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The Walt Disney hibernation urban legend maintains that after his death in 1966, Walt Disney was cryogenically frozen.

"The legend has various versions, some stating that only his head was preserved." "In its most far-fetched form the legend claims that his frozen body was stored underneath the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at the Disneyland amusement park as it awaits the day when the cure for lung cancer will be invented." The earliest known printed version of the rumor can be traced to a short article in the French magazine Ici Paris in 1969.[1] It was consequently reported by news media in various parts of Europe and the world which gave it a certain clout. Of course this initial article doesn't mention anything of his presumed final resting place at Pirates of the Caribbean ride which deemed the story, though untrue, reasonably plausible to general public.

According to "at least one Disney publicist" the unverifiable source of this story was a group of Disney Studio animators who "had a bizarre sense of humor" and who were thus playing a final prank on their charismatic boss.[2]

Some mention two Disney biographies as perpetuating the rumor: Disney’s World by Robert Mosley (1986) and Walt Disney – Hollywood’s Dark Prince by Marc Eliot (1993). Both claim that Disney did know of cryonics and had a strong interest in the science.[3]

Those claims have been reputed by Disney's daughter, Diane who wrote in 1972:"There is absolutely no truth to the rumor that my father, Walt Disney, wished to be frozen. I doubt that my father had ever heard of cryonics."[4]

Walt Disney died on December 15, 1966 at 9:30 a.m., ten days after his 65th birthday. He was cremated on December 17, 1966 and his ashes reside at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.

The first known instance of cryogenic freezing of a corpse occurred a month later, in January 1967.


  1. ^ Urban Legends Reference Pages © 1995-2001 by Barbara and David P. Mikkelson
  2. ^ Urban Legends Reference Pages © 1995-2001 by Barbara and David P. Mikkelson
  3. ^ Hoaxipedia, "Walt Disney Frozen" by Elliot Feldman © 2008 Alex Boese
  4. ^ Urban Legends Reference Pages © 1995-2001 by Barbara and David P. Mikkelson

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