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If you've been to the Disney World Resort in Florida, we bet you had a wonderful time there, right? Disney always goes out of its way to deliver us a pleasant experience. One thing it does is purge those pesky bloodsuckers from the swampland territory. How it managed to do so remained a mystery, until now. Click through to see how Disney works its magic to create a mosquito-free paradise!
A TikTok video posted on June 6th went viral, revealing that there's an extensive Mosquito Surveillance Program at Disney World which has kept the bloodsuckers at bay for decades. Let's go back in history and see if his words are true!
California's Disneyland became a popular tourist attraction after its opening in 1955, but lots of Americans couldn't afford to travel all the way to the West Coast. Considering 75% of the population was beyond the Mississippi River, Walt Disney decided to build another resort in Florida, a populated eastern state. However, there were more challenges along the way...
Walt Disney planned to build "the happiest place on earth," but unfortunately the fairly humid climate in Florida got in the way. To make sure the tourists would have the time of their lives, Disney had to make the environment much less tolerable for those pesky mosquitoes. How could he pull off such a massive operation?
The Florida Project required professional help from engineers and scientists. Luckily, Walt Disney found someone fit for the task. Engineering and pest control expert Joe Potter took on the mission in 1964, helping Disney keep the bloodsuckers at bay. However, what happened in 1966 took everyone by surprise...
Due to the death of Walt Disney in 1966, the construction of Disney World was halted. While grieving over the loss of such a legendary figure, Joe Potter understood that he must bring his A-game to pass on Walt's legacy. The process wouldn't be easy, of course...
One thing you might know is that standing water is mosquitoes' favorite spot to lay their eggs. To prevent them from reproducing, the water at Disney World must be flowing at all times. Sounds like an impossible task, right? And remember, the entire resort was built on a swamp! How did Joe tackle this problem?
Fortunately, Joe knew his way around pest control. He designed a vast drainage system to keep the water from pooling. The original gutters, nicknamed "Joe's ditches," are still in use today. However, this wasn't the only thing Joe did to eliminate the pesky bloodsuckers...
To make sure that water wouldn't collect anywhere inside the resort, Joe made the buildings curved so that water could run straight off. Clever, right? Plus, the curves added a unique aesthetic quality to the magical castles.
As can be seen, removing still water was the priority in this mission. To make sure water puddles wouldn't form in the foliage, which took up 12% of the entire territory, only certain trees were planted. Their leaves were smooth and wavy.
Flowers were planted away from the water features in case the mosquitoes found places to hatch their eggs. Disney World really went into detail to create a pleasant experience for us!
Another solution was to put fish into the water so they could eat the larvae. At this point, you probably think what Joe did was enough, right? There was actually more!
Pesticides are pretty essential in pest control programs. But since Walt Disney made clear that only natural ingredients could be used, Potter decided to give garlic spray a shot. Its pungent scent was strong enough to deter the mosquitoes, but not strong enough for tourists to pick it up. An uncommon but effective method!
Have you seen any live chicken cooped up at Disney World? They're given blood tests regularly to see if they've been exposed to mosquito-transmitted viruses such as Zika and West Nile. A bizarre but ingenious way to check the existence of mosquitoes!
With all the efforts made to get rid of the mosquitoes, Disney is always looking to improve its Mosquito Surveillance Program. The bloodsuckers who make it to the park are being tested so the science team can figure out a better plan to take them out.
Without Joe Potter, the planning genius, Disney World wouldn't be here today. To pay tribute to this legend, Disney renamed one ferry on Seven Seas Lagoon "General Joe Potter." See if you can find it next time you visit the magnificent resort!
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