Looking ashen and Goofy in Walt’s world

Looking ashen and Goofy in Walt’s world

In a world without enduring values or the possibility of an eternity spent with a loving God, people will resort to the oddest affectations surrounding death. The Walt Disney Company is directly dealing with this problem, cleaning up corpses at its park attractions.

On a regular basis, Disney has been forced to close certain attractions in Disney World and Disneyland to clean up cremated remains strewn about the rides, presumably by those left behind with specific post-mortem instructions.

The craze seems to have gotten its start at the Haunted Mansion, with the earliest known incident taking place in the late 1990’s. Ever since then the practice becomes more popular by the year, and it happens so frequently now that Disneyland has trained the ride operators how to handle such an incident and what to do when remains are discovered inside the attraction. Sometimes the person spreading the ashes is seen on the surveillance cameras and the Cast Members can respond quickly.

Because they have been instructed by the Security and Legal departments to never actually detain a park visitor, most of the perpetrators spreading the ashes are never actually caught however, and they disappear into the park. But when a Haunted Mansion Cast Member sees ashes being spread from a passing Doom Buggy, the attraction is cycled out and shut down for hours at a time while the Custodial department comes in and begins the clean up. The Anaheim Police are also involved in the incident, but there’s rarely anything they can do about it either.

Sometimes however the cremated ashes aren’t found until the end of the night when the Cast Members close down the rides and walk the tracks looking for lost and found. Just last month that situation occurred when a Cast Member at the Haunted Mansion found several piles and a trail of ashes alongside the ride track. The Anaheim Police and Disneyland Security were summoned, and judging by the large amount of ashes this deposit was likely a small group of deceased people, or perhaps a very large married couple. The police identified the substance as human remains, and the custodial crew came in for the clean up.

The practice of spreading ashes baffles me under the best of circumstances, but I just don’t understand this particular variation. Do these people not realize that their fate is not to have their mortal remains lie forever among the animatronic ghouls and pirates, but is instead to end up in a HEPA-filter equipped vacuum cleaner? Would it make a difference if old Uncle Morry knew?

When the glitz and glamour of this life are that you have to comfort you, then Disney World becomes your idea of heaven.

I enjoy a visit to the Magic Kingdom as much as the next red-blooded American, but I can’t think of anything more likely to induce despair than to imagine spending eternity in line for Space Mountain or Alice in Wonderland’s Tea Cups. Although I can imagine hell would be an endless loop of “Small, small world.”

  • Although I can imagine hell would be an endless loop of “Small, small world.”

    I think it is. Years ago, my husband and I camped our way across the country, and decided to visit Disneyland in Anaheim.

    It was fun, until our little “car” broke down in one of the tunnel rides and we listened to “It’s a Small World After All” for TWO AND ONE HALF HOURS!!!!


  • I’m betting that Fenway’s got more dead bodies than Disney.  (and I’m not counting Wakefield)