Why Disney Water Rides Smell Different

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You may have heard a hardcore Disney fan point out that the water in Pirates of the Caribbean or Splash Mountain has a unique and memorable smell. It sounds crazy, but it actually isn’t and the reason why requires digging into a bit of science. New here? Be sure to subscribe! 🔷https://goo.gl/x17zTL My Disney Podcast! 🎧http://ttapodcast.com Follow me on Twitter! 📱http://www.Twitter.com/RobPlays 🔷New Disney video every week! So why do Pirates of the Caribbean and other water-based Disney rides have that “water smell” fans talk about? Well it has to do largely with how the water is cleaned. You see, when it comes to keeping water disinfected in most pools, chlorine is the popular chemical of choice. It’s the major factor in why pools smell like pools. However Disney uses a different chemical and it’s called Bromine. They use Bromine because it has a few advantages over chlorine. The main advantage, which ties into Disney’s dedication to guest safety is that it’s not nearly as harsh of a chemical when it comes to contact with skin, eyes, and clothing, which is pretty important for rides like Splash Mountain where guests are sometimes getting covered in the water. And while many people might not have issues with chlorine, guests with sensitive skin might find it irritating, making Bromine the safer bet. On top of that, while being less irritating of a chemical, it still does a better job at killing bacteria and viruses in water. It also works better in warmer water, which can be a benefit in certain rides like Splash Mountain, or Disneyland’s it’s a small world which each have outdoor elements that are exposed to direct sunlight every day. Lastly, there’s the issue of shocking. You see, when chlorine is put into pool water, what it essentially does is cling itself onto bacteria and kills it, creating something called chloramines which no longer clean the water. That means it needs to be removed from the water. To do that, another chemical is introduced to the water that oxidizes the chloramines and turns them into a gas. This process is called shocking the water. When you’re by a pool and smell that chlorine smell? That’s part of what you’re smelling. Then more chlorine is introduced to the water and the process repeats. Bromine is similar, creating bromamines when it combines with bacteria. The big difference however is that while chlorine loses it’s cleaning power when that happens, bromine does not. On top of that, when water with bromine is shocked, rather than oxidizing the bromamines completely, it only burns off the bacteria, turning the bromamines back into bromine with it’s full cleaning capability. Think of it like paper towels and cloth towels. When you wipe up a spill with a paper towel you throw the towel away and need a new one for the next spill. When you wipe up a spill with a cloth towel you rinse it off and get to use it again. And of course, the most notable difference is the smell. While chlorine has a strong chemical odor, bromine does not. It still has a smell, but it’s much more mild and as a result different. Alright, so I’ve just sung the praises of bromine this whole time. If it’s so great, why aren’t pools everywhere using it instead of chlorine? As is usually the case, the answer is related to money. Bromine is more expensive to use than chlorine. It also tends to be harder to wash off, which is why you might find that the scent from a hot tub lingers longer than the scent from a pool. With Disney however neither is a major issue. They not only have the money to invest into bromine, but are willing to do so for the benefits of guests. And since nobody should be swimming through Splash Mountain or Pirates of the Caribbean, they’re not as worried about the smell on skin. Besides if pools everywhere used bromine instead of chlorine then we would get so accustomed to the smell that these rides would stop smelling as unique as they do, and start to just smell like pools, and where’s the fun in that?

Comments from Youtube

BoostedSilver : a smelly smell that smells ..... smelly

Ace Edmonds : Just one thing I feel I ought to say that I feel you missed: pools that "smell like chlorine" are in one of two states. Either they have an excess of chlorine or an excess of chloramine. Swimming pools are not supposed to have the "chorine smell." A well balanced water chemistry body of treated water should emit no odor.

Rin Brennan : 1:37 he's so happy about the murder he's just committed

Bianca Da Drummer : I thought I was the only weirdo who noticed the difference 😂😂

AdrG11 : That smell is part of the magic. Just thinking about it brings great memories and hypes up my trip to WDW in September even more!

Jewol Jewol : When I first saw this, I immediatly thought of the theories about people dumping their dead family members ashes into the water and freaked out...glad to know that that isn't the case!

Lewbella : To me the smell from all these water rides always smelled musty to me, like it hasn't been cleaned out for a while.

Network 1901 : mmmmmm I love this video. It smells good! -Dale

Scion tC : I was 7 years old the last time I was at Disneyland so I couldn't remember what those water rides smell like.

tappenfeat : Makes 100% sense to me!!! The smells are part of my favorite memories.

Matt Kacar : the water smells so good at disney water rides

NeveYT : Omg yasss the water smell at Disney is the best! It is memorable and that’s the smell I think of Disney

Bella Correa : I've been saying this for years and I feel like everyone thinks I'm crazy for thinking it. Glad to know there's some science to back me up now!

Mycel : so really, the main reason is the smell, isn't it? familiar smells are one of the strongest memory-triggering impulses for humans, and that chlorine smell would permanently make the guests think of the disney ride as essentially a high-tech swimming pool. it would smell mundane and dead, whereas disney wants their rides to be unique and magical experiences (to one degree or another), and probably wants guests to feel a bit more like they're in nature. natural rivers and lakes are more beautiful than pools. I have never smelled that bromine pool water, ao I don't know how strong or how noticably unnatural it is, but I think both smelling plausibly natural or smelling entirely unique and distinct would be good for disney. a completely unique and not unpleasant smell could add to the sense of magical uniqueness of the experience, it could directly make the experience more memorable, and it certainly would help to bring back either the memory or just the enjoyment of the experience even many years later when the guest smells it again. that smell is almost certainly a strong factor in the enjoyment of a water ride by returning visitors who had fun on a disney water ride years or decades before. especially if the first great experience occurred in early childhood, customers could have extremely positive reactions to the smell without noticing it, and enjoy the rides significantly more, because they associate the smell with fun. it's a thing: humans remember smells better than anything else, and they trigger strong emotional responses as well as potentially bringing back memories of a past event with impressive intensity.

Pillow Talk : Pirates has its own unique smell anyway just because of the Blue Bayou restaurant being a part of the ride itself. You get to smell all that awesome food at the beginning of the ride. :D

G Bro : Pretty cute Bromines, man🤙🏼

Javvster : My city pool uses bromine nothing special

ryan50ryan : That feeling when you don't know the smell. :(

Jonathan Bush : I think you are missing a big thing, chlorine will bleach painted set objects under and around the water.

XOPSNINJA Gaming : One other thing as well in Florida the water there also has a higher sulfur count which also helps give it that unique smell. The sulfur is most notable when you are taking a shower in you room you can smell it purely with very few added chemicals. If you live in a state with a low sulfur count you will be able to pick up the scent easier as well!

The horrible story of a man that was forced to connect his youtube account to google+ : Throw some silver coins in there. No other chemicals needed! PROFIT ^^

mami ღ : Can anyone describe it? Lmao I've smelled pools with chlorine but not bromine. Never been to Disneyland etc

TheNukeMan : Yes! I knew it! I'm not crazy! I think Maybe Lol idk

Ryan Lamont : This was so fascinating - I've always wondered about the unique smell of water rides!

Donald J Trump : I always wondered this. Thank you sir for making a video on this 👍🏻

Joshua Graham : pirate's of the what ? xD 0:17

Sparkbomber : Can't say that I know the smell, but this vid is very informative. Good job on it.

Winston Zeb : GOOD FOR YOU I've always wondered this. I love the smell!

ian2802911 : I can smell the water just watching this video

Kyle Davey : this was absolutely the best video i have ever watched with my own two disney eyes. So enlightening! I love the smell of Splash Mountain and Pirates more than I love to breathe. Thank you for this valuable information! I will be going to this beautiful land in 2 weeks from today and I can't wait to tell all my family members about this new knowledge!

gan average youtube comment. : I thought the chemical was called “Brony” the first time I heard it lmao. Great video, btw.

dolofonos : _Bros before cloes._ -Walt Disney

Big_Steve 380 : They supply everything with certain smells to give you a better feeling or craving as well. Course I'm speaking in general

Angie Burgs : I always tell people I love the smell of the Disneyland water!

Clayton Young : Always wondered about this, thanks for clarifying!

William French : Loving how you are not pronouncing "Pirates of the Caribbean" properly.

Grace Woofter : Dude. Thank you SO MUCH. I’ve been wondering about that for a pretty long time, actually.

marcjtdc : They use that in hot tubs.

The Hydroconomist : LOOOOOOOVE THE DISNEY WATER SMELLS!! - and i know it's not Disney, but I get the same exact nostalgia from the E.T. Ride at Universal In florida, lol!

Bob Bigglebar : I loved the drawings of bromine and chlorine in action. Great stuff!

Mozzy & Maryssa : This is super interesting! I always wondered about that. Great video 👍🏽

Gilberto Williams-Gamboa : I love the smell of these water rides. Than you for making this video!

13th Evergreen : Dude, why are you so Bro-mean today. You're welcome

Michael Kantorski : My favorite smell is Space Mountain 😁😁

8bytman : I read the title and thought, "what are you talking about dude?". Then when he mentioned the pirate's ride, I was like: "YO, DUDE! DAT WATER RIDE SMELL THO!"

the Scotsman : hey Rob...I'm in Disney world right now, I walked out of my hotel and realized I haven't had a mosquito bite ever while in Disney....maybe a vid on that BC that seems amazing to me

Delaina Warden : Say Carribean that way again. I dare you. *eyebrow twitches*

brickman409 : Yeah, if the only disadvantages are the cost and the smell, then I think I'm gonna see if I can switch to bromine for use in my pool.

bo deflop : ROB! ROB! ROB! ROB! rob nye the science guy background voice: science rules