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8. You tried oh-so-hard to pull the sword from the stone

Boys with Mickey Ears laughing while trying to pull sword from stone
Image: Disney

If you’re a longtime Disney fan, you may have been lucky enough to see the daily occurrence when Merlin appears in Fantasyland and a child is chosen to pull the sword from the stone… Maybe you ever were that lucky kid.

For the rest of us, you know you tried your darndest to get that sword out of that rock.

Speaking for myself, I know I tried more than once to pull that sword out of the stone. I tried all sorts of shenanigans with leverage, even using my dad’s arms for aid. The thing wouldn’t budge. It never did, but I still tried every time I came to Disney parks… I just knew eventually I’d find that right balance of magic to pull the blade free.

Ironically, one Disney-kid-at-heart really did pull off this amazing feat… a guest at Disneyland who was apparently pretty buff yanked the sword from the stone in early 2020, literally breaking it out of its housing by accident like the Shards of Narsil. A cast member confirmed the incident wasn’t due to any wrongdoing on the guest’s part—it was just the sword’s age. We assume this man has been crowned rightful king and now presides over his kingdom from the high towers of Sleeping Beauty castle, eagerly awaiting the reopening of the realm…

9. Making up your own story for rides

Indiana Jones Adventure Jeep on bridge being targeted by statue laser eye
Image: Disney

I don’t know about you, but as a kid, I had some pretty fantastic ideas about the real stories behind my favorite rides. As a matter of fact, I probably made up imaginary stories for most of the attractions I visited at Disney parks.

On the Indiana Jones Adventure, I didn’t just picture being some random tourist visiting the Temple of the Forbidden Eye—I imagined being Indy’s apprentice archaeologist. Spaceship Earth wasn’t a simple educational journey—it was a mesmerizing chase through time and space for the fate of the world. I imagined extra characters on rides like Horizons and the World of Motion, filling in gaps in the story to make it an adventure. I also imagined making imaginary friends on many rides who I’d keep with me in my mind after we left.

In truth, this is almost the purest form of what Disney attractions are meant to be—its why rides that aren’t necessarily tied to IP’s are nice, as they leave more room for guests to fill in the blanks with their imaginations. Even so, attractions involving IP’s could still prove fertile ground for kid imaginations. What secret stories did you come up with when you rode rides?

10. Pretended to fly (in every way possible)

Mom and little boy on Astro Orbiter
Image: Disney

Replicating the experience of flight has been part of the Disney experience from the parks earliest years… from Peter Pan to Delta Dreamflight to Soarin’, the joy of learning how to fly is one of the most fundamental experiences of visiting a Disney park.

Kids have a special way of taking this idea even further. What sort of things did you do to make the sensation of flying feel more real on Disney attractions? Did you raise your arms on Space Mountain? Lean forward in your seat on Peter Pan’s Flight? Close your eyes and let the sounds sweep you up or cup your hands around your eyes so all you can see is the horizon? I particularly remember feeling this sensation during the Superspeed Tunnels guests used to travel through on the PeopleMover (which included scenes from TRON during the 80’s and early 90’s).

Kids manage to find the best ways to take the magic just a little further… and that’s why they make Disney parks oh-so more magical.

What did we miss? What are some of the silly (but awesome) things you used to do as a Disney kid? Alternatively, what have you seen your own kids do at Disney parks along these same lines?

Enjoy this article? Keep reading to learn why Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway changed the mind of this skeptical fan… or how to take advantage of some of the benefits of visiting Walt Disney World while capacity remains low

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wait im not supposed to be doing these now?

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