Abandoned theme parks, zombie mascots, and an Area 51-style conspiracy — just in time for Halloween. Plucked from the hellish nightmares of Walt himself, the story of Abandoned By Disney comes "first hand" from Christopher Howard Wolf, aka Redditor Slimebeast. On a par with the story of Slender Man, Abandoned By Disney is one of Creepypasta's most notorious stories. As with all these "true events" stories, the question remains — "Is there any truth in the story?" With X-Files like intuition I am here to find out, but warn you to turn back now — you will never hug Donald Duck again, ever!
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Wolf's tale tells us of Mowgli's Palace, an abandoned #Disney project from 1990 for a Jungle Book themed park. A concept that actually sounds pretty cool (and imaginable in a Favreau world), the story starts when Disney buys up a huge plot of land, and constructs something known as Mickey's Highway. According to Wolf:
"Disney blew $30,000,000 on the place... yes, thirty million dollars. Then they abandoned it. Disney blamed the shallow waters (too shallow for their ships to safely operate) and there was even blame cast on the workers, saying that since they were from the Bahamas, they were too lazy to work a regular schedule."
Ah, not only creepy, but casually racist too! This is where the story starts to unravel. Now I am no theme park expert, but according the story the whole attraction was completed within a year — that sounds like a pretty quick turnaround to me! However, if you still buy Wolf's tale, let's continue.
The whole park was operational and there was only Mowgli's Palace left for a grand opening. In fact, everything seemed to be normal — the park was populated with visitors and staff, until one day out of the blue, the whole place was shut down. The staff were dismissed and the doors chained up.
Presumably taking the plot from Jurassic Park III, Wolf visits the (now) abandoned Disney park on Emerald Isle, North Carolina. He travels to the park after finding its location on a promotional flyer that was mailed to him before opening —unfortunately, or conveniently, said flyer has now vanished. While there he documents his adventure with a camera, but no images exist, so don't get your hopes up. Wolf found the park returned to nature and slowly decaying, but also claims to have heard creepy voices inside.
Everywhere, on every surface was scrawled the phrase "Abandoned By Disney" - similar to Homer Simpson's The Shining rant. Was this the act of vandals, disgruntled workers, or something altogether more sinister? Ominous messages aside, Wolf delved deeper, but nothing could prepare him for the staff only area:
"The stairway led downward, below ground level. Using my camera flash as a sort of improvised flashlight, I could see that the stair case ended in a metal mesh door with a padlock. A sign on the door... a REAL sign... read "MASCOTS ONLY! THANK YOU!"
Any true Disney buff knows that company only ever call their mascots cast members. So Most Haunted aside, you can start to see the flaws in the story, can't you?
'ABANDONED BY GOD'
Wolf's journey took him deeper into the depths of Mowgli's Palace and into a room full of empty freezers and swinging meathooks — very Tobe Hooper! That is when the voices started, hushed voices of "Your father told you," and "I didn't know that. I didn't know that."
Wolf eventually found the room 'Character Prep No. 1,' and, among a collection of Disney mascot costumes, he saw a rotten version of Mickey that looked like a camera negative (as every horrifying Mickey mascot should). Wolf then goes on to pick up a Donal Duck head, only to have a skull — a real human skull — tumble from inside. The horror doesn't end there. The negative Mickey then gets up and lumbers towards Wolf, whose camera has mysteriously broken:
'"Hey,' it said in a hushed, perverted, but perfectly executed Mickey Mouse voice, 'Wanna see my head come off?' It started to pull at its own head, working its clumsy, glove-clad fingers around its neck with clawing, impatient movements similar to a wounded man trying to pull himself free of a predator's jaws...As it worked its digits into its neck... so much blood...So much thick, chunky, yellow blood..."
So apparently demon mascots now have yellow blood too — always good to know when battling satanic forces. There is the synonymous cut to black as the protagonist manages to escapes and the story ends there:
I" never got the pictures out of the camera. I never wrote the blog entry about it. After I ran from that place, fled for my sanity if not my very life, I knew why Disney didn't want anyone to know about this place. They didn't want anyone like me getting in. They didn't want anything like that getting out."
The Proof Is In The Pudding
So, is it real? Any of it? A big, fat, zero. Mowgli's Palace never existed, or was even conceived. There have been many botched Disney theme park ideas, but sinking $30,000,000 into the waters of Carolina wouldn't go unnoticed.
Over the years, various Google maps of Mowgli's Palace have surfaced, but most are actually images of the botched Disney's River Country or Discovery Island — more on them in a minute.
The tale started so well, and although promisingly written, lacks the minor details. You nearly had us Wolf, and although obviously fake, the tale has lead to people believing it is true. Urban explorers love abandoned theme parks, but if you are looking for Mowgli's Palace, you will be sorely disappointed. However, back to some actual places where Abandoned By Disney could actually have taken place thanks to Disney and its many years as theme park overlords:
While Discovery Island may now refer to a part of Disney's Animal Kingdom, the original lies in Bay Lake, Florida. Operating as Treasure Island from 1974 to 1999, Discovery Island was used as an animal preserve, and was home to the world's last dusky seaside sparrow. It has remained abandoned since, although was at one time rumored to be reused as a LOST themed attraction. Despite being totally abandoned, some have braved harmful bacteria and alligators to swim to Discovery Island. In 2010 self-titled "Urban Explorer" Shane Pérez tok the perilous journey to snap some elusive pictures, then found himself facing legal action from the W.D. corporation. Good work Shane!
Rocket Rods was a short-lived, high-thrills, ride at Epcot. Doomed from the start, Rocket Rods closed after less than two years of operating. It may have been dubbed as a "high-speed thrill attraction," but one YouTuber will testify that it definitely was not.
Breaking down only two weeks after opening in 1998, it was the knacker's yard calling for Rocket Rods. The bones of the attraction still exist, bricked in like some unwanted relative, and you can still it — if you count queuing for Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters.
Another ghost of Epcot, ImageWorks operated from 1982 to 1998 and was designed as the park's hands-on section. Featuring in central glass pyramids, it included the infamous Rainbow Corridor, which even had Michael Jackson travel down it. ImageWorks was eventually shut and moved downstairs to be renamed the What-If? Labs. In 2016 part of the space reopened as a place for VIP guests to rest, although the original ImageWorks still stands there, walled off from public view.
Disney’s River Country
Not just a ride, but a whole theme park! Disney's River Country was abandoned in 2001, with everything left behind. Although the area is still patrolled, it has most definitely been returned to nature — the water has dried up in the swimming holes, and creeper vines have swirled over the remaining slides. River Country has its own horror story when a boy died in 1980. It is thought that the park's filtration system couldn't keep bacteria out of the stagnant water and the boy contracted Naegleria fowleri, a virus that attacks the brain and nervous system. Yikes! Sounds like the setting for another Abandoned By Disney.
Is The Horror Over?
So it looks like Wolf has had his 15 minutes of fame, and sorry to be a party-pooper, but it was fun while it lasted. Had Wolf set Abandoned By Disney in one of Disney's actual abandoned spots, maybe we could've got on board. Whilst completely bogus, the Abandoned By Disney story does open up a whole world of creepy Deviant Art, including eledoremassis02's "Life After Disney" series which explores the park if we ever did completely abandon it. Keen to ride the success of his story a little longer, Wolf has also written three sequels/prequels to Abandoned By Disney: Suggestion Box, Room Zero, and Corruptus. For now it makes a great Halloween howler to tell in a room full of dismembered Minnie Mouse dolls to the kiddies. Sweet Disney dreams to you all!
If you want to hear Abandoned By Disney in all its horror, check out the audio above, and don't forget to take part in our poll!