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6 Popular, And Untrue, Walt Disney World Myths

Happily Ever After fireworks at Magic Kingdom
(Image credit: Walt Disney World)

Walt Disney World has been around now for 50 years. Countless stories have been told about the place over the years, and while there are numerous fantastical stories about Disney World that are entirely true, there are just as many wild stories that are entirely inaccurate, or nearly so at least. 

As with most myths that get propagated, many of these stories are based on a kernel of truth, but that kernel has been embellished to the point that many of the stories now bear little resemblance to the truth. Here are few of the more entertaining, but false, myths about Disney World.

Cinderella Castle at Christmas with fireworks

(Image credit: Walt Disney World)

Cinderella’s Castle Comes Apart

One of the reasons that central Florida was chosen as the home for Disney World is that it has pretty nice weather all year round. This means the park can be open 365 days a year, assuming there isn’t a global pandemic to cause its closure. But weather in Florida isn’t perfect, and there is another reason that the park sometimes has to close: hurricanes.

Florida is hurricane country, and sometimes Disney World has to close to weather the storm. It's the fact that hurricanes happen which has led to a myth that Cinderella’s Castle was actually designed to be easily disassembled during a hurricane so that the castle towers aren’t blown off in the storm. But if you’ve ever seen a crane hanging around the castle, it’s only there to add or remove decorations, not take it apart. The castle was designed to withstand hurricanes, and the way that we know that is that it has.

Partners Statue at Magic Kingdom

(Image credit: Walt Disney World)

Walt Disney Is Buried On Disney World Property

The longest running and most bizarre myth about Walt Disney is that the man had his body cryogenically frozen. However, there are some versions of this story that take things a step further and claim Walt is actually buried somewhere at Disney World. Under Cinderella’s Castle seems to be a favorite spot for this story.

It’s not true. None of it is true. Walt is not frozen. If we can please kill one of these myths dead forever and for good, can we please make everybody aware that Walt Disney is dead and buried in Southern California.

Main Street U.S.A. at Magic Kingdom at Christmas

(Image credit: Walt Disney World)

Trash Cans Never Need To Be Emptied

We know that keeping Disneyland clean was something that Walt Disney found very important. It was key that cast members clean up trash off the ground quickly so that other guests wouldn’t see it. The myth here is that when Disney World was built, it took things even further by making it so cast members did not need to carry trash in the park. To do this, the parks included a series of vacuum tubes, and that when you throw a piece of trash in a trash can, it gets whisked away via pneumatic tube that sucks the trash to where it can be disposed of away from the eyes of guests.

As cool as that sounds, it’s not really practical. You could never move or add trash cans without also adding more tubing underground, The truth is that trash is sucked away via tubes, but the trash still needs to be moved from the trans cans to one of the collection points. From there, the trash is sucked away every 20 minutes or so. Only Magic Kingdom has this system, the rest of the Disney World parks handle things the old-fashioned way. 

50th Anniversary Cinderella's Castle at Magic Kingdom

(Image credit: Disney)

Walt Had An Apartment In The Castle

Let’s face it, we’ve all looked at a Disney castle and thought that it would be awesome to just be able to stay there during our vacation rather than a hotel. That was going to be the plan for Walt Disney himself. He had a small apartment above the firehouse at Disneyland, but was going to dial it up a notch with Disney World and get a suite in the castle.

Unfortunately, Walt Disney died in 1966, before construction on Magic Kingdom would begin. The park wouldn't open until 1971,  so there was no reason to build Walt’s suite. Decades later, a “Dream Suite” was built inside the castle and given away as a prize for contest winners and other such things, but that suite isn’t really the same thing as Walt’s because Walt’s never happened.

Spaceship Earth and Fountain at Epcot

(Image credit: Walt Disney World)

An Epcot Attraction Closed Due To A Sinkhole

Whenever an attraction closes at a Disney Park, it seems like it automatically becomes the most popular attraction that ever existed, and nobody wants it to go. Horizons at Epcot, however, was maybe what you’d call a “cult classic” attraction. It likely wasn’t a favorite of the average vacationer, but for Epcot diehards, it was something special, and its loss is still felt strongly today.

With so many people in love with it, it’s maybe no shock that rumors began to claim that the reason the ride was closing was not that it had run its course in the park, but that the entire pavilion was over a massive sinkhole and the ride was simply no longer safe. It’s not the craziest idea since Disney World is built over a swamp, after all, but it isn’t true. There was no sinkhole that needed to be fixed to build MISSION: Space.

Dumbo the Flying Elephant

(Image credit: Disney Parks)

There Are No Mosquitos At Disney World

Maybe we're slightly to blame for this myth, which I saw making the rounds very recently, so we'll do our part to set the record straight. Regardless of what you may have heard, there are, in fact, mosquitos at Disney World.

Walt Disney World was build on swamp land in Florida, there's no way there would not mosquitos there. It is absolutely true that Disney World has a variety of different programs in place to try and reduce the mosquito population as much as possible, so there are far fewer of the bugs on property than you might expect, but that doesn't mean there are none of them.

In 50 years, with the millions of people who have passed into Walt Disney World, it’s the perfect place for rumors to spawn and be propagated. And there certainly are some wild and curious stories about the resort that are true, but these are examples of stories that are not.

Dirk Libbey

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.