One of the most popular conspiracy theories surrounding Walt Disney involves what happened to the inventor of Mickey Mouse post-mortem. When Disney died on December 15, 1966, he was cremated two days later, but many people still believe part of him - specifically his head - was cryogenically frozen. Legend has it the head of Disney sits somewhere in Disneyland, overlooking the happiest place on Earth.
But did Walt Disney really have his head frozen? Unfortunately for conspiracy theorists, no. Though it may be entertaining to think that Disney was frozen like Han Solo, the truth is his ashes are at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, CA.
If the evidence of his cremation exists, why do people think Walt Disney froze his head? The conspiracy originated shortly after Walt's death in 1966; the first written mention of it is in 1969, where it's attributed to some employees joking around. But it wasn't until someone personally involved with cryonics talked about Disney the rumor really took off. Although cryonics was taking off around the time Disney passed away, it's not even confirmed the animation mogul knew about the burgeoning industry - and even now, decades later, it's not clear if a dead person can be thawed out and brought back to life. For some, it's a pipe dream; for others in the scientific community, cryonics is outright fraudulent.
Though there are plenty of conspiracies and rumors about Walt Disney (anti-Semitism, anyone?), this is not one that can be proven. Currently, the only thing frozen about Disney is the hit movie and the song that is now probably stuck in your head.
Disney Studios Contacted The Cryonics Society Of California Right Before Disney's Death
Though it's easy to dismiss the theory Disney was cryogenically frozen, there's one legitimate detail that should be called out. Bob Nelson, president of the Cryonics Society of California, may be indirectly responsible for starting the rumor. According to Nelson, before Disney died, the studio called him and had plenty of questions about the cryonics process.
However, if Disney did want to be cryogenically frozen, he didn't say it on the record to anyone, and it wasn't in his will. “He never specified it in writing, and when he died the family didn’t go for it," Nelson said.
So, unless there's a massive coverup here, complete with red herrings, Disney probably isn't frozen. This information hasn't deterred conspiracy theorists from searching for his head every time they visit Disneyland, though.
Disney Told The President Of The Cryonics Society Of California He Was Interested In The Process
In 1972, Cryonics Society of California President Bob Nelson was quoted by the Los Angeles Times saying that Disney had expressed an interest in being cryogenically frozen. And for those who want to keep the theory alive, the quote stops there. However, Nelson also said in the interview he had seen Disney's ashes after cremation and that Walt Disney was not actually frozen.
'Weekly World News' Claims Thieves Held Disney's Frozen Head For Ransom In 2011
In 2011, the Weekly World News reported thieves had ransacked a cryonics facility in California and made off with the frozen head of Disney. The thieves left a ransom note, saying they were holding Disney's head hostage until the Disney brand "terminates the smut and filth that permeates its airwaves."
As exciting as this all is, the Weekly World News, whose tagline is "The World's Only Reliable News," also publishes stories about Selena Gomez being pregnant with Justin Bieber's baby, UFOs crashing in Russia, and a six-inch alien being found in Chile.
Conspiracy Theorists Believe His Head Is Under Disneyland's Pirate Of The Caribbean Ride
It's not enough, apparently, to imagine that the most influential animator of all time has been cryogenically frozen; having Disney stored in a cryonics facility along with all the other folks who want the possibility of immortality isn't enough. No, those who believe Disney was cryogenically frozen say that the film legend is underneath Disneyland, his own park... specifically, under the Pirates of the Caribbean exhibit. It's not clear where that particular part of the rumor came from, but it is amusing to think that Jack Sparrow is guarding Disney's frozen corpse.