Walt Disney Once Accidentally Kidnapped President Richard Nixon
Walt Disney once accidentally kidnapped Richard Nixon from the Secret Service.
Nixon visited Disneyland back in 1959 with his two daughters – and, of course, his security personnel – while he was vice president of the US.
The group were set to do a lap around the park aboard Disney’s monorail, as told by Bob Gurr, an amusement ride designer who is famous for his work at Disney.
Gurr recalled the story back in 2013 during an interview with The Walt Disney Museum, to mark what would have been Nixon’s 100th birthday.
According to Gurr, Walt Disney approached the train along with Nixon, his two daughters, Disneyland security and the Secret Service, but before the president’s security personnel could board, Walt said, ‘Lets go.’
Gurr, who said he was terrified at the time, immediately began driving. It was Nixon who first noticed that his security had been left behind, which Gurr said only increased his anxiety further.
‘Nixon got a kick out of it. [Vice] Presidents always try to escape [the Secret Service]. The fact that he now knew, he got rid of ‘em! To my great horror,’ Gurr said.
He recalled seeing Secret Service members running alongside the monorail and trying to jump on as he pulled away.
When asked whether Walt was aware of his having kidnapped the US Vice President, Gurr said, ‘Walt was having a good time. When there’s something that he’s got, and nobody else has got it, he’s a very proud papa. He was in an extremely good mood. The eyebrows were up, and when he was in those moods, he was really memorable.’
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CreditsWalt Disney Museum
Walt Disney Museum