Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Spreading loved ones at Disney is a bust

The Hatbox Ghost at the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland. The attraction is allegedly the most popular place at the park for guests to (secretly) spread ashes of dead loved ones. (Photo: Handout, Disney)

Disney has no problem with anyone dropping their grandmother off at one of its parks.

It does, however, insist that grandma still be in her corruptible mortal state.

As in, you know, not dead.

People have speculated for years that Disney fans have stealthily spread the ashes of the recently departed in various areas of the California and Florida parks. It’s almost like having a FastPass in the afterlife.

Recently, the Wall Street Journal reported that not only have cremains found their way past security – stowed away in makeup cases or lipstick tubes – but have been sprinkled inside a few attractions despite strict rules to keep arms and legs inside cars at all times. 


And you’ll never guess the most popular attraction when it comes to kicking ash.

Yeah, OK, you’re correct. The Haunted Mansion.

The Journal said janitors even have a code word should someone suspect the recent scattering of cremains – “HEPA,” as in the dense filter that captures fine particles of whatever.

Or whomever.

The Journal said other popular ash-magnets are Pirates of the Caribbean (heaven) and It’s a Small World (hell).

No doubt this news doesn’t come as a surprise to many people. It’s one of those, “Bet you didn’t know this about Disney” things, up there with the basketball court in the Matterhorn (it’s more a hoop on a pole) and the feral cats that keep down the rodent population (save for a certain iconic mouse).

Perhaps your older brother wants to be spread on the Matterhorn, carefully, so as not to get in anyone’s eyes. And you’re thinking, “Sure, but I’m putting him on Dumbo, payback for all the times he messed with me.”

Two things to know about depositing fine human residue in busy theme parks:

First, it’s against not only various state and local laws, but Disney law, among the highest in the land (not to mention the number of health code violations that accompany the unauthorized disbursement of loved ones).

And second, those ashes will be cleaned up as quickly as possible. So if you were thinking your deceased Disney fan was going to spend eternity in Fantasyland, it’s more a quick pas de deux with a Dustbuster.

Foolish mortals.

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