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Today in Disney History: The Rocketeer Flies at the Walt Disney World Resort

Jennifer Fickley-Baker

by , Editorial Content Manager, Walt Disney World Resort

Who else loved the movie “The Rocketeer”?

Today in Disney History: The Rocketeer Flies at the Walt Disney World Resort

This 1991 film took us back to the 1930s to tell the story of a rookie pilot named Cliff, who, with the help of a mysterious jet pack, became a “high-flying” hero, battling gangsters and spies in Hollywood. The movie starred Billy Campbell, Jennifer Connelly, Alan Arkin, Timothy Dalton and Terry O’Quinn, among others.

“Today in Disney History: The Rocketeer Flies at the Walt Disney World Resort “Today in Disney History: The Rocketeer Flies at the Walt Disney World Resort

If you’re a fan of this film, then check out the amazing photos we just found in our archives. During the summer of 1991, the nightly Sorcery in the Sky Fireworks at Disney’s Hollywood Studios was enhanced to feature a special scene to promote “The Rocketeer.” The show began with a musical tribute to the Golden Age of Hollywood, and just as the music transitioned to become more modern, the Rocketeer appeared on a platform in front of the Chinese Theater to chants of “Rocketeer! Rocketeer!” He then ignited his jetpack and swirled about high up in front of the theater.

This special addition to Sorcery in the Sky Fireworks only lasted one summer. Were you lucky enough to see it? Tell us in the “Comments” section below.


  • Hey Don’t forget, in the movie the Rocketeer takes off in front of theater during the ceremony, and thanks to great Imagineering, if you look around the courtyard at disney studios you will see the Rocketeer’s footprints and blast marks in the cement.

  • Awesome! Can you please find the picture of the Rocketeer taking off from the Adventurers Club roof from the 1991 Summer Issue of the “Disney News Magazine” article “Starstruck on Pleasure Island? Kungaloosh!

  • Love love love the Rocketeer! Never saw this show, but how about a return visit for Limited Time Magic?

  • One of my favorite live-action Disney movies. And while the Rocketeer himself doesn’t fly over Hollywood Studios anymore, a sharp-eyed guest can still spot references to the movie scattered throughout the park, specifically one in the Echo Lake area.

  • I saw the Rocketeer fly only once at then -Disney MGM – it was before I saw the movie.
    Kinda cool

  • I used to sell Balloons at the Studios. I got to watch it 5 days a week. So cool!

    • Neat!

  • Hey Eddie. there is a shop on Buena vista street in CA ADV that has a manequin dressed as the rocketeer. I was excited to see it one day. I dont remember which shop it was but upon entering the park it is on the left side of the street. Happy spying!

  • I actually got to see the Rocketeer fly on several occasions…
    What I remember was how LOUD it was. Was pretty cool, though.

  • I still love this movie! Cool photo find. I didn’t know this had happened. Wouldn’t The Rocketeer fit in well at California Adventure?

  • Thanks for sharing! I had no idea/recollection of Disney doing this. It’s still one of my favorite underappreciated movies. Dave Stevens would be proud of it’s enduring popularity.

  • What a great movie…saw it in theaters and own it on video…I loved the scene where Cliff used the rocket for the first time and plowed through the corn field…two oldtimers watched this and saw him plowing through the field with the corn being knocked over…one turned to the other and said “big gopher”…everytime I see this scene I break out laughing….

  • I loved the Rocketeer, and had no idea this ever existed. Thanks for sharing the amazing photo’s.

    • I’m happy we could find them!

  • The Rocketeer is still one of my favorite Disney movies. I love the period music, the costumes, and the wonderful casting — from Billy Campbell to Jennifer Connelly. I missed the Sorcery in the Sky Fireworks that year, but I’m sure it was amazing.

    • 🙂

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