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This Week in Disney History: Delta Dreamflight Debuts

Jennifer Fickley-Baker

by , Editorial Content Manager, Walt Disney World Resort

I love looking at old photos of our parks that were taken in the 1980s. They always remind me of my first few trips to the Walt Disney World Resort, and the fun my mom and I had exploring our parks during those vacations.

Delta Dreamflight

I’ve been saving this batch of Delta Dreamflight photos to share on this occasion – the anniversary of the attraction’s first flight, which launched June 26, 1989.

Delta Dreamflight

At Delta Dreamflight, families boarded Omnimovers and embarked on a journey through the history of aviation: from cropdusting and parachuting, to gliding aboard modern jetliners.

Delta Dreamflight

The attraction also featured visions of the aircrafts of the future. Who could forget this scene of what the airline dining would look like in years to come? (The pilot in the back corner always looked a little too real to me!).

Delta Dreamflight

The various attractions that have held this space at Magic Kingdom Park have been dedicated to exploring the wonder of flight for years. The first such attraction was If You Had Wings, which opened in 1972, then If You Could Fly, in 1987. Delta Dreamflight became Take Flight in 1996, and the area is currently occupied by Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin. Anyone who is a fan of “Toy Story” knows that at the end of the first film in the series, Buzz did indeed learn to fly. Okay, he had a little help from a rocket, but that still counts, right?

Comments

  • I loved this ride! I especially remember the light tunnel(before “supersonic takeoff”) and the smell in it! That smell has stayed with me for 20 years!!! I always felt like our car was flipping over in that tunnel. I’m not a huge fan of SRS, so I miss Dreamflight even more! I would do almost anything to ride just one more time. I guess I need to accept that it will never happen though… Thanks for the memories!

  • I loved this ride as well as Take Flight 🙁 I miss them. Why exactly where both shut down?

    I remember my brother and I riding Take Flight over, and over, and over, and over again until my parents would finally say “alright kids, lets head to another ride” 🙂

  • This was my favorite ride, as well as my sister’s when it was open. I was wondering where the computer animation that was shown at the end of the ride was from, it was my favorite part. I was hoping it might be a part of some computer animation compilation perhaps. My sister and I thought it was really cool when you went into the plane’s engine, and there was the strobe lights spinning around.

  • I really enjoyed this ride. I was pretty little, but I still remember the part when it looked like you were going to fly right into the propeller of a plane! And what’s funny, I can still remember the smell.. It was almost the same smell that comes from the smoke of the “burning Roman empire” on the Spaceship Earth ride at Epcot. Memories I will never forget!

  • Jennifer,

    I believe that the “Airline Dining” photo is in fact a representation of the Dining Room of the old Flying Boats of the 1930’s. THAT is the way it was and, I’m afraid, it won’t ever been again :-(.

    That said, I still remember fondly the “If You had Wings” ride, and all the rides that have followed.

    Love the photos!! Disney should publish a book about “extinct” attractions…

  • I went on this once because it had a short line and I was waiting for something else. What i thought would be Just a time killer , turned out to be a hidden Magic Kingdom treasure. I was very disapointed when I returned on my next visit and found it was gone.

  • “Welcome Aboard Delta’s Dreamflight”- Seeing this post took me back to being at WDW- and taking a ride on one of the Omnimover pods- slowly circiling around, and into the engine of the Delta “Spirit of Delta” 767’s engines. Sigh. The memories continue to make me feel ANCIENT!

  • This brings back a lot of fun memories, but I really enjoy Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin a lot as well 🙂

  • I’m sad I never got to see this ride. I could tell I would have loved it. I think Disney should create a Vintage Disney park and put all the old ride you had to take out. There are so many rides I miss from when I was a child, at Disneyland.

  • This is a great example of the kind of attractions that made Disney World unique. I’m sorry these types of attractions are gone now but I understand that the parks are not museums. Perhaps what we need is a Smithsonian Museum for retired Disney attractions. We could add Dream Flight, Horizons, and Mr. Toad, to name a few.

  • I know old attractions give way to new, but this is one that I miss. For those who are like me, there are some videos out there on “the usual video site” that show the old ride from beginning to end. The quality isn’t HD of course since the vids are all a few years old, but it certainly brings back great memories.

  • @8, Josh – Yep, that’s one of the reasons us old Eastern Airlines vets liked the old El Rio de Tiempo at Epcot; it felt like someone had salvaged If You Had Wings. 😉
    (I found I even remembered the geography of the old ride going through Buzz Lightyear–While going through the “hyperspace” tunnel, I remembered, “Oh, right, this is the space near the end where it always felt like it was speeding up, but it was only going uphill.”)

    Only had time to ride Dreamflight once on my first solo trip, as tribute–
    Tomorrowland needs one leisurely ride, and now all they’ve got is the TTA.

  • Thank you so much for publishing a new blog entry on the WEEKEND! I miss reading new blogs entries on Saturday and Sundays so I really appreciate it.

    • Thanks for your feedback. I’ll pass it on. I think there are a few more history posts set for weekends this summer. A lot of attractions seemed to have opened during summer months. 🙂

  • This was one of my FAVORITE rides in The Magic Kingdom. Right now, Disney World is in need of a new slow-moving, omnimover dark ride!

    • If you like slow-moving attractions, be sure to visit the blog this Thursday. Nate will feature one of the classic slow-moving attractions in his “Vintage Walt Disney World” column!

  • Only rode it once when I was young, but it stuck with me for as long as I can remember. I’d always remember this ride when I’d be afraid of flying, or of heights. (Especially on the Tower of Terror :P) I’d love to see this ride have a comeback at EPCOT. Would make such a great addition to the ride-deprived park!

  • I love vintage stuff like this–thanks for thinking to post it! Keep ’em coming!

    • Thanks, Sara!

  • this brings back memories! thanks for posting these pics up :)) I loved this ride!

  • I LOVED this ride. Always felt like a miniature EPCOT ride tucked in the corner of Tomorrowland. It had one of the best soundtracks of all time. I sure wish Disney would release it. I’ve got scratchy ride-through audio, but would love to here the pristine source for Dreamflight.

  • I completely missed going to WDW while this attraction was active. I do remember If You Had Wings and Take Flight. While I do love the Buzz Lightyear ride, I miss the airplane themed rides before it.

    • Buzz is a great attraction, too!

  • When I was a kid, that was my absolute favorite attraction. I still think its funny going through all of our old picture albums. We have a lot of pics of us smiling in front of the castle, or smiling in front of flowers, but only one picture of an attraction’s sign, Dreamflight!

  • Thanks for sharing your photos and memories Jen. I never got to see this attraction, and wish I could have. I’ve heard about it, but never quite knew what it was all about. Thanks!

  • Well I REALLY remember “If You Had Wings” sponsored by Eastern (guess I am dating myself!). I always loved that ride – that song really stuck with you – “If you had wings, had wings, had wings” :)))

    • It did, didn’t it?

  • I love seeing “vintage” Walt Disney World attractions. My first trip was in January 1972, and I have been over 100 times since. There are so many of the old attractions I have forgotten about, it’s nice to be reminded of some of them. Thanks for sharing this one.

  • I always loved the If You Had Wings, and If You Could Fly. But I have to say even if I miss the old rides I wouldn’t give up Buzz to get it back.

  • I loved this ride. Classic!

  • It’s too bad the parks are replacing great attractions like this. Obviously this has been gone for quite a while but it would be brilliant if there were a few more “past and future” attractions. I love Carousel of Progress and being such a huge fan of aviation this attraction would have been a great thing to experience.

    • Carousel is one of my favorites, too.

  • That looked liked an awesome ride. Wish I could have rode it before it was gone, but my 1st trip wasn’t until 1995. Sorry I missed it.

  • This was my absolute favorite ride as a kid!! Thanks for taking me back to those memories! =D

  • It breaks my heart to know I never experienced this attraction and I never will 🙁 It looks like the kind of experience I would have LOVED.

    • I’m happy we could share it online.

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