Home Disney History Have you ever pulled up the Sword in the Stone?

Have you ever pulled up the Sword in the Stone?

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Have you ever pulled up the Sword in the Stone?
Credit: Monica

Have you ever attempted to pull the sword from the stone while visiting Disneyland and at Magic Kingdom? Even for the strongest it does not always rise! It is meant for those who are the chosen ones. Let’s take a dive into the history of this fun experience!

The Sword in the Stone Movie

Credit: Disney

The Sword in the Stone is a 1963 animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney and released by Buena Vista Distribution. It is based off of the novel by T.H. White which first published the story in 1938 then republished in 1958 as the first novel in the tetralogy The Once and Future King.

The film received mixed reviews but became a box-office success. It was re-released to theaters on March 25, 1983, on a double bill with the animated cartoon short Winnie the Pooh and a Day for Eeyore. A live-action remake entered development in 2015 and is set to be directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo and released on Disney+. In 2021, it was reported that film was still in development but not quite ready to begin production.

Disney’s adaptation showcases King Arthur’s humble beginnings. As an orphaned child, Arthur, better known as Wart, wants to help his foster brother, Kay, succeed in becoming a knight. During this time, Wart stumbles into Merlin, the bubbly talented Wizard’s cabin. The rest of the animated film takes them through daring adventures before Arthur pulls the sword out of the stone bestowing him to become the King of England.

The Disney Company is known to sprinkle pixie dust in many ways, and guests have the opportunity to pull the sword in the stone during their visit to the parks.

Pulling the Sword in the Stone at Disney Parks

Credit: Monica

When visiting Fantasyland in front of Prince Charmin’s Regal Carousel in the Magic Kingdom and at King Arthur’s Carousel in Disneyland Park, guests will find a dedicated monument to the animated film. In fact, it is also a great place to take a photo. However, it is more than that, as the monument also contains magical Disney powers.

The plaque reads: Whoso pullath out this sword of this stone and anvil is rightwise ruler born of England.

All guests who come to the monument have the opportunity to pull the sword from the stone. However, not everyone is the fortunate in succeeding to be named the Hero of Fantasyland, King or Queen of Fantasyland, or Ruler of the Realm. Although the sword does not come out completely, it is able to be lifted up 6-10 inches.

Pulling the Sword in the Stone

Credit: Marisol

When the attraction first opened in 1983 at Disneyland Park, the attraction was performed by Merlin. He recruited young ladies and squires throughout the kingdom for a test of strength and courage to try and pull Excalibur, the legendary enchanted sword, from the solid bronze anvil embedded into a grey boulder. As legend has it, only someone of honor, decency and inner strength, like Arthur, can remove the sword in the stone.

Various times throughout the day at Disneyland and Magic Kingdom, Merlin appeared and held a special ceremony to see if anyone in the crowd had the ability to pull the sword in the stone.

Merlin would recite: “By royal proclamation, his majesty King Arthur is taking a royal day off, and we have to find a royal substitute king or queen.”

Credit: KTP

Merlin often selects several young volunteers who attempt to pull the sword from the stone. He also tends to pick out burly men whose muscles should be able to do the job and more often than not, they fail to only be followed up by a five year old child who is successful and gains a temporary royal title. The chosen one also received a Sword in the Stone medal and a certificate acknowledging their accomplishment. Pretty neat, right?

In addition to the performance that occurs, park guests are allowed to try to pull the sword out of the stone when the show is not in progress. There have been numerous occurrences where a guest is successful, so I’d recommend trying your luck at any time of the day!

When Does The Performance Occur?

Credit: Jaimie

The Sword in the Sword ceremony is seasonal and is usually conducted during the busier times of the year. This would include weekends during the off-season and daily during the summer. However, to be on the safe side, I would recommend guests ask a Cast Member if the performance will take place that day.

There’s a lot of speculation about who controls the release of the sword and from where it’s done. It does not seem to be Merlin who does it, but some cast member accomplice.

Back in 2020, a Disneyland Guest actually ripped the sword from the stone as his friend assured him that he would become King of Fantasyland for the day. Based on the size and strength of the man, he in fact, with all his strength took the sword out of the stone but not in the way that it was meant to happen. The sword was left broken and jagged and the attraction was unavailable for many months until it was restored to its proper use.

Sword in the Stone
Credit: Katie

Quite recently, there was a popular TikTok influencer who attempted to pull the sword in the stone every day for a year to no avail. He became quite creative in many ways by sweet talking to it. For instance, he used a light saber and different means to only find out that his female friend that he was visiting with pulled it out right in front of him! Talk about a heartbreak for him but an accomplishment for his friend!

Have you ever attempted to take the sword out of the stone at Disneyland Park or at the Magic Kingdom? Were you successful or did you fail? Let us know in the comments on Facebook and in our Facebook group.

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1 COMMENT

  1. My son (5 at the time) attempted to pull the sword from the stone several times to no avail. Imagine his shock when he was chosen to pull it and did indeed pull it right out.

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