Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends related to amusement parks and whether they are true or false.
AMUSEMENT PARK URBAN LEGEND: Disney gives free tickets for life to any baby born in a Disney theme park.
Disney’s “Golden Pass” program (originally “Gold Pass”) is a fun little program that Disney has that allows access for free to nearly all Disney theme parks to its recipients (the only exception are the Japanese Disney parks, which are not owned by Disney). The recipients range from foreign dignitaries to “Disney Legends” like Sterling “Winnie the Pooh” Holloway and Adriana “Snow White” Caselotti. It also includes “normal” people like Dave MacPherson, the first paying customer at Disneyland back in 1956 and also, more recently, the two billionth Disney theme park customer, Emmalee Mason.
Here’s one once owned by TV producer Jack Wrather (who financed the first Disneyland hotel back in the day when Walt Disney’s credit line ran dry during the construction of Disneyland)…
Legend is that they ALSO give Golden Passes to babies that are born in Disney theme parks. Is that true?
It is not.
The first baby born at a Disney park was Teresa Salcedo, who was born in Disneyland in 1979 on the Fourth of July. She was amusingly given a “Disneyland Birth Certificate No. 1.”
But she was NOT given a Golden Pass.
Disney employees have long been irked at people THINKING that they do if they give birth in a Disney park. One employee told an amusing story on a theme park message board about the topic:
Even though it does sound cool to be given a lifetime passport for being born in a Disney Park it’s just a rumor. It does not really happen. The passport part does not really happen, I mean. There have been babies born inside the Parks although very, VERY infrequently. Several years ago there was a baby born inside the lead office at the Main Entrance. In another case a woman who was in labor came TO Disneyland and actually hid in a bathroom and her husband came to first aid to tell them that his wife was in the bathroom in labor. She would not come out because she had heard that you get a lifetime passport if your baby is born at Disneyland. Once they assured her that she would not be receiving a lifetime passport she came out and accepted the ambulance ride to Western Medical Center where her baby was born shortly thereafter. I am sure there were other cases but these two I know of firsthand. I’d be willing to bet that if Disney started handing out lifetime passes to anyone born in the Parks they’d get more crazy laboring women entering the Parks than they should! That said, the baby born at the Main Entrance got some new clothes and stuffed animals. So that’s something!
The legend is…
Thanks to Matt Novak’s article on the subject at Gizmodo for the great quote and the awesome photo!
Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.