On the other hand, I find the intense vitriol—not the jokes, but the suggestions this is on par with religion or a cult—to be more than a bit confounding. From where I stand, Disney Adults don't appear to be the kind of fandom that cares much about what others think about us, or the things we like. I don't see them enacting massive doxing campaigns against anyone who dares say a bad word about Encanto, like fans of certain pop stars or superhero movies. Maybe it's because I'm a cool Disney Adult and don't run in those circles? I don't know.
Part of it seems to stem from an understandable disdain for Disney as a corporate monopoly, and all the negatives that have come from that. (For one: The company's position as financially beholden to political groups that are actively trying to strip basic human rights.) I agree with those critics; no one brand should have all this power.
The bigger component, though, is probably Disney's "wholesome" and child-friendly image, which has been meticulously ingrained in the public imagination since the brand's inception. Despite owning everything under the sun, from Star Wars to Marvel to the Muppets to Pixar, the Disney brand remains lodged in people's minds as nothing more than that iconographic image of Tinker Bell tapping Cinderella's castle with her wand. To say something has been "Disneyfied" is dismissive shorthand for watered-down, chaste, safe, conservative. The company does plenty of things to project this fluffy image (ahem, that very hyped "exclusively gay" moment that turned out to just be a couple seconds of two guys dancing together), so I get it. I can see how it seems like the equivalent of continuing to enjoy Blue's Clues even after you've reached 5th grade—to like a product ostensibly targeted at kids is to somehow exist in a state of arrested development and be disconnected from reality, so the thinking goes.
To which I say: All fiction requires the audience to disconnect from reality! That's the point! Also, have you seen Pinocchio recently? That entire Pleasure Island sequence is like a PG-rated precursor to Fritz the Cat!
Even the term "Disney Adult" suggests it's something of an oxymoron, an incongruous identity—we don't go around calling people Muppet Grown-Ups or Mature Star Wars fans, even as these fantastical franchises also appeal to people of all ages. Sigh.