The Most Surprising Ways Disney Keeps Its Parks Clean

It’s safe to say that Disneyland and Walt Disney World are two of the cleanest theme parks in the world. Each day is like a fresh start, with polished benches, clean streets, and the smell of vanilla wafting through the air. But, with thousands of guests visiting the parks every day — and hardly a cleaning crew in site — how do cast members do it?

From Walt Disney’s genius trash can method (No. 4) to draining the water on 1 popular attraction every night (No. 6), we share the surprising efforts Disney makes to keep its parks clean, ahead.

1. Dusting the Haunted Mansion and other cobweb-ridden attractions

The Haunted Mansion at Disney World

Only pre-planned spiderwebs allowed. | Disney

Ever wonder how cast members clean rides and attractions that are meant to look unkempt? Imagineers have special instructions that explain just how dusty certain areas can get. Cast members have to pay close attention when cleaning the Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, and other cobweb-ridden attractions.

Next: The real reason for cats of Disneyland.

2. Cats of Disneyland

Disneyland cat

The feral cats can be seen wandering the park. | MB298/Wikimedia Commons

Cats of Disneyland may be an internet sensation, but they actually serve a real purpose at Disney parks. Disneyland uses the feral cats to help keep rodents and other small critters under control.

To avoid overpopulation, Disneyland has animal handlers that are responsible for spaying and neutering, and re-homing some of the kittens. In addition, the cats are fed by way of permanent feeding stations throughout the parks.

Next: You’ll never guess what other type of animal Disney employs for rodents (hint: guests would scream if they spotted one).

3. They also employ snakes

 Black Racer snake

You likely won’t spot these guys, but they’re there. | Shackleford-Photography/iStock/Getty Images

Are you ready for this? In addition to cats, Disney also uses snakes to help contain the rodent population at Walt Disney World. The snakes are of course non-poisonous species — including, Black Racers — and often go unseen (though, we can’t “unsee” this information).

Next: Walt Disney invented this strategic cleaning technique.

4. There are trash cans every 30 feet

Disney trash cans main street

Walt Disney made sure there are plenty of trash cans. | Theme Park Tourist/Wikimedia Commons

Rumor has it, Walt Disney used to watch guests to see how far they’d walk before littering. As a result, he made it mandatory that Disneyland (and now, all parks) have a trash can every 30 steps. That way, people are more inclined to throw their garbage away than drop it on the floor for a cast member to clean up.

Next: Read this before spreading the ashes of loved ones at Disney parks.

5. Cast members vacuum people’s ashes

Disney haunted mansion ballroom

People really like to leave ashes in the haunted mansion. | Disney

It’s not a conspiracy theory: Many people spread the ashes of loved ones on some of Disney’s popular attractions. That said, they don’t last long. Each night, cast members do a thorough clean and vacuum of said attractions — especially Haunted Mansion, where many ashes are laid to rest.

Next: This cleaning technique is wasteful, but necessary.

6. Splash Mountain’s water is drained every night

Splash mountain disney

It’s reassuring that they’re so thorough. | Disney

In order to clean the ride properly, cast members drain Splash Mountain’s 965,000 gallons of water every night. And, according to WDW Magic, the entire ride can be drained in about five minutes and refilled in 20 minutes.

Next: This is why it’s okay to drop your ice cream on the ground at Disneyland.

7. Main Street U.S.A. gets a nightly shower

Disney main street usa in California

Main street needs to stay especially clean. | Kirkikis/iStock/Getty Images

In order to keep the streets of Disneyland and Walt Disney World clean, cast members power wash the ground (and some buildings) every night.

Next: Joanna Gaines would love to have this Disney job.

8. Trees and gardens are replaced

Disney Paris resort and hotel

You think it just grows like that on its own? | Bertrand Guay/AFP/Getty Images)

Cleaning doesn’t stop at dusting and power washing. In fact, a major part of Disneyland and Walt Disney World’s clean up routine involves maintenance. Two things that must always be maintained? The trees and gardens. Replacement of trees and replanting of gardens happens after hours.

Next: Disney’s special pant colors play tricks on guests’ eyes.

9. Paint touch-ups

Club 33 Disney doors

They do paint touch-ups every night. | Mxreb0/Wikimedia Commons

If you can’t clean it, paint over it! Each night, cast members do paint touch-ups all throughout the park to ensure that nothing is chipped or faded.

Fun fact: Disney has two specially formulated paint colors (called “Go Away Green” and “No Seeum Gray”) to trick guests into “not seeing” things like fences, utilities building, and other eyesores.

Next: No job title is above this chore.

10. All cast members are responsible for trash

Push the talking trashcan disney

All employees must pick up trash. | Lucky 6.9/Wikimedia Commons

Another way Disney keeps its parks clean? They have a rule that all cast members are responsible for picking up trash. Whether it’s during the day, after a parade, or after park hours, all employees must help out and pick up after guests.

Next: Disney doesn’t sell these two items in its parks for a reason.

11. Disney doesn’t sell gum or peanuts at its parks

Peanuts

Imagine having to cleanup all those peanut shells. | AFP/Getty Images

In order to keep its parks clean, Disney doesn’t sell chewing gum or peanuts at its parks. While cast members still have to pry gum (brought in by guests) off the ground, tables, and other areas, not allowing guests to purchase more gum helps lighten the workload.

Next: This is someone’s sole job responsibility.

12. It’s someone’s job to replace and repair 800 umbrellas, 25,000 chairs and 7,000 tables

Downtown Disneyland

Someone’s got to do it.| Disney

There are a lot of umbrellas, chairs and tables spread throughout Disney’s parks. And, it’s someone’s actual job to go around and repair or replace the ones that need it each night. This not only keeps the parks looking clean and tidy, but ensures the safety of guests, too.

Next: Does Disney not care about its environmental footprint?

13. 700,000 gallons of bleach

White Bleach

The only way to keep things clean. | design56/iStock/Getty Images

In order to keep its properties clean, Disneyland and Walt Disney World go through about 700,000 gallons of bleach every year. While we aren’t surprised — how else are you supposed to clean after the millions of people that visit? — we hope that one day they can find a more eco-friendly solution.

Next: Disney’s solution for unique cleanups.

14. Disney has its own special cleaning products

differnt cleaning products

They had to come up with their own products. | iStock/Getty Images

Leave it to Disney to create its own special cleaning products. Thanks to guests spitting at the black-lighted mesh screen ghosts on Indiana Jones Adventure, Disney had to have its own special saliva-cleaning product, since traditional products would ruin the screens.

Next: Walt Disney’s famous cleaning method was to embarrass guests for being messy.

15. They want every day to look like it’s opening day

Disneyland

Walt was a big fan of keeping things clean. | Disney

One reason why Disney keeps its parks so clean is because they want every day to look like it did on opening day — brand spanking new.

Some studies have shown that when an environment is clean, the people in it are happy. And, alternatively, when an environment is dirty, the people in it are unhappy. So, if you consider your theme park the happiest place on Earth, you’re going to do whatever it takes to keep things clean and guests happy. This was Walt Disney’s mentality (that, and he famously wanted to keep Disneyland so clean that guests would be embarrassed to dirty it).

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