Today’s riveting historical find that has me agog is this amazing video, taken in 1988, of the rarely documented attraction if you could fly. This short-lived ride was a re-named version of the fan classic if you had wings, necessitated when Eastern Airlines dropped their sponsorship of that original attraction. The changes were superficial and quick; If You Had Wings closed on June 1, 1987, only to open five days later as If You Could Fly. All references to Eastern Airlines had been stripped out, including Eastern-specific logotypes, and, unfortunately, the original attraction’s catchy and iconic theme song went as well.
What makes this video particularly special is that there’s scant good video documentation of If You Had Wings as it is, and film of If You Could Fly is exceedingly rare. In fact, this is the first time I’ve ever seen any online. For the time, and considering it’s a dark ride, the quality of the video is excellent.
If You Could Fly remained open until January 4, 1989. It’s show building – and ride vehicles and track – were later used for Dreamflight, which was sponsored by Delta Airlines. Delta had replaced the defunct Eastern Airlines as the official airline of Walt Disney World. After Delta dropped their sponsorship in 1996, Dreamflight became Take Flight for two years until it was closed again to become Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. But the next time you’re riding past the day-glo plywood and zapping Emperor Zurg, realize that you’re traveling on the exact same path that these fine inhabitants of the 1980s took to visit Cancun and olde San Juan.