Speed Reads

for you are dust and to magical dust you shall return

A lot of people are leaving the cremated ashes of their loved ones at Disneyland

To you, it's the Happiest Place on Earth, but for many others, it's their final resting place.

About once a month, someone is caught dumping the cremated ashes of a loved one at Disneyland or Disney World, current and former custodians tell The Wall Street Journal. When that happens, the clean-up crews come with a heavy-duty vacuum that is able to pick up ultrafine material. People drop ashes in flower beds, near park gates, and on rides like Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, but the most popular place is, of course, The Haunted Mansion.

"The Haunted Mansion probably has so much human ashes in it that it's not even funny," one Disneyland custodian told the Journal. Disney doesn't want people to think about death while in their parks, and a spokeswoman said dropping ashes "is strictly prohibited and unlawful. Guests who attempt to do so will be escorted off property."

Jodie Jackson Wells ignored the rules in 2009 when she brought the ashes of her mom, who loved Disney World, to the Magic Kingdom. She smuggled the ashes into the park in a prescription bottle, and after releasing some on It's a Small World, she jumped over a barricade outside Cinderella's Castle. "I had two fistfuls of the ashes and I literally leapt like I was a dancer," she said. Read about other families who managed to spread ashes at Disney World and Disneyland at The Wall Street Journal.