The attraction is performed by Merlin, recruiting young ladies and squires throughout the kingdom for a test of strength and courage. Inspired by the myths of young King Arthur, the Sword in the Stone invites Guests to try and pull Excalibur—the legendary enchanted sword—from a solid bronze anvil embedded in a great gray boulder. As the legend goes, only someone with honor, decency and inner strength can remove the sword and become the recognized ruler of England.
At various times throughout the day, the wizard Merlin—loyal friend and advisor to King Arthur—will magically appear and hold a special ceremony in front of each Disney parks Carousel to see if anyone in the crowd can pull the sword from the stone. Guests may pull the sword out in the performance if told to.
Occasionally, the technicians (dressed all in black and wearing a communication headset) come to test the function of the sword while the park is open and will release the sword.
In addition to the former "Live Show" attraction, park guest may also snag a photo of themselves or others trying to pull the sword out of the stone when the show is not in progress.
The show in Disneyland remains much the same as when it first started showing when the New Fantasyland debuted in 1983.