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Disney World Hosts “Over-and-Above” U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Flyover To Honor Military Service

Cappy Surette

by , Manager, Communications at Disney Experiences and co-chair of the Veteran Employee Resource Group known as “Disney SALUTE”

The United States Air Force Thunderbirds took to the skies over Walt Disney World Resort in a thrilling display of precision flying that took them over not just one—but two—iconic Disney Parks in Florida for the first time ever. This “heightened” patriotic flyover marked the arrival of National Veterans and Military Families Month in November as Disney salutes those who give so much in service to our country.

Image of Disney World audience watching the United States Air Force Thunderbirds

Transforming the skies at the Disney World Air Force flyover event

True to their name, the Thunderbirds, also known as “America’s Team,” announced their arrival with a thunderous pass over Magic Kingdom Park, followed by a pass over EPCOT. This display of military talent and professionalism delighted all who looked skyward.

The Thunderbirds then returned to Magic Kingdom Park for a second pass over Cinderella Castle. They wowed the audience with their famous delta maneuver as they rapidly accelerated skyward in different directions, giving the appearance of an unforgettable fireworks display.

Image of Thunderbirds air show over Cinderella’s Castle at Disney World
Image of Thunderbirds air show over Cinderella’s Castle at Disney World

The timing of this Thunderbirds flyover was especially meaningful this year as The Walt Disney Company marks its 100th anniversary and the Thunderbirds celebrate 70 years of inspiring patriotism.

Among those enjoying this special Thunderbirds air show was a group of Reserve Officers’ Training Corp. (ROTC) students from the University of Central Florida. Nearly 50 students, preparing to be America’s next generation of military leaders, joined us in this celebration of service.

Image of ROTC students from the University of Central Florida at Magic Kingdom watching the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds

A century of recognizing military honor and courage

Disney has admired and supported those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces throughout the 100-year history of our company. That admiration and support continues today.

Saluting service with new merchandise

Image of people wearing special merchandise to honor U.S. military service.

As one of the many ways we salute service, we recently introduced a new line of military-inspired Disney merchandise that recognizes the honor and courage of our military heroes. This line of Disney merchandise, timed to coincide with National Veterans and Military Families Month, will be available for a limited time at select locations at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts while supplies last. Retail locations include the Emporium at Magic Kingdom Park in Florida, the Emporium at Disneyland Park on Main Street, U.S.A., Elias & Co. at Disney’s California Adventure Park and World of Disney at Downtown Disney in California.

Disney’s tradition of celebrating America’s military

The Walt Disney Company has celebrated and honored veterans and their families in a variety of other ways over the past 100 years, including special military discounts, daily flag retreat ceremonies at both Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland and more. We’ve also been honored to contribute more than $20 million in funding and media support since 2012 to nonprofit organizations that focus on bringing joy to veterans and military families.

Join us in saluting all military service members and veterans who have contributed so much to our country!


  • Would love to attend this next year. My husband is a Vietnam Vet and served in the Airforce. He loved the this. Where do I look for the notice on this when it comes up next year so I can surprise him by attending during those days. Thank you,

  • The article says that Disney has ‘honored military veterans in a variety of ways, including military discounts’ and has a link to these discounts. I went to the link and not see discounts for Active Duty. I have never seen a discount afforded to military veterans, to include tickets, hotel reservations, cruises, and travel adventures. Please let me know where these Veteran discounts are posted if any exist.