Delta Dreamflight was an attraction located in Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom inside the Walt Disney World, and was sponsored by Delta Airlines. Dreamflight replaced an attraction called If You Could Fly, which was originally the attraction, If You Had Wings, sponsored by Eastern Air Lines.
Dreamflight utilized the same Omnimover track layout as its predecessor, which in turn would go on to be used by its replacement. Dreamflight was a pop-up book version of the history of flight using simplistic sets, some Audio-Animatronics and projection effects. Riders passed through scenes of barnstormers, an M-130, Tokyo and Paris in the 1930s, the jet age, and the future of air travel, and appeared to enter a working jet engine.
Delta sponsored the ride from its opening in 1989 through the end of 1995. The decision not to continue sponsorship was made in part due to the costs of sponsoring the 1996 Centennial Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia. From January 1, 1996 to June 4, 1996 the attraction was renamed simply "Dreamflight" while its future was being determined. On June 5, 1996 it reopened as Take Flight. It was only a slight refurbishment; all references to Delta were removed and the attraction's popular theme songs were rerecorded. Within the context of the new Tomorrowland's overarching community storyline, Take Flight was presented as an attraction operated by the Tomorrowland Metro-Retro Historical Society that also maintained the Carousel of Progress and the Progress City model along the Peoplemover. Take Flight closed its doors for good in January 5, 1998, ending the dynasty of flight-based attractions to occupy the space. It was replaced by the interactive dark ride Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, which was inspired by Disney/Pixar's Toy Story films. Elements of Dreamflight were re-purposed into the new attraction, with chickens being painted green to become space-y, and the mechanism for a crashed pilot being redressed for a space alien.
Guests entered the building into a small queue designed to look like an airport boarding terminal. The front-end nose and cockpit of an actual Delta 767 was situated on the left entering the queue, "passengers" appearing as though they were actually boarding a jetliner. The Delta jet was marked as "The Spirit of Delta" in bright gold. As guests made their way into the queue opposite the jet, they entered a terminal gate with posters on the wall that included many exciting and exotic destinations of the world. Eventually, the guests would make their way back up the terminal gate and enter the side of the jet into a mirrored hallway with bright blue, green, red and yellow neon lights. As guests walked up a ramp they entered the boarding area which was set up in a very similar fashion to the Haunted Mansion. As the bright blue "cars" rode past one would walk onto a moving escalator ramp and "board" the "flight".
Guests first encountered a giant mural depicting the golden era of aviation in America, adorning the wall in the first room. The next room that guests entered on the attraction had a giant, pop-up book style spinning room which had a hot air balloon and other flying contraptions spinning by them as the "Dreamflight" song played. Then guests entered the second room of the "flight" which was designed to look as though they were in a giant crop field of the American mid-west in the roaring 1920s. Biplanes, stunt planes and barnstormers were flying all over the ceiling above a flying circus air show. The pilot of a plane had crashed through a barn and was stuck in the rafters on the ceiling of the barn. The third room was just a big screen with a film clip of an aerial stuntman standing on top of a prop plane while it performed dizzying stunts in the air.
Next came the propeller plane era, where commercial flights started taking passengers all over the globe. On the left, guests passed the inside of a posh, elegant airliner's fuselage that was the dining area of a first-class trip. Then a gentleman in a suit stood on the guest's left in a Japanese garden where he was being greeted by the Japanese locals. Coming up on the right hand side below the guests were the rooftops and the skyline of Paris, France. Guests "flew" past the rooftops of a Paris street and could see quaint little shops and tourists sitting below on the patio of a French cafe. As the guests moved ahead, a sign saying "Jet Age", spun in circles and a male or female voice said, "Ladies and Gentlemen. Your Dreamflight will depart immediately for the future. Please prepare for supersonic takeoff". To the immediate left on the wall was a giant painting of a jetliner taking off towards the sky.
As the guests made their way forward, a giant spinning light along with fog and fans gave the impression that they were about to actually enter the inside of a turbo jet engine. The sounds of an engine roaring to life and taking off then blasted out over the sound system. As guests entered a gigantic film projection room, they saw footage of a plane taking off a runway to simulate their flight's departure, eventually lifting off and flying through the clouds in the sky. The next room was another film clip on the right which showed computer-generated clips of the guests above the earth, flying in a canyon above water and eventually flying in a futuristic city with fireworks exploding all around them; the first theatrical-format 70mm computer animations ever produced. The final room of the attraction was a giant pop-up book with destinations spread out on huge pages, while a little projection of a Delta jet flew by above the display into the clouds.
The exit area was a room with the Delta logo painted on the wall and with more posters of destinations from around the world to visit.
- Brian Cummings - Flight Announcer
Tomorrowland Transit Authority Dioramas
If You Had Wings had diorama windows that allowed riders on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority to look down into the ride. When If You Had Wings was replaced with Delta Dreamflight, the dioramas on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority changed. One diorama window was removed in the process:
- The first window was replaced with backlit panels depicting the ride's barnstormer scene.
- The second window looked into the Parisian Excursion scene, from a viewpoint which heavily distorted the tableau's forced perspective.
- The third window would have had riders looking directly into an extremely bright light and so was completely obscured with plywood and black fabric.
- "Delta Dreamflight". Retrieved on August 13, 2006.