue with other people having any position along that spectrum.

My relationship with Disney (and moreso, Star Wars) is quasi-religious. It doesn’t impede my actual spirituality, faith, or religiosity, but it does enhance and supplement it. Like religion, it helps me search for truths and virtues, understand myself and my place in the world, and helps me uncover ways to give my life a sense of purpose. It can take the same issues and questions that are explored in religion and make them more accessible. Any time I come away from a film or other experience pondering on its meaning and application in my life, I consider that a big positive, and it happens often.

Disney plays other purely entertainment / recreational roles, too. I have a devotion to planning and thinking about Disney that is probably not 100% healthy and can be a distraction from more important things. But life sucks sometimes and if I’m going to have the healthy / beneficial occupations, I need some escapism from time to time. So I view it as an overall net positive.


Great post.

The standard Disney-castle-wish stuff makes me happy b/c it triggers childhood memories of The Wonderful World of Disney that was on every Sunday at 6PM. Just cute feelgood stuff.

My connection with Star Wars goes deeper - the Jedi stuff speaks to me on a number of levels - especially Yoda. His self control and humility is an inspiration. This scene illustrates - forced to confront his dark side, Yoda initially denies its existence and gets beaten up. Only when he recognizes it and rejects it does he win.

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