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Space Shuttle Discovery Soars Over Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World

posted on April 5th, 2010 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Space Shuttle Discovery Soars Over Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World
If you’re heading to Walt Disney World today, you’ll see some amazing things — but nothing like this. This morning, photographer Kent Phillips captured Space Shuttle Discovery as it soared over Cinderella Castle on its mission to the space station. After the shuttle’s climb to orbit, Kent also photographed Discovery’s exhaust trail catching the first rays of sunlight.
Space Shuttle Discovery Soars Over Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World

Kent said he snapped the images near Country Bear Jamboree in Frontierland and that seeing the liftoff and amazing light show were definitely worth getting up early for.

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

72 Comments 1 Reply

1

Sarah on April 5th, 2010 at 10:45 am

Gorgeous!!

2

Michael from FL on April 5th, 2010 at 10:50 am

I also noticed the smoke ring that looked like an “8″ in the sky after the launch. Great photo thanks for posting it.

3

AJ from TX on April 5th, 2010 at 10:52 am

This is absolutely outstanding. Thank you for sharing. The exhaust trail reminds me of the Caterpillar’s smoke rings in Alice in Wonderland… ;-)

4

Jerry from NY on April 5th, 2010 at 11:07 am

Absolutely amazing pic.

5

Craig from MA on April 5th, 2010 at 11:18 am

I think this picture might need to become my wallpaper for a while. Amazing.

 

Thomas Smith on April 5th, 2010 at 1:18 pm

Yes…certainly wallpaper-worthy. Thanks, Craig.

6

Jacqueline from MS on April 5th, 2010 at 11:21 am

AWESOME!!!!!

7

Paul on April 5th, 2010 at 11:22 am

As always, amazing photos!

8

Auriette from FL on April 5th, 2010 at 11:46 am

Great photo! One of the coolest memories I have from working at Walt Disney World, 1988-1990, was during the Backstage Studio Tour at what was then the Disney-MGM Studios. I was giving the tour when I saw the space shuttle (don’t recall which one) launch and I was able to point it out to my tour group.

9

Jeff on April 5th, 2010 at 11:57 am

Absolutely my favorite picture of the castle ever! I would love a horizontal version to use as a desktop wallpaper. Normally bringing the outside world into WDW distracts from the magic, but this one does just the opposite!

10

Richard on April 5th, 2010 at 12:11 pm

Very cool indeed. Was wondering from what area he took those photos and know exactly where he was set up.

Another perfect Orlando morning at the park :)

11

Christi from TX on April 5th, 2010 at 12:19 pm

Oh Wow! That is amazing! Wish I could’ve witnessed it!

12

Pamela from GA on April 5th, 2010 at 12:39 pm

Sure wish I still lived in Florida. Loved seeing the shuttle launches as a kid. This picture of it soaring over the Castle is one in a million! Great job, Kent!

13

Robert from UT on April 5th, 2010 at 12:42 pm

Is that a Hidden Mickey right above the bottom picture? ;)

14

James on April 5th, 2010 at 12:53 pm

Awesome site

15

Mark from PA on April 5th, 2010 at 12:55 pm

Splendiferous and coooool!
Thanks you Kent

16

Dina on April 5th, 2010 at 1:02 pm

Amazing!!!

17

Michele on April 5th, 2010 at 1:05 pm

My husband and I saw a launch in October 2000 while we were waiting for Fantasmic to start. It was so cool. We snapped a couple of pics, but nothing as good as this.

18

zack on April 5th, 2010 at 1:06 pm

That is so Beautiful!

19

Reggie on April 5th, 2010 at 1:09 pm

Those are amazing photos. I wish I got to see that, Its going to be sad to see the shuttle program shut down.

20

Marilyn on April 5th, 2010 at 1:10 pm

Absolutely stunning.

21

chris on April 5th, 2010 at 1:17 pm

AMAZING PIC!

22

Brooke on April 5th, 2010 at 1:17 pm

Almost looks like Mickey all the way on the right!

23

Reto on April 5th, 2010 at 1:26 pm

Hey, Tinker Bell, is that you? :-) Seriously, a magical photo. I missed a shuttle launch due to a delay by 2 days last November – was already cruising on the Magic. Would have loved to witness that.

24

Diana on April 5th, 2010 at 1:27 pm

Amazing and wonderful!

25

ilene on April 5th, 2010 at 1:29 pm

What beautiful photos and like Craig from MA…one of them will be my new wallpaper….kudos to you!!

26

Richelle from OH on April 5th, 2010 at 1:33 pm

Breath taking. What wonderful photography.

27

cathy from TN on April 5th, 2010 at 1:55 pm

Beautiful….really makes me want to come to Florida even sooner. love Cinderella’s castle

28

david from IL on April 5th, 2010 at 1:59 pm

Amazing picture ! In all the trips we have done was only in Florida for 1 shuttle launch and was backed up on the 528 so only saw from a distance anyway.

29

Suzannah from FL on April 5th, 2010 at 2:03 pm

So amazingly beautiful. Thank you for waking up so early to capture this for all of us to enjoy!

30

Elizabeth on April 5th, 2010 at 2:10 pm

That’s wicked cool!

31

mark from NY on April 5th, 2010 at 2:18 pm

those rings almost formed a classic hidden Mickey ! ( I took a great pic at Downtown Disney of a real cloud formation shaped like a Giant Classic Mickey)

32

gin on April 5th, 2010 at 2:29 pm

awesome pics it was 6:30 this morning and i thought it was re-entry for some reason since i didn’t have my glasses on it was a blur lol

33

Jennifer on April 5th, 2010 at 2:34 pm

These are beautiful pictures, thanks for posting them!

34

Robert from TX on April 5th, 2010 at 2:38 pm

Awsome shot!

35

John from OH on April 5th, 2010 at 2:40 pm

Any chance you might release higher resolution versions of these two images?

A few years ago I managed to get a great shot of the shuttle taking off over Spaceship Earth at sunset. Very similar. Always love those chance circumstances.

36

Nathan on April 5th, 2010 at 3:15 pm

hidden mickeys in the skyy

37

Kara on April 5th, 2010 at 3:28 pm

Thank you for sharing this magical image, Thomas.

38

Michele from CA on April 5th, 2010 at 3:40 pm

Wow that is beautiful and just amazing.

39

Teresa from MI on April 5th, 2010 at 3:50 pm

WOW! Beautiful!

40

Rosanne from MI on April 5th, 2010 at 3:57 pm

Thank you forgetting up to take the AWESOME pictures of the shuttle launch. Much better than what I saw from my winter home.

41

Denise from WI on April 5th, 2010 at 3:57 pm

Great Timing Kent….. What a sight, nice pictures.

42

Dave on April 5th, 2010 at 4:39 pm

I am soo envious of you, two of the three things I want to do this year and you captured them both in one sitting. Fantastic pictures and hope to see more of them from today, keep posting.

43

Jacob on April 5th, 2010 at 4:52 pm

The smoke(?) in the second picture looks like Donald Duck! There’s the main white circle (his head) with a big orange triangle jutting out from the left side (his bill) and a big blue splotch on the top-left of the circle (his hat)! There’s even a big whole in the white circle right where the eye should be!

44

Milene on April 5th, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Beautiful pics! :)

45

Kim on April 5th, 2010 at 7:03 pm

Just beautiful! What an awesome sight that must have been….seeing the space shuttle above Cinderella’s castle, at the happiest place on earth :)

46

Frank on April 5th, 2010 at 8:32 pm

Rockin’ Pic!

47

RICHARD from FL on April 5th, 2010 at 9:09 pm

The sky looked so cool. And hey that’s the same view from my backyard except for the whole castle part.

48

Elizabeth on April 5th, 2010 at 9:13 pm

Last year my family and I watched a launch from Port Orleans Riverside. It was so cool that it brought tears to my eyes. If I had seen it go over the castle, oh my gosh, I probably would have been bawling my eyes out. What beautiful photos! Thanks for sharing them (sniff, sniff).

49

Holly on April 5th, 2010 at 9:19 pm

Absolutely awesome pictures! I wish I could have been there to see it in person, but thanks for sharing it with all of us!

50

Heather on April 5th, 2010 at 9:33 pm

Great picture for those who knew Chase I would like to think he can see it from heaven

72 Comments