Disney theme parks have ranked among the world’s most popular vacation spots for decades. But for some guests, the resorts are a much more, ahem, permanent place of rest.
Employees at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, and Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, tell The Wall Street Journal that the parks have become a favorite spot for visitors to scatter the cremated ashes of their loved ones.
A Disney spokeswoman said such scattering of ashes on company property was “strictly prohibited and unlawful,” adding that guests attempting to do so with the remains of family members or friends “will be escorted off property.”
But that hasn’t stopped some guests from going to great lengths ― like smuggling ashes into the parks via prescription pill bottles and makeup compacts ― to ensure their loved ones can spend eternity at the Happiest Places on Earth, according to the report.
Employees told the Journal that it happens about once a month, and that human ashes have been spread in flower beds and shrubbery inside the parks. Classic attractions, like Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion, are also popular depositories.
“The Haunted Mansion probably has so much human ashes in it that it’s not even funny,” one Disneyland custodian is quoted as saying.
Unfortunately, those hoping to honor the Disney-loving dearly departed in the shadow of Cinderella Castle or Splash Mountain might be disappointed. When it happens, employees are required to temporarily close the attraction due to “technical difficulties” while custodians use an ultra-fine vacuum to clean up the ashes.
So unless you’re hoping to have Grandma or Grandpa spend eternity inside an elaborate Dirt Devil (and be removed from a theme park you’ve paid upward of $100 to enter), it may be best to consider the parks for another life milestone, such as a proposal or a wedding.