Although the rumors of Walt Disney’s cryogenically frozen corpse being stored underneath the Pirates of the Caribbean ride in Disneyland are decidedly untrue, the popular attraction since 1967 apparently held a dark secret of its own.
Built in 1967, the iconic boat ride that spawned four movies, was the last ride overseen by Walt himself; sadly he didn’t live to see it open. It’s unclear as to whether he was involved with the ghoulish decision that was made by the Imagineers for the ride’s design, but either way, are you ready for this?
…Originally all the skeletons in the attraction were actual human bones.
Yup, sounds like a story generated by the internet, but it’s apparently true. The Imagineers were not happy at all with the fake skeletons they had made for the ride and obtained actual cadavers from the UCLA Medical School which were put in all the classic poses all OVER the ride even as you see it today.
The bones stayed in place for a good long while, although it’s not exactly clear how long that was. What we do know is the grand majority were eventually removed and replaced with more convincing fakes…but not all of them.
Not the skeleton in the bed, but the crossbones behind him? Yup, real dead dude parts. I can only guess they left them behind as a reminder of the history of the ride as a hidden in-joke for Disney folks. Either way…still eerie.