This is the second in a series of examinations of urban legends related to amusement parks. Today we marvel at the man who was mute…until he rode the Cyclone, plus we learn if Walt Disney had a private apartment designed inside Cinderella’s Castle and what’s the deal with the Liberty Bell in Liberty Square?
Today is a “Grab Bag” day here at Entertainment Urban Legends Revealed, where each time we feature a different area of the world of arts and entertainment (outside of TV, Film, Music and Comics). Each time you will see grab bag legends from one of these following 23 “Grab Bag” categories
AMUSEMENT PARK URBAN LEGEND: A man who had been mute for over five years spoke after riding the Cyclone.
Built in 1927, Coney Island’s Cyclone roller coaster is one of the most famous roller coasters in the history of roller coasters…
It had its perhaps most famous testimonial to its greatness in 1949 when a West Virginian coal miner named Emilio Franco rode the coaster.
You see, Franco suffered from a condition called Aphonia since 1943, which struck him unable to speak.
While riding the coaster, he screamed.
And when he got off of the coaster, he spoke his first words in SIX YEARS.
“I feel sick.”
Thanks to Nick Cook’s Roller Coasters, Or, I Had So Much Fun, I Almost Puked for the informtation!
AMUSEMENT PARK URBAN LEGEND: Cinderella’s Castle was designed with a secret apartment inside for Walt Disney’s personal use.
In the first edition of Amusement Park Urban Legends Revealed, I discussed another urban legend involving Cinderella’s Castle at Magic Kingdom in Florida’s Disney World. Now here’s another one!
Walt Disney had a secret apartment in Disneyland in the Main Street Firehouse. So when designs were made for Magic Kingdom in Florida, Disney wanted a similar apartment built in Cinderella’s Castle.
However, Disney died in 1966 and Cinderella’s Castle was not finished until 1971. His original plans were still continued, until Walt’s brother Roy also passed away in 1971. With neither Disneys around to use the apartment, the unfinished room was turned into an office instead.
Later on, a room for people to stay in WAS built into the castle, although it was not in the spot where the original apartment would have been. This new room is Cinderella’s Dream Suite and was introduced as part of a promotion where randomly selected families would win the chance to stay in the Dream Suite.
I don’t know what the Dream Suite is being used for nowadays. Anyone happen to know?
AMUSEMENT PARK URBAN LEGEND: The Liberty Bell in Liberty Square in the Magic Kingdom is from a series of 50 replicas made of the Liberty Bell for the Bi-Centennial.
In Liberty Square in the Magic Kindom, there is a replica of the Liberty Bell…
Here’s how the story goes:
In 1976, 50 replicas were cast and molded in honor of our country’s 200th birthday. Each state would receive one and place it in a spot of their choice. However, the state of Pennsylvania had a problem. They already had the original Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. Why would they want a replica? Years later, Walt Disney World realized Pennsylvania had the replica and asked if they could have it for Liberty Square. Pennsylvania agreed and on July 4th, 1989 the replica Liberty Bell was hoisted and lowered into its permanent spot inside Liberty Square at the Magic Kingdom where it still sits today. Florida remains the only state with two of the 50 replica Liberty Bells.
That is not the case. There WERE 50 replicas made, but it was not in 1976, it was in 1950, oddly enough.
The Pennsylvania replica is in Allentown at the Liberty Bell Shrine in Zion Reformed Church. The Liberty Bell Museum has a list here of where all the replicas are nowadays.
The Disney Liberty Bell was specially cast for Disney in 1989, when the Bell was installed in Liberty Square. Heck, it says as much on the plaque on the Bell at Liberty Square…
Thanks to the Liberty Bell Museum for the replica information!
Okay, that’s it for this week!
Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is email@example.com