The Incredible Ways Disney Keeps Its Parks So Clean
Have you ever wondered how Disney keeps its parks so clean? I’m sure you think about it every time you visit a competing park like Six Flags, places that seem nasty by comparison. The Walt Disney Company employs several different processes to improve the guest experience. Here are a few ways that Disney keeps its parks clean and comfortable for guests.
Cleaner Water with Bromine
What’s your least favorite thing about a swimming pool? If you’re like most people, the answer is Chlorine. The same chemical that cleans the pool also stings your eyes. For people with sensitive skin, it’s even worse. Chlorine causes itching that can last for days.
Something you may not know is that Chlorine isn’t the best choice. Bromine actually works better for several reasons. Both chemicals attach themselves to bacteria and negate the unhealthy spread of it.
However, Bromine works better because it doesn’t “die” when it interacts with bacteria. Chlorine actually works only once; when it attaches to bacteria, the chemical and its new bond partner cancel each other out. Ergo, Bromine works better and longer. It does have some downsides, though.
Bromine is harder to wash off, which means that you’ll maintain a chemical smell for longer than Chlorine. With Bromine, you’ll clean the same area longer and with fewer chemicals. It’s not popular for pools due to the price more than anything else.
At Disney parks, the company happily pays the higher price for Bromine. The company does this to guarantee that the splashing water on boat rides is clean and safe for guests. Bromine negates bacteria more effectively than its counterpart, and the same amount that riders get on them washes off.
For these reasons, rides like Splash Mountain smell different than pools. The lack of Chlorine makes the water more aromatic. It’s a smart, effective means of cleaning.
The dirty secret of Walt Disney World involves its history. Uncle Walt bought Florida swampland for his theme park. And swamps come with swarms of mosquitos. Somehow, you seldom get bit at the Most Magical Place on Earth, though. Why is that?
Disney employs several techniques to monitor the status of mosquitos in the area. In fact, the Reedy Creek government’s duties include mosquito monitoring. It’s even listed on the official website.
The city operates dozens of mosquito traps across the Disney campus. These traps release carbon dioxide, thereby attracting mosquitos. Unfortunately, it’s the same way that humans become mosquito targets. The difference is that the traps freeze the bugs to death, allowing experts to study their composition.
Thanks to these traps, Disney and Reedy Creek officials know when mosquitos are ready to multiply and where they’re most likely to breed. At these hot spots, extermination techniques wipe out the horde. The workers release insecticides around daybreak and twilight each day to eliminate mosquitos.
By the way, Disney employs one other odd technique to monitor mosquito swarms. Did you know that chickens possess high resistance to the diseases that mosquitos spread? Yes, these fowl creatures naturally produce antibodies that prevent the West Nile virus and similar infections.
So, Disney owns countless sentinel chickens that they spread out across the campus. The company uses these domesticated animals to identify hot spots for mosquito outbreaks. In fact, Disney does so much to prevent mosquito bites that many people wonder why state governments don’t practice the same methods.
Trash Can Logic I
Have you ever considered why your trash can comes with a lid? This top is what isolates the smell of your garbage to the trash receptacle. Without the cover, you would need to keep your trash outside or, at the very least, in a different room. For the same reason, mesh receptacles are a terrible idea. The smell escapes from the bottom.
You may not have thought about these things, but Walt Disney sure did. Before Disneyland opened, its creator would visit public gathering spots to study the garbage. It sounds like a horrible way to pass the day, but generations of park guests are glad that he did.
Walt Disney and his Imagineers constructed special trash cans at Disneyland. You’re familiar with their iconic design because the look and style of these receptacles haven’t changed in 60+ years.
Yes, Walt Disney created the modern trashcan! He tried to manufacture it to other businesses, but nobody else showed any interest. Frustrated, Disney never copyrighted the idea. Later, people would duplicate the not-patented concept, which is why you’ll find these garbage cans everywhere.
Trash Can Logic II
The famous hot dog story also comes into play with Disney theme park trash cans. During the earliest days at Disneyland, its founder would follow guests around the parks. Uncle Walt would pay attention to how far people walked before littering.
Yes, this sounds crazy, but Disney had a good reason. He studied guest behavior carefully so that he could decide where to place the trash cans. By his reckoning, people would walk no more than 30 feet with garbage. If they hadn’t found a trash can by then, guests would thoughtlessly throw it on the ground.
With 30 feet as the magic number, Disneyland added many more trash cans. From that point forward, the park became much cleaner. To this day, you’ll notice trash cans no more than 30 feet away from guests. Disney’s deduction has proven effective and timeless.
Third Shift Maintenance
The late shift explains a key reason why the parks stay so clean. Disney theme parks are alive 24 hours a day, even though guests may only enter during operating hours. After the park closes, the cast members perform all of the duties that the company doesn’t want guests to watch.
During the third shift, overnight staffers clean everything. But they do much more than that. They also perform routine maintenance on attractions and do the little things like fueling the cars at Autopia/Tomorrowland Speedway.
While you’re sleeping, cast members also perform checks to verify the appearance of attractions and decorations. Sometimes, a light will go out, or paint will chip on a wall.
Disney doesn’t fix these things during the day. Instead, workers catalog the issues so that the midnight crew can fix them later. It’s not an exaggeration to say that the third shift does all of the dirty work that keeps theme parks clean.
One of the shocking secrets at Walt Disney World is that Magic Kingdom resides on the second floor. Hidden underground tunnels populate the first floor, but the water table makes this region unsafe for attraction construction. So, Disney uses the first floor for something else.
These Utilidors connect various parts of Magic Kingdom via a series of hidden doors and walking paths. Workers can quickly navigate from one end of the park to the other without ever having a guest notice them. The direct route is faster and more efficient. Also, it allows Disney to do something else.
Tubes wrap around much of the Utilidors. Disney uses them to transport garbage away from the parks into dumping areas. Here, the trash gets sorted and shipped out of Magic Kingdom. It’s an extremely efficient method for taking out the garbage the Disney way.