This is an opinion piece written by the Author of the new Walt Disney Biography, Neal Gabler.
Much more at the link...
What seemed most to repulse many intellectuals was the sense that Disney infantilized America by refusing to confront reality, and it was reality in all its complexity, agony and sordidness that the intellectuals seemed to revere as the very foundation of art and intelligence. The theme park was especially castigated for its neglect of American tensions. Disney encouraged Americans to inhabit an imaginative universe not unlike that of a child, where reality had been transformed into fantasy and its harm expunged. For this act of anti-art, he was to be eternally condemned.
There is, to be fair, some truth to the charge that Disney's career was devoted to perfecting reality rather than grappling with it, though there is another substantial body of evidence to the contrary. In the late 1930s and early 1940s, for instance, Disney was inundated with letters from outraged parents who felt that Snow White's flight through the woods or Pinocchio's excursion on Pleasure Island or the devil in "Fantasia" or Bambi's mother's death were all too real and terrifying and hardly a gloss. Disney would typically respond that he didn't make films for children and that, in any case, children had to learn to deal with the terrors of the world.
Despite this, "Disneyfication" became and remains a dirty word — the primacy of false experiences over so-called real ones.