More than half a century ago, a rumour about Walter Elias Disney or Uncle Walt circulated in the air claiming that his corpse is cryogenically frozen and it became an urban legend of that time.
Let’s discuss if there was any truth behind this rumour or it was simply just a hoax.
Before diving into this topic let’s have a look at what cryopreservation is and how it works.
What is cryopreservation?
In this process a human corpse is preserved in a vessel filled with nitrogen, called a cryogenic vessel, hoping that the corpse can be resurrected in the future, with help of some kind of advanced medical technology. This technology doesn’t exist yet but people preserve themselves cryogenically in the hopes that one day when the technology has finally developed, they can have a second shot at life. Dr James Bedford was the first person whose corpse was cryopreserved in 1967.
Now let’s get back to our original topic.
What happened to Uncle Walts body?
On the 15th of December 1966, the famous animator and businessman Walter Elias Disney took his last breath at the age of 65 as he finally succumbed to lung cancer. His body was cremated and buried at Forest Lawn Memorial |Park in Glendale, California, in a private funeral.
Shortly after his death, a weird rumour spread like a forest fire claiming that Walt Disney’s body was, in fact, not buried but frozen somewhere. People started saying that his body was cryopreserved and placed deep beneath The pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland, Anaheim California, and he’ll be brought back to life when the medical technology will be advanced enough to do so in the future.
Disney was known for his keen interest in the future and his fascination for technical innovation. He also developed the EPCOT (experimental prototype community of tomorrow) centre, out of interest and curiosity. Disney’s interest in such things fuelled the rumours and people started believing that these rumours might be true.
Nobody knew where this rumour originated from, but after few years one thing became pretty clear – there is no truth behind this rumour. In 1972 Disney’s daughter Diana cleared the air with her statement, “There is absolutely no truth to the rumour that my father, Walt Disney, wished to be frozen”. She also said that she doubts whether her father had ever known or heard of cryogenics.
Well, this can be justified by the fact that there is no documentary evidence that Walt Disney, knew or had any interest in cryogenics. Also, there is not any credible evidence apart from all the stories and speculations, that Walt’s body was cryopreserved.
So, I guess it’s pretty clear now that Walt Disney was buried and not cryopreserved, as once claimed.
The rumour of Walt Disney’s body being cryopreserved is just a baseless story created by some ideal minds and there’s no truth to it. Walter Elias Disney passed away on 15th December 1966 due to lung cancer. His body was cremated and buried at the forest lawn memorial park in Glendale. His daughter Diana wrote in 1972 that her father didn’t wish to be frozen and she doubts that he even knew anything about cryogenics at the time.
Although Disney was known for his fascination for innovative and futuristic technology, it is not enough to justify that he had any kind of interest in cryogenics.