Disney Gang Soars with Alaska Airlines

Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy will have their heads in the clouds with the “Spirit of Disneyland,” a newly-painted Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-400. Images of the beloved Disney characters replaced the Eskimo that has traditionally adorned the tail of all Alaska Airlines aircraft since the early 1970s.

The “Spirit of Disneyland” made its inaugural flight yesterday, departing from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport at 1:07 p.m. and arriving at John Wayne-Orange County Airport at 3:43 p.m. Ribbon cutting ceremonies in Seattle were overseen by Erik Lindbergh, whose grandfather, the legendary Charles Lindbergh, piloted the famous “Spirit of St. Louis” into the history books.

Lindbergh, who lives with rheumatoid arthritis, partnered with the Arthritis Foundation Washington/Alaska Chapter to send three children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis to enjoy the magic of the Disneyland Resort. The crew and guests of the first flight received Mickey Mouse ears and a bag of Disney treats.

This is the first time Disney theme park characters have been painted on an aircraft. In addition to the Mouse House gang, the words “We’re going to Disneyland!” appear on the exterior. The interior of the plane features a commemorative plaque at the forward door, fun graphics and printed messages inside the overhead bins.

The launch kicks off a major marketing initiative featuring special vacation offers between Alaska Airlines and the Disneyland Resort. January begins with “Kids Fly Free,” combined with five days of theme-park fun for the price of three, and the fourth night free at a Disneyland Resort-area hotel.