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Forgotten Walt Disney World: If You Had Wings

Guests remember this perfect 70s time capsule with fond nostalgia.

by
Chris Queen

Bio

July 25, 2013 - 2:30 pm

If You Had Wings

Guests entering the ride first walked through a set that looked like an ultramodern airport terminal. After walking through a switchback queue, guests boarded Omnimover cars that passed through an opening in a huge globe. Inside the globe, the projected images of seagulls morphed into jet planes, symbolizing the journey ahead.

The first destination – Mexico! Guests saw Aztec pyramids, cliff divers in Acapulco, and the wonders of Mexico City. Next, guests went on to Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, Trinidad, and New Orleans. After travelling the Caribbean, Atlantic, and Gulf of Mexico, guests experienced the Speed Room!

The Speed Room was one of the most exciting parts of the attraction.  As passengers traveled down the middle of this huge bullet-shaped tunnel with various 70mm projections of high-speed adventures are shown on the walls.  Tilting the Omnimover backwards as large fans gave the sensation of motion enhanced the sensation of moving fast through a dune buggy across the desert, water skiing on a lake, or flying down a forest path on a speeding train.  Once passengers left the Speed Room they entered the final thrill of the ride – the Mirror Room.  This room is exactly as it sounds; a box-shaped room covered with large floor to ceiling mirrors that had two 70mm projectors reflecting images of snow-capped mountains and other relaxing scenes.  These scenes were shot in an upward motion – giving another type of forced-perspective – that of being lifted.

Finally, the seagulls and jets returned, accompanied by the voice of Orson Welles, who intoned:

You do have wings.
You can do all these things.
You can widen your world.
Eastern: the wings of man.

When Eastern changed its slogan, the narration changed to “Eastern: we’ll be your wings” and the voice of (presumably) Pete Renaday. At the end of the ride, Eastern ticket agents stood by to help guests book flights on the airline.

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All Comments   (2)
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Ah, Tomorrowland '72, in its purest, most unspoiled, and most beautiful form! I LOVED the old Tomorrowland attractions at WDW, especially If You Had Wings, and Flight to the Moon. They weren't thrill-rides, or based on stupid cheesy movies as money-making tie-ins. They were wonder-inspiring experiences, especially for nerdy futurist kids like me.

Disney never should have changed. I spent much of my childhood in the Magic Kingdom in the '70s, and much of that in Tomorrowland's gleaming white spires and sky-blue sidewalks. I've been to WDW exactly once since the ghastly retro-steampunk redo. I felt like something died inside me, and have never gone back. It's no longer "my" Disney. "My" Disney is gone forever.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's been replaced by Soarin', which is way more fun.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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