Disneyland myths busted

Hannah Beckmann, Staff Reporter

Disneyland opened on July 17, 1955, and has since welcomed millions of guests from all over the world, expanded into two separate parks, and developed quite a bit of its own folklore and myths. These myths stretch anywhere from hauntings to hidden easter eggs, and while many are nothing more than mere hogwash, some of them actually hold some clout.

Possibly the most widely repeated Disney urban legend is that Walt Disney had himself cryogenically frozen after he died from his battle with lung cancer. The legend says that he had planned to have himself thawed when science had advanced to a point that could undo the damage to his body. His body is said to be underneath the “Pirates of the Caribbean” attraction at Disneyland. However, I can confidently say that this urban legend is simply utter nonsense. There is no proof whatsoever that can point to this as being true. In fact, every document regarding “Uncle Walt’s” death shows that he was actually cremated after his death.

Over the years, Disneyland has seen its fair share of crazy happenings, from an increase in topless “Splash Mountain” on-ride photos to twerpy arrogant celebrities (i.e. Justin Bieber) dropping by for a visit. But possibly craziest of all are the people who sprinkle the ashes of their dearly departed onto the sets of rides, most notably, the “Haunted Mansion.” This has happened so often, that Disneyland must routinely check over the ride for any suspicious ashy substances. Though the “Haunted Mansion” is known for its kid-friendly frights, it is said that the real ghost of a little boy who found his final resting place on the ride can still be seen by a few keenly observant guests.

Continuing on the subject of creepy and morbid Disney legends, sources from inside the park say that “Pirates of the Caribbean” actually houses real human remains. When the ride was originally built, the park borrowed skeletons from the UCLA Medical Center because the fake skeletons of the time period looked a bit too hoaky. These remains were later returned to their respective homes and were replaced with new fake skeletons. However, there is still one human skull left in the ride, which is situated just above the bed in the captain’s quarters in the shape of a skull and crossbones.

Disneyland is the only park whose construction Walt Disney had a close supervision over. During the time Disneyland was being built, Walt and his family lived in an apartment above the fire station. Hardly anybody is currently allowed inside, but insiders say that the apartment is still kept in the same condition it was in when the Disney family lived in it. Today, the light from a lamp can be seen through the upstairs window. This lamp is always lit to symbolize the constant presence of the man who made all the magic in the park a reality.

Most visitors to the park don’t stop to think about all the history and hidden facts within the park. Most of those visitors don’t even know that it’s possible to cross state lines during your trip to Disneyland. That’s because when the park was first opened, Disney made an agreement with the state of Missouri to annex “Tom Sawyer Island” to the Show-Me State. Now, the island has its own Missouri zip code. Because “Tom Sawyer Island” belongs to the state of Missouri, it has a different tax rate from the rest of the park, which is why you’ll never be able to buy something on the island.  And if you break the law on “Tom Sawyer Island”, it’s considered to be a federal crime because you crossed state lines.

Disneyland has been around for more than 50 years, and over that half century of bringing magic to that little part of Annaheim California (and Missouri), it has developed a reputation as truly being the happiest place on Earth. No wonder people like to find all these small facts and hidden trivia, it gives us “Disnerds” more of a reason to go back again and again (as if we really needed one).