The Disney Corporation has announced that Disneyland, Disney California Adventure, and the entire Disneyland Resort will be closed Easter Day.  In a brief release, the company stated “We are forced to close the Disneyland Resort.  Hotel guests are being asked to remain in their rooms and, until further notice, we ask the general public to refrain from visiting the parks as no one will be allowed within the Resort area. We understand that our many fans, particularly those who come specifically to celebrate this holiday, will be disappointed.  However, under the circumstances, there are no other alternatives.”

The question on everyone’s mind? “What circumstances?”

On Friday, Disney began fielding complaints of strange and obnoxious smells throughout the park.  By Saturday, the smell could not be ignored, and neither could the long line outside City Hall.

With a lack of any concrete information, the rumor mill went crazy including concerns that there was another outbreak of Legionnaire’s Disease, that the odor was the result of a breakdown in the freezer where Walt’s body is stored, or, the most unthinkable, the recipe for churros had been changed.  But no information was forthcoming.

And to date, the Disney Corporation remains tight-lipped, refusing to respond to numerous requests for additional information.  However, cracks in the information lockdown are appearing and we are starting to get a picture of exactly what led to these dynamic and dramatic actions.

One month ago, a promotion was developed and approved to provide a special Easter surprise.  On Easter morning, Disney would announce its first annual Easter egg hunt across the entire resort. Everyone was welcome to participate, and there would be various prizes and surprises for contestants of all ages.  To honor the traditions of Disneyland and America, the hunt would use real eggs.

Logistics became a nightmare.  For example, how do you get enough boiled eggs for a crowd that large?  Planning and Events quickly coordinated with Food Services, and every spare moment on any available cook top was used in preparing the eggs.  In addition, every cooking container the production crew could get their hands on was used to hold the vinegar-based dyes.  This explains the spike in complaints Disney received regarding food items such as french fries, lemonade, and clam chowder.  Interestingly, there were no complaints from any location where alcohol was served.

Because there would never be enough time to hide all the eggs on Saturday evening, workers began doing so as soon as they were decorated.  This meant some eggs were hidden up to two weeks ago.  Thus, the explanation for the horrific odor.  In addition, guests were already spotting the hidden treasures, explaining the spike in unusual guest incidents such as rooting through planters; climbing facades; and not keeping their hands, arms, and legs inside vehicles.

Resort clean-up will begin today.  The first step is finding the remaining eggs.  However, the search is being hampered because only one copy of the master map showing the location of the eggs was created.  Unfortunately, the entire budget for the special event has been used, and a separate approval will be required from Corporate Accounting to go over budget and make new copies.  Accounting will not be available until after the Easter holiday.

Once all eggs are found and collateral damage cleared, a massive fumigation effort will begin.  This will result in the rather unusual spectacle of the entire Resort being placed under a colossal tent.  Until that time, giant fans have been placed atop the four mountains to help disperse the smell.  Local residents are not amused.

One final note.  Disney corporate headquarters immediately ordered the destruction of all merchandise developed for the event.  Of course, some will survive, resulting in instant and valuable collectibles.  It will be easy to recognize these as they contain the event’s tagline, “Experience the sights, sounds, and smells of a Disney Easter.”

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Mike lives in Phoenix, Arizona and has two claims to fame. The first is that he was born the day Disneyland opened. So, yes, he is old. The second is that he is the funniest internal auditor in the profession of internal auditing. Yes, a very low bar. Yes, this is akin to being the sanest person in the asylum. So why not combine those two great achievements? Why not combine that love for Disneyland with a slightly offbeat sense of humor? I guess we'll all find out.