Alaska Airlines this morning introduced its “Spirit of Disneyland II” aircraft at Portland International Airport. The plane is adorned with the faces of Disney’s most recognized characters – Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and, for the first time, Pluto. The new design replaces a previous Disney-themed aircraft retired two weeks ago. Alaska Airlines’ Boeing 737-900 aircraft made its inaugural flight from Portland to Los Angeles International Airport carrying three Make-A-Wish® children on their way to the Disneyland Resort to have their wishes granted.
“We’re honored to have our Disney and Make-A-Wish partners join us to debut Alaska’s fourth Disney-themed aircraft,” said Alaska Airlines’ President Brad Tilden. “For the next seven years these five characters will serve as an iconic vehicle to bring customers across our network to the ‘Happiest Place on Earth’ and other Alaska Airlines destinations.”
The “Spirit of Disneyland II” aircraft was welcomed at the gate by the three children and their families, as well as Mickey Mouse, Pluto and leaders from Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Oregon, Disneyland Resorts and Alaska Airlines, as travelers looked on from the terminal.
“When a child with a life-threatening medical condition wishes to meet a Disney character or visit a Disney park, we know that Alaska Airlines and Disneyland Resort are there to make it a dream-come-true,” said Andrew Asato, Make-A-Wish Foundation of Oregon executive director. “With donated tickets and passes, as well as extra-special treatment for wish families, these partners have each provided an unduplicated resource to the Make-A-Wish Foundation for more than 20 years.”
The special children on board, who live in Oregon and Washington and range in age from 3 to 5 years, will spend the next five days at the Disneyland Resort along with their families. During their visit, they will be treated to special activities, a meal with characters and a four-night stay at the Paradise Pier Hotel at the Disneyland Resort.
“Thanks to the larger size of this aircraft, we are thrilled to have Mickey’s faithful companion Pluto join the cast of Disney characters on this special plane,” said Lisa Becket, Disneyland Resort vice president of regional marketing strategies. “We’re grateful to Alaska Airlines for giving our Disney characters a ‘one-of-a-kind’ opportunity to spread their magic across the sky.”
Disney helps the Make-A-Wish Foundation® 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 the Make-A-Wish Foundation® since 1985 and provides air transportation allowing about 80 children’s wishes to be granted each year. The airline invites members of the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan to donate frequent-flier miles to the Make-A-Wish Foundation through the Charity Miles program. To make a donation of miles, visit alaskaair.com and click on the “Mileage Plan” and “Charity Miles” links.
The “Spirit of Disneyland II” is the first 737-900 Disney-themed aircraft in Alaska Airlines’ fleet. The airline introduced the first “Spirit of Disneyland,” aircraft, graced with the faces of Mickey, Minnie, Donald Duck and Goofy, in 2002 and debuted the “Magic of Disneyland,” featuring Tinker Bell, in 2005 in celebration of Disneyland’s 50th anniversary. In 2006, Alaska introduced its “Spirit of Make-A-Wish” aircraft, adorned with the image of the wish-granting Genie from Disney’s “Aladdin” and the Make-A-Wish Foundation logo.
The exterior of the “Spirit of Disneyland II” aircraft is painted bright blue with the characters’ images and the words “We’re going to Disneyland.” The jet will fly throughout most of Alaska Airlines’ route system, including flights to and from Southern California airports.