As with many things in life, we can look to Star Trek to provide some insightful wisdom on this:
CARETAKER: Here you have to only imagine your fondest wishes, either old ones you wish to relive or new ones, anything at all. Battle, fear, love, triumph. Anything that pleases you can be made to happen.
SPOCK: The term is amusement park.
CARETAKER: Of course.
SPOCK: An old Earth name for a place where people could go to see and do all sorts of fascinating things.
CARETAKER: This entire planet was constructed for our race of people to come and play.
SULU: Play? As advanced as you obviously are, and you still play?
KIRK: Yes, play, Mister Sulu. The more complex the mind, the greater the need for the simplicity of play.
CARETAKER: Exactly, Captain. How very perceptive of you.
From the original Star Trek episode "Shore Leave." And I think rather insightful about the value of a place like Walt Disney World to adults.
Wife and I have no kids. We go for several reasons:
1. I am ADD, so the thought of sitting on a beach somewhere only works for me for about a day, then I am bored. Equally my wife cannot stand being trapped on a boat (even when we tried a grand suite on a cruise ship) so those are out as well.
2. Love the Disney bubble, we live in the real world - so when we vacation (AKA escape) we want something drastically different than our every day life, and that includes the realities around me.
3. There is no doubt there is a nostalgic element to it that brings me back to my childhood. Obviously as an adult things become more serious and severe, so finding ways to connect with your inner child, at lease to me, is a healthy passion. Like the old saying goes, 'you dont stop playing because you get old, you get old because you stop playing.'
4. I like rides, dole whips and mickey ice cream bars. We have been to 6 flags (not the same), We've been to the dole plantation (there was no space mountain - I looked), and we have been to Target lately (the mickey bars don't taste the same).
The world is becoming a more dangerous place: look at what is going on in Hong Kong's Airport right now, previous riots in Paris, acid/knife attacks in London, etc.... Yes these are rare events, but short of the family melee in toontown disneyland, Disney parks are pretty safe bets. Yeah they lack the cultural enlightenment of those places I just mentioned - but we always have the world showcase right !!!!!
My point is, while I don't worry about encountering these things on my global, or even domestic, travels, they are constant reminders of the world in which we live that is changing for the worse and becoming ever more divisive. Give me a week long break from that in Disney and I feel a little better inside.
disclaimer: The Disney bubble, to me, is loosing its luster a bit as I see ever move evidence of trash, lack of maintenance, etc. . . but I still haven't found its replacement.