Actually, please don’t. I like Disneyland well enough, but an annual visit is plenty for me. I have no need to spend all of eternity in the ballroom of the Haunted Mansion, or in bed with the skeleton of a pirate of the Caribbean. Actually, I was just there this past Saturday (at Disneyland, not in bed with the skeleton of a pirate of the Caribbean). It was a surprisingly pleasant experience–lines were relatively short and moved quickly, it was crowded but not suffocating, and I found that since my last visit, they’ve significantly increased their healthy and vegetarian food options.
What I didn’t know but wish I had, was that just the day before, some woman had scattered a loved one’s remains all through the Pirates ride. What I also didn’t know is that she joins a long line Disneyland ash-scatterers. Boing Boing pointed out yesterday that there’s an “epidemic of covert (human) ash-scattering” happening in the park, which led me to MiceAge and their more detailed explanation of the practice.
The craze seems to have gotten its start at the Haunted Mansion, with the earliest known incident taking place in the late 1990’s. Ever since then the practice becomes more popular by the year, and it happens so frequently now that Disneyland has trained the ride operators how to handle such an incident and what to do when remains are discovered inside the attraction. Sometimes the person spreading the ashes is seen on the surveillance cameras and the Cast Members can respond quickly.
Because they have been instructed by the Security and Legal departments to never actually detain a park visitor, most of the perpetrators spreading the ashes are never actually caught however, and they disappear into the park. But when a Haunted Mansion Cast Member sees ashes being spread from a passing Doom Buggy, the attraction is cycled out and shut down for hours at a time while the Custodial department comes in and begins the clean up. The Anaheim Police are also involved in the incident, but there’s rarely anything they can do about it either.
Sheesh, and I felt bad for smuggling in two granola bars. For more on this fascinatingly weird phenomenon and behind-the-scenes look at what daily Disneyland maintenance and cleanup entails, check out MiceAce. (Scroll down to the “A Pirate’s (After) Life For Me” post).