Top 5 Shocking Facts about Disney

VOICE OVER: Emily Brayton
Script written by Sean Newman
Top 5 Facts about Disney

Subscribe: ‪‬‬

We don't like to admit it, but we've all heard of some disturbing facts about Disney. In this countdown we uncover some dirty facts about Disney including abandoned parks, Disney's involvement in a mass animal suicide, sex offenders, using real skeletons in their parks and more!

Special thanks to our user SpongeBobSquarePants for submitting the idea on our Interactive Suggestion Tool at

MsMojo's Social Media:


Top 5 Facts about Disney

It may be the happiest place on earth, but there’s a handful of skeletons in ‘ol Walt’s closet suggesting otherwise.

Welcome to MsMojo’s Top 5 Facts. In this installment, we’ll be looking at the most shocking and controversial facts surrounding the massive conglomerate of child-like wonder with a dark side– that may even make Cruella de Vil cringe.

#5: They Used Real Skeletons at Disneyland

Many cadavers are donated to science aid in research and the advancement of medicine… others aren’t so lucky. The 1967 Disneyland ride, Pirates of the Caribbean, was a thrill for participants long before Johnny Depp was sporting black eyeliner and drinking copious amounts of rum. The only problem was the cartoonish skeleton dummies of the time really took away from the experience. Luckily, UCLA Medical Center had a few extra corpses lying around, and Disneyland wasn’t opposed to using them as props for amusement park attractions. They were all eventually removed due to public outcry, but this hasn’t stopped conspirators from looking for remaining corpses to this day.

#4: Disney World Has Two Creepy Abandoned Parks

If that wasn’t enough creep-factor to catch the attention of ghost enthusiasts, Disney’s eerie, abandoned parks may do the trick. Disney World claims to be the place where dreams come true, but River Country and Discovery Island could more aptly be described as the stuff of nightmares. Speaking objectively, the two attractions didn’t work out, and it probably wasn’t worth the financial resources to level them upon closing. Nonetheless, Seph Lawless’s photo series, Dismaland, highlights the creepy nature of the parks and the sense of isolation in a place that’s known for wholesome camaraderie.

#3: Disney Wants to Pretend “Song of the South” Never Happened

Long before “Zootopia” was teaching young people the values of tolerance and open-mindedness, Disney was producing its fair share of films with disturbingly racist undertones. None perhaps, are as notorious as “Song of the South,” which centers around Uncle Remus, a former slave, relating tales of adventure to children. A film that the NAACP believed to “perpetuate a dangerously glorified picture of slavery” managed to cause controversy in 1946, and still causes outrage today. Disney has adopted a Sweep It Under the Rug and Pretend It Never Happened strategy, which is why “Song of the South” has never been given an unedited home video release in the US. It’s no one’s fault today that such a shocking film was made, but some may argue that a policy of openness would better serve the company and their brand.

#2: Disney World is a Magnet for Sex Offenders

A disturbing report released by CNN in 2014 detailed that 35 Disney World employees were arrested for sex crimes involving minors from 2006 to 2014. What’s worse, is this number was relatively large compared to the five Universal Studios employees and two Sea World employees arrested for similar crimes during this time frame. The argument was made that this wasn’t simply correlation, but causation; as Disney’s symbol of innocence for American children also attracted individuals with nefarious intentions. While the PR nightmare of such a report being released without any clear negligence on Disney’s end must have been staggering, it managed to put a spotlight on a systemic problem that unfortunately still plagues our society today.

#1: A Mass Animal Suicide was Orchestrated for a Disney Documentary

To be fair, a lot of knocks against Disney on our list were unintentional or to some extent a product of their times. Disney’s 1958 documentary “White Wilderness,” on the other hand, very clearly has blood on its hands. One memorable scene depicts a group of lemmings marching to their deaths in the Arctic Ocean in a frantic, and suicidal fashion. The thing is… Lemmings don’t hurl themselves off cliffs, and this scene was actually filmed in the Canadian province of Alberta. The filmmakers actually staged a mass suicide with real animals, leading to an Academy Award for Best Documentary. Maybe next time just stick to animated animals?

So, what do you think of our list? Is Disney still the shining beacon of childhood innocence … or does it have a more sinister undertone? For more magical Top 10s and nightmarish top 5s, be sure to subscribe to MsMojo.

%u201CSong of the South%u201D has never given an unedited home video release in the US? That's not fair!