Walt Disney lived a life that many could only dream about. Aside from building a powerful empire that still stands today, Disney also built the most popular theme park in the world and changed the way people would view cartoons forever. Given his accolades, it makes sense, then, that many see him as part tall-tale, part living legend. On the anniversary of his death, a popular myth about Disney has been revived, but those who know Disney best, including his own daughter, say the rumors are indeed false. No matter what you may read on the Internet, Disney was not frozen and is not buried underneath the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland. As a matter of fact, Disney chose to be cremated, a notable choice given that cremation wasn’t as popular in 1966 as it is today.
Walt Disney passed away on December 15, 1966 at 65 following a brief bout with lung cancer. Just as he did with his 3-pack-a-day habit, Disney largely hid his cancer from the public, a fact that would later add to the overall secrecy and conspiracy of his death. Just 34 days after he found out about his cancer, Disney passed away and was later cremated, his ashes interred at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, California. Some conspiracy theorists point to the way Disney died and the way the news was released to the public as proof that the famous Mickey Mouse creator had, in fact, been frozen to ensure his immortality.
Disney passed away early in the morning on December 15, 1966, but news of his death wasn’t made public until much later in the day. Those who believe Disney is frozen say this is because his body had to be rushed to a cryonics clinic to be preserved. Believers also point to the rushed and secret funeral held to honor Disney as proof that he had been frozen rather than cremated. Just one day following his passing, his immediate family members gathered for a quiet and intimate ceremony. No associates or executives from Disney Studios were in attendance as Disney clearly stated years before his death that he hated funerals and didn’t want one for himself when he died. Disney also specified that the public was not to know the location of his grave, an unsurprising wish from a man who only wanted to be remembered as he lived.
Where did the rumors of Disney’s freezing begin? The first mention of these rumors appeared in print in a 1969 article in Ici Paris. In the piece, a Disney executive is quoted saying a group of disgruntled animators believed Disney had been frozen so he could come back later in life to protect his legacy. It’s easy to see why the rumor caught on; even after his death, Disney was seen as a innovative leader who continued to change the world through his inventions and theme parks. Given his accomplishments as he lived, rumors of his being frozen turn this once great man into a tall-tale rivaling Paul Bunyon or Johnny Appleseed.
The fact remains that this great man had preplanned his own cremation years before his passing. Cremation has, in recent years, become an increasingly popular option as many realize its multiple benefits, including a wealth of choice and its affordability. Ever the innovator, Disney picked cremation for his end-of-life plans in a time when many chose to be buried in a casket in a traditional funeral. Disney had a documented distaste of these funerals, and cremation was the perfect option for him that both matched his personality and his final wishes. Unfortunately, not everyone is afforded the ability to preplan their cremation. If you, like Disney, want a quiet and dignified memorial, contact the staff at Accu-Care Cremation today to answer any questions you have about a Southern California direct cremation. Call us today at (844) 550-7897!