There is a Sword in the Stone at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom park in Florida. There’s also a similar Sword in the Stone attraction at Disneyland in California.
Both attractions were inspired by Disney’s 1963 animated film “The Sword in the Stone.” The classically animated Disney movie tells the story of a 12-year-old boy who would eventually become King Arthur.
Certainly, it holds a special place in the hearts of Disney fans because it was the last full-length animated film to be released during Walt Disney’s lifetime.
The origin of ‘The Sword in the Stone’
The film is based on T.H. White’s novel and features music written and composed by the Sherman Brothers. “The Sword in the Stone” was the first Disney film with music written by this musical duo.
They later became most famous for the beloved and iconic songs they wrote for “Mary Poppins” in 1964. And they also contributed music to “The Jungle Book”, “Aristocats” and also “The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.”
The film focuses on young King Arthur’s life. It is the tale of an orphan boy named Arthur, known as Wart. Wart is a lanky, awkward boy who dutifully helps his older foster brother Kay train to become a knight.
While in the forest hunting deer, Wart accidentally causes Kay to lose a wild arrow. Kay threatens him, and Wart volunteers to make it right by finding the arrow. Despite his fear, he ventures deeper into the dark and gloomy woods to retrieve it.
There he happens upon an old cabin occupied by Merlin and his owl companion, Archimedes. The white-bearded wizard is convinced that Wart is destined for greatness.
Merlin becomes Wart’s mentor and prepares him to become a good and noble ruler. He is later proven right when Wart and Kay travel with their foster father to London for a jousting competition.
Wart unceremoniously removes Excalibur from the bronze anvil when Kay needs another sword for his tourney event.
Are they remaking the movie?
Disney has announced a live-action remake of “The Sword in the Stone” to be released on Disney+.
The release date has not yet been announced. However, the screenplay was written by Cogman who worked on HBO’s “Game of Thrones.” The film will be directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo.
Where is the Sword in the Stone at Disney?
At Disneyland in California, the sword is located in Fantasyland in front of King Arthur Carrousel.
At Walt Disney World in Florida, guests can find the sword in the Magic Kingdom. It’s located in Fantasyland between Prince Charming’s Regal Carousel and Cinderella’s Castle.
The legendary enchanted sword is called Excalibur. It’s been driven into a bronze anvil mounted on a rough stone plinth.
The plinth also has a plaque that reads a royal proclamation: “Whoso pulleth out this sword of this stone and anvil is rightwise ruler born of England.”
For most of the day, the Sword in the Stone monument makes for a fun photo op. For example, burly men, young ladies or squires alike can climb atop the plinth and attempt to extract the fabled Excalibur. This test of strength and honor makes a great photo for Instagram.
Most people who attempt to remove the sword will find that it does not budge. But the occasional very lucky guest will pull on the hilt and find that the sword can be lifted from the stone.
How does the Sword in the Stone at Disney World work?
At various times throughout the day, Royal Majesty Makers appear for a special ceremony. These cast members announce that they are seeking young volunteers with the courage and inner strength sufficient to withdraw the blade from the buffed anvil.
Before eyewitnesses, the chosen youngster approaches the sword and pulls on the hilt. He or she becomes the hero of Fantasyland as the sword rises out of the anvil. However, the sword generally doesn’t come completely out. It just rises about ten inches.
But sometimes seemingly at random, other guests are able to pull the sword from the stone. The ceremony makes for a special memory, especially for kids.
Rumors have circulated over the years that there is a button or switch that triggers the release of the sword.
There have also been rumors related to Magic Band’s involvement in this magical feat. It’s conceivable that Disney could use the Magicband technology to randomly allow certain guests to remove the sword.
My guess is that Disney has behind-the-scenes cast members monitoring Excalibur. This person may have the capability to remotely release the sword.
YouTube is full of videos of guests attempting to remove the sword. Sometimes they are successful, but more often they are not. Sometimes one particular member of a group can withdraw the sword multiple times, despite their friends trying unsuccessfully in between attempts.
The process makes for some magical moments for guests and onlookers. It also mimics perfectly the scene in the animated film when young King Arthur easily lifts the sword from the stone before and after his larger, stronger and faster brother fails to do so.
Why is the sword missing at Disney?
The Sword at the Magic Kingdom in Disney World isn’t missing. However, back in January 2020, WDW News Today reported that Excalibur was forcibly removed by a visitor at Disneyland park.
The man in question was described as a “pretty buff dude” who used “brute force” to remove the sword. Within a few days, Disneyland reopened the monument with a replacement sword.
This was a pretty big news story for Disney fans, especially since the King Arthur Carousel was scheduled to close for refurbishment soon after the sword went missing.
Fans speculated that the missing Excalibur was planned as part of that construction project. However, the sword reappeared within a few days.
Have you tried removing the Sword from the Stone? What happened? Let us know in the comments.