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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Watch: 'Merida' Nearly Bucked Off Horse at Disney After Balloon Tangles Around Horse's Leg

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Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom opened again on Saturday after closing down because of COVID-19.

While many people are happy for the parks to be open again, others are cautious, citing the 10,000+ new cases reported in the state on Saturday alone, according to NBC News.

But there’s another danger lurking that a visitor captured on film during what was supposed to be a mellow, socially distanced princess parade.

“The Royal Princess Procession” is Disney’s answer to modern safety concerns. While many young children won’t be able to go up and personally greet their favorite characters, those characters will get to pass by their littlest fans in a parade.

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One of those royal princesses is Merida, the fiery-haired Scottish lass who wouldn’t be complete without her horse, a Shire named Angus.

Animals — and children — always introduce a new level of uncertainty in choreographed situations, as they’re rather unpredictable. And in this case, it was the combination of a child and the horse that caused a rather scary situation on Main Street.

It was visitor Bill Zanetti, according to WDW News Today, who was recording as Merida rode by on Angus, with two handlers leading him.

Zanetti said that as the horse passed, a young child ran toward the middle of the street, and was stopped by an observant dad. The balloon the toddler was carrying, however, was not stopped, and was slung directly toward the draft horse’s back leg.

Because of the Mickey-shaped weight on the end of the balloon, the ribbon not only wrapped around the horse’s leg, it was anchored there for some time.

Horses are not fans of flapping, bobbing, or otherwise suddenly appearing foreign objects, and as many horses would have done, Angus spooked.

Thankfully, the handlers were able to keep him from bolting, and Merida kept her cool long enough to drop off of him once he paused his flailing for a split second.

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The end of the video shows the handlers getting Angus to calm down. No one was injured, according to WDW News Today, though it was certainly a scene and has surprised many viewers.

While many have commented to applaud Merida’s calmness and the way the situation was handled, fans of Angus are also voicing their support and reaffirming their appreciation for the majestic beast.

While this particular incident turned out well, it’s important to remember that horses are very powerful creatures that can get scared by something as simple as a clingy balloon.

Hopefully the visitors were able to enjoy the rest of their stay, Merida was able to catch her breath and Angus won’t run into any more balloons.

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking