Tales From the Underbelly of Disneyland: Where Birds Go To Die

Hello, fellow Disnerds! Sorry for the delay in posting more Disney-centric articles here on Navel Gazing, but I had a bit of vacation last week (or as they like to call it at Euro Disney, a spot of holiday).

But now I'm back with not just one but two new "Tales from the Underbelly of Disneyland"! And oddly enough, both stories involve birds meeting their horrible, tragic and violent ends!

What you call Disneyland, birds call an aviary graveyard! Learn more after the jump.

For some, Disneyland is the happiest place on Earth. It's a world of wonder and amazement where everyone, young and old alike, can live out the carefree abandon of their youth.

For others, eh, it's a job.

"Tales from the Underbelly of Disneyland" interviews ex-Disney employees about those nine-to-five experiences that go unseen by happy park goers. Enjoy these two stories about birds who met their demise deep within Disney's Underbelly.

"You Can Fly, You Can Fly, You Can... Oh, Wait.... No, You Can't"

I was working in Fantasy Land when I got a call from dispatch letting me know that they had a problem at Peter Pan's Flight. The call on the radio went over was a "101 bird." When a ride is called into dispatch as having gone 101 it means that the ride is currently non-functional. So when I got a call saying that a bird was 101 I assumed that they meant it was dead.

I grabbed my trusty pickle bucket and headed over to Peter Pan's Flight. As it turns out, a large pigeon flew into the attraction and then decided to perch itself up on the track. Of course, the track is what powers the ride's flying pirate ships, so as soon as it touched the track it was electrocuted in a flash.

The bird fell from the above track, hit the back headrest of one of the ships, and then slid into the seat while guests continued on their magical journey through Never Land. By the time I got there the fried bird had gotten wedged between the padded seat and the side wall of the vehicle. It took some finagling to pry the carcass from behind the seat cushion, but I was finally able to get him out and into the bucket.

It was a high volume day and the ride operators did not want to stop the ride, so I took a few more trips around with my flashlight cleaning up any ash and blood I had missed.

--Anonymous ex-Custodial Cast Member

Bird deaths seem to be more common within the parks than one may think. Read another tale of a feathered friend's terrible demise below.

"California Shittin'!"

I was working in Paradise Pier when I got a call for a very special cleanup at the California Screamin' roller coaster. They had pulled one of the trains off the track because a crow had flown into its path as it took off during the launch sequence.

The crow hit the people in the first row of the train, then proceeded to tumble all the way back leaving a long trail of shit behind it. The now deceased crow finally came to rest in the eleventh row between the feet of a lucky passenger... who had to sit there with it for the duration of the two-and-a-half-minute ride.

After assessing the situation I decided that I needed to get support from a few more crew members because, let's be honest, eleven rows of bird shit is a lot to pick up, especially when the ride operators want to get the train back into rotation as soon as possible. As a team we scrubbed as much as we could, but I knew that once we got to that eleventh row I would have to be the one to dispose of the carcass, and that it would probably not be pretty.

When I finally got back to the eleventh row I grabbed the crow's body with my long-handled trash picker and picked it up by its neck. As I lifted the bird its body unfolded and revealed its butthole, which was now dangling a good three inches on the outside of its body.

I guess if you are going to shit for eleven whole rows while being bashed to death, you're bound to turn a little inside out.

--Anonymous ex-Custodial Cast Member

Read more "Tales from the Underbelly of Disneyland" here.


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >