Home » 5 Reasons You Should Never Touch the Water in Disney Parks

    5 Reasons You Should Never Touch the Water in Disney Parks

    Jungle Cruise waters a dyed a murky brown

    Since most areas of Disney are kept fresh and clean, it’s a common assumption that the waters are safe and clean as well. There are many places where you might encounter Disney water outside of a water park, including rides like Jungle Cruise and Splash Mountain, or transportation across the Seven Seas Lagoon and between Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

    As tempting as it is to trail a hand in these waters, or even wade out on a beach and get your feet wet, this is something you should avoid at Disney at all costs. These waters have several hidden dangers as well as a few disgusting elements that you simply wouldn’t want to come into contact with. Consider these compelling reasons for steering clear of Disney water.

    1. It’s filled with dye

    Jungle Cruise waters a dyed a murky brown

    The waters of Disney are just another place where show comes into play. Crystal clear waters aren’t appropriate for any of the park’s attractions. Instead, the waters are dyed appropriately to keep them darker. This helps obscure elements like the boat track for the Liberty Belle, or the underwater animatronic parts at the Jungle Cruise. These waters aren’t naturally dark and muddy. Instead, they’re colored with a chemical dye. The seemingly natural brown hue actually has a frothy blood red appearance when it’s first added to the water in the morning before guests enter the park.

    While you might be fine with taking a dip in a lake that’s just a little muddy by nature, the waters of Disney are far from naturally colored. They’re fine to look at, but the dyes aren’t something you would typically want to encounter yourself.

    2. Several chemicals are added

    The Riverboat waters

    Understanding the filthy nature of the ride waters, Disney does treat its H2O with some chemicals to keep it clean. It’s highly chlorinated in most places to try and kill off the nastiest of the bacteria. Many waters also get a heavy dose of mosquito killer. You may not have actively thought about it, but there’s a distinctive lack of mosquitos at Walt Disney World, which is astonishing when you consider that these theme parks are literally built on a swamp. It takes a lot of chemical intervention to keep pesky bugs at bay, and the waters are no stranger to these treatments.

    Since it’s difficult to get a detailed reading on just what exactly is in the waters, it’s best to avoid contact with them. Many people have noted how Disney water has its own distinctive smell. Though it may be a nostalgic aroma for you, don’t try to take it home.

    3. Guests add some things of their own

    Splash Mountain water

    Unfortunately, Disney waters are impossible to keep pure. Guests are frequently adding their own little touches to the water. Drinks are dumped into the rivers, people spit into the water, and rumors abound of park waters that have been urinated in.

    If that’s not unsettling enough, don’t forget about the popularity of Disney parks as a place to spread the ashes of loved ones. Though it’s strictly forbidden to do so, many guests aren’t caught until the deed has been done (which leaves one to wonder how many slip through entirely). Whatever’s lingering in those ride waters, it’s a safe bet that you don’t want to touch it.

    4. It’s never guest-ready

    Don't swim around the Contemporary

    Unless it’s in a pool or water park attraction, the water at Disney isn’t meant for guest contact. Though many resorts have sandy beaches that beckon you to stretch out and enjoy the sun, the accompanying water is not intended for you to take a dip. You’ll find signs warning you away from the Seven Seas Lagoon and other bodies of water.

    Some people will tell you that this is because of fatal bacteria known as Naegleria fowleri that’s found in warm waters. While you can’t rule out this risk, it’s extremely rare. Far more common and dangerous are the alligators that call Central Florida home. 

    5. You could get seriously sick

    Jungle Cruise's notoriously dangerous water

    All these warnings aside, you’d expect that the worst thing you’d need after taking a dip in Disney water is a long shower. Depending on the water, however, you may need a treatment that’s far more serious. Cast members who accidentally fall into the waters of the Jungle Cruise have to get a tetanus shot.

    Tetanus bacteria can enter the water through any open wound, including a small cut. Tetanus symptoms usually occur a week after the initial infection and include headache, fever, muscle spasms, and muscle stiffness. If tetanus goes untreated, it can cause death from suffocation.

    If you’re craving a refreshing dip while you’re at Disney, keep in mind that there are several safe places you can wet. Walt Disney World offers two excitingly themed water parks as well as numerous pools and splash pads for guests at its resorts. While you don’t have to stay completely dry, do make sure you’re splashing around safely.