The Real Reason Walt Disney Kidnapped Richard Nixon

When we hear the name Walt Disney, many of us picture a kind man who wanted nothing more than to bring joy to the lives of children and their families. One thing he is not often associated with is crime, and especially crimes that could potentially be considered treasonous in the eyes of the U.S. government. Come to find out Disney accomplished what should have been the crime of the century. He kidnapped the vice president of the United States and he got away with it.

On July 17, 1955 Walt Disney’s dream became a reality when Disneyland opened its gates to children and families, per History.¬†Unfortunately, opening day did not go as planned, and it turns out the theme park was woefully underprepared in various ways. Despite the fact that the opening went horribly array, Disneyland still became one of the most successful theme parks of all time. Disneyland’s rise in popularity also meant a rise in some famous faces visiting the attraction with their families. In 1959, Disneyland welcomed one of the most important people in the world at the time, Vice President Richard Nixon.

Kidnapping the Vice President

This visit by the VP wasn’t just any old tourist stop. Nixon and his daughters arrived to help dedicate the new groundbreaking Monorail system that had just been installed, according to Mental Floss. Disney then offered the family a ride on the Monorail before it fully opened to the rest of the public. Nixon and his daughters, along with Disney himself, boarded the Monorail car, and the driver, Bob Gurr, was told to take off. This should have been fine, but there was one problem. The train left both Disneyland security and the Secret Service on the platform. In effect, the Monorail had run off with the vice president of the United States and his children.

An extremely nervous Gurr finished one lap around Tomorrowland and was about to pull the train back into the station when Nixon’s daughters cried out that they wanted to go around again. According to¬†Walt Disney Family Museum, Disney then told Gurr to “give ’em another ride.” So instead of stopping at the platform, the driver followed orders and went around again, this time with Secret Service agents chasing the train and trying to find a way to get on. Both Disney and Nixon found this highly amusing because, according to Bob Gurr, “the [vice] President is always trying to escape the Secret Service.” So while Walt Disney was not some super-secret double agent looking to take down the American government, he did manage to help Vice President Nixon ditch his security detail and have a good laugh in the process.

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