Since this is the case, you'll never have to worry about being bitten by a mosquito at Disney World.

In the heat of the day, as you decide which ride to wait in line for, you probably aren't swatting away mosquitoes as you stroll through Disney World. Maybe it's something you take for granted, but the Most Magical Place on Earth is bug-free. When you give it some thought, though, it's unclear how Disney manages to keep the mosquitoes at bay. After all, Disney World is located in Florida, a hot, swampy state. Indeed, the land now occupied by the park was once nothing but swamp. Then why don't we see any mosquitoes at Disney World?

Unfortunately, there are no magic Walt Disney World techniques that will completely rid your home of insects. As a result, some insects do manage to enter the park despite the measures taken to keep them out. However, Disney can build a mostly pest-free park in the heart of swamp country by combining several methods of pest control, including design and architecture.

Why don't mosquitoes bother you at Disney World?

A single individual can be credited for many of the pest-control practices at Disney World. You may have seen the name "General Joe Potter" on one of the boats if you've taken the ferry from the Ticket and Transportation Center to the Magic Kingdom. In the midst of the 1964 World's Fair, MIT alum and engineering guru Major General William "Joe" Potter met Walt Disney. Potter had previously held the position of governor in the malaria-infested Panama Canal Zone.

Top Disney author Christopher Lucas says: One Hundred Top Ten Lists Showcasing Disney's Finest As one of the engineers working to stop the swarms, this is where Potter honed his skills in pest management. A former governor brought up his experience with mosquito control as he and Joe talked at the World's Fair. According to Lucas, Walt "hired him on the spot" and assigned him the task of eliminating mosquitoes from the massive theme park that Walt intended to construct in central Florida.

Mouse-killing trick: Disney World uses moving water to keep mosquitoes away.

The goal of Disney's methods is not to eliminate existing bugs, but rather to stop any new ones from entering the park in the first place. The park will no longer be a desirable place for adult mosquitoes to live or lay eggs thanks to their efforts, which are focused on the larvae. They do this in part by eliminating all sources of standing water in the park, as this provides mosquitoes with an ideal breeding ground. Lucas says, "You [need to] eliminate their breeding ground, which is stagnant water."

However, you probably already know that swamps contain a lot of standing water. After starting work on Disney World, Potter wasted no time draining the swampy land and making it suitable for construction. Water in Disney parks is constantly being circulated through these ditches, which have been dubbed "Joe's ditches."

According to Lucas, "the guests usually don't notice it... but the water is constantly flowing." "It seems like everywhere you go, there's a fountain in the middle of a lake or they're installing pumps to keep the water moving." To keep water flowing smoothly, Disney always purchases extra land when developing a new theme park or resort. This extra land is used for drainage ditches. Is it true that you are familiar with these dissimilarities between Disney World and Disneyland

The design of Disney World helps keep the bugs away.

Even Disney's buildings are made to not let any water pool in them. Lucas explains that all the structures are made in such a way that water simply runs off of them. "With all the downpours, if water got caught on the buildings... it would form a pool, then mosquitoes would hatch their eggs, and you'd have thousands of mosquitoes," he said. Thus, the Disney World resorts' architecture is designed to prevent the accumulation of rainwater. It's unobtrusive to guests but has a significant impact. Lucas: "They curved every building there, or designed them so there's nowhere for the water to catch and sit there." "Not only is the building design aesthetically pleasing, but it also helps keep mosquitoes at bay. ”

Excluding mosquitoes with landscaping: the secret to Disney World's mosquito-free paradise

Disney World's landscaping, down to the plants, is designed to reduce puddles. The plants used are selected because they will not collect standing water. It is common practice to remove mosquito-breeding plants from bodies of water, such as water lilies. Minnows, goldfish, and a species of fish called mosquito fish are stocked there because "they eat the larvae," as Lucas puts it. Planting one of these mosquito-repellent plants in your yard can help you enjoy your outdoor space free of the annoying insects.

Walt Disney stated up front that he didn't want any toxic substances in the air at his park. Using pesticides was out of the question because, as Lucas puts it, "[he] did not want to ruin the environment at all." It would be simple to simply spray the entire area, but he preferred a more organic solution. Therefore, the park uses a non-traditional insect repellent: liquid garlic. In order to keep mosquitoes at bay, Disney sprays a garlic extract all over the park. Lucas explains, "They use such a tiny amount that humans can't even smell it, but mosquitoes are very susceptible to it."

Indeed, the operation is massive, but Lucas freely admits that without Potter, it would have been impossible. They could have built the place without him, but now they have a mosquito problem, he says. We are so relieved that a boat will forever represent Harry Potter. Use these three forbidden words around Disney employees to learn about even more fascinating secrets and insider information.


Image: Stefano Carnevali / Shutterstock

Date of First Publication:December 31, 1969

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