We all know it, we all love it, if you don’t know it then prepare for a delightful ride for all ages! Peter Pan’s flight takes guests on a ride to Neverland as guest travel through famous scenes throughout the movie.
Peter Pan debuted in theaters on February 5, 1953. Movies during this time often debuted for an entire year at a time, which allowed the movie to be fresh in Disney’s mind when it came time to create the attractions for his new and upcoming amusement park in 1954. In fact, Disney only had one year to create and construct his amusement park. Disney relied heavily on his movie library and planned to capitalize on his greatest catalog and build upon these intellectual properties.
Disney chose his first ride, intending it to be the basis of his most memorable attraction, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. However, with the help of Imagineers, Disney chose his second most memorable ride using Peter Pan to create Peter Pan’s Flight which debuted on Disneyland’s opening day, July 17, 1955.
Fun fact, Peter Pan’s Flight is one of a handful of rides still in operation since opening day. However, Peter Pan’s Flight we know today wasn’t the same flight the Imagineers originally created. The original ride took guests on a flight as if they were Peter Pan flying through his point of view, but it did not translate to guests all that well. Guests spent the entire flight looking for the beloved character. Eventually, the ride underwent refurbishment in 1983 where Peter Pan finally made his long-awaited debut.
Whether Peter Pan was present or not, Disney wanted to make sure one idea was apart of the ride. Disney wanted guests to have the sensation of flying, and boy did he achieve that! Termed the Omnimover, a connected track system that guarantees a set of carts will be in the right spot at the right time in a continuous movement, guests flew through the air over the London sky. Fun fact, Disney patented the technology for the Omnimover in 1968, but its roots can be traced back to the 1964 New York World’s Fair in Disney’s booths.
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. In fact, the whole ride itself is imaginative, including the interactive murals 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!
As you can imagine, all of the creative touches put throughout the ride and the fact that you can fly with Peter Pan makes Peter Pan’s Flight a highly sought after ride. Plan accordingly! The wait for this line can often be over an hour long and increasing as the day continues on.
Keep up on your Disney history by visiting the Disney Addicts Website.
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