No mosquitoes at Disney World - and here's why

There are no mosquitoes at Disney World - and here's why

After entering Disney World Resort and soak up all its glory, you may notice an interesting fact - no mosquitoes there. Disney World is located in Florida, which is a rather humid place with lots of swamps, so it is the perfect place for hordes of mosquitoes. So why are they absent from the famous amusement park? Let us explain to you the shocking reason why mosquitoes are not welcome here.

Before October 1971, when Disney World successfully opened its doors to the crowds, there were still many mosquitoes flying around.

Nevertheless, they decided to continue, since Disneyland in Anaheim, California, which opened in 1955, was a success. Therefore, although the area attracted many annoying insects, they did not let this stop them from opening such an attraction. Research done in 1950 showed that only 5% of people visiting the West Coast dreamland traveled beyond the Mississippi River, although 75% of Americans lived there.

Therefore, Disney wanted to exploit the potential that the market in the eastern United States had. He chose the location in the town of Bay Lake, Florida, which is also close to Orlando e Kissimmee. It was in this area that the filmmaker decided to build a breathtaking amusement park - which is also known as the happiest place on earth.

Now it was time for Disney to get to work and start designing his plan. He was very excited, but wanted to keep everything a secret, so this whole process was called "Project Florida". Disney knew it would be much more than just an amusement park and it came up with several attractions, for example the Epcot Theme Park at Disney World.

Epcot is short for "Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow".. It was conceived as a modern community that would almost represent a setting for some new developments in city life. Disney elaborated on this whole idea, but after his death in 1966, the project was abandoned. Alternatively, Disney World became very similar to Disneyland, which was not necessarily Disney's original plan.

Unfortunately, Disney did not get to see the end result of his great project. The first part of the park was the Magic Kingdom, and it was not available to visitors until 1971. Epcot opened 11 years later, followed by Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom in 1989 and 1998. Although the park was not true to Disney's initial ideas, it is still a great success and is more successful than any other resort in the world.

Well, about 52 million people visit Disney World every yearand none of them regret it! In 2014, the resort's four parks ranked among the eight most visited theme parks worldwide. Unsurprisingly, The Magic Kingdom park manages to comfortably hold on to first place, as approximately 21 Million enthusiastic people decided to visit it every year.

You may think that the only visitors to this theme park are the guests, but you are so wrong. Disney World is "home" to 74,000 "cast members" as its employees are called. So the theme park is the biggest employer in America. However, they would not be the happiest employees if their bosses did not hand out over $$1.2 billion in salaries and another $$474 million in extra benefits.


Disney World certainly attracts a large number of visitors, which requires some measures. These people need a place to stay, so there are 34 hotels or resorts located near the attractions.

if you wanted to stay in every hotel room for one night, you would need 68 years

So you can imagine that a place that is both a theme park and a hotel needs to be huge. And it is - there are 25,000 acres of land, which is the size of San Francisco and twice the size of Manhattan. Although only 50% of the park is used now, Disney wanted to preserve this precious piece of land, therefore, One third of the land is protected for conservation.

The next concern is transportation, because this huge complex requires a deeply developed transportation system. Therefore, getting through the amusement park is very easy and convenient for every visitor. In other words, the resort contains about 400 buses and that number of vehicles is more remarkable than the Los Angeles Department of Transportation.

All we can say is that they really have thought through every detail. For example, you are never very far from a dumpster, in fact, you can see one just 30 steps away from you. Supposedly, Disney used to visit the parks and pay attention to the people and their trash, after about 30 steps they would throw it on the ground. Every detail was important to him.

And the attention to detail doesn't even stop below the park. Magic Kingdom is actually located in a network of tunnels. This path has been named the underground city by the online publication Thrillist. However, it is actually located at ground level. Florida is at the same level as the sea, so the tunnels could not be hidden. The engineers therefore decided to build the park from above.

These tunnels are better known as "Disney Utilidor System". Its main purpose is to be the "shelter" of the cast. They can casually change clothes or take breaks there. This was Disney's initial idea, as he did not want the characters to go through other sections to get to their workplace.

Another important element to the complete Disney experience is smell. Disney uses "Smellitizers" special devices, which are placed in every corner of the park. They spread a pleasant aroma depending on where you are. For example, the main street smells like cookies and vanilla, and on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride you can smell the fresh sea air.

Besides smelling wonderful, Disney World must be wonderful too. One way to make sure that everything is perfect is to plant about three million flowering shrubs in the park every year. The gardeners have a lot of work to do because they need to take care of 13,000 roses, 200 topiarios, and two million flowers.

Disney has gone to great lengths to make the park immaculate. Therefore, there are some things that are not allowed here. For example, Disney decided to ban all parks from selling gum. The reason won't come as a shock - he did this so that the park and everyone's shoes would be clean. So if you love chewing gum, we advise you to bring your own pack and be discreet.

It is quite evident that the Disney team has done everything in their power to ensure that visits to this park are a magical experience for every person. However, you haven't seen everything yet, as there is one more brilliant idea designed to ensure that the Disney World theme park remains a mosquito-free area.


Disney has managed to almost completely eliminate mosquitoes, which is even more remarkable when you recognize that the theme park was built in a former swamp. Many Southerners could testify that these pesky insects are a headache and an inevitable element in a humid place like this. However, Disney made sure that these bloodsuckers would not ruin the fun of its guests in the future.

So the first step to banning mosquitoes began with an important meeting between Major General William "Joe" Potter and Walt Disney at the 1964 New York World's Fair. William Potter was a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and an expert engineer. In addition, before meeting Disney, he was the governor of the Panama Canal Zone.

The Panama Canal Zone was, from 1903 to 1979, an unincorporated region of the United States. This was the hot spot for malaria, a disease transmitted by mosquitoes. However, before building the Panama Canal, officials had to keep the pathogen under control. It was at this point that Potter began to acquire knowledge about insect control.

After Disney learned that Potter had enough knowledge as an engineer that he could help him with mosquito prevention, he immediately decided to hire him. After Potter agreed to his new job, he decided to put all his efforts into trying to get rid of the bugs for the "Florida Project," which would later become Disney World

Therefore, Disney World is "lucky" because there are no annoying insects that can bother excited visitors. Obviously, it is impossible to get rid of all the mosquitoes in the area, but there is a way to minimize their quantity. Disney employees have many methods that keep them in control, and all are very effective.

Let's take an example - instead of killing adult mosquitoes, the team tries to make the park look like an impossible place to lay eggs, which keeps the mosquitoes away. By following this, they keep the number of mosquitoes low all the time and ensure that they don't fly around all day.

Another effective measure is to ensure that no standing water. Insects are tempted by water, which is the best home to lay their eggs. However, if there is no water, there is no potential place for the mosquitoes to breed. This technique was a way to minimize the number of larvae that would be present in the park, and it is obviously very successful.

Now this seems like an easy and clever plan - get rid of all the standing water. However, remember that the park was built on a swamp. Therefore, Potter immediately began to focus on creating a huge drainage system, which would modify this muddy, marshy land and turn it into something suitable for future transformations and construction.

The initial drainage pipes that were installed by Potter are now known as "Joe's ditches" and are still widely used. As you might guess, they have the primary function of keeping the water running through the park at all times and ensuring that it never reaches a dead end.

"Guests usually don't realize it, but the water is flowing constantly ... Whenever you pass a body of water, there's usually a fountain in the middle of it, or they're doing something to keep it flowing." This was a statement given to Reader's Digest Magazine by Christopher Lucas about the new drainage system.

This plan has been so successful that, to this day, whenever they plan new construction, Disney acquires additional land near the park to accommodate the drainage channels. However, this is not the only measure incorporated that prevents water droplets from accumulating - here are a few more.

Every detail was taken into consideration

The entire park is designed so that water does not collect on the surface of the structures. Disney expert Lucas said, "All the buildings are built so that water flows right [from them] ... With all the storms, if the water gets trapped in the buildings ... it would form a pool and then the mosquitoes would hatch eggs, and you'd have thousands of mosquitoes. "

So Disney did this by making sure that the water drops simply "would slip" out of the building. Lucas states the following, "They made all the buildings curved or designed so that there was no place for water to collect and sit there ... The architecture is really attractive to the eye, but it also serves a purpose: it makes it less mosquito-friendly. "

Here at Disney, the still water is the arch enemy in connection with Disney's grand plan to fight all flying mosquitoes. Consequently, even the plants are important, as each of them plays a role in eliminating nasty insects. Especially since only specific types of plants are planted at the resort, so that people are safe from insects.

Most importantly, all water in pools or fountains is cleared of any vegetation, such as lilies, which can attract and also hide potential mosquito eggs.

Lucas told Reader's Digest, "They also fill these places with minnows, goldfish, and a type of fish called mosquito fish, which eat the larvae.

Disney has really gone to great lengths to prevent puddles from forming in the park. Also, they use sprays to combat the insects, but Walt Disney wanted the sprays not to contain harmful pesticides. Lucas said, "[He] didn't want to ruin the environment in any way, so they couldn't use pesticides ... It would be easy to just spray the whole thing, but he wanted it to be something natural."

As they had to respect Walt Disney's request, the team uses a specific garlic spray for pests. Apparently, no insects like this strong, pungent smell, so they spread this unusual scent all over the amusement park. Lucas told Reader's Digest, "The amount they use is so small that humans can't smell it, but mosquitoes are very susceptible to it.

Maybe the garlic sprays shocked him, but this detail may shock even more; they have chickens that are here to fight the mosquitoes. They are kept safely in the park and live their normal lives. However, their blood is often checked to see if they are susceptible to mosquito-borne pathogens.

Zike and West Nile are some of the mosquito-borne diseases. Chickens are not very likely to contract these viruses, but their blood tests show if they have been exposed to the pathogens. Then they can determine where the affected chicken was and decide which area needs more attention when it comes to fighting the bugs.

Potter's efforts are, as mentioned, visible to this day in terms of insect prevention. Even so, the Disney team continues to improve the Mosquito Surveillance Program. Another step they have decided to take is to test the mosquitoes that make it into Disney World and thus try to understand how to deal with them in the future.

Most importantly, Potter's impact will never be forgotten. After the engineer died in 1988, the former president of Walt Disney Attractions, Dick Dunis, said the following - which you can find on the official Disney Fan Club website:

"Joe was a man that Walt Disney was very fond of. Without Joe Potter, there would be no [Disney World] today. "

In 1997, Potter was proclaimed a Disney legend.

Another Disney tribute to him is that one of the ferries at Seven Seas Lagoon is now named General Joe Potter.

However, people who decide to visit this place probably have no idea of the efforts that Potter made to avoid being bitten by the annoying mosquitoes. However, the next time you visit, make sure there are no chickens walking next to you.

All this mosquito prevention project is just one of the many secrets that visitors don't know. From strange water bubbles to a series of untamed cats, we're bringing you 18 more discoveries that will change everything you know about Disney World.

Next time you visit this theme park, pay attention to the surroundings. You will surely begin to notice the ears of the Mickey Mouse everywhere. The reason for this is that the park's designers decided to leave this universal mark on every crevice you see, from the restaurants to the rides. Steven Barett, a famous blogger, decided to spend all his free time looking for them all.

In the 1950s, Disney wanted to start building a fascinating new element in Sleeping Beauty's castle. So when the Imagineers went to take a peek inside, they saw that it was overrun by feral cats. The cats managed to stay there, but with one task - to restrict the problem of the mice, which were not as adorable as Mickey. Now, 200 cats consider DisneyLand their home.

With more than two and a half million items, Disney certainly has the largest closet in the world. All of these items are stored in racks 13 kilometers long. So if you ever thought you had too many clothes, remember that the Mickey Mouse has more than 290 costumes. However, seeing all those beautiful and intricate costumes in person is definitely a part of the Disney experience.

The Utilidors (Underground tunnels) represent the backstage of Disney World. They help cast members move around without ruining the Disney illusion. They are also very useful for trash removal. The trash is transported through a series of tubes with pressurized air. Moving at high speed, the trash is removed quickly. Disney's underground world is as impressive as the park itself.

If you have ever been to Disney, you probably met a guy named Chris from Orlando. It is more common than you might think. It turns out that if a staff member forgets his badge, it is the only one he can use. Chris from Orlando certainly exists. We wonder how he feels about the fact that everyone has to impersonate him at some point.

Have you ever wondered why the water at Disney World is almost all green?

No, it is not because it is dirty. There are two main reasons why the water is dyed that color. First, it makes it harder to see the tracks that run under the water, which makes the boat ride more enjoyable. Secondly, it helps hide the trash that ends up in the water over time.

If you have seen "Fantasmic!"You know that the main attraction is the huge dragon that sets the river on fire. Although it sounds impressive, this part of the show was lethal for the ducks in the early days of the show. Today, a simple trick is used to save the ducks' lives. A few minutes before the act, the water begins to bubble to scare the ducks.

Disney has a code for everything. These codes range from the simplest to the most complex. For example, if a ride broke down, you will hear Code 101. When the rides open again, you will hear Code 102. There is also a Code V, which you may have used during your hangover. The strangest one is "White Dust Alert", which is used when people try to scatter the ashes of their loved ones on Space Mountain.

The names you have seen in some of the windows of the Main Street buildings are not completely random. They are Disney's way of honoring those who participated in the creation of Disney World. Sometimes there is even a hint of what the person's job was. How does someone get their name on the Main Street building? This is reserved only for the best retired employees.

Can you imagine seeing all the Disney characters walking around Disney World and having fun, right after they all go home? That is the life of the cast members. After spending the whole day in warm clothes, they have the chance to relax with their colleagues, who are also dressed in their own costumes. Sounds like a childhood dream to us!

As a cast member, part of wearing costumes involves wearing specific underwear, which are provided by Disney. Until 2001, this meant that you would have to rely on your colleague to wash them properly every night. In 2001, however, workers began complaining about lice in the costumes. Fortunately, the unions won the workers' right and now they can take their underwear home and wash them there.

For the cast of Disney World, it is critical to always be in character and polite. We imagine that this is very difficult to do when visitors are extremely rude. Fortunately, the cast members have found a fun way around this. For example, they came up with the phrase "Have a magical day at Disney"which is his way of telling rude visitors to go fuck themselves.

Well, that is true for employees, at least. In 2008, a group of fully costumed Disney employees protested in front of the park. Their main complaints were pay and working conditions. Although 32 Disney characters were arrested that day, the protest did nothing to help maintain Disney's image of the happiest place on earth.

With so many visitors each year, it is inevitable that all sorts of things end up in Disney's Lost and Found. Some strange items include a glass eye and a prosthetic legboth successfully claimed. To put things in perspective, every day, about 210 pairs of sunglasses end up there. We imagine that you would have great difficulty in finding your match.

About 285,000 pounds of clothes are washed daily at all Disney World resorts. In addition, about 30,000 pieces of clothing are dry cleaned daily. While this may seem excessive, you should consider the number of employees at these resorts. In Florida, there are more than 70,000 employees at Disney.

To achieve Disney's daily laundry loads, you would have to do laundry every day for 52 years.

Cinderella Castle looks breathtaking, but there is more to it than meets the eye. This iconic castle was not made with stones. The impressive building is made of fiberglass. This makes it a bit more durable. Plus, it's unlikely that people will be able to tear off a piece of Cinderella's house for a unique souvenir.

Although it may seem so, Disney's reputation is not entirely clean. A number of misconduct lawsuits have been filed against some Disney characters. In 2011, a woman accused Donald Duck of groping and making jokes about it. She later won the settlement, and Disney's reputation was further tarnished.

To work for Mickey, you need to be ready to make some changes to your appearance. There is a manual, the Disney Look Book, which sets out a series of rules for employees. Some of these rules include no tattoos or piercings, meeting Disney's style demands for your prescription glasses, having facial hair or fingernails of a certain length, etc.

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