For many families, Disney World, known as the “World’s Happiest Place on Earth,” seems to be the perfect final resting place for their loved ones.
Florida native Jodie Jackson Wells told the Wall Street Journal that she spread her mom’s ashes around Cinderella Castle in 2009, after smuggling them in a pill bottle. She said:
“Anyone who knew my mom knew Disney was her happy place… I had two fistfuls of the ashes and I literally leapt like I was a dancer.”
She doesn’t believe park employees noticed the ashes, but many families aren’t so lucky.
According to park custodians, ashes are a major problem. They have to clean up ashes at least once a month, WSJ reports.
When they get a call for “HEPA cleanup,” they bring an ultrafine vacuum that can suck up the particles.
The rides are often shut down for “technical difficulties” so that workers can remove the remains.
The most popular attractions include It’s a Small World, the moat under the Dumbo ride, and Haunted Mansion. Ashes are also often spread into flower beds and on lawns.
One custodian said:
“The Haunted Mansion probably has so much human ashes in it that it’s not even funny.”
Spreading ashes at the park is considered a misdemeanor crime, according to the Anaheim Police Department.
They confirmed that they have “responded on calls for service regarding ashes” in Disney’s California park, Disneyland.
Guests often smuggle the remains in pill bottles, makeup compacts, or plastic bags to get past security. But Disney said spreading ashes will get you removed from the park.
A spokesperson for Disney World told WSJ that “this type of behavior is strictly prohibited and unlawful. Guests who attempt to do so will be escorted off property.”
So even if your late family member loved Disney parks, it’s probably best to find a different resting place.