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Is Walt Disney Really Frozen? Here’s the Surprising Answer!

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Ever since he died, Walt Disney has inspired many questions and speculation about whether his body was cryogenically frozen (which has nothing to do with the Frozen movies!) in ice or liquid nitrogen. Some have even wondered if only Walt Disney’s head or brain was frozen on its own! Well, if you’re one of the countless mystery seekers that have asked, “Is Walt Disney frozen?”, then you’re in the right place. Read on for the surprising answer…

Is Walt Disney Really Frozen? Here's the Surprising Answer!
Is Walt Disney Really Frozen? Here’s the Surprising Answer!

Why Do People Think That Walt Disney Is Cryogenically Frozen?

Before we delve any deeper into the question of whether Walt Disney is actually frozen…

It’s important to understand why people have thought for so long that he is indeed cryogenically frozen somewhere (like at Disneyland or Walt Disney World!).

Here’s some of the history you need to know to understand this whole story better.

The History of Walt Disney’s Frozen Body

Here are the facts about Walt Disney’s death:

  • Walt Disney died on December 15th, 1966 (he was 65 years old).
  • The cause of his death was lung cancer.
  • He died in Burbank, California.

Those are the simple facts that you need to know.

However, soon after Walt’s death, people began to speculate that he might have been preserved through an advanced process of cryogenics, which is basically the science of physics at very low temperatures.

Fans and conspiracy theorists alike started to wonder if maybe — just maybe — Mr. Disney had been frozen and stored underneath Disneyland itself, the first park he ever created!

People Speculated That Walt Disney's Frozen Body Lay Beneath Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland [Source: Inside the Magic]
People Speculated That Walt Disney’s Frozen Body Lay Beneath Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland [Source: Inside the Magic]

Specifically, people guessed that Walt Disney’s body was being kept frozen under the famous Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland. People have even claimed that there’s an Illuminati connection, or to have real pictures of Walt Disney’s head, frozen in a container. None of these photos or claims has ever been confirmed, and we’ll see why in a minute.

When you think about it, this is really not all that different from people thinking that Elvis is still alive, or that Tupac Shakur never really died. These conspiracy theories have a very strong impact on many people.

So…

Why do people think that Disney is frozen? Walt Disney’s love of the future and progress and technology made this is a very interesting speculation. In fact, Bob Nelson, an expert on cryonics at the time, actually claimed that Disney did indeed want to be frozen. After a small, private funeral that the family held, people wondered if Walt might have tried some emerging cryonic technology on himself, even in death…

In The Guardian, reviewing Neal Gabler’s biography of Walt Disney, they said:

After he died in December 1966, a rumour circulated that Disney had been cryogenically frozen, so that he could rest, like Sleeping Beauty, and wake up in 1975. The rumour was untrue, but it persisted for a good while and revealed, in Gabler’s phrase, ‘a public unwillingness to let go of him, even to the point of mythologising him as an immortal who could not be felled by natural forces’. What the gossips didn’t know then was that Disney didn’t have to be immortal, or even alive, to maintain his hold. For better or for worse, ‘this Disney thing’, as he called it, seems destined to go on regardless.

The Guardian

In other words, people simply wanted it to be true.

Hard to blame them for wanting him to still be alive, though, isn’t it? None of us wants to see someone we love or admire pass away.

And this is Walt Disney we’re talking about, after all!

Is Walt Disney Frozen?

Alright, now that you know the history and the story behind it all, here are the facts.

In fact, here is what many would consider to be a very surprising truth!

The reality is this:

After Walt Disney died, his body was cremated just two days later, on December 17th, 1966.

Currently, Mr. Disney’s ashes lay at rest in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park cemetery, just down the road from Walt Disney Animation Studios, in Glendale, California.

Walt Disney's Final Resting Place at Forest Lawn in Glendale, California [Source: Celebrity Graveland]
Walt Disney’s Final Resting Place at Forest Lawn in Glendale, California [Source: Celebrity Graveland]

As a resident of Glendale, California, myself… I can tell you that this cemetery very much exists, as I’ve driven past it many, many, many times!

Disney Grave Marker at Forest Lawn Cemetery [Source: Wiki / Wikimedia Commons]
Disney Grave Marker at Forest Lawn Cemetery [Source: Wiki / Wikimedia Commons]

While I haven’t gone inside to visit and pay respect to Mr. Disney’s remains, the fact of his presence there is highly documented.

[Source: Flickriver]
[Source: Flickriver]

People stop by to pay their respects and visit Walt Disney’s final resting place often.

[Source: Pinterest]
[Source: Pinterest]

Even More Proof That Disney Was Not Frozen

To point an even finer point on the matter…

Walt Disney’s daughter has confirmed that her father was not cryogenically frozen. She even signed legal documents about it.

And the man most famous for “freezing people”, the President of the Cryonics Society of California, Bob Nelson (mentioned above), has also confirmed that Mr. Disney was definitely not frozen.

In Los Angeles Magazine, they write:

The earliest mention of the Disney cryonics story is Nelson’s 1972 interview in the Los Angeles Times: “’Walt Disney wanted to be frozen,’ [Bob Nelson] says, as casually as if he were talking about municipal bonds. ‘Lots of people think that he was, and that the body’s in cold storage in his basement. The truth is, Walt missed out. He never specified it in writing, and when he died the family didn’t go for it. They had him cremated. I personally have seen his ashes. They’re in Forest Lawn. Two weeks later we froze the first man. If Disney had been the first it would have made headlines around the world and been a real shot in the arm for cryonics. But that’s the way it goes.’”

Los Angeles Magazine

So, there you have it.

We’ve finally answered the question of whether Walt Disney’s body, head, or even brain are actually frozen beneath the grounds of Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland.

Now, if anyone asks you… You’ll know the answer!

Is Walt Disney frozen? No, he is not cryogenically frozen. His body was cremated, and his ashes lay in rest at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.

Another way to put it…

Walt Disney frozen: true or false? False. 100% not true.

In case you’re wondering, the cemetery grounds where his remains rest are just down the road from Walt Disney Animation Studios and a short trip from Disneyland itself.

In other words, Mr. Disney is very good company…

Fun fact: While Walt Disney is not frozen, the famous baseball slugger Ted Williams actually is in a state of cryostasis. Read more on that here.

Have a magical day!

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