Man Solves 15-Year-Old Disneyland Riddle

But first, Chris Provost cracked a skeleton code with help from Sherlock Holmes
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 25, 2022 10:13 AM CST
Updated Nov 27, 2022 7:19 AM CST

Chris Provost is an expert on Disneyland, with a YouTube channel filled with tips and tricks for uncovering the park's secrets. But even some secrets come as a surprise to this Disney fan. In a video, Provost says one of his 164,000 subscribers gave him a hint that ultimately led him to solve a riddle hidden within the park some 15 years ago. He claims to be the first person to have solved it. Provost had previously referred to a painting of dancing skeletons found on Tom Sawyer Island, also known as Pirate's Lair, the park's only attraction designed by Walt Disney. Provost suggested the skeletons represented pirate victims. A viewer, however, told Provost that it was code.

A cypher known as the Dancing Men is featured in Arthur Conan Doyle's 1903 Sherlock Holmes tale The Adventure of the Dancing Men. According to Provost, the skeletons, each with a different number of limbs, "match up perfectly with the Sherlock Holmes story," allowing them to be translated. The revealed message: "Each answer be havin' three identical letters." He says he then discovered a riddle in Dead Man's Grotto on Pirate's Lair, using previous footage of the attraction as it is currently closed, per KTLA. It reads, "We pirates face a sea of troubles, our dying breaths are only," with the final word trailing off.

The answer Provost came up with—bubbles—fits with the skeleton code and completes a rhyme. He adds he's found no evidence that anyone else has solved the riddle, which has been in place since 2007. Provost says he's searched "high and low" for other riddles since the skeleton code suggests there are multiple, but found none so far. He therefore concludes park builders intended to deposit more around the park but ultimately never did. "But who knows—maybe there's more for a special persistent park-goer to find," writes Alison Cutler at the Sacramento Bee. "Some commenters think there is." (More Disneyland stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.