Scott Hardie | March 26, 2022
There was a good joke online that went something like, "I want my remains to be scattered around Disneyland. And I don't want to be cremated."

Jokes aside, Disneyland and Disney World are popular places for family members to scatter ashes of their loved ones, especially the Haunted Mansion ride given its ultimately joyful attitude towards the hereafter.

Disney is extremely strict about not allowing this: Anyone caught scattering ashes is ejected from the parks and banned from returning, and any ashes discovered in the parks are immediately cleaned up with special vacuums. It's a misdemeanor with a $10k fine.

Here's the part that I don't understand: Disney rarely passes on an opportunity to cash in. When they discovered how much interest couples had in getting married at either park, they didn't ban the practice; they leaned into it, offering wedding packages starting at thousands of dollars and offering to handle any and every part of the process for a fee. You can get married inside the Tower of Terror for $7500 or in front of Cinderella's Castle for $30,000 if you want, and that's just the venue fee; you can cough up tens of thousands more for an officiant, flowers, decorations, and other elements.

So why not offer some kind of bereavement package with a happy name dreamed up by a marketing committee? The ashes cannot be scattered in areas exposed to guests, but a portion of the ashes could be sealed in a thimble-sized container and buried somewhere in the park, out of sight. Disney could also admit the family members before normal park hours for the burial ceremony; the parks are empty and quiet and serene during this time. Depending on how many "add-ons" the family wants for the ceremony, that could generate decent revenue for the company, give families a reason to return to where a part of Uncle Bob is buried, and solve the problem of endless unauthorized scattering of ashes.

So, why not do it? I doubt there's a law against it. If it's poor taste to cash in on bereavement, a case could be made that it's better than the current blanket ban on any remains. If it's creepy to know that people are buried in the area, this could be done discreetly and tastefully, and the parks already dance around all kinds of cultural landmines. If it's about being unable to promise an "eternal" resting place (Uncle Bob gets buried under this specific flower bed, then the following year that flower bed needs to be bulldozed for a new attraction), Disney can put it in contracts that the remains might be moved without notice but will stay on site for as long as the resort is in business.

Is there an obvious reason why not to do this that I'm missing?

Would you consider this to be in poor taste?

Evie Totty | June 20, 2022
I can only think of some health hazard law that is in place. From what I understand (from movies/tv) there are usually bone fragments left?

And there's also the consideration that folks could get creeped out thinking anywhere they stepped there could be a dead person under foot, regardless of any assurances

Also - if there were a designated "cemetery" - I'd imagine they'd run out of room fairly quickly,

Scott Hardie | June 21, 2022
Yeah, good points. I can imagine some superstitious and/or easily creeped-out people having a problem with knowing that human cremains are somewhere on the property. And I can picture YouTubers making "haunted tour of Disney World" videos and the like to play on it. But people already die there, sometimes in gruesome ways when mechanical failure is involved, so I can't imagine that tastefully handled ceremonies would be that much worse. :-\


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