Disney Amusement parks are thought of as some of the very happiest places on Earth. Even if you are not big into the Disney scene it is hard not to get swept away when you are at one of their parks. Disney is one of the biggest and best media companies in the world and a lot of that is simply because they do things so well.
Everything is so clean, and bright; it all feels so safe and fun and special. But that is just it really, isn’t it? How can anything be this perfect? If something seems so good and so squeaky clean, then there must be some sort of dark side to it right? Some secrets that we don’t know…
Well, in a word, yes. Disney is a corporation and they do some things that aren’t that cool. Not only that, there are just a lot of things about Disneyland and Disney World that they just don’t want people to know.
Well sadly for Disney, some of those secrets are going to get out. Here are 13 Things That Disney Doesn’t Want you to Know.
13. Walt Disney Was An FBI Informant
You can’t talk about Disneyland without talking a little about Walt Disney himself. While he was considered a cool guy by most, there is one little thing about him that doesn’t quite fit with his image. It seems that good old Walt was an FBI informant back in the day. He became tight with the former head of the FBI, J.Edgar Hoover, and started to drop dimes on all sorts of people for being potential communists. No one knows how many people good old Walt could have turned in.
12. Brain Eating Parasites
There is an Island at Disney World called Discovery Island. If you go swimming in the waters near there you just might discover that your brain has been eaten by a parasite. There is an amoeba known as Naegleria fowleri that has been found there. It can cause a dangerous infection that can ultimately eat away at the victim’s brain. Don’t worry though, it has only been linked to one death at Disney World. This is the reason Disney’s first water park closed, as it used water from the lagoon that the amoeba called home.
11. The Yippie Invasion
In 1970, members of the Youth International Party (also known as YIPPIES, because yes, they really were that lame), invaded Disneyland and took over sections of it in an attempt to spread their anti-war message. This was not an effective protest as protests go. Basically the Yippies took over parts of the park and disrupted things, and then Disney Security came in and busted up the little hippie party. As silly as this all seems now, imagine if similar groups were to do the same thing – it would make news all over the world.
10. Disney’s Burial Grounds
All right, so these are not actual official burial grounds. That would be way less creepy as a matter of fact. Many people over the years have become so attached to Disney that they ask for their ashes to be scattered on their favorite area or ride. The first time this was known to happen was when a woman scattered her son’s ashes near the Pirates of the Caribbean ride but it has happened a lot since. In fact, it happens so often that staff is trained on what to do if they see someone trying to scatter ashes. The place that it is done the most is the Haunted Mansion. Gross.
9. Even the Trash Cans Are Well Conceived
Walt Disney was without a doubt a pretty controlling guy. Just about everything that is done in Disney is done with a lot of thought behind it. But how far away the trash cans are from the concessions stands? Seriously? Yep, even that. Disney ordered the trash cans to be exactly 25 feet away from the hot dog stands, because that is exactly how long it took him to eat a hot dog. While that is kind of cool, in its own way, it also shows just how controlling he was.
8. Everyone Working There is Doing the Deed
Of course this isn’t the kind of thing that you want to spread around so we can’t blame Disney a whole lot for not sharing this one. A lot of the people working at the park have accommodations there, too. This means that those people in the costumes are hanging out together, partying together, and yes, sleeping together. This is totally normal, of course, but still something that Disney doesn’t want to talk about. Basically these Disney characters are living in one big summer camp.
7. Underground Tunnels
Walking around a Disney theme park is like being in a magical land. Everything is clean and beautiful, and “Oh so special.” But how do they get things done and move things around? Why don’t we ever see how things actually happen? Well, it’s because of the tunnels. Yes, there are miles and miles of tunnels under Disney where the real stuff happens. This is where the trash gets moved and the characters get from place to place. Underground is where the nitty gritty daily life of Disney goes on.
6. There Are Feral Cats Everywhere
Disney is just chock full of feral cats. At last estimate there were close to 200 of them kicking around. At one point Disney tried to get rid of them, but decided it was best to let them chill out and hunt mice. And why not? The cats pretty much hide out all day, and at night they hunt, keeping Disney free of mice and other rodents. Presumably they leave Mickey alone. Then in the morning, when all the kids and families come back, the cats hideout for the day.
5. They Control Your Mind with Smells
Yes, you read the headline right. They have machines all over Disney that ensure that you get just the right kind of smell to make your mind think what they want it to. They have multiple pumps and vents all over the park to make the food smell better than it really is, and to make certain experiences in the park seem more believable. For example, if you are by a Wild West ride, then smells will be pumped into your nose that will make that experience seem more genuine. Is this good marketing or just creepy mind control? Kind of too close to call if you ask me.
4. They Lie About Time
You know those signs at the beginning of the ride that say how long it is going to take before you get on? Yeah, they make those up. I know, shocking. If it takes longer than they say, well, at least they got you in the line, and if it doesn’t take as long as they say then you end up feeling lucky. Either way they know that it really does not do them a whole lot of good to tell you how long you are going to be waiting for a ride, so they just make it up. Good old Disney.
3. The Secret Police
So you know how everything seems so safe at Disney all the time even though there are not a whole lot of security guards around? Well, actually there are a whole lot of security guards around. You just don’t know it. Undercover cops are all over the place at Disney, just waiting to swoop in and make sure they get the bad guy. Which is kind of cool, except for the fact that it is also rather creepy. But you know, it is Disney – having cops in uniform would ruin the fantasy.
2. You Aren’t Going to Win Anything
You know when you go to the carnival and the dirty Carnies try to sucker you in to playing some games that are really fixed? Well, it turns out it is not any different at Disney. They have been accused of distracting customers while they are trying to win prizes, using wax to increase friction on the surface of games, and even the totally old school trick of gluing cans in place, making it impossible to knock them down. I mean sure, I can see this at the county fair, but Disney doing this? Come on.
1. People Die There
Yes indeed, people die at Disney. It happens more than one might think, too. Of course, when so many people come to a place every day, people will die from time to time, of a stroke or a heart attack, if nothing else. And sometimes people die because they do really stupid things, like standing up on a roller coaster. But sometimes people die and it’s Disney’s fault, like in 1998 when a ship’s mooring tore loose and struck several guests, one of whom died. Of all the things on this list, the whole “People die at Disney all the time” thing is probably the biggest secret they do not want you to know.