On this day in Disney history, If You Had Wings, one of Walt Disney World Resort’s first attractions to celebrate flight, debuted to guests in 1972.
At If You Had Wings, guests boarded Omnimover vehicles that took them on a flight around the world, making stops in Bermuda, Puerto Rico and other vacation destinations. One stop took guests through New Orleans for a jazz band performance.
Another stop was a city in Mexico where guests caught a lively cultural dance performance. The attraction ended by offering a bird’s-eye view of the United States, and then a descent back to the Walt Disney World Resort flight terminal.
The attraction was very popular with guests in the 1970s, and in just six years, more than 40 million guests had taken a flight.
While the attraction was refurbished in 1987 to become If You Could Fly (the space is now Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin), the attraction’s original theme song is sure to live on in the minds of Disney fans.
Now sing it with me: “If you had wings…”
How can you ever forget that song once you’ve heard it?! I think it was as catchy as “Small World”. Always enjoyed that attraction.
Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe you can still hear the “If you had wings..”, the instrumental version while having lunch at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café.
I remember this ride, it was wonderful, especially the song. I’m glad you can still get a bit of the feel of this ride at the Mexico Pavilion ride. If you ever build a “Yesterland” at Disney World, please bring this back…And Mr. Toad…And 20,000 Leagues…and…:)
I thought it was changed to “Dream Flight”? I don’t recall If You Could Fly, but Dream Flight was my favorite ride growing up. I remember being so diappointed when it was changed to Buzz Lightyear…
Dream Flight was the third version of the attraction. Check out the history and more cool photos in this previous post: https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2011/06/this-week-in-disney-history-delta-dreamflight-debuts/
Ooh! I’ve read about this attraction but have never seen pictures! This is so cool! 😀
I remember this attraction it was one of my favorites. When I became an Eastern Airlines Flight Attendant I would hear that song in my head every time I put on my uniform. I loved it! Even through Eastern and If You Had Wings are gone I will always have fond memories of both, and when I ride Buzz Lightyear’s Space Rangers Spin I can still hear “If you had wings you could do many things…” and I can see that beautiful Eastern L-1011 and remember how happy I was to actually wear the wings of the first official airline of Walt Disney World!
This was such a great ride. Made greater by the fact that it didn’t require a ticket! One of the free gems in the early years at the Magic Kingdom.
Dream Flight!! That was my favorite riding! I think I only got to ride it twice before it closed but it was amazing! Now I work in aerospace, who would have thought!
Too young for If you Had Wings, but it looks so cute!
Correct – it later became Delta Dreamflight, which I previously wrote about. Check out these pics: https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2011/06/this-week-in-disney-history-delta-dreamflight-debuts/
On our first cruise to Jamaica, I convinced our family to climb Dunne’s River Falls because I saw it in this attraction at WDW. The song will always be with me,:)
Oh! I LOVED this ride – if I remember correctly it didn’t require a ticket, so my sister and I would ride it again and again! And yes, that song instantly springs to mind!
As a kid… I was fearful of roller coasters. While my dad and brother would be in line for Space Mountain, my mom and I would ride If You Had Wings time after time after time. I loved every moment of it.
I would LOVE to get my hands on the Eastern Airlines plane-replica rotary telephone that was on the travel agent’s desk at the exit to the attraction. Yeah, that is how much I love and remember this attraction 🙂
I was terrified of coasters until I was in high school, so I was always happy that Disney Parks had quality rides like this that I could enjoy.
Wow, I hadn’t thought if If You Had Wings in a long time, but seeing this post brought back a flood of childhood memories – including the song. I’ve been obsessed with aerospace most of my life, so any attraction that involved flight was an immediate draw to me. And, living in upstate NY as a child, Eastern Airlines was the airline we usually flew. I still have ‘wings’ from cockpit visits – back when that was possible. As a kid I remember learning everything I could about the Boeing 727, because that was the Eastern aircraft I most often flew on.
The song is going to be stuck in my head all day.
“If you had wings, had wings, had wings, had wings! If you had wings! If YOU had wings!!!”
I absolutely loved this attaction. It was the very first ride that I went on at a Disney Park and helped me become the Disney fan that I am today. I used to love the scenes that made you feel like you were traveling so fast. Thanks for brining back the memories!!
That’s great to hear, Sean. 🙂
I so loved this ride !! I told my boys about this ride the very first time I took them to WDW!! I remember feeling like I was flying as a girl. I cannot wait to be able to take them again & ride Soarin, which I bet will remind me of this ride. Love the song too, it sticks to you like small world !! LOL Thanks for sharing this photos, brings back happy memories!
I’m happy you enjoyed them!
I wasn’t alive in the 70s. But I remember boarding it as “Delta Dream Flight” and “Take Flight.” My favorite part was where you ‘power up’ on Space Ranger Spin. Your ride vehicle slowly moved into the cabin of an antique prop plane.
One of the reasons I love to fly is because of these WDW attractions.
What are the rest of the lyrics?
[:If you had wings, if you had wings, if you had wings, had wings, had wings, had wings:]
You can fly away, under the sun,________……….
We loved this attraction SO much, especially because we always flew Eastern Airlines to get to Florida! I loved how at the end the wind blew as if you were actually flying. I still sing the theme song all the time!!
Maybe I’m getting my rides confused, but towards the end of the ride, didn’t the omnimover go into a large room with 360-degree screen, the omnimover would tilt back a little, a fan on the “exit” end would blow air to give a moving feeling and the screen would show various films — i clearly remember the film of the airboat through the swamps. Ah yes, just did a wiki-check and they call it the “speed room”. Folks I remember that from my first WDW visit in 1976.
‘If you had Wings’ was one of my favorite rides as a child & I still remember it & love that song! I was so sad to see it go! I really wish Disney would bring this back in a modern version (maybe featuring Southwest Airlines?) Nothing would make me happier to hear that same song again & re-live some magical moments. They could have a version that features some of Disney’s other destinations (showcase Aulani in Hawaii, the cruise lines & Adventures by Disney..) hint, hint Disney!! ºoº
When I was a kid, my nephew and I would ride it over and over and over. It was free and didn’t have a long wait in line. I was heartbroken when it closed. Times change, but I will always remember the fun we had.
One more thing, the song was written by X Atencio.[Disney Legend]
I always called it ‘The Eastern Ride’ and this thread reminded me about that song from many summers at Disney! I loved the part at the end where it seemed like you were speeding through a desert landscape. Has anyone else noticed that the end of the Led Zeppelin song “Fool in the Rain” sounds like the music from the street festival scene on that ride? I always think of the Eastern Ride every time I hear that song. I also miss the RCA dog from Space Mountain.