Sword in the Stone Fantasyland Disneyland
“Who so pulleth out this sword of this stone and anvil is rightwise ruler born of England”… or at least Ruler of the Realm for the next hour or so.
The Sword in the Stone ceremony is held on the castle side of the King Arthur Carrousel, where, coincidentally, there is a rather large anvil with a rather large sword embedded in it. Merlin the Magician magically appears several times a day to announce that the Realm is having a (temporary) leadership crisis, and is in need of a new (temporary) Ruler. But can someone be found who has the requisite courage and strength to be the new Ruler? Merlin selects several young volunteers who attempt to pull the sword from the stone. (Typically a rather burly man will be the first selected, and will fail miserably, only to be shown up by a 5-year-old.)
The triumphant volunteer is proclaimed “Ruler of the Realm”, with all of the privileges and responsibilities that go with it. OK, so really they receive a “Sword in the Stone” medal and a certificate acknowledging their accomplishment in pulling the sword from the stone.
The Sword in the Sword ceremony is seasonal, and is conducted in the busier times of the year. Generally this means weekends during the off-season and daily during the summer. The show takes place multiple times a day — check the Disneyland Times Guide for details.
To be a volunteer arrive early and stand at/near the front. Adult volunteers seem to be selected mostly on the basis of their size and level of boredom.
Small children get a kick out of this – especially if they are chosen as Ruler!
Merlin will usually remain after the ceremony to sign autographs and pose for pictures.
The Village Haus, serving burgers and pizza, is just around the corner.
Heraldry Shoppe – Get your family’s coat-of-arms on personalized plaques and clothing.
Mad Hatter sells a variety of character hats, including Mickey ears and Peter Pan hats with personalized embroidery.
Names Unraveled — personalized first name artwork, with different backgrounds and styles, and including the meaning of the name.
Once Upon a Time — Princess shop, offering Princess clothing, dolls, toys and accessories.
Stromboli’s Wagon — This cart offers hats, postcards, candy and other small souvenirs.
The ceremony is inspired by the Disney animated feature The Sword in the Stone, which was released in 1963. The show premiered at Disneyland in 1983.
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.
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