The latest themed aircraft in Alaska Airlines’ fleet flew into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on November 7 for its public debut.
Adorned with images of Disney-Pixar’s animated ‘Cars’ characters Mater, Lightning McQueen, Guido and Luigi, the Boeing 737-800 has been named ‘Adventure of Disneyland Resort’ and marks Alaska Airlines’ partnership with Walt Disney’s original theme park.
It is the fifth Disney-themed aircraft born out of the partnership between Seattle-based Alaska Airlines and Disneyland Resort. The 737-800 now named ‘Adventure of Disneyland Resort’ has been in service with Alaska Airines since 2007.
“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.
After the ceremony, the aircraft officially rejoined the Alaska Airlines fleet on a flight to John Wayne Orange County Airport, California. The aircraft will continue to fly throughout the carrier’s 65-city network.
Joining passengers flying on flight AS500 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 stay in 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, Washington. 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.
A 34-member crew worked around the clock for 29 days at Associated Painters Inc. to paint the plane. Painters 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 aircraft accommodates 157 passengers and six crew members.
Alaska’s other Disney-themed aircraft include 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.