Walt Disney World has seen its fair share of dramatic events over the years. From arrests on park grounds to fires on popular rides, the theme park can be the most magical place on Earth, but that doesn’t always mean it’s the safest. Now, a viral TikTok is showing the unknown dangers of a park pastime that many of us might not think twice about. And after watching the clip, I’m never going to look at the water on the Pirates of the Caribbean-themed ride the same way again.
A recent clip from TikTok user @nostalgiamountain has gone viral on the platform for detailing all the reasons why Disney World guests should not be drinking or touching the water while enjoying the park’s attractions. The video shows footage of guests drinking and dipping their hands into the water on rides like Pirates of the Caribbean, It’s a Small World, and Splash Mountain (prior to its closure), while the narrator details the various dangerous consequences that can result. Take a look at the jaw-dropping clip here:
The TikTok explains that while WDW treats it water in order to keep it as sanitary as possible, there are several ways it can become contaminated anyway. One such danger: a brain-eating amoeba that has been found in nearby lakes. According to the video, this life-threatening organism is speculated to be the reason Disney’s River Country was abandoned in the early 2000s.
Another reason is that there are metal components underneath Disney World’s watery attractions, and that metal could rust over time. The TikTok video warns that if you submerge your hand in rusty water, it could lead to a tetanus infection. And to make matters worse, guests have scattered their loved ones’ ashes in the water at various attractions.
The viral clip has left many users disturbed and, while it may be stretching the truth just a bit, most of its claims hold at least some water. According to FOX35 Orlando, a young boy did tragically die from a brain-eating amoeba earlier this year after swimming in fresh water near Walt Disney World Resort. And while it isn’t confirmed that the theme park shut down River Country for safety reasons, it does appear to be true that in 1980, a child died from a brain-eating organism after visiting the attraction (via Yesterland).
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The warning about contracting tetanus from Disney World water rides is a little more far-fetched, since there is no documented case of this occurring. Also, tetanus comes from a bacterial that is usually found in soil, feces, and flood water -- but rarely in the kind of water we encounter in our everyday lives (via Harvard Health).
That still doesn’t mean you’d want to risk touching it, though, as News18 reports that there is a long-standing tradition of Disney guests scattering ashes in various places across the park. And that includes the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. While the park does shut down those rides and clean the water as best as it can, it’s safe to say that a lot of people wouldn’t want to risk coming into contact with human remains on their Disney vacation.
One area that the TikTok does not cover is the fact that consuming large amounts of Disney park water can make you sick to your stomach. That’s because the water is heavily treated with bromine and, according to the CDC, swallowing anything that contains bromine can lead to nausea, vomiting and other gastrointestinal ailments.
Since there are so many incredible Disney World attractions to enjoy, the last thing most of us would want to do is spoil a trip there with a stomach ache or life-threatening illness. So it sounds like it’s best to heed this TikTok’s warning and keep our hands, feet and water bottles inside Disney’s water rides at all times.