Is Walt Disney Cryogenically Frozen? When you hear “Disney on Ice,” you may think of the wildly popular ice shows featuring Mickey and Minnie Mouse and others skating in hockey arenas across the nation. But there’s also the disturbing urban legend that Walt Disney’s corpse was frozen in a cryonic chamber containing liquid nitrogen to be revived at a later date.
This week 52 years ago, television and radio broadcasts shared the news that Walter Elias Disney had died. The cartoon mogul who created Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck had produced some of Hollywood’s greatest hits, dreamed up Disneyland and Disney World, and was one of world’s most beloved storytellers. He was 65.
Is Walt Disney Cryogenically Frozen?
Walt Disney is not frozen in a cryogenic state. Although it is a well-known urban myth, there is no proof to back it up.
At the age of 65, Walt Disney passed away on December 15, 1966. His remains were cremated, and they are now placed at Glendale, California’s Forest Lawn Cemetery.
The practice of cryonics involves keeping bodies at extremely low temperatures with the intention of eventually reviving them. James Bedford became the first person to be cryogenically frozen in 1967. Although the practice of cryonics is still relatively experimental, it is unclear whether it is genuinely possible to reanimate a person who has been cryogenically frozen.
Walt Disney was rumored to have been cryogenically preserved since he was an extremely creative and forward-thinking individual. He was also among the first to fund research into cryonics. But there isn’t any proof that he truly had himself cryogenically frozen.
Is Walt Disney’s Body Frozen?
Walter Elias Disney, commonly known as Walt Disney, is the world-famous animator and business tycoon that founded the Disney franchise.
Disney visited his doctor after experiencing leg and neck pain. Sadly, x-rays and following surgeries revealed an aggressive lung cancer that had spread throughout his body. Although the cancer was treated immediately, the beloved icon passed away in a matter of weeks, on December 15, 1966.
While these are factual details of Disney’s death, it’s what happens after that becomes quite an enigma, surrounded with secrecy and speculation. One of the popular rumors surrounding Walt Disney’s death was that he had his body frozen.
Cryonic preservation is a method of preserving a body by freezing it in a liquid nitrogen vapor chamber. It is stored for the foreseeable future, although scientists state that the technology to reanimate a cryonically preserved body is not available today, and it may never be. Individuals who choose to have their remains frozen often have a “nothing to lose” mindset, but have optimism for a future world where the science or technology to revive or reanimate a frozen body is possible. Cryonics is a controversial topic, as many believe it is science fiction, with an emphasis on the word fiction.
There are even some rumors claiming that Walt Disney’s frozen body is hidden deep underneath the Disneyland grounds in Anaheim, CA. Some claim that it is under Cinderella’s Castle or under the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.
Although there must be so many fans that would love to see their beloved animator come back to life, the rumors are not true — Walt Disney was not frozen.
The first documented case of cryonic preservation took place one month after Disney’s death. The subject was Dr. James Bedford, a psychologist who was cryonically preserved and stored under the care of Alcor Life Extension Foundation, a non-profit organization that leads the charge in cryonic preservation technology.
If cryonic preservation didn’t begin until a month after Disney’s death, how and why did these rumors begin?
Where did the Walt Disney frozen rumor come from?
No one can pinpoint exactly where the rumors about Walt Disney’s allegedly frozen body, as well as its hiding place, came from.
In 1964, Robert Ettinger published the book, The Prospect of Immortality, which created a buzz about cryonic preservation. With Disney passing away just too years later, the idea of him freezing his body wasn’t implausible. However, the rumors didn’t just start there; they continued long after his death.
In 1986, twenty years after Disney’s death, author Leonard Mosley published the biography Disney’s World. The book claimed that Disney was fascinated by cryonic preservation as his health declined, and that he had his lung surgically removed and preserved in its entirety in case he was later brought back to life.
However, many of the claims and statements made by Mosley were discredited. Disney passed away just weeks after his cancer diagnosis, not leaving him very much time to research and think about cutting-edge science. Further, doctors preserved only samples of his lung for scientific study, not the entire organ.
Mosley credits colleagues and advisors as the sources of his information on Walt Disney. While it’s possible that employees could have perpetuated a rumor regarding Disney’s cryonic preservation, much of the book’s claims and statements have since been discredited.
A second possible source of the Disney cryonics rumor is Marc Elliot’s 1993 biography, Walt Disney: Hollywood’s Dark Prince. The biography continued the narrative regarding Disney’s desire to preserve his body. Further, the book made it appear that Disney was obsessed with death, that he had a “growing preoccupation with his own mortality.” The book also stated that Disney wanted to preserve his body at all costs.
However, Elliot did not name any sources. Not only were his claims discredited by Disney authorities, Disney’s direct family members denied having had any conversations with Walt regarding his desire to be frozen. His daughter Diane stated in 1972 that she does not believe that Disney had ever heard of cryonics, let alone would he have had a desire to be frozen.
Was Walt Disney cremated or buried?
Disney’s remains were cremated. On December 15, 1966, he passed away. Two days later, he was cremated. In Glendale, California’s Forest Lawn Cemetery, his ashes are laid to rest.
Contrary to the widespread urban myth, Walt Disney was not cryogenically frozen. His cremation has been confirmed by his relatives.
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