Is Walt Disneys head Frozen? Is Walt Disney’s Body 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.
It is hard to pin down exactly when the rumors began. In early 1967, a few weeks after Disney’s death on Dec. 15, 1966, a reporter for a tabloid newspaper called The National Spotlite claimed he had snuck into St. Joseph’s Hospital in Burbank, directly across the street from the Disney studios and where he was treated during his final illness. As the story went, the reporter disguised himself as an orderly, broke into a storage room, and saw the deceased Disney suspended in a cryogenic metal cylinder!
Is Walt Disneys head Frozen?
While the public loves a good conspiracy theory, attempts to claim that Walt Disney had his remains cryonically preserved have been discredited. His own family members have provided statements that Disney was cremated shortly after his death. His ashes were interred at a memorial park, along with those of other family members.
Disney notoriously hated funerals, and thus kept the details surrounding his illness and end-of-life wishes very private. When he passed away, he did not have a funeral, and only his immediate family members were present for the interment of his ashes. Perhaps this desire for privacy by a man loved all around the world created room for speculation.
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. According to his death certificate, he was cremated on December 18, 1966, which was two days after he passed away. At Glendale, California’s Forest Lawn Memorial Park, his ashes are laid to rest.
Disney was not cryogenically frozen, despite a lingering rumor to the contrary. Disney’s interest in technology and the future, as well as his 1964 visit to a cryogenics facility, may have given rise to the notion. However, his family has denied being cryogenically preserved, and there is no proof that he ever indicated a desire to do so.
Another urban legend holds that Disneyland’s Pirates of the Caribbean ride is buried beneath Disney. Also untrue is this rumor. There is no proof that Walt Disney was ever buried there because the rollercoaster was constructed after his passing.
It makes sense that some people would take these rumors seriously. Walt Disney was a legendary person, thus many people were shocked to learn of his passing. It is alluring to believe that he may have discovered a means to avoid dying or that he is somehow still with us. Walt Disney is actually no longer with us, but his legacy endures.
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