The whole world is obsessed with the story of Pablo Escobar now thanks to the success of Narcos, and people can’t get enough of the stories about the notorious drug lord.
Here’s a great one – in 1981 Escobar travelled to Disney World with his family to check out the sights. It was at this point in his life that he wasn’t a known criminal but had enough money that he could be more than comfortable over there and also be treated as a VIP from Colombia. It sounds like a pretty sick position to be in to be honest, until it all came crashing down of course.
But during this trip, Pablo took his wife Maria Victoria Henao, his five-year-old son Juan Pablo, his mother Hermilda, brother Roberto, cousin Gustavo Gaviria and sister Alba Marina Escobar along within and looks like he had an absolutely great time wandering around the park. Apparently Pablo was scared of all the rides but still went on them all to make Juan Pablo happy.
They stayed at the beach house of Julio Iglesias and one of the Bee Gees in Miami, and spent an abundance of money in Disney World, stuffing their suitcases full of souvenirs and presents for people. Pablo apparently acted like a child himself in the park, free to do whatever he wanted without the pressures of his regular life. Juan Pablo said the following about the trip:
Our family life hadn’t yet become encumbered by complications. That was the only period of pure pleasure and lavishness that my father enjoyed.
Sounds like Disney World really was the happiest place on Earth for Pablo Escobar, which is a great image/sentence on its own. Of course, Pablo’s life would go considerably downhill after this trip, but it’s still nice to think of him having a great time in Disney World isn’t it?
The trip would have such a big impact on him that it inspired him to construct his own Hacienda Nápoles, a vast and awe-inspiring ranch in Colombia about 100 miles east of Medellin. It had three zoos, 27 artificial lakes, go-karts, and even a mechanical bull. Nice.
A private company bought it in 2014 and has now turned it into Pablo World with a Jurassic Park simulator ride. Having heard how much Pablo enjoyed Disney World, it seems like he would have approved.
For more Pablo Escobar, check out this recreation of his story in papier mache.