If you have been to Walt Disney World Resort, or any other Disney Park for that matter, you know that there is not much you cannot do. As Disney is owned by The Walt Disney Company and located on private property, there is a lot that they are able to control. If Guests are ever caught breaking the rules and regulations set out by Disney, there could be very severe punishments. These can range from being kicked out of the Park, to being banned for life, and worse, arrested.
One rule that many Disney fans know that should never be broken is that ashes of loved ones who have passed on are not allowed to be scattered on property. This had become a more common occurrence at Disney, and now, Cast Members are well-trained to spot out Guests who may be attempting to make Disney into a burial ground. Areas such as The Haunted Mansion have been known to be a popular dumping spot, as well as water attractions like “it’s a small world.” What these Guests may not know is that Disney has cameras operating at all times with Cast Members watching in full view. Even in the dark, the cameras can pick up Guests’ activity perfectly.
The Dark Side of Disney is a film based on a book by Leonard Kinsey. Filmmaker Philip B. Swift took the book and his friends to Disney World, where he documented what it was like to experience “the dark side of Disney.” The documentary also interviews many other Disney fans who have explored the “darker side” from making podcasts about spooky Disney tales to those urban explorers who have jumped out of ride vehicles to hang out in the attraction. The interesting part about the documentary, however, is what sparked the idea to look into the darker side of Disney.
Swift’s grandmother, a massive Disney fan, passed away, and when she did, her daughter and Swift’s mother decided that they would lay her to rest in the Cinderella Castle moat. Swift and his mom took the grandmother’s ashes into Magic Kingdom in snack bags and dumped them over the rail on the left side of the castle. From the discussion, it seems that the two were never caught; however, the mother spoke about the incident as if she did not know she was breaking the rules. It was not said what happened to the two after they outed themselves with this Disney crime on the documentary, and if Disney decided to pursue the two further, and ban them from the Parks.
Related: What NOT to bring to a theme park
IMDB noted the film’s synopsis:
The Dark Side of Disney is a feature-length documentary film that examines what happens when Disney fans take their obsessions to the extreme. In 2005, filmmaker Philip B. Swift and his mother scattered his grandmother’s ashes in the moat around Cinderella castle in the Magic Kingdom. It’s that event that sends him on a journey to discover other Disney fans who may have pushed the envelope in their desire to experience the darker side of the Disney theme parks. “Disney Gangs”, urban explorers, podcasters, drug abusers, even the filmmaker’s own mother, they’re all part of The Dark Side of Disney.
Aside from drinking around the world at EPCOT, everything in the film that is shown would get Guests in severe trouble, from doing drugs to going backstage. Those visiting Walt Disney World, or any theme park must always realize that their actions can affect those around them, including the children who come to see Mickey Mouse. If you cannot respect the rules and regulations set out by the Park, and cannot uphold the magic, visiting a Disney Park should not be something you plan to do. The film raised over $20,000 on Kickstarter, and was funded by that seed round.
We have seen Guests banned from Disney for promoting dangerous activities, sharing backstage footage, using vulgar language, and more. Guests have also been caught jumping out of ride vehicles to retrieve lost items, and even attempting to steal cucumbers from Living with the Land.
Please read the rules and regulations set out by Disney here.
Have you ever seen The Dark Side of Disney? Let us know in the comments below.
Let the expert team at Academy Travel help you plan your next magical vacation to Disneyland Resort, including Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure, and the Downtown Disney District. Or what about Walt Disney World Resort’s four theme parks — Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios — and the Disney Springs shopping and dining district!
At Magic Kingdom there is so much to see and do! Cinderella Castle is decked out for the 50th anniversary and soon Festival of Fantasy and Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire will return. You can ride the three big mountains: Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, and Big Thunder Mountain, or calm things down on Peter Pan’s Flight. Rope drop the Park to get on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and then enjoy a mid-day snack with some Dole Whip. Be sure to meet Mickey Mouse and enjoy the firework show, Disney Enchantment!