Located in Orlando, Florida, Disney World sits right in the middle of swampland. So, it’s surprising to see that there are no mosquitos in the park! Of course, no one would enjoy their Disney Day with mosquitos all over them, but how exactly does the company keep the park pest-free? The answer will surprise you!
Fighting Mosquitos Since 1964
Ever been to Disney World in Florida? When you visited, you might not have even noticed that there are no mosquitoes at the parks. Believe it or not, Disney World has always remained pest-free, though the technology to combat them has changed over time. However, Disney’s not holding on to some massive secret. Instead, they simply work incredibly hard to keep everyone visiting happy and healthy.
One can trace Disney World’s mosquito fight back to Major General William “Joe” Potter, who has worked with Disney since 1964. He even worked with Walt himself! After Potter, an engineering expert, MIT graduate, and former governor in Panama, and Walt met at the World’s Fair in Seattle in 1962, the two remained friends. Then, when Walt started working in earnest on Disney World two years later, he brought in Potter to help with his mosquito problem. When he arrived in Florida, Potter took an interesting approach. He didn’t plan on killing or catching the pests – he focused on not letting them in to begin with.
No Standing Water in Disney World
After weeks of research, Potter had a plan. He realized that if mosquitos had nowhere to lay their eggs in or near Disney World, they would not bother guests. So, Potter created a plan that eliminated any standing water anywhere near Disney World.
Of course, as Disney World sits in swampland, this was no simple task! However, Potter had the perfect plan. He and other engineers not only eliminated standing water pockets, but also created extensive drainage ditches that stopped them from forming in the first place. While these drainage ditches were first created in the late ’60s, they are still in use today! Meanwhile, over the years, Disney has also developed some new and improved techniques to keep their park pest-free.
Mosquito Surveillance Program
Today, while Disney World still keeps a close eye on standing water in the park, they have also developed a Mosquito Surveillance Program. Most notably, the program includes carbon dioxide traps that catch the bugs and freeze them, instead of killing them. Afterward, the staff at Disney World actually analyze the pest, determine where it came from, and make educated decisions on how to proceed.
Believe it or not, the Mosquito Surveillance Program also includes trained chickens. That’s right! If you didn’t know, chickens can carry mosquito diseases, but do not get sick from them. So, Disney can test the blood of these so-called sentinel chickens, discovering more about local mosquitos.
The next time you head to Disney World and remain bug-bite free, do not forget all the hard work that goes into it!