Disney attracts millions of guests to its theme parks every year. You can satisfy your inner adrenaline-junkie on the roller coasters, meet your favorite Disney character, and buy a dish of dole whip. However, there are many facts about Disney World and Disneyland that most guests may not know about; below are just five of these unusual facts.
- Cremated Human Remains Being Spread Throughout the Park
As if dealing with vomit wasn’t disgusting enough for Disney park employees, there have been several incidences of guests spreading their loved ones ashes throughout rides in the park. One incident of ash-scattering occurred in 2007 when security cameras caught a woman dumping an unknown substance during the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. Park officials later confirmed that the substance was in fact cremated human remains. The most popular attraction for guests to spread ashes is the Haunted Mansion. In fact, it has become such a common occurrence that Disney has special training for its employees as to what to do if a guest is caught spreading ashes.
- Club 33
One of the most exclusive and expensive clubs in America is located in Disneyland. Club 33 was designed by Disney himself to be a place where corporate sponsors could relax and enjoy the park without the crowds and screaming children. Originally, the club was only supposed to offer membership to sponsors, but individual memberships were offered soon after the club’s opening in June 1967. Corporate sponsors pay a one-time initiation fee of $40,000 to join Club 33, while other VIPs pay an initiation fee of $27,000 plus an extra $12,000 per year. Club 33 is the only place in any Disney Park in which you can purchase alcohol during normal park hours. Every member of Club 33 may visit any Disney park any time they like without paying admission, will receive six Fastpasses every time they visit a park, and may enjoy the restaurant, bar or lounge in Club 33 anytime they wish.
- Secret Tunnels under Disney World
When guests walk around Disney’s Magic Kingdom, they are actually walking on the second level of the park. The first level consists of a series of underground tunnels known as the “utilidors.” These tunnels allow characters, employees, and delivery trucks to travel around the park unseen. Within these tunnels lies the nerve center of the park, the vault where the park’s profits for that day are kept, two underground cafeterias for the cast members, and the storage rooms for some of the more important character costumes like Mickey and Minnie Mouse.
- Discovery Island
This Disney World attraction first opened in 1974 under the name Treasure Island and was later turned into a sort of small zoo where guests could look at and interact with endangered local species. The park was closed in 1999 with little public explanation as to why. This mysterious closing has led many people to believe that the attraction was actually closed due the discovery of a brain-eating amoeba species, known as Naegleria fowleri, in the surrounding lake.
- Beastly Kingdom
When the Animal Kingdom park was first being designed the plan was to have an area for existing animals, an area for extinct animals, and an area for animals that have never existed. Unfortunately, the latter part was never created, but the plans for it still exist. There was supposed to be a unicorn maze, a boat ride that would take you through various scenes from Fantasia, and a dragon’s tower that would allow guests to face off against the fire-breathing beast.