5 More Walt Disney World Myths – Busted!
Last week we took a look at a few of the most persistent myths about Walt Disney World. It turns out, there are more than a few out there and we needed a little extra space. Plus, it’s a lot of fun to read about the crazy stories and urban legends that have sprung up around the parks. So, without further ado, let’s bust some more Walt Disney World myths.
1. Cinderella Castle
As the most iconic structure at Walt Disney World, it’s no surprise that there are myths about the castle. If you’ve ever been in Florida during hurricane season, you’ll probably understand how this myth came about, even if it is a bit hard to believe. Florida storms get pretty strong, and the winds get pretty fierce. Somehow, this gave rise to the belief that Cinderella Castle could be dismantled in the event of severe weather. To be clear: the castle cannot be taken apart and rebuilt at will. Like the belief that rooms could be slid in and out of the Contemporary Resort, it’s hard to imagine how this particular myth would even work in execution. Of course, there are strong storms in Florida, but fortunately Cinderella’s Castle has been built to stand up to them. The myth can likely be traced back to construction photos taken of the castle, many of which showing cranes installing the turrets on top of the towers. Pretty cool to see, and with a little leap of imagination it could be inferred that if the tops can go on, they can come off! But as we’ve discovered, that’s simply not the case. Never fear though, Cinderella Castle is plenty strong, and can more than with stand the fiercest storm that Florida has to offer! (Though we’d understand if Tinker Bell takes a night off or two due to inclement weather.)
2. The Dream Suite
Sticking with Cinderella Castle, let’s talk about the Dream Suite. There are actually two parts to this myth. The first is that the suite inside the castle was built as a home away from home for Walt Disney when he visited the Orlando park. This seems plausible, given that Walt had an apartment above the fire station at Disneyland (if you visit the park, look for the light in the window. It’s there to honor Uncle Walt). However, the Dream Suite was never intended as a home for Walt. It couldn’t have been, given that he passed away in 1966. The castle wasn’t completed until 1971 and was only under construction for about 18 months.
When the park opened, the area that now comprises the Dream Suite wasn’t even a proper room. It was a storage area. It was transformed into the Dream Suite for the Year of a Million Dreams, which ran from October 2006 through December of 2008.
That leads us to the second half of the myth. There’s a belief that, with the right amount of money, you can rent out the suite. It would certainly be a dream come true: sleeping in the lavish room (which sleeps six) inside the grand castle. However, it isn’t available. During the Year of a Million Dreams it was a prize that was given away. A few families have won stays in the suite, but outside of that, it hasn’t really been used. It’s certainly fun to dream about though.
3. Andy’s Coming!
This one is a little tricky, because at one point it may have been true. There’s a popular rumor among Disney fans that if you yell, “Andy’s coming!” around characters from Toy Story that they will fall to the ground and lay motionless. As you recall, the toys never let Andy know that they were alive, and always fell motionless when he entered the room. So, it would make a certain amount of sense to believe that Cast Members would be willing to do this. In fact, they may have done it briefly in the past. No matter, because it isn’t true now. And good thing too. As funny as that gag might be, a moment’s thought will reveal that it’s just not safe…not only for the characters but also for any Guests that happen to be standing nearby. So the next time you see a Toy Story character and have the urge to shout something out, try “More toys!”. Lots of fun, and a lot safer too!
4. Club 21
You might be familiar with Club 33, the ultra exclusive lounge hidden around Disney parks. There are four Club 33 lounges at Walt Disney World, one in each of the four parks. You’ll find the entrance to one in Adventureland, another near the American Adventure in Epcot, one above the Brown Derby restaurant in Hollywood Studios, and one in the Africa portion of Animal Kingdom.
There’s also a rumor going around that there is an ultra-ultra exclusive club known as Club 21. It isn’t true. That said, if you really want to be part of an exclusive club, you can meet me and my friends in the caves on Tom Sawyer Island. The cost of admission is a Dole Whip.
5. George The Pirate
Okay. We’re treading on delicate ground here. The fact of the matter is, ghost stories aren’t really the sort of thing you can prove or disprove. So, believe or disbelieve this one as you see fit.
The story goes like this: a Disney Cast Member named George was performing some work on Pirates of the Caribbean in the early 70s and suffered a tragic, fatal accident. He now haunts the attraction. Variations on this basic story have been told, but that gives you the general idea.
Believers say that George is not a malicious ghost but that he is a bit mischievous. You might even say that he’s a grim, grinning ghost. That has a certain ring to it don’t you think? So, what exactly does George do? Well, according to some, if he isn’t wished “good morning” before the park opens, the attraction will malfunction throughout the day. Similarly, if he isn’t told “good night” after the park closes, parts of the attraction will mysteriously turn on overnight. There are also rumors that if George overhears Guests complaining about the attraction, he might just make it malfunction during their ride.
Some of the George stories say that he is most active in the final room of the burning city. Some people have told stories about feeling a ghostly chill when they pass by the pig. Others report catching blurry images of a figure they believe to be George in photographs.
As mentioned, it’s hard to prove or disprove a ghost. However, we can bust at least one part of this story. There are no reported deaths of construction workers on the attraction. That seems fairly integral to the rest of the story. Still, that doesn’t conclusively prove that the attraction doesn’t have a friendly spectre living in it. Perhaps he just wandered in and decided to stay. There are worse ways to spend eternity than with a bunch of rowdy pirates.