Spreading the ashes of a loved one at Disney Parks is a no-no. However, that hasn’t deterred guests from trying. A recent Wall Street Journal article examines reasons why some guest choose this risky route as a final resting place for their family members.

Walt Disney World

  • Disney is know to many as the “Happiest Place on Earth” and some believe that’s the best place to take the ashes of a loved one. The Wall Street Journal interviewed several families who have managed to sneak their loved one’s remains into the parks and make it their final resting place.
  • To be clear, Disney does not allow guests to spread remains at their Parks or on their property. In fact doing so without permission could be a misdemeanor.
  • Even though some have managed to get away unseen, that doesn’t mean that the ashes aren’t found.
  • Custodian Cast Members have reported that guests attempt to do this about once a month and when ashes are spotted, they have to clean them up.
  • Disney has a special system of codes for a variety of clean ups, from Code V and Code U (vomit and urine, respectively) to a HEPA cleanup. HEPA refers to the ultrafine vacuum needed to suck up the ashes.
  • According to the article, a former Cast Member said she and others got in trouble after coming up with their own signal for ash cleanup: “Code Grandma.”
  • And yes, there have been false alarms such as funnel-cake powder being mistaken for ash.
  • When ashes are discovered at an attraction, Disney workers must it shut down due to “technical difficulties.”
  • A manager will then go through the attraction alone looking for any ash piles. Meanwhile Cast Members may hand out FastPasses to guests who must be cleared from the area before the custodial team arrives with their vacuums.

What they’re saying:

  • A Disney spokeswoman in regards to guests spreading ashes: “This type of behavior is strictly prohibited and unlawful. Guests who attempt to do so will be escorted off property.”
  • WSJ writes that: “Sgt. Daron Wyatt, a spokesman, for the Anaheim Police Department, said spreading ashes without permission is a misdemeanor. Officers ‘have responded on calls for service regarding ashes’ at Disneyland, he added, but said the park’s on-site sergeant couldn’t recall any arrests being made.”
  • Disneyland custodian speculating which rides is most chosen as a resting place: “The Haunted Mansion probably has so much human ashes in it that it’s not even funny.”
  • Kym Pessolano DeBarth who left a small amount of her mother’s ashes on “it’s a small world”: “Instead of going to a grave. I go to Disney World.”
  • Caryn Reker spread her father’s ashes in numerous spots around Magic Kingdom: “It’s a sweet way to giggle and remember—he’s here. . . and there. . . and a little over there. . . yep, there, too.”
  • Jodie Jackson Wells smuggled a pill bottle containing her mother’s ashes into WDW: “Anyone who knew my mom knew Disney was her happy place.”
 
 

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