Walt Disney World has a set of rules in place that guests are asked and expected to follow, but there are always those who feel the need to get around them. The people behind the film called The Further Adventures of Walt’s Frozen Head realized they needed some footage from inside of Magic Kingdom, and they decided to see if they could do it. Believe it or not, they actually had a day when they were booted straight out of the park.
There is an old story that has generated a lot more steam since the creation of the Internet and it is that Walt Disney’s body is cryogenically frozen. It isn’t something that has ever had any real proof attributed to it, but people still love to pass the story around and create tales regarding it.
Taking things a step further is that it is just the head of the late Walter Elias Disney which is frozen and hidden somewhere by the company. Director Benjamin Lancaster actually took this a bit beyond theory and decided to make a film about it which was funded by a Kickstarter campaign.
In The Further Adventures of Walt’s Frozen Head, the frozen head convinces an employee to kidnap him and sneak him into the WDW parks. At this point, the misadventures take strange turns and it almost led to a film crew being kicked out of Magic Kingdom.
— SYFY WIRE (@SyfyWire) January 22, 2018
Filming of a major production in any Disney Park is not allowed unless set up or allowed by the company itself. Lancaster knew that he would never be able to get the approval he needed, but realized that footage from inside Magic Kingdom was necessary, as reported by SyFy Wire. Despite not having the approval, he knew it needed to be done.
“We have a story about Walt’s frozen head that’s so interesting to me. What that character wants is to get into the one place that he’s not allowed to go. That’s the story we’ve got to show … I can’t go make a Magic Kingdom. We don’t have the budget. But, gosh darn it, I can sneak in some cameras.”
Knowing they needed footage inside the park for the film to even come close to working out, they came up with a plan. Lancaster and his crew went into the parks with pocket cameras and were able to film every single scene they wanted throughout Magic Kingdom.
There were even escape plans in place in case the team was busted while filming and that almost happened one day when lead actor Daniel Cooksley was recognized.
Cooksley was entering the park one day and recognized by a real cast member after his ticket wouldn’t work. A manager was called over during one of the biggest scenes in the film, but Lancaster said they still managed to make it through without being caught.
“We knew that there was no way for us to build a fake turnstile. You have a movie about getting into Walt Disney World, sneaking Walt’s frozen head into Walt Disney World — you gotta show the head getting in. There’s no way to fake that one. We really only have one, maybe two chances at this before someone’s gonna notice that, ‘hey, these people keep going through the turnstiles again and again.’ That’s not something you can get away with a million times. Luckily, we just kept rolling and our actor went with it.
“I’m kind of a rule follower by nature. So this was a big step for me.”
In the past, other directors have shot scenes and even whole films in the Disney Parks. Escape From Tomorrow filmed in Disneyland and Walt Disney World while The Florida Project filmed its final scene with a backdrop of Cinderella Castle.
The director of Walt’s Frozen Head is almost certain that Disney knows about his film and the things he did, but he has not yet heard from them. He just wants as many people to see it as possible, so, he has other plans if Disney decides to stop him from giving it a bigger release. Filming anything other than quick family or trip footage in Magic Kingdom is something that is not recommended to anyone, but there are those that believe it is necessary.