The Childless Millennial Pretzel Company: Exploring Stereotypes Within Disney Fan Groups on Facebook

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Murphy, Morgan
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In 2019, a Facebook post was shared across various social media platforms. The post, with names blacked out, was said to have originated from a mother who expressed her disgust with childless millennials who visit the Walt Disney World, saying, “DW is for CHILDREN!!!!! People without CHILDREN need to be BANNED!!!!! [sic]” She was upset that other people were in line for pretzels, making the line longer. The original poster saw childless millennials as taking away from her family’s experience, as they added to the number of people in line for rides, food, and character interactions. Social media allows people with common interests to connect with each other in new ways. This study looks at how Disney fans use Facebook groups to discuss the childless millennial stereotype in relation to the original Facebook post so widely shared across social media. Four Disney-related Facebook groups were studied. Results found that, overall, Walt Disney World fans are accepting of childless millennials and encourage their participation in the group, despite the stereotype of a childless millennial being negative. Walt Disney welcomed fans to his first park, Disneyland, with the phrase, “To all who come to this happy place, welcome.” This same welcoming attitude is adopted by fans in the four Facebook groups studied.