Here’s Why You’ll Never See Mosquitoes At Disney World
Did you know that Disney World everyday visits around 52,946 people? Just in 2014, the annual number of visitors was astonishing 19,332,000, and none of them could hear any mosquito around. This wouldn’t be unusual information if Disney World were located outside of Florida. However, the famous Disney World Resort is located in the state of Florida – a country that is famous for its high temperatures, sticky weather, and swampland.
Just imagine – visiting the happiest place in the world and being disturbed by mosquitoes! That would be such a fun killer, right? However, Disney managed to solve this problem, as well. This is how the famous Disney World succeeded in solving the mosquito problem. Read on to discover the surprising reason why there are only humans in Disney World.
30. It All Started With Walt Disney
Initially, the famous Disney World opened its gate in October 1971. It is safe to say that back then, no mosquitoes were around the site. Famous Walt Disney decided to build a resort in the Sunshine State after the massive success of Disneyland in Anaheim, California.
Disneyland was first opened in 1955, and it was an instant success. However, people only five percent of visitors to the West Coast actually traveled from beyond the Mississippi River, and Walt Disney decided to change that.
29. Expending the Disney World
Walt was motivated to tap the enormous potential market on the eastern side of the United States. Creating something huge, fun, and Disney-oriented seemed logical.
So, famous creator and his team choose a site located in the Florida city of Bay Lake – close to Kissimmee and Orlando to build a Disney World. Soon this place was promoted as “the Happiest Place on Earth.”
28. The Happiest Place on Earth
The happiest place on earth was designed in deep secret throughout the 1960s, under the secret name “The Florida Project.” At the time, this project was the best-kept secret.
At first, Disney and his team expected the project to go smoothly. However, it took more than initially planned. Still, they managed to create various series of attractions. For example, Disney masterminded the area of Disney World that is now known as Epcot.
27. Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow
Epcot stands for “Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow,” and it was originally planned to be an urban community. It was intended to serve as the backdrop for the latest developments in city living.
It was created by Disney himself, but following his death, in December 1966, the preliminary plans were in time abandoned. Instead, Disney World became more like Disneyland than the filmmaker had apparently intended.
26. Opening the Park
Sadly, Walt Disney didn’t live to see his dreams for Disney World realized. Actually, the first part of the park wasn’t open to the public until 1971. That part was named the Magic Kingdom.
Epcot followed 11 years later, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom opened in 1989 and 1998. Also, it’s pretty safe to say that Disney World has been a success because Disney Worlds has a lot of visitors.
25. A Huge Number of Visitors
Around 52 million people run to Disney World each year to see the magical world of Disney creations. In 2014 all four of the parks within the resort earned their spots among the top eight most-visited theme parks on the globe.
The Magic Kingdom actually topped the list at number one. It seems that people can’t get enough of this magic spot. Around 19,332,000 Disney fans stop to visit this famous amusement park.
24. There Are Cast Members
To keep guests amused and constantly hipped about the wonderful Disney World creation, people are welcomed by cast members. Actually, Disney relies on over 74,000 cast members to make this spot the most fun place.
Disney must also keep employees happy and satisfied with their work position. So, to keep them happy, each year the company shells out over $1.2 billion in wages as well as a further $474 million on additional perks.
23. Disney World Is a Massive Operation
The famous Disney World is a massive attraction. To keep such a huge number of people and cast members running smoothly, serious business skills are needed, because running the Disney World is a massive operation.
For example, there are 34 hotels and resorts dotted around Disney’s Floridian property. To put that into perspective, you may end up camping for 68 years inside the Disney World is you want to spend a night in every hotel room in the park.
22. Disney World Is Massive
People know that Disney World is big, but they don’t know just how massive this play place really is. To house and entertain so many guests, Disney World had to be huge. This is how big it really is.
Disney World owns around 25,000 acres of land, meaning that it’s as big as San Francisco and twice as large as Manhattan. Surprisingly, only half of the land is currently used. Disney wanted to preserve the area where the park was built, so a third of the property is protected for conservation.
21. Disney World Has Its Own Transportation
Since Disney World is so huge, getting from point A to point B by foot can be exhausting. So, Disney’s architects included transportation within the object. This way, people can see most of the fairytale world in only one day.
Disney’s transportation is so effective and well-planned that major cities can only wish that their transportation lines are so organized. The resort holds almost 4000 busses. This is more than the Los Angeles Department of Transportation.
20. Disney World is Rich in Waste Receptacle
To ensure that Disney World runs as smoothly as possible, no detail has gone overlooked. Therefore, no trash can be seen on the streets because waster receptacles are all over the park.
You can find a waster receptacle on every 30 steps. Disney had serious research, and entire teams monitored how long people would keep their trash before discarding the items on the floor.
19. The Magic Kingdom Holds a Secret
Did you know that the Magic Kingdom was built on top of a warren of tunnels? Even online publication Thrillist called this place, the underground city. There is a good reason for this.
That’s because Florida lies on the same plane as the sea. Because of this reason, it was impossible for engineers to hide the tunnels below the ground. So instead, they simply constructed the park on top.
18. Tunnels Have a Specific Service
The tunnels that service the Magic Kingdom are known as “Utilidors.” These tunnels have a specific purpose, and it’s linked with cast members. Tunnels serve so that the cast members can take their breaks and grab their costumes.
The rumor has it that the complex system of passages was Disney’s idea. Apparently, he didn’t want any characters walking through other areas of the park to get to their place of work.
17. Have You Heard About Smellitizers?
Disney World is known for using Smellitizers to preserve the magic. Smellitizerzs are specific devices located in every corner, and they are packed with specific scents.
These devices are designed to release scents related to the area in which they sit. For example, the Main Street Smellitizers smell like vanilla and cookies, whereas the ones situated by the Pirates of the Caribbean ride are reminiscent of fresh sea air.
16. There Are 13,000 Roses
Disney World loves green scenery. Their parks are a mandatory part of the visitors’ experience. So, flowers are a mandatory touch of Disney World. There are also 13,000 roses.
Overall, more than three million shrubs are planted each year. Also, gardeners are not only responsible for roses, but for 200 over 200 topiaries and two million plants.
15. You Can’t Buy Chewing Gums In Park
To create a perfect world, some rules had to be implemented. It makes sense that some items aren’t allowed in Disney’s stores. For example, you can’t buy chew gums inside the park.
Disney himself banned place from selling chewing gum to keep the place clean. He wanted to avoid any mess and keep them away from the visitors’ footwear. If you can’t live without gums, you bring your own.
14. Fighting Mosquitos
The team in Disney World has done its best to keep the place as magical as possible. However, there was one thing that could ruin everything – mosquitos.
Mosquitos in Florida are common, and with time these tiny insects started visiting Disney World. This is how Disney World stopped these tiny insects from ruin guests’ enjoyment in the parks.
13. Dealing With Mosquitos
Disney World was built on former swampland. Southerners know how tricky it is to live close to swampland. However, they are used to them, but it doesn’t mean that they love them. So, how did Disney manage to deal with these pesky critters?
The battle against these small insects started in far 1964 at the New York World’s Fair. Back then, Walt Disney and Major General William “Joe” Potter held a meeting. Joe was an engineering expert, and he was supposed to help Disney win the battle against mosquitos. This is how he did it.
12. Fighting Malaria
Joe was the Governor of the Panama Canal Zone before he met Disney for the first time. The Panama Canal Zone was an unincorporated U.S. territory from 1903 to 1979, and it was a hotspot for malaria.
As you know already, malaria is a disease transmitted by mosquitoes. So, to build the Panama Canal, it was crucial for authorities to control the spread of the pathogen. And it was here that Potter reportedly picked up his vast pest control knowledge.
11. Florida Project
When Disney first heard of Joe and his work on controlling mosquito swarms in the Panama Canal Zone, he immediately offered him a job. As expected, Potter accepted without hesitation.
Potter started working on Disney’s secret project, named Florida Project – which would later become the Disney World that we know and love today. Here is how the project was done correctly.
10. Mosquitoes Aren’t Entirely Gone From the Disney World
Potter did his best to create a suitable mosquito-free infrastructure. However, a man can’t fight off nature entirely, so a mosquito here and there are seen. However, there are no mosquitoes in The Most Magical Place on Earth, and the park has the Mosquito Surveillance Program to manage it all.
There are carbon dioxide traps everywhere, and once they catch bugs, the team at Disney freezes and analyzes the population to determine how best to eradicate them. The team uses various ways to set the park free from these small insects.
9. Keeping the Population Down
Staff members want people only to experience fun and to be mosquito-free. So, they are using various techniques. Moreover, they are using their best to keep the bloodsuckers at bay.
For example, they choose not to kill adult bugs, but to make itself seem as unpleasant as possible for any insects that need to lay their eggs. So, by following the policy of prevention, Disney World can keep the population down permanently.
8. There Is No Still Water Inside the Park
Although Disney loved green scenery, a ban had to be put on still water inside the park. This is just one of many ways to keep mosquitos away. As a result, there is no still water at Disney World at all.
Insects are usually attracted to standing water because it’s the perfect place to deposit their eggs. So, by removing potential breeding ground, Disney drastically reduces the number of larvae.
7. But the Resort Is Located on Swamp, Right?
Avoiding standing water may seem a logical step before you remember that the entire Disney World was built on a swamp. So, how is it possible that there aren’t’ more mosquitos?
It turns out that Potter was working on the construction of a large drainage system to transform the boggy land into something better suited to development. He had actually installed Joe’s ditches.
6. Joe’s Ditches
Joe’s Ditches are still used at Disney World today. Their primary purpose is to keep all water flowing through the park at all times. They never come to a standstill.
Disney expert Christopher Lucas further explained to Reader’s Digest magazine the concept behind Potter’s drainage system, saying, “The guests usually don’t notice it, but the water is constantly flowing… Whenever you walk by a body of water, there’s usually a fountain in the middle of it, or they’re doing something to keep it flowing.”
5. The System Was a Real Success
Potter did a fantastic job with his system that Disney purchased extra land close to the property to accommodate drainage ditches. However, there were other methods to prevent water droplets from pooling.
Buildings inside the Disney World are designed to ensure that water cannon collect anywhere inside the park. Lucas told Reader’s Digest, “All of the buildings are built so that water flows right off of [them]… With all the rainstorms, if water got caught on the buildings… it would form a pool, and then mosquitoes would hatch their eggs, and you’d have thousands of mosquitoes.”
4. Special Building Design
Buildings are designed in such a manner to keep the World timeless. Buildings are even curved to keep the water away. On top of that, they are very appealing to the eyes and effective in keeping mosquitos away.
So, standing water is the number one enemy to Disney World. Even plants have a unique role – they are part of the fight against mosquitos. Certain species are specially panted to prevent any puddles from forming in the foliage.
3. Water Can Disguise Mosquito Eggs
The water inside the park has a specific purpose – it can disguise mosquito eggs. It can also rid of any flora such as water lilies. On top of that water can contain fish that can eat mosquito larvae.
Disney wanted to get rid of mosquitoes, but he didn’t allow any use of pesticides. So, employees had to be creative, and they decide to use various sprays to fight mosquitos.
2. No Spraying
Even today, no pesticides are allowed inside the park. As Lucas explained, “[He] did not want to ruin the environment at all so that they couldn’t use pesticides… It’d be easy just to spray the whole thing, but he wanted it to be something natural.” So, Walt Disney’s wish is respected even today.
So, the staff at Disney World are more than familiar with garlic spray. For some reason, mosquitos are not fans of a garlicky scent all around the park, so it also keeps them away. The amount that they use is small that humans can’t smell it, but mosquitos can.
1. They Even Use Chickens
This may sound unusual, but the park also uses chickens to fight off mosquitoes. The birds are kept in coops around the resort and live ordinary lives, and walk free. They also get a blood check.
From time to time, chickens do undergo frequent blood checks to determine if they’ve been exposed to any mosquito-transmitted pathogens. This is a standard method to see if there are any viruses nearby.