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Disney Is For The Young, The Old, And…The Dead

The Wall Street Journal recently confirmed an old rumor that has existed for decades: people are indeed spreading the ashes of their dead relatives throughout Disney!

In fact, security is constantly on alert for patrons who are attempting to sneak their dead loved ones into the park to make Disneyland their final resting place.

To make matters worse, the custodians had to come up with a special code word for the situation, “HEPA cleanup.”

The happiest place on earth for whom?

The unfortunate truth is that Disney employees are responsible for cleaning up the mess that patrons leave behind. This means they are also in charge of identifying human ashes and cleaning them up before they blow throughout the park.

This is not a great mental image… picture your child eating on a breezy day and finding human ashes in their food, hair, or mouth.

Disneyland has often been under scrutiny for how it treats its employees. Between the issue of low pay and overworked employees, the park can now add the fact that they force their employees to clean up human remains.

Being touted as the happiest place on earth makes it almost impossible to believe that anyone would view the park as a place of sadness, disgust, or death in any way. The reality is that the organization has made a living of putting up a façade of how life could be as opposed to how it really is. This teaches our children that living in la-la land is acceptable and that reality is to be rejected. Even when it comes to the issue of death and human error.

Must Disneyland hide their dirty dead secret from the children?

If Disneyland has accepted the responsibility for sharing the concept of life, love, and death with children through their stories, then would it be too much for them to share what goes on in their parks?

If they are dealing with the remains of humans being thrown throughout their park, should they even allow a special section to be placed for the purpose of human ashes? They claim to be a part of the fantasy of all, young and old, yet they can’t continue to be so for those who have passed away?

These are questions that are seemingly valid given the fact that they deal with very real issues as they pertain to an organization that has assisted in the upbringing of generations of people. Rather than deal head on with their issue of human ashes throughout the park, they instead try to hide the fact and then force their employees to both clean it up and then hide the reality from the public. Too bad the employees can’t find their happiness in a land of happy.

We all have our desire of where we hope to rest when the time comes. If Disneyland is the final resting place for some, and it’s their fantasy to have their ashes spread throughout the park, then why hide it? If they are going to embrace themselves as the greatest fantasy park, then they will need to embrace all that comes with it.

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About Audra L.

Audra L. is an author, columnist and community activist who's dedicated to finding truth through research and effective communication. She received her degree in Public Policy and teaches Community Development, Public Speaking and Communications Law to youth throughout the nation. She is the recipient of over 23 awards and honors for her commitment to community outreach initiatives.


  1. I know that in the Catholic Church, cremation is accepted, but embalming the body is preferred. And the ashes must be buried in sacred (blessed) ground. I think that’s a very sensible idea and solution.

    I do think, though, the embalming process and “regular” burial should be less expensive, as I would guess the high cost is why cremation has become an alternative and so commonplace.

    Reading this article, I couldn’t help but think of where those ashes could end up. Troubling!

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