Celebrating the 65th Anniversary of Peter Pan’s Flight

Peter Pan’s Flight is an iconic centerpiece of Fantasyland. Of all the classic dark rides found at Disneyland, it’s easily considered the most popular. But why is it so popular? Peter Pan’s Flight, with its unique flying ships, elevated track, and spacious rooms, offers a delightful fantasy experience for kids of all ages. Like Wendy, John, and Michael, millions of Disney Park guests have experienced what it’s like to fly past London’s Big Ben, toward the second star to the right and straight on ‘til morning.

Fun Facts and Trivia

  • The ride opened at Disneyland on July 17, 1955. It opened at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom on October 3, 1971.
  • Peter Pan’s Flight is one of the few opening day attractions still operating today. Can you name the other Fantasyland rides? Snow White’s Scary Adventures, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, and Mad Tea Party are some of the opening day Disneyland attractions.

  • Where’s Peter Pan?! Did you know that not a single Peter Pan animatronic could be found on the ride in the early years? The idea was that the passengers would be Peter Pan flying through the adventure, which meant no sign of him found anywhere on the attraction. This idea confused many passengers. Those hoping to spot Peter voiced their disappointment. Eventually Disney Parks added the hero of Neverland to satisfy Peter Pan fans.
  • Ever wonder why the line usually has lengthy wait times? Part of the issue is the capacity load. Each vehicle can hold a max of 2-3 individuals and it’s estimated less than 1,000 passengers board per hour.
  • Walt chose to think outside the box to make Peter Pan’s Flight a memorable experience. Disney stepped up the game, even more, by using the technology of the Omnimover with allowing guests to fly through the sky.  In order to achieve this, Imagineers created the concept of putting the track on the ceiling of the attraction.  Having a track on the ceiling was a first for dark rides.

Queue and Flight

  • In fact, the whole ride itself is imaginative, including the interactive murals in the queue. The Walt Disney World version received an update in 2015 with enhancements in the queue. When guests enter the line, they enter into the home of the Darlings in the children’s bedroom.  Here you will find Nana’s doghouse and Tinkerbell as fairy lights dance across the walls.  On another wall, you can play along with Peter Pan’s shadow as it dances and plays along with your movements.
  • Once you enter the ride and you begin to fly in the air, take a look at the blocks in the Nursery.  Imagineers have a special skill in putting their little touches, which they did when they spelled out “Disney” in the blocks using an upside-down 5.
  • As you continue to fly higher and higher it feels as if you are above the clouds!  In reality, at the highest point in the ride, you are 17 feet off the ground.  Imagineers create the illusion as if you are much higher using force perceptive.  This forced perspective is created through the creative construction of the buildings and scenery making you feel higher than you actually are.  Fun fact! When you are flying high over London you can see the cars on the road below.  Those cars are actually created by placing glow-in-the-dark paint on a bicycle chain!

Let us know your favorite memory of Peter Pan’s Flight!

 



Kevin Koszola

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