As one of the most enduringly popular entertainment companies in the world, The Walt Disney Company has naturally been the subject of outlandish rumors and speculation over its 91 years-and-counting lifespan. Given that the company’s products and intellectual properties have had such a formative impact on millions of people young and old, it’s understandable that numerous myths and legends have cropped up, most of them designed to shatter or enhance the company’s carefully constructed public image. While it’s easy to write off some of the more outlandish urban legends surrounding Disney, there is some truth hiding behind even some of the crazy ones…but most are still more fiction than fact. Here are 10 unbelievable Disney urban legends and the truth behind them.
10. Casablanca Plane
The Legend: One of the less fantastical Disney urban legends surrounds the Lockheed Electra 12A airplane used in Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ “The Great Movie Ride” attraction. When it was opened on May 1, 1989, Disney proudly claimed that the plane was the same model used in the classic 1942 film, Cassablanca, only to have this claim debunked in the early 1990s when newly-unearthed sources claimed that a prop — not a real plane — was used in the film production, so naturally Disney’s plane couldn’t be the real one.
Is It True or False?: This is one myth that seems to have been double debunked, as Werner Weiss, a curator at Yesterland, discovered that a real plane was used in certain scenes of Casablanca in addition to props. The only remaining question is whether or not the Hollywood Studios plane is in fact the real deal or not.