Alaska Airlines Debuts Disney-Themed Airplane in Seattle
SEATTLE — The newest themed airplane in Alaska Airlines' fleet flew into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport today, featuring one of America's most beloved and rusty tow trucks.
Adorned with the familiar images of Disney-Pixar's animated Cars characters Mater, Lightning McQueen, Guido and Luigi, the colorful Boeing 737-800 named "Adventure of Disneyland Resort" celebrates Alaska's partnership with Walt Disney's original theme park.
It is the fifth Disney-themed airplane born out of the successful partnership between Seattle-based Alaska Airlines and Disneyland Resort.
"Our Disney planes generate a lot of excitement among our passengers young and old wherever they fly," said Jeff Butler, Alaska Airlines' vice president of customer service-airports and cargo, and board member of Make-A-Wish Alaska and Washington. "I can't think of a better way to celebrate our strong partnership than to launch this flying invitation to visit Disneyland Resort's newest attraction and Mater's home in Cars Land."
At a special airport event, Mater himself made a satellite appearance from Cars Land at Disney California Adventure Park, providing travelers with updates on the arrival of the plane as it neared Seattle. After the ceremony, the aircraft officially joined the Alaska fleet on a flight to Orange County, Calif., and will then fly throughout the carrier's 65-city network.
"Adventure of Disneyland Resort is a great example of taking beloved, iconic Disney-Pixar characters and bringing them to life in new and unexpected ways," said Sharon Siskie, Disney Destinations' vice president of travel industry sales. "It's been our great privilege to be part of this collaborative effort with Alaska Airlines, and we're delighted that today's inaugural flight will create some very powerful memories for special guests from Make-A-Wish."
Joining passengers flying on Flight 500 were four Make-A-Wish children from Washington and Alaska, ages 3 to 7, and their families, who will spend the next several days at the Disneyland Resort. During their visit, they will be treated to special activities and enjoy overnight accommodations at Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel at the Resort.
"Since our inception, we've granted life-affirming wishes to more than 5,300 children in Alaska and Washington and it's only because of the partnerships that we have with companies like Alaska Airlines and Disney," said Barry McConnell, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish Alaska and Washington.
Since granting its first wish in 1986, Make-A-Wish Alaska and Washington has granted 2,257 Disney wishes and sent 1,051 children and their families on wish trips via Alaska Airlines. Disney helps Make-A-Wish America® grant more than 5,000 wishes annually, making a trip to a Disney Park the most frequent wish requested by Make-A-Wish children.
Alaska Airlines has supported Make-A-Wish Alaska and Washington since 1986 and provides air transportation for about 225 Wish kids and their families to travel each year. Alaska invites members of its Mileage Plan to donate frequent-flier miles to Make-A-Wish through the Charity Miles program. To donate miles, visit www.alaskaair.com and click on the "Mileage Plan" and "Charity Miles" links.
The Adventure of Disneyland Resort aircraft received its new livery at Aviation Technical Services in Everett, Wash. A team of specialists from Associated Painters Inc. accomplished the complicated painting process, including a sponge-type application to re-create Mater's rust-colored finish.
Adventure of Disneyland Resort trivia:
•A 34-member crew worked around the clock for 29 days at Associated Painters Inc. to paint the plane.
•Painters painstakingly airbrushed the aircraft with 70 unique colors and applied more than 10,000 square feet of vinyl graphics to create the lifelike characters, including the headlights, tire rims and eyes.
•More than 72,000 linear feet of masking tape was used during the painting of the Adventure of Disneyland Resort.
•Mater's rustic-looking muffler, which is located on the tail of the jet, will naturally change color over time due to the plane's normal exhaust stains.
•The 129-foot-long Boeing 737-800 has a wingspan of 117 feet and a cruising speed of 530 mph.
•The plane accommodates 157 passengers and six crew members.
Travelers attending the Sea-Tac Airport event shared photos using #iflyAlaska and #Disneyland hashtags. High-resolution photos of the Adventure of the Disneyland Resort jet and gate celebration are available at http://bit.ly/9qVv . In addition, a time-lapse video of the aircraft in various stages of the painting process is posted on Alaska Airlines' www.youtube.com/alaskaairvids .
Alaska's other Disney-themed planes are the "Spirit of Disneyland II," launched in 2009; the "Spirit of Make-A-Wish," which debuted in 2006; and "Magic of Disneyland," which entered the fleet in 2005. Alaska's first Disney plane, the "Spirit of Disneyland I," joined the fleet in 2002 and was repainted in 2009.
About Alaska Airlines
Alaska Airlines, a subsidiary of Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK), together with its partner regional airlines, serves nearly 100 cities through an expansive network in Alaska, the Lower 48, Hawaii, Canada and Mexico. Alaska Airlines has ranked "Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Traditional Network Carriers" in the J.D. Power and Associates North America Airline Satisfaction StudySM for six consecutive years from 2008 to 2013. For reservations, visit www.alaskaair.com. For more news and information, visit the Alaska Airlines Newsroom at www.alaskaair.com/newsroom.
About Disneyland Resorts
The Disneyland Resort features two spectacular theme parks — Disneyland (the original Disney theme park) and the newly re-imagined Disney California Adventure Park — plus three hotels and the Downtown Disney District, comprised of unique dining, entertainment and shopping experiences. The Resort's hotels are the luxurious 948-room Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, which also features 50 two-bedroom equivalent Disney Vacation Club units; the magical 973-room Disneyland Hotel — both AAA Four Diamond properties — and the 481-room Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel with its "day-at-the-beach" fun. For information on attractions and vacations at the Disneyland Resort, visit www.disneyland.com , call (866) 43-DISNEY or contact local travel agents.
Since 1986, Make-A-Wish Alaska and Washington has granted wishes to more than 5,300 children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. This year, the local chapter will grant 320 wishes. According to a 2011 U.S. study of wish impact, most health professionals surveyed believe a wish-come-true can influence the health of children. Kids say wishes give them renewed strength to fight their illnesses, and their parents say these experiences help strengthen the entire family. For more information about Make-A-Wish Alaska and Washington and how you can share the power of a wish® please call 800-304-9474, visit www.akwa.wish.org or connect with us www.facebook.com/makeawishakwa or on Twitter @MakeAWishAKWA.