Disneyland is known as the happiest place on earth and every year, millions of people come to the theme park to meet their favorite characters, ride the famous roller coasters, and eat as much delicious junk food as they can. However, it turns out that a handful of park visitors are using the trip to Disneyland to lay their loved ones to rest, as Disneyland custodians have confirmed that several times a year they will find that people have spread their dead friend or family member’s ashes somewhere at the park.
According to the custodians who spoke with The Wall Street Journal, this event occurs about once a month and is common enough that there is actually a designated code for it: HEPA cleanup, which references the ultrafine vacuum cleaner that is used when ashes are found. The most common places custodians will find ashes are on the rides, with the Haunted Mansion unsurprisingly taking the top spot, followed by Pirates of the Caribbean and It’s a Small World.
And the Anaheim theme park isn’t the only Disney Park where this strange ritual is taking place, as custodians who work at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida told The Wall Street Journal that they also have cleaned up the spread ashes of former parkgoers. So how exactly are people getting the ashes of their friends or relatives into the park in the first place? Apparently, people will hide them in pill bottles or plastic bags which they have inside their purse or backpacks.
Obviously, spreading the ashes of a person is not allowed at Disney Parks and a spokesperson for Disney told The Wall Street Journal that “this type of behavior is strictly prohibited and unlawful” before emphasizing that any guest caught spreading ashes will be “escorted off [the] property.”