Some people don't like the thought of their dearly departed spending an afterlife in the sodden ground or on the mantelpiece of their most guilt-tripped child. They want to scatter their ashes, preferably in a place that reminds their loved ones of the most cherished moments they spent together in life. And for a disturbing amount of people, that fondest memory seems to be of Disneyland.
This week, The Wall Street Journal ran the most scathing expose in its entire history: People do in fact dump their dead relatives all over Disneyland. Whispers about every Disney resort being coated in a fine powder of its former guests has been a popular urban legend for years, but now custodians finally spilled the dirt and confirmed that cleaning the happiest places on Earth might just have the highest human remains to vomit ratio outside of a high school bake sale. Despite the unauthorized scattering of ashes being very illegal, Disney fanatics are known to dump their dead in flower beds, firework lawns, the moat underneath the Dumbo ride ... anything that's a mournful shuffle away from the Magic Teacup line, it seems.
Of course, the most popular spot is the Haunted Mansion, which according to one custodian, "probably has so much human ashes in it that it's not even funny." Surely, that depends on whether or not your sense of humor includes the image of technicians shutting down a haunted house ride because an asthmatic 11-year-old is choking on someone's grandma. On average, Disney workers have to deal with this about once a month. It's such a recurring part of their work that some employees claim they've learned to recognize human cremains with a cursory glance, which is not the kind of job experience we'd expect former Sleeping Beauties to be able to put on their resumes.
But future Small World litterers beware: You're not giving anyone the happily ever after you feel they deserve. Whenever a Disney employee spots a heap of ex-person in the park, they call in the code "HEPA Cleanup." HEPA as in the filters in vacuums, which are used to hoover up whatever's left of your loved ones and unceremoniously dispose of them. So if you're thinking about sending Grandpa off to the big Disney Castle in the sky, know that his true final resting place will actually be among shed Goofy fur and excess vomit sawdust out by the Disney dumpsters.
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