Original If You Had Wings Attraction Poster Concept by Greg Maletic
Created for WYW! A first!
“You Do Have Wings”
Voice heard at the end of the ride, from live recording, 1987, mp3 file, mono, 100kb, :11
The song, If You Had Wings, was written by the prolific Disney composer Norman “Buddy” Baker and lyricist X. Atencio
If you had wings, you could do many things You could widen your world, if you had wingsChorus: If you had wings, if you had wings, if you had wings, had wings, had wings, had wings, had wings You could fly to a plaza, where the people play At the Mexican fiesta, in the land of oleChorus You could fly to Bermuda, like a flying fish Have a ball on a cruise ship, or catch fish if you wish Chorus Wanna buy a sombrero, made of real fine straw? How about a nice handbag, for pretty mama?Chorus You could follow a tradewind, down to Old San Juan And explore an old fortress, before traveling onChorus You could flitter and flutter, to the isle of springs To that emerald green garden, and do wonderful thingsChorus You could fly with flamingos, to that old French town Go on regale New Orleans, wear the carnival crownChorus You do have wings, you can do all these things, You can widen your world, for you have wings Post-show (exit) version: For you have wings, For you have wings
For you have wings, have wings, have wings, have wings, have wings
* This transcription is based on comparisons of a demo recording of the ride’s music and live recordings of the attraction’s true audio tracks, during which the stupidity of the lyrics was made fully manifest. WYW is not responsible for the contents of the above song nor does it assume liability for any damages resulting from the misuse of the same.
Eastern Airlines WDW Commercial with Orson Welles voiceover
1971, wmv file, low-resolution, 2mb, 1:00
If You Had Wings ride-through
1985, courtesy Jan & Donna Freitag, wmv file, low-resolution, 4.8mb, 4:47
Statistics & Notes
The Speed Room’s seven high-velocity scenes were of an airplane taking off on a runway, a train speeding headlong down a forest track, waterskiers zipping across a lake, motorcyclists racing along a two-lane road (with a little white dog in their midst), dune buggies careening across a desert, airboats blasting through the Everglades and landsailers gliding through California’s Owens Valley.
The Dunn’s River Falls scene was without waterfall sound effects for the attraction’s first seven years. The sound effect was added in 1979 at the suggestion of a Tomorrowland attractions host who noticed that most of the other scenes in the ride had their own accompanying sounds.
Eastern “pilot’s wings” were distributed free of charge during the 1970s. This practice was discontinued as a cost-cutting measure but it didn’t keep Eastern from folding in 1991.
As with most other Disney rides, If You Had Wings contained a portion of track where the ride vehicles could be pulled from the attraction or placed back in. It was “hidden” in the New Orleans scene, where a rollup garage door separated the track area from an alley space between If You Had Wings and the Plaza Pavilion restaurant.
In 1972 Eastern Airlines produced the 20-page booklet, pictured here, to promote their new attraction. My copy came courtesy from Dave Hooper of Baltimore (thanks Dave!) who was told by the seller that he’d only ever seen five copies of the publication. It contains a series of monochromatic ride images, many of which have been scanned for this site, and a complete written breakdown of the show scenes.
If You Had Wings & The WEDway Peoplemover
| When the WEDway Peoplemover debuted at Walt Disney World in June of 1974, it was intended (like its predecessor at Disneyland) as both a way to show off its linear-induction motor technology and as a means of previewing other attractions in Tomorrowland. Although its first few months didn’t allow for a complete preview of Space Mountain, which was still under construction that summer, the WEDway still offered sufficient views of many outdoor attractions and an intriguing series of windows looking down into If You Had Wings.
The If You Had Wings preview took place approximately 3/4 of the way through the WEDway’s mile-long trip. The WEDway track approached If You Had Wings from the east, after passing along the north perimeter of the Carousel of Progress building. During the WEDway’s first ten years, Jack Wagner’s voice heralded the approach to the attraction as follows, “Inside the pavilion we’re now entering you’ll travel to vacation ports of call through the magic of If You Had Wings.”Beginning in 1985, ORAC-1 (the WEDway’s second, much more annoying narrator) gave a modified description: “A fanciful trip to vacation ports of call is waiting in If You Had Wings. This musical flight around the world ends with a race through the exhilarating Super Speed Tunnel.”
The first, and most expansive, viewpoint looked down upon the Caribbean Port section of the ride. WEDway riders could look back toward the dense north portion of the show building and make out faint glimpses of the Ancient Mexico and Mexico City scenes in the distance. Flowing out from the center of this vista was a line of Omnimover cars which had reached a peak as they left Mexico and then began a snake-like descent into the port. The cruise ship scene was clearly visible, as was most of the Straw Market area leading up to the Puerto Rico area. This view of the ride was, at least to me, a little intoxicating – perhaps in part because one could watch with voyeuristic delight about a dozen Omnimover cars full of people who were absorbed in the ride. Nearly all remained unaware of the WEDway’s front-row vantage point hidden in the darkness just one floor above them. The view was also enhanced by the steel drum music from the Caribbean Port scene. This same music accompanied the subsequent two viewpoints as well.
Also looking north, the second preview opened up on the vertically-oriented Jamaican waterfall scene, where WEDway guests took in a variation of the scene illustrated here. Everybody loved seeing these people “dancing” (or, rather, holding on to each other for dear life) on the terraced steps of Dunn’s River Falls. Something about it was hypnotic.
These three previews remained the same during the attraction’s brief stint as If You Could Fly (1987-1989), with only the accompanying music altered to denote the change. ORAC-1’s narration was not updated, undoubtedly because If You Could Fly was regarded a temporary condition. Strangely enough, the voice used in conjunction with Dreamflight bore no resemblance to ORAC-1 and continued in this incongruous fashion until 1994.
When If You Could Fly was transformed into Dreamflight in 1989, the previews were completely messed up. The first series of windows, which had originally looked down into the Caribbean Port, were covered with a backlit graphic panel depicting cartoon images from Dreamflight’s barnstorming scene. This was probably a good thing, as what had been the Caribbean Port had turned into a huge room covered in charcoal grey sheeting nailed to the wall and ceiling with tacks. The only thing to see in this room was a large screen that would have barely been visible to WEDway riders if the window had remained, making Dreamflight appear even more dull than it truly was.
The second preview over what had been the Jamaican waterfall now glimpsed the Parisian skyline from Dreamflight’s global clipper scenes. While not wholly unattractive, the backdrop was not viewed from the proper angle for appreciating the forced perspective, and hence appeared awkwardly incomplete.
The third preview was eliminated wholesale and has not since returned. An elevated look at the swirling effects lighting of Dreamflight’s jet engine scene (previously If You Had Wings’ New Orleans), would most likely have blinded WEDway riders. To prevent this, someone had a flash of inspiration and covered the last set of windows with black curtains.
Subsequent renovations to the WEDway, which left it operating as the Tomorrowland Transit Authority in 1994, brought about the substitution of the Dreamflight backlit panels with a glimpse into an art deco salon where a spaced-out lady is having her hair pulled in different directions. The second preview changed only when Dreamflight, after a moment in the guise of Take Flight, was turned into Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin in 1998. At present these windows look down upon a scene of unintelligible nonsense, which fits in nicely with the rest of the “new” Tomorrowland.