ByKarly Rayner, writer at
Movie Pilot's celebrity savant
Karly Rayner

Disneyland's saccharin sweet image can have vaguely sinister undertones, and Disney parks have generated their fair share of unsettling urban legends.

While a lot of these tales might seem unbelievable, some of the shocking tales of death, deceit and mystery are actually true, but can you separate the fact from the fiction? Use your power of reason to answer the polls below to find out!

Nobody Dies At the Happiest Place on Earth

It is a longstanding rumor that image conscious Disney is so adverse to guests having the audacity to leave their mortal coil at its parks that people are forbidden to be pronounced dead on their property.

People who have previously worked in Disney parks claim that this is indeed company policy and that paramedics will tirelessly attempt to revive obviously deceased people in order to postpone declaring them dead until they have left Disney grounds.

Disney is also famously cagey about letting emergency vehicles into its parks to avoid upsetting guests and destroying the fantasy illusion that makes their parks so popular.

While this rumor about no death occurring at Disney parks might seem outlandish, it isn't entirely out of the realms of possibility - but is it true?


Do you think it's true that nobody is declared dead on Disney property?

ANSWER: This rumor is false and probably stems from the fact that, in some areas, paramedics who have begun a life saving procedure on a gravely injured person are not permitted to stop their efforts until the person reaches a hospital. This means they would have to continue even if the person is dead.

People have been declared dead on Disney property in at least 3 incidences in the past, including when a man was killed on Big Thunder Mountain in 2003.

VIP Boozing Down in New Orleans

Although Disneyland is depressingly dry when it comes to boozing, rumor has it that there is a special VIP area where guests can wet their whistle in New Orleans Square.

Would Mickey Mouse really allow his patrons to get sloshed in the Magic Kingdom, or is this just wishful thinking?


Do you think there's a secret club where you can buy alcohol in New Orleans Square?

ANSWER: Believe it or not, this one is actually true! The venue is named Club 33 and has been operational since 1967. It's original purpose was as a space for Disney himself to entertain sponsors and guests, but he died several months before it opened.

The facilities are open to the public through limited subscriptions and Club 33 still operates for the disney elite to this day.

Long Hair, DO Care

Rumor has it that Disney's dress code prevented men sporting flowing locks from entering the parks in the '50s and '60s, but was the Magical Kingdom really so prejudiced?

If you bear in mind that male employees were only granted the permission to have a 'neatly trimmed moustache' as opposed to a clean shaven look in 2000, then it doesn't seem too unlikely.

Do you think Disney really has a serious problem with the hirsute?


Do you think Disney used to ban visitors with long hair?

ANSWER: Yep, Disney really did have something against long haired males. At the time lengthly tresses, facial hair and beards were considered dangerous and un-American due to social fears about counter culture.

Disney parks first allowed males guests with long hair to visit their hallowed grounds in the early '70s.

Holographic Haunting

Anyone who has ever been to Disney's Haunted Mansion will probably remember the singing busts that serenade crowds through holographic technology, and rumor has it one of them is Disney himself.

The bust in question is pictured below, and it certainly bears a striking resemblance to Disney's founder...

But is this really just one of the many ways that Walt Disney achieved immortality through his parks?


Do you think the bust in Haunted Mansion depicts Walt Disney?

ANSWER: Nope, that isn't Walt Disney. It is the late Thurl Ravenscroft, the famous voice behind Tony the Tiger.

Thurl shares a similar hair cut and facial hair to the late Walt Disney so many guests have confused the bust for the Disney founder's likeness. In fact, the recordings for Haunted Mansion were made a few years after Disney died.

Whose Hearse?

The horse drawn hearse in front of Disney's Haunted Mansion might look very authentic, and rumor has it that it actually once carried the body of famous Mormon patriarch, Brigham Young.

Brigham Young
Brigham Young

Disney was known for his attention to detail and love of 'authentic' items, but did this hearse really once carry the mortal remains of this Mormon legend?


Did the hearse at Disney carry the body of Brigham young?

ANSWER: Nobody can pin point who started this rumor, but it is definitely false. Historians have confirmed that Brigham Young didn't have a hearse at his funeral and that his body was, in fact, carried on a platform by those closest to him.

America Scream

Due to it's saccharin sweet and wholesome image, Disney parks often generate some pretty brutal tales of grisly deaths, but could any of them actually be true?

One of the oldest examples of a Disney death story comes from America Sings in 1967, and it's a particularly horrific one.

The story goes that an 18-year-old girl named Deborah Gail Stone was working as a hostess one evening when she became trapped between a rotating theater wall and a non-moving stage wall and was crushed to death between them.

The mechanical operators didn't realize Deborah's plight until a member of the public alerted them after hearing her screams, but it was already too late to save the young worker.


Do you think Deborah Gail Stone was really crushed to death while working at 'America Sings'?

ANSWER: Sadly, this story is true. After Deborah's tragic death, safety features were installed into the America Sings attraction to ensure no more accidents occurred with the revolving mechanism.


How many of the Disney urban legends did you identify correctly?

(Source: Snopes)


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