Most work on emotional attention in aging has focused exclusively on stimulus valence, with very few studies systematically examining how younger and older adults may differ in their attention to emotional stimuli that varies by both valence and arousal. This could be potentially important when evaluating early attentional processes, as previous work has shown that attention to positive and negative content is similar when levels of arousal are equivalent. In the current study younger (n = 48) and older (n = 49) adult participants completed a spatial cueing task in which they responded to the location of a spatial target that was preceded by an emotional image cue. Results indicated that both younger and older adults took longer to disengage attention from highly arousing image cues regardless of valence. These results demonstrate a context in which typical age-related positivity effects do not emerge, highlighting the importance of evaluating different attentional processes when studying emotional attention and taking stimulus arousal into account.