“Instead of going to a grave, I go to Disney World.”
When choosing a meaningful place to scatter the ashes of a lost loved one, it is natural to pick the place that made them most happy in life.
For millions, The Happiest Place on Earth is Disney. There is magic in Cinderella’s wishing well, in the moat underneath the flying elephants of the Dumbo ride, in the lawns of the Magic Kingdom… and there are remnants of countless children-at-heart that loved these places dearly in life.
Of course, it is illegal to scatter ashes in the theme parks, but this doesn’t stop those that are determined to give their family member or friend the perfect resting place.
For Disney staff, the practice is so common that they have special vacuums to clean up the extra-fine cremation ash. (One false alarm turned out to be powdered sugar from a funnel cake!)
According to the Wall Street Journal, ashes have been scattered everywhere in the parks including off of rides (temporarily shutting them down). Most frequently of all, they have been dispersed throughout the Haunted Mansion, the 49-year-old attraction featuring an eerie old estate full of imaginary ghosts.
Not only is the scattering a cathartic and often joyful ceremony for the mourner, but Disney as a memorial site can feel perfectly fitting for the one they lost. It is a place they can continue to visit year after year, remembering laughs shared, celebrations, joy, and childlike wonder.
"Think of the happiest things. It’s the same as having wings.” -Peter Pan