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6 Truly Bizarre Incidents That Really Happened at Walt Disney World

Golf cart

Walt Disney World has welcomed hundreds of millions of visitors since its opening day in 1971. Inevitably, some truly weird things have happened at the resort during that time.

In fact, the bizarre incidents started even before the Magic Kingdom threw open its gates, and have continued right through to the present day. If you keep your eyes peeled, there are opportunities to see strange sights every single day - such as ducks mating on top of Jungle Cruise boats, or alligators emerging from the water near Space Mountain.

Still, some incidents are just that little bit more unusual than those everyday occurrences. Here are 6 examples!

6. A lady is blown off a toilet

Toilet

When Walt Disney World was being constructed in the late 1960s, some of the first elements that were put in were enormous water and sewage pipes, designed to cope with the dozens of hotels and restaurants that would be located on the site, as well as the sprawling Magic Kingdom theme park.

Another of the first things to be put in place was the Preview Center, which opened in January 1970. Here, prospective visitors could watch a film about the upcoming resort, as well as looking at a huge model of it. It operated for 22 months, pre-selling some $11 million worth of tickets to the Magic Kingdom.

Unfortunately for one visitor, the Preview Center was the first facility to be connected up to the over-sized sewage and water systems. In David Koenig's excellent Realityland, Bill Hoelscher (who headed up the Preview Center) recalls that on the second day the building was open, a lady entered the restrooms, did her business and flushed the toilet. At that point, a two-foot column of water blew her up off the seat and "scared the daylights out of her". The pressure was temporarily reduced until other buildings came online.

5. A grandmother discovers a LOADED GUN on a ride

Two gun Mickey

Disney is pretty clear about what you are and aren't allowed to take into its theme parks. A number of items are banned, including skateboards, folding chairs and revealing clothing. Since September 11, Disney parks have been protected by extensive bag searches at their entrances. Bringing a knife of any kind or - even worse - a gun is really not recommended.

That didn't stop one guest, a Grandmother with her grandson, at Disney's Animal Kingdom from discovering a loaded gun on the seat of a vehicle in the Dinosaur dark ride. After it was handed in to security, the Orange County Sheriff's Office was called in. The owner of the gun was found to be Angelo Lista, who claimed that he did not know that weapons were banned from the park. The gun had fallen out his pocket during the ride, which consists of a fast-paced, bumpy journey past hordes of audio-animatronic dinosaurs.

4. A US President tries (and fails) to save his presidency

You're Richard Nixon, and it's November 1973. It's the height of the Watergate scandal, caused by a break-in at Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate hotel in Washington, D.C. - and the subsequent attempted cover-up by Nixon's administration. What do you do? Why, you head to Walt Disney World, of course!

Monorail opening

Image via +1 Disney

Nixon had a long history of visiting Disney theme parks, and knew Walt and Lillian Disney personally. You can see him in the image above, helping to open the Monorail at Disneyland in 1959.

His visit to Walt Disney World 14 years later was an altogether less happy one. He faced down some 400 reporters in a room at the Contemporary Resort, famously saying: "People have got to know whether or not their President is a crook. Well, I'm not a crook. I've earned everything I've got."

Despite his efforts, Nixon was forced to resign on August 9, 1974.

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There are 6 comments.

I as gone when he resigned feel he was a good president the way I feel about Obama currently.

I actually went to the preview center when it opened. My dad did some exterminating on the property and was invited. I loved the trip.

What most people don't know was that 10 years to the day after he made that Speech he was Back touring the Magic Kingdom. I was walking toward Haunted Mansion on my first Disney trip when a group of men in suits stopped me from walking toward the Entrance. I looked over their should and her comes Old Tricky Dick walking out of the Haunted Mansion with Secret Service all around.

Would it not be accurate to describe the poor woman in #1 as the first person to go on a water ride at WDW?

I happen to know that wasn't the first golf cart to be hijacked by a couple of drunks but the details are a bit foggy. The year was 1982 in Florida.

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