Whether you’re walking around Disneyland, exploring Disney World, or just watching your favorite Disney flick for the ten-thousandth time, you can’t deny the magic that Disney continues to give us after so many years. For a long time, Disney rumors have circulated round and round again about secret hideaways in their amusement parks and crazy facts about their overall culture. While we’ve discovered some of these Disney myths to be true (like the fact that all the plants in Tomorrowland are actually edible—what?!), there are many that while many believe strongly, are simply false.
Over the years, many of us have looked for hidden meanings in Disney theme parks and secret messages in our favorite Disney movies. Admit it, we’ve all closely examined the VHS cover of The Little Mermaid to spot the blatantly phallic work of art (and if you haven’t, you won’t be able to unsee it). We can’t help but wonder, why are we so enchanted with secrets about Disney? Perhaps it’s the joy of feeling like we’re in on a secret society that goes back so many years. Or perhaps it’s the child within all of us that desperately wants to hang on to that little bit of magic in our lives.
Here is a list of 15 of the coolest myths surrounding all that is Disney. But this list is a little different than ones you’ve read about before, as these have all been debunked. So, next time your friend tells you about the supposed singing Walt Disney head at the end of Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion ride (yeah, totally not Walt), feel free to impress them with your cold hard Disney facts.
15. The Secret “Club 21” Hidden In The Pirates Of The Caribbean Ride
The Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland is easily one of the biggest fan favorites at Disneyland. As we drift through the shallow waters of the pirate-infested waters, we can’t help but wonder what’s hiding in its many dark nooks and crannies. One of the ride’s most talked-about features is its in-ride restaurant, Blue Bayou. Many believe that just beyond the restaurant, there’s a secret club that only high-paying members belong to called the “Club 21.”
Similar to Disney’s infamous exclusive “Club 33” which requires a joiner’s fee of $25,000 in addition to the annual $10,000 membership fee (okay, who likes Disney that much), “Club 21” exists on a members-only basis. But apparently, there is no other exclusive club. It was just a private corporate lounge that tourists were mistaking them for. But don’t worry, you can still pay all your life savings to be a part of Club 33 which definitely does exist.
14. “Andy’s Coming!”
No matter how old you are, we all secretly wish the world of Toy Story exists—or at least that our stuffed animals are all leading double lives (okay, maybe just some of us). Either way, we all appreciate the sweet idea of our favorite toys falling to the ground once their human best friend enters back into the room. For a long time, it was believed that if someone walking around Disneyland shouted “Andy’s coming!” at the top of their lungs, all of the costumed characters in the park would instantly fall to the ground just like the toys in Toy Story do.
While this isn’t true at all, the idea didn’t come from out of nowhere. For a short time, Disney employees did the “Andy’s coming!” stunt for promotional reasons, but it only happened once. But hey, who knows if any of the employees will give in upon the command? But be warned, you may completely embarrass yourself.
13. Creepy Magic Castle Clock
There are lots of truly beautiful items placed all over the Disneyland park, especially in Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. Chances are, you’ve heard about the pretty yet kind of creepy chandelier clock placed inside of Sleeping Beauty’s place that is supposedly set to the exact time of Walt Disney’s death. Kind of morbid for the most magical place on earth, don’t you think?
Apparently, this creepy myth is completely false…sort of. The clock was actually installed back in 1996 but has never actually served as a working timepiece. While many insist that the clock is set to Walt Disney’s time of death, it has been proven that the clock’s time is changed all the time and rarely has any significance. Has the clock ever been set to the time Walt took his last breath? Maybe, but it may have appeared that way for a very short time, as the clock’s time is constantly changing.
12. The Haunted Mansion Was So Scary It Gave Someone a Heart Attack
Look, the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland has its creepy moments, but is it really scary enough to give you a full-on heart attack? We don’t think so either. That’s why many are intrigued when they hear the myth about the supposed Haunted Mansion rider who had a heart attack in the middle of the ride. Many say this was because before the incident occurred, the ride was actually much, much scarier. Once the man had a heart attack, the park scaled back on the ride’s scare factor and made it the tame ride that it is today.
This story has been proven to be completely false. The ride was closed for about six years before it was officially opened in 1969, probably due to the fact that Walt Disney had past away around the time of the ride’s opening. This rumor has been circulating since that time, making it one of the oldest Disney myths on this list. Newer rumors about the haunted ride still go around—like that it’s actually haunted. Again, all false.
11. Walt Disney’s Body Is Actually Frozen Somewhere
This rumor is definitely one of the more ridiculous ones out there. For many years, it has been believed by some that Walt Disney’s body is cryogenically frozen and will come back to life one day, Austin Powers style. Walt Disney actually died back in 1966 after a battle with lung cancer. At the age of 65, Walt’s body was in fact cremated, not frozen. Just two years later, the first man was cryogenically frozen and wasn’t regarded as that innovative or life-changing. The man behind the new technology had mentioned that it was a shame they hadn’t frozen Walt’s body because of all the publicity he would have gotten for it. Looks like we’ll just have to remember Walt when we visit the park because we doubt he’ll be back on his feet walking around town anytime soon.
10. Secret “Message” in The Lion King
Disney’s The Lion King is a great movie for the kiddies—a sweet story about growing up, friendship, and being brave. So what’s the deal with the word “S*X” that flies across the screen when Mufasa sends his baby Simba a message from beyond the grave? If you were young enough when this movie came out, you remember all of your friends rewinding your VHS over and over again to try and catch this scandalous message in an otherwise innocent, heartwarming cartoon.
Turns out, the word floating in the ominous, floating clouds wasn’t the word “S*X” at all. However, our eyes weren’t totally deceiving us. There was actually a hidden word in the sky, but it read “SFX.” The word was basically a shout-out to the special effects department. So basically, we were all trying to make sense of an inside joke we had nothing to do with. Thanks, Disney! The special effects are always great in Disney movies though, and they definitely deserved the little tip of the hat.
9. The Over-Excited Minister In The Little Mermaid
It’s easy to understand having a giant crush on Ariel in Disney’s The Little Mermaid. But all were kind of disgusted when our friend pointed out the fact that the minister in the movie had a boner when he was marrying the evil Vanessa to her Prince Eric. While watching the scene where Eric is marrying Vanessa, it definitely looks like he’s got a giant erection as he asks them to recite their vows. However, if you look very closely, the fat bulge is actually the minister’s tiny knees, not his magic stick at all.
While we all found this supposed hidden gem kind of hilarious, one woman definitely didn’t. A lady by the name of Janet Gilmer apparently sued Disney for the emotional distress that this hint of s*xual innuendo gave her. Dramatic much?
8. No Disneyland Deaths Allowed
When we visit the happiest place on earth, the last thing on our minds is death. However, over the years, many have heard that if anyone dies or is about to die at Disneyland, they are immediately rushed out of the park before they are actually declared dead. This incredibly sneaky and creepy protocol may seem believable, but it’s definitely not. Any of the deaths that have occurred at Disneyland are well-documented and it has happened on the premises.
There have been many rumors of deaths at the park, but most of them have no merit at all. There have been rumors of someone hanging himself on the “It’s a Small World” ride among others, but there’s no documentation proving the incident to be true. However, there have been a few deaths at the park including a girl who was crushed to death by a tour bus back in 1985. While these deaths aren’t ever publicized, there is definitely a record of them proving the rumor of no one ever dying at Disneyland to be false.
7. The Seven Dwarfs Represent The Stages Of Cocaine Addiction
This is definitely one of the weirder Disney myths we’ve heard over the years. One of Disney’s more classic films, Snow White, features seven little men that live with the pale beauty, all with different personalities (can you still name them all?). What we thought were just playful characters are apparently a representation of a dangerous drug addiction. Wait…what? It’s kind of hard to believe at first. But upon watching, we can see how maybe the different personalities of the seven dwarfs could represent the different states of mind one would go through when high on drugs. Admittedly, there are many moments in the film that look awfully close to a legit drug trip—we’ve all seen otherwise ugly witches get suddenly prettier after a little inebriation, no?
All kidding aside, if the seven dwarfs were really based on stages of drug addiction, that’s definitely not appropriate for kids. Luckily, this rumor, although funny, is completely false. In fact, cocaine was VERY illegal when the film was released in 1937 and was overshadowed by the popularity of alcohol at the time.
6. Walt Disney Was Banking On The Future Of Male Pregnancy
Now this, we didn’t see coming. Many Disney fans believe that when Walt Disney died, he set aside a sizable chunk of change specifically to fund the first male to experience pregnancy. However, it’s been proven, thanks to the details of his will, that this is in fact not true at all. When Walt Disney passed away, he left behind quite a bit of money. However, it wasn’t intended to fund experimental child bearing. According to his will, Walt left 45% of his assets to his wife, Lillian Disney, and the rest for his family trust.
It’s crazy to think about the many different rumors that have circulated over the last fifty years about Walt after he died in the sixties. But being a beloved cultural icon himself, it’s easy to understand why so many fans wanted to keep him alive with rumors, as cooky as they may be.
5. Pirates Of The Caribbean Haunted By Disney Worker
If you’ve ever been on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland, you know how extensive the set is. From two-story platforms to moving ships, there was a lot that was handcrafted to make the ride as awesome as it is today. Rumor has it that a welder named George who helped build the ride back in the ’70s had a horrible accident and died while working on the set. Many say his soul hasn’t left the ride and continues to haunt it to this day.
After extensive searching, no one has been able to find any proof that a man named George died while building the ride, let alone that he existed at all. Perhaps the rumors started by employees to keep things interesting? We’ll probably never know.
4. Disneyland Is A Great Place To Scatter Human Remains
Disneyland is great and all, but would you want it to be your final resting place where your soul would live on forever? Unless you’re a seriously die-hard Disney fan, probably not. However, there are many rumors of people spreading their loved ones’ cremains on various rides and Disney attractions. One of the most popular incidents was when a woman supposedly dumped a powdery substance into the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. The ride was then closed for a bit in 2007 while they tried to figure out what it was that the woman actually dumped into the water. They weren’t able to prove that they were in fact ashes, but people definitely talked.
It’s hard to imagine sneaking someone’s cremains into Disneyland these days due to the extensive security checks upon entering the park. While we can’t say it’s never, ever happened, it doesn’t happen as often as the rumors would suggest.
3. Cinderella’s Castle Is “Collapsable”
Disney World is located in Florida, a place where hurricanes happen all of the time. For that reason, many believed for a long time that Cinderella’s castle was built in such a way that it could be taken apart and folded up quickly in case of a sudden hurricane. However, we’ve seen hurricanes come and go over the years and low and behold, Cinderella’s castle is still standing tall. The castle itself is comprised of a steel-braced frame, covered in thick concrete walls that are 10 inches thick. It makes sense that the castle is build so sturdily, as it was no secret that it would have to withstand future hurricanes, knowing the state’s weather patterns.
2. Tinker Bell Is Disney’s Interpretation Of Marilyn Monroe
Peter Pan‘s magical fairy, Tinker Bell, is a sweet character we all remember fondly from our childhood. She was always standing by her good friend, Peter, and was a very positive character in the movie. We were pretty surprised to hear that the innocent, helpful Disney fairy was actually modeled after one of the world’s biggest s*x symbols, Marilyn Monroe. We always thought Tink’s cute little outfit was just minimal because she’s a little fairy, not because she was trying to show some skin.
Don’t worry, your childhood isn’t ruined. The sexy siren never in fact influenced the creation of Tinker Bell. It’s just another rumor. The fairy was actually inspired by an actress by the name of Margaret Kerry. The actress worked at Disneyland on a soundstage where she’d use props to represent the sweet fairy. Turns out, she did it so well as she had inspired the character depicted in the movies.
1. The “Palace With The Phallus”
We mentioned this rumor at the top of this article. However, it’s not entirely true. As many of us have noticed (and giggled about in elementary school class), the underwater palace portrayed on the cover of The Little Mermaid is riddled with p*nis-shaped rods. Sure, it’s true that the palace totally looks like the male body part, no question. However, the rumor is false because this was not done on purpose. It was a total accident.
Many of us have believed that the artist was either tired or generally angry with his job, causing him to lash out on the drawing, leaving us with this priceless gem we’d talk about for years to come. The artist was contacted after the rumor was made that he did it on purpose, and he admitted on a radio show that he truly had no ill intent at all. Do you believe him?
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