There's no denying that there's something magical about Disney parks. Whether your best childhood memories were in The Magic Kingdom, or you popped the question and got engaged in Disneyland, there's a feeling of wonder and excitement surrounding the whole franchise. However, if you look a little deeper you'll find that even Disney has a dark side. Some rides deliberately try to spook guests, while other attractions serve a reminders of a surprisingly gruesome past. Here are 10 spooky Disney facts.
1. A Hellish Ending
If you're lucky enough to have been around during the reign of Mr. Toad, you know just how epically awesome Mr. Toad's Wild Ride was. But did you ever wonder why the ride inexplicably ended in a firey inferno with cackling demon faces and a demented devil? Remember how they literally turned up the heat at the end of the ride to supply the hellfire and brimstone ambience? Did you ever ask, "Disney, wtf?! Wasn't this ride supposed to take me to 'nowhere in particular?' " I did.
2. The Murderous Yeti
While on line for Disney World's Expedition Everest ride, you eventually come to a section that supposedly displays the remains of a missing expedition party. A sign reads:
"The remains of the ill-fated Forbidden Mountain Expedition of 1982. The only clue to the disappearance of the entire party may be contained in these photos, recovered from a shattered camera found at the ruined campsite."
The photos show giant footprints as well as a very sinister looking yeti growling at the camera. What a relief! At least kids will know how they are going to die if they don't make it to the top of Everest. If there are yetis out there, we deserve to know!
3. Lost in Human History
Those who've repeatedly ridden Spaceship Earth in Epcot's iconic geodesic sphere know that the ride often stops. In some cases, employees supposedly suspend the ride to give the occasional mobility-impaired customer more time to board. But there's another, more uncomfortable reason that the ride has completely stopped in the past.
At a certain point in the ride, the vehicles spin around and start slowly descending down the track backwards. Because there are no safety restraints in each car, some customers become afraid that they will fall out of the ride in the event of a fast drop. This fear, paired with the inability to see where the car is going, has caused some more paranoid customers to get off the ride. Once the employees know that someone is missing the ride stops and they come looking for you. But can you imagine being lost in the abyss of the dome while the ride continues without you? A lot of the place is pitch black!
4. Snow White's Scary Adventures
Supposedly, Disney World's current iteration of Snow White's Scary Adventures is a toned-down version of what it used to be. Too many kids were traumatized by the Evil Queen to ever go on the ride again. Somehow, Tokyo's Disneyland managed to keep the ride semi-scary. Watch the video above.
5. The Exorcism of The Animatronics
During a tropical storm in 2013, the animatronics on the Carousel of Progress had a total meltdown. Watch as one particularly demented dude twitches and spasms, followed by a total blackout. Had I been there, I would've been one of the screamers- FYI.
6. Feral Cat's are Disneyland's True Maintenance Team
After the gates are locked and the lights go out, feral cats reign supreme in California's Disneyland. Once it was discovered that these cats were around, park officials decided to let them stay in order to curb the parks growing rodent infestation. New strays are fixed and left to hunt to their feline heart's content. This one isn't that scary, unless you have an acute cat allergy or an aversion to rodents.
7. Winnie the Pooh Drops Acid?
It's no secret that Disney's Winnie the Pooh ride has psychedelic "undertones" (in quotations because it's actually super obvious). Take a peak at the video above. If you've been on the ride, you may remember that Pooh's "trip" begins after a mysterious smoky substance is blown in his face (not shown in the clip), and he begins to spin out of his body. The result is a melty, gooey world that we suspect would constitute Pooh's brain on drugs. Also, Tigger is purple.
Sinister or sublime? You decide. Personally, I would love to live in a world where everything is honey.
8. Left to Rot
Click here to see the surprising number of Disney projects abandoned and left to collect dust. Some of them are pretty spooky!
9. Suicide Central
France's high depression rates are well documented, so it may come as little surprise that Disneyland Paris has seen its fair share of suicides. However, the eerie details of each incident may show the frightening way that Disney can "get under your skin."
In 2013, one of the park's workers poured gasoline all over his body and tried to light himself on fire. Thankfully, he was restrained and never finished the deed. The really freaky part? the man's attempted suicide was his response to getting summoned into a meeting with his Disneyland bosses. Understandably, speculations soared as to the work conditions at Europe's most visited tourist site.
Not too long before the gasoline incident, a long-time chef at Disneyland Paris killed himself on the day he was returning to work after sick leave. His suicide letter was simple but chilling: A note on the door read "I don't want to go back to Mickey's house."
Yet another chef had committed suicide not long before by throwing himself under a train. What's going on, Disneyland Paris???
10. The Cursed Coaster
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is no stranger to tragedy. In Disneyland Paris, a piece of scenery fell on 5 passengers, one of whom was sent to the hospital. In 1998, a 5-year-old boy had the toes on his left foot severed off when they got stuck between the car and the platform in Disneyland. Then, in 2003, one of the ride's vehicles unhinged from its axel and went flying, landing on a young man thereby crushing him to death. The ride is marketed as being a haunted trip through a mining ghost town, but considering the rising death count, some say Thunder Mountain may be haunted in reality.
Have you had any creepy experiences at one of the Disney parks? Please share below!