Dealbreaker: An Adult Who’s Obsessed With Disney

The day I realized that Kyle and I weren’t going to get married was the day he told me how he’d always dreamed of honeymooning at Disneyland Paris.

My family was into nature. Most of our vacations were spent hiking through national parks. But Kyle’s family went to the same place every single year: Disney World. They stayed at the same hotel, ate at the same restaurants, and rode the same rides. These people were okay with paying a lot of money to be an audience year in and year out. I mean a lot of money: tickets, fast passes, souvenirs, overpriced food, hotel rooms. When they came back from Disney, all they could talk about was when they were going to go again. Did I mention the youngest member of their family was 25?

The way Kyle and his family talked about Disney made it sound like a cult, one which almost had its own secret language. His family had nicknames for all the rides and the different parks.When I said something about a “Disney employee,” everyone gave me dirty looks and told me I was supposed to say “cast member” (which is the Disney-preferred lingo). At home, his family even served Diet Coke with ice cubes shaped like Mickey Mouse.

My parents took us to Disney World when I was a kid and of course I had a great time. But I also used to think “All That” was a funny show and that being a JV cheerleader was the only important thing in life. Not everything you did when you were a kid is fun as an adult. Isn’t the “happiest place on Earth” supposed to be that way for kids?

Now, I enjoy Disney movies as much as the next person. I own both “Frozen” and “Brave” on DVD. But I’m a 32-year-old woman and I know those characters in the Magic Kingdom aren’t really Elsa and Merida — they’re just college kids in costumes. I don’t have any desire to get their “autographs” or take a photo together. As an adult, I also think a lot of Disney movies are sexist, and I hate the idea that every girl is supposed to want to be a princess.

But with Kyle, it really came down to travel incompatibility.  When I travel, I want to see a new place and try something I hadn’t done before; I couldn’t imagine spending my one week’s vacation at an amusement park, let alone one that I had already visited. The idea of waiting in line, listening to children whine about being tired, and then eating in a restaurant full of people dressed like Goofy and Donald Duck sounded like torture.Even after Kyle pointed out that there were “adults only” locations in Disney World and lots of places  where we could get drunk, it still felt unpalatable to me. Couldn’t we explore New Orleans together? Or maybe take a road trip along the coast of California? Then, the idea of going all the way to Paris to see “Pirates Of The Caribbean” instead of the Louvre felt like going to New York City and eating at the Olive Garden.

In some ways, Kyle and I were really compatible. But I just couldn’t get on board with a lifetime of vacations to the Magic Kingdom. I was the kind of person who wanted to spend my honeymoon in Paris, and he was the kind of person who wanted to spend his honeymoon at Disneyland Paris. There wasn’t room for a cartoon character in our relationship — especially in the form of “his-and-hers” bride and groom Mouse ears.

[Image of Disney World via Shutterstock]