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Mickey & Minnie Sleeping in front of Diamond Sleeping Beauty Castle (Day)

Final Flight of Space Shuttle Endeavour Makes Special Flyover at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on September 19th, 2012 by Gary Buchanan, Social Media Managing Editor

In a place where fairies fly, Space Shuttle Endeavour made a “ferry flight” today, mounted atop a NASA-modified 747 airliner. The historic flight took place in the early morning hours and was a space-explorer surprise for early-rising guests across Walt Disney World Resort. As part of its flight path, Endeavour soared over Magic Kingdom Park and could be seen from various points across property.

When a space shuttle is mounted above a 747, the NASA term for it is a “ferry flight,” which is quite appropriate since Magic Kingdom Park is a place where fairies fly.

Conducted in cooperation with the Federal Aviation Administration Endeavour’s cross-country journey is the final ferry flight of the Space Shuttle Program. Endeavour’s final destination is the California Science Center in Los Angeles, where it will be on display to inspire future generations with the storied history of the space shuttle era.

Endeavour Facts

First Flight: May 7, 1992
First Flight Launch Weight: 256,597 pounds
Total Missions: 25
Total Days in Orbit: 299
Total Orbits of Earth: 4,671
Total Miles Travelled: 122,883,151

As Endeavour makes its way across the country, our friends at NASA encourage people who spot it to use the Twitter hashtags #SpotTheShuttle and #OV105 (Endeavour’s official orbiter designation). To keep up with Endeavour’s cross-country journey, log on to for the latest updates.

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Bryan on September 19th, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Awesome! Thanks for sharing the video :-)


Erica on September 19th, 2012 at 12:32 pm

Doesn’t “ferry” mean “to transport something”? The word doesn’t have anything to do with pixies, fairies, or flying.


melissa on September 19th, 2012 at 12:41 pm

that was AWESOME!!! wish i was there to have witnessed it in person :> that is part of our history and i just hope those who witnessed it were able to enjoy it.


Shawn on September 19th, 2012 at 12:45 pm

Very Cool.. This past April on our way home from WDW we saw the Space Shuttle Discovery landing at Dulles this same way. It was headed for the Smithsonian..


Gary Buchanan on September 19th, 2012 at 3:30 pm

I agree, Shawn. It was a stunning sight to see, and part of American history.


Nicole on September 19th, 2012 at 12:48 pm

That was AWESOME !!! Thanks for sharing it ! Hopefully we can see it when it passes Arizona ! LOL !!!


Darren from TX on September 19th, 2012 at 1:13 pm

Awesome! Love the shot with the flag!


Gary Buchanan on September 19th, 2012 at 3:31 pm

Darren, that is one of my favorite parts of the video too. I was on Main Street, U.S.A. and didn’t get a chance to see that angle, so it’s a treat to see our talented broadcast pros capture that shot.


Paul from IL on September 19th, 2012 at 1:14 pm

Thank you for such a great video!


Paul from OH on September 19th, 2012 at 1:22 pm

Two American iconic originals in one video is awesome! Thanks for this great story and video.


Gary Buchanan on September 19th, 2012 at 3:36 pm

Thanks Paul. The 747 and Space Shuttle flew right over the “Partners” statue in front of Cinderella Castle. As much as Walt Disney loved space and exploration, I think it was quite fitting that it flew over the statue that honors him.


Missy on September 19th, 2012 at 1:23 pm

Its a ferry flight…the 747 is ferrying the shuttle. I think they were referring to the sound of the term being appropriate to WDW. Don’t knit-pick the wording…just enjoy the story!


Deborah on September 19th, 2012 at 1:36 pm

I got to see a Space Shuttle ferry happen over my house years ago when the shuttle flew in to Salt Lake City. It was so low you could read the words on the shuttle. And loud!!!! Awesome sight to see and not something many get to experience. I would have loved to see this flight over Disney. Would have made a perfect day more so.


Gary Buchanan on September 19th, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Deborah, it definitely was an experience that involved many of the senses. It was a treat to see and like you mentioned, the sound was impressive.


Patrick on September 19th, 2012 at 2:41 pm

Great video! I hope to catch the flyover of Disneyland on Friday! Any word on when it will happen and what the best place in or around the park to see it will be?


Gary Buchanan on September 19th, 2012 at 3:40 pm

Thanks Patrick for the compliment. We do not have details on other landmark flyovers during Endeavour’s journey. Keep checking and also the Twitter hashtags #SpotTheShuttle and #OV105 for future updates. NASA is posting Endeavour-related news and media releases on so you can get the latest updates. Just today alone, they have updated the site many times with new news so they’re keeping close watch and reporting it as soon as they can.


Shae on September 19th, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Magical moment seeing this while driving to work!


Sara from NV on September 19th, 2012 at 4:05 pm

It shows that dream do come true!


Martine from VA on September 19th, 2012 at 4:12 pm

Thank you so much for posting this! It combines my two very favorite adventures! Since I’m past the age for astronaut applications, I can still dream at Mission Space. Love IT!


NANCY from PA on September 19th, 2012 at 5:18 pm

I watched the planes take off on the news this morning…so fitting that it should honor EPCOT Center with a fly-over!


David from NJ on September 19th, 2012 at 5:36 pm

My wife and I will not be in WDW until Oct 20th. Can someone call the Cali Science Center and ask them to send the 747 and Endeavour back to do the fly over again so we can see it in person?? Wishful thinking.


Gerry on September 19th, 2012 at 7:20 pm

The L.A. Times reported that Endeavour will enter the L.A area at 10:30 AM Friday. Disneyland will be on the route.


Jason on September 19th, 2012 at 8:04 pm

I will be visiting Disneyland on friday to view the flight out here. I am very excited. Great video. Thanks for sharing!


Mark on September 19th, 2012 at 8:14 pm

I’ve seen two ferry flights…one with Challenger returing from California in 1984, and this past April with Enterprise up and down the Hudson River in New York. After Endeavour lands in California and is demated, this 747 will be retired as a Shuttle Carrier Aircraft and will join the other SCA in NASA’s “SOFIA” program.


Tim on September 19th, 2012 at 9:50 pm

Is that dirt on Spaceship Earth?


Scott from FL on September 19th, 2012 at 10:17 pm

I was lucky enough to be there this morning, unfortunately it flew right above us and not over Fantasyland, so I didn’t get the view I was hoping for. It was a bit depressing knowing this was the last chance we get to see this, and this is the true end of the shuttle era. Thanks for the video


Carolyn on September 19th, 2012 at 11:26 pm

I am so excited you got it on video and it was so cool to see the video even though I am in Chicago; I honestly felt I was in Orlando for a moment in time today :-)


Lynn from NC on September 20th, 2012 at 10:15 am

Beautiful…thank you for sharing with us! Although a bit sad at the same.


Christopher on September 20th, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Looking forward to seeing the flyover at Disneyland tomorrow morning. Will be sad to see this bit of history finally making its way to its final home, but keep holding out hope that we will return to the space program of yesteryear.


Skip from FL on September 20th, 2012 at 9:32 pm

Homophone: same sound, different meaning – ferry / fairy


donald from NM on September 24th, 2012 at 12:44 pm

We relocated to Southern California in January 2012, lucky enough, less than 2 miles from Disneyland. I was there, it was awesome. This speaks to how special Disney parks are.. that they were chosen for this historic set of moments. I guarantee, it’s something I’ll never forget


Gary Buchanan on September 19th, 2012 at 3:29 pm

Thanks Bryan, glad you enjoyed it.