- Kellie Warren-Underwood/Disney Parks via Getty Images
- Some people spread the ashes of their dead family members at Disney World and Disneyland.
- It’s against the rules and breaks local laws. Theme park employees say it’s a pain to clean up, but it happens around once a month.
- People who’ve spread the cremated remains of their loved ones say it’s cathartic and a meaningful tribute to the dead.
Disney employees want you to stop scattering the ashes of your beloved dead family members at its theme parks.
“This type of behavior is strictly prohibited and unlawful,” a Disney spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal. “Guests who attempt to do so will be escorted off property.”
Multiple people told the Journal that they’ve spread the cremated remains of people close to them at Florida’s Disney World and California’s Disneyland, saying that they find it a cathartic and meaningful dedication.
It’s also in clear defiance of local Anaheim law and Disney rules, and causes headaches for park employees who have to clean it up. A “HEPA cleanup” incident – code for a situation that requires a vacuum designed to clean up ultrafine particles like ash residue – happens about once a month, employees told the Journal. When it’s discovered, Disney employees tell guests the attraction must shut down for “technical difficulties” and hand out “Fast Passes” so they can go on other rides.
- Wikimedia Commons
Shanin Himebrook, a 41-year-old from Missouri, told the Journal she spread her father’s ashes near Disney World’s gates earlier this year. She said she used to make summer trips with him there when she was younger, and wanted to memorialize it.
“[At Disney World,] he wasn’t my tired, graveyard-shift Dad,” she said. “He was, ‘Let’s get you the Mouse ears! Let’s get your name stitched in it!’ It’s like, ‘I love this dad! Can we stay forever?'”
On Reddit, one person claiming to be a Disney worker said they were often spread at Disney World’s Haunted Mansion.
A Disneyland employee confirmed that to the Journal.
“The Haunted Mansion probably has so much human ashes in it that it’s not even funny,” the employee said.
Alex Parone, an actor from New York, told the Journal it was strange to both mourn his mother and go on rides while at Disney World in June. He spread her ashes in a Magic Kingdom flower bed, then went on the “It’s s Small World” ride.