Walt Disney World is an extraordinary place, and there are some genuinely extraordinary stories associated with it. There are also many myths and legends, some of them with a basis in fact, and some that are simply complete fantasy. In some cases, these myths have come to be accepted as the truth by many visitors to the resort. Let's take a look at 8 such legends, which are in fact completely false!
8. Cinderella Castle can be dismantled if a hurricane is approaching
The legend: In the event of a major hurricane, the Magic Kingdom's iconic Cinderella Castle can be quickly broken down and safely stored away.
The truth:Dismantling Cinderella Castle would be a major operation - and certainly not one that could be undertaken quickly before a hurricane struck. The castle took 18 months to construct. The inner structure consists of a 600-ton steel-braced frame, while a 10-inch-thick reinforced concrete wall encircles it to the height of the outermost "stone" walls. Most of the exterior of the building was built using fiber-reinforced gypsum plaster, with fiberglass being used for the walls of some of the ornate towers. The towers consists of plastic attached to a cone of steel, and were lifted into place by a crane before being bolted onto the main structure. In short, Cinderella Castle is a sturdy beast that can (and has) withstand a battering from hurricane-force winds.
7. The plane in the Great Movie Ride is the actual one from Casablanca
The legend: The Lockheed Electra 12 plane that is seen in the Casablanca section of the Great Movie Ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios is the actual one used in the movie. The truth: It can't possibly be the same plane. The plane seen in the movie was not, in fact, a real one - instead, it was a combination of half-size and quarter-size models. Disney's plane is real, and the back half can be seen in the Jungle Cruise over at the Magic Kingdom.
6. The Magic Kingdom's Space Mountain decapitated a rider
The legend: A panicked guest stood up while riding Space Mountain. He was struck by a low-hanging metal ridge, and he arrived back in the station with his head missing. The truth:This is an urban legend, most likely created by adults to discourage children from attempting to stand up on roller coasters. Standing up on Space Mountain would actually be a difficult thing to do. There are suggestions that this myth derives from Imagineering discovering a decapitated test dummy during the ride's creation, but even those are unproven.
5. A welder died during the construction of Pirates of the Caribbean...and now haunts it
The legend: At the Magic Kingdom, Cast Members working on Pirates of the Caribbean warn newcomers about the ghost of George, which supposedly haunts the attraction. George is said to have been killed during the construction of the ride, either by electrocution or by a falling beam. The truth: The reality is that there was no George, and that nobody died during the construction of Pirates of the Caribbean. In the excellent Realityland, author David Koenig speculates that he is probably an amalgamation of two workers who actually died in the years following the attraciton's opening, elsewhere at Walt Disney World (one was killed during the construction of an aluminium boat for the Seven Seas Lagoon, while another was electrocuted while working in a tunnel).