Disney Princess Bravely Jumps to Safety as Horse Gets Spooked by Balloon at Magic Kingdom
A Disney World cast member portraying Brave’s Princess Merida recently showed just how brave her character can be after the horse she was riding got spooked by a balloon.
In a video taken by a guest visiting Orlando's Magic Kingdom park on its reopening day July 11, the fiery-haired princess from the 2012 animated film is seen trotting down Main Street on the back of a brown-and-white horse, waving to visitors.
Seconds into the clip, a child on the side of the street appears to lose his Mickey balloon, which drifts towards the horse — the string wrapping around the animal’s back left leg. The horse quickly became spooked by the balloon, kicking up his legs and bucking in an attempt to get free.
Though there were two cast members acting as animal handlers walking and holding onto the horse while the princess was riding, it soon became hard to control the animal. Thankfully Merida was able to safely slide herself off the horse and quickly got to the ground and out of its way.
The guest who recorded the video recounted the scene, noting, "I began filming one of the new mini-parades at the Magic Kingdom. A family comes up from behind me, and one member of the family is a toddler with a balloon. Merida notices the toddler and she waves at him. I think, ‘wow, that’s great!’ But then the toddler starts running into the parade route with his balloon. The father grabs his son and pulls him back, but the toddler’s balloon kept going and hit the horse, and wrapped around the horse’s leg.”
The video owner also added that the princess appeared to be holding “on for dear life” when the horse became upset.
Disney confirmed to PEOPLE that there were no injuries and the cast member and horse are doing fine.
The video has since been posted to Reddit, where many users have shared that the horse appears to be quite well-trained all things considered, and that many horses would have become much more agitated.
“That horse is a saint. Most horses would have completely lost their minds and booked it,” wrote one Reddit user. “Horse is very well trained to not be dragging those two handlers halfway across Orlando,” wrote another.
While Disney has canceled all parades and shows for the time being to promote social distancing as it reopens amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, guests who have visited the park since it opened on Saturday have shared that characters have been popping up at unscheduled times, so as not to draw a crowd.
Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom parks both reopened on July 11 after being closed since March due to the coronavirus pandemic, while Epcot and Hollywood Studios reopened on July 15.
Among the many new health and safety regulations in place, guests over two years old are now required to wear a face-covering throughout their visit, stand in socially distanced lines for rides and get temperature checks prior to entering the parks.
Disney World’s phased opening is in line with Florida’s coronavirus reopening plan, which has continued to move ahead despite a huge surge in new cases in the state. On July 12, the day after Disney World reopened, Florida reported a record 15,000 new coronavirus cases in a single day, according to data from The New York Times.
Florida now has the third-highest case total of the pandemic, after New York and California, with 301,802 cases and 4,520 deaths as of July 16.
Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration reported on July 7 that at least 56 hospitals are out of space in their ICUs, despite the fact that Gov. Ron DeSantis previously claimed that “hospitals still have a lot of capacity.”
On June 24, Disneyland in California, another state seeing rising cases, announced that it had "no choice but to delay" its intended July 17 reopening date. The decision came as the state government did not grant approval and guidelines in time to arrange the opening.
There is still no opening date for Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure. Downtown Disney reopened with new safety precautions in place on July 9.
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