Though it didn’t technically lead to a coronation, “a pretty buff dude” pulled Excalibur from its stone during a visit to Disneyland earlier this month, and now he’s the king of the park – in bragging rights if nothing else. 

A boy pulls on the Sword in the Stone in front of the King Arthur Carrousel at Walt Disney Co.'s Disneyland Park, part of the Disneyland Resort, in Anaheim, California, U.S.
According to reports, "a pretty buff dude" (not pictured) pulled Excalibur from its stone at Disneyland in mid-January © Patrick Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

On 12 January, a correspondent from WDW News Today noticed that the famed sword was missing from its usual spot: embedded in an anvil on top of a big rock, right next to the King Arthur carousel in the Anaheim, California, park’s Fantasyland. At first, it looked like part of a planned refurbishment, but it soon became clear that someone had managed to loosen the weapon from its moorings. 

As one eyewitness described it, “a very burly man” broke the sword. Another onlooker, the new monarch’s compatriot, told the site that a friend named Sam broke it during their visit on 8 January. “He literally ripped it out,” the second witness said. “It was his first time at Disney and he’s a pretty buff dude. I told him if he pulled it out he’d win a prize and he just used brute force.” 

The old sword gave way, but it was broken and jagged, the onlooker reports, so the staff “taped it off so no one would stick their fingers in and cut it on the broken pieces left inside.” It’s since been returned to its rightful place and received a freshen-up in the process, with a newly-buffed anvil and hilt – just in time for the entire attraction to be closed for refurbishments. 

Disneyland’s Excalibur is a riff on the 1963 animated classic, The Sword in the Stone, about the legendary story of King Arthur. The park hosts a show, according to the OC Register, in which Merlin invites visitors to try their luck at removing the sword, only to be bested by a small child who inevitably yanks it out. 

Set to debut Feb. 28, 2020, at Disneyland Park in California, the new “Magic Happens” parade will celebrate the awe-inspiring moments of magic that are at the heart of so many Disney stories. This new daytime spectacular will feature stunning floats, beautiful costumes, and beloved Disney characters. Depicted in this image, Merlin from “The Sword in the Stone” wisely leads the way for young Arthur, who finds the magic within himself as he pulls the sword from the stone, claiming his place upon the throne.
Merlin and Arthur will feature in the park's new Magic Happens parade, set to debut 28 February © Disney

The tale will also play a role in a new parade set to debut at the end of February. Described as a “daytime spectacular” in the park’s press materials, the Magic Happens parade will feature a lineup of floats, costumes, and characters celebrating “the awe-inspiring moments of magic that are at the heart of so many Disney stories.” 

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