Off to Never Land we go! Peter Pan is a classic tale that almost everyone knows. Of course Disney has a classic ride based on the story! The secret history of Peter Pan's Flight is what we're "studying" today (Shhh... I told my mom I was studying when she asked what I was doing on the computer). Let's take our flight to Never Land and see what we can discover.
The Secret History of Peter Pan's Flight
Peter Pan's Flight is one of the original rides at Disneyland to open with the park in 1955. Magic Kingdom's version opened its doors two days after the park's grand opening! According to DisneyAvenue.com, the Imagineers assigned to the creation of Disneyland's dark rides, including Herb Ryman, Marvin Davis, Bob Mattey, Claude Coats and Ken Anderson, had a very tight deadline to meet. Since much of the park wasn't quite ready for the installation of rides, Imagineers had to actually set up a test track in the Disney Studio to test Peter Pan's Flight!
Imagineers Bill Justice and Bill Martin went straight to work on drawings for the Magic Kingdom attraction. Magic Kingdom's Peter Pan's Flight opened with exciting features the Disneyland version didn't yet contain, including the newest Audio-Animatronics, and even had the Indians, Lost Boys and Pirates on the ride. The formatting was very similar to Disneyland's ride with some upgraded effects and additions. One of the most iconic scenes from the Disney animated film was also included on Peter Pan's Flight in Magic Kingdom - Captain Hook in the grasp of the Crocodile!
Originally, Imagineers envisioned guests experiencing the flight through Peter Pan's perspective. However, when guests first started sailing to Never Land, they often questioned why Peter Pan wasn't seen on the attraction. It wasn't until the 1983 refurbishment that he was finally added to the Disneyland version as an Audio-Animatronic. Now you can also fly to Never Land aboard Peter Pan's Flight at Disneyland Paris (opened on April 12, 1922) and Tokyo Disneyland (April 15, 1983).
Peter Pan's Flight Fun Facts
- Via DisneyFanatic.com, you're actually only about 17 feet off the ground while flying through Peter Pan's Flight. The tiny-sized models below give you the effect of flying high in the sky!
- Magic Kingdom's version of Peter Pan's Flight went through a refurbishment in 2015 that jazzed up its queue. The queue is now interactive and travels inside, where guests can get a close look at Wendy, John and Michael's bedrooms.
- Look for a hidden word in the nursery scene's blocks! You might see "Disney" spelled out.
- While Disneyland's pirate ships stop at the platform to load, Magic Kingdom's ships are on an Omnimover system (like the Haunted Mansion), so they continuously move!
- How do they make the volcano in Never Land seem like its bubbling? By using tiny styrofoam balls and blowing air on them!
- Disneyland's version also went through an extensive refurbishment in 2015; the new additions include the Darling children in the nursery now fly with you, a repaint and more special effects.
- According to Geek.com, up until 2015, the clouds floating over London were actually just plastic bags!
Peter Pan's Flight is one of my favorite Disney rides and always will be; there's just something about it that's magical. Be sure to check out our Peter Pan's Flight wait times, ride details and more! What are some of your favorite things about the classic dark ride? Let us know in the comments below!
Related: The Secret History of Jungle Cruise
Related: The Secret History of Space Mountain