DALLAS — On Wednesday, November 1, Alaska Airlines (AS) unveiled its latest Disneyland-themed aircraft named ‘Mickey’s Toontown Express’ on a special flight from Seattle (SEA) to Santa Ana (SNA).
“It’s heartening how much our Disneyland Resort-themed airplanes spark joy in our guests—young and young at heart. What makes this even more special is the return of Mickey Mouse on an Alaska Airlines plane since he made his debut on our fleet eight years ago,” said Sangita Woerner, Alaska’s senior vice president of marketing and guest experience.
Woerner added, “Alaska’s long-standing relationship with the Disneyland Resort has helped to create unforgettable experiences for our guests and employees. As a family-friendly airline, it speaks to the care we strive to show every day with these special touches.”
The Boeing 737-800, registration N565AS (MSN 35181 LN 2134), which is what AS mainly flies into SNA, pays homage to the original Spirit of Disneyland aircraft by featuring the characters of Mickey and Minnie Mouse along with Mickey’s dog Pluto on the first officer’s side.
On the captain’s side, it features Goofy, Donald and Daisy Duck. Chip ‘n’ Dale is also featured on the aircraft, with one of them on each winglet and the two together next to the boarding door.
It took over 400 hours and 20 days to hand-paint the aircraft from nose to tail.
Alaska Airlines and Disneyland both did a great job transforming the gate area of C9 in Seattle to make it feel like you were already at the Happiest Place on Earth by featuring a closed-off area that was playing Disney music, getting guests more and more excited as they anticipated boarding on the aircraft.
Onboard the aircraft, each seat had a set of the infamous Mouse Ears, a rice crispy treat, Mickey and Minnie plush, and a couple of other items. Disney surprised everyone with two very special guests, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, who were kind enough to pose for photos with anyone who wanted to have one taken with them.
A Long-Standing Partnership
“Our relationship with Alaska Airlines is more than 25 years strong and truly celebrates the magic of Disney,” said Sybil Crum, vice president of marketing and commercial strategy at Disneyland Resort.
Crum added, “The plane’s artwork marks Alaska Airlines’ eighth transformation of an aircraft featuring Disney artistry and exhibits the excitement and playfulness of the re-imagined Mickey’s Toontown. We’re so delighted for the opportunity to create even more memorable experiences for our guests together.”
This is the eighth full Disney theme paint scheme to be applied to an AS Boeing 737 over the twenty-five-year partnership. Below is a brief history of all the schemes we have seen over the course of this partnership.
Disney-Alaska Airlines Paint Schemes
It all started back in December of 2002 when the Seattle-based airline rolled out ‘The Spirit of Disneyland,’ featured on N784AS (MSN 28199 LN 2826). It was followed up with “Tinker Bell” on N791AS (MSN 28886 LN 2902) in March 2005, the year the main park celebrated its 50th anniversary.
The third theme jet, Genie, which was done in partnership with both Disneyland and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, was rolled out on N706AS (MSN 28894 LN 3050) in November of 2006.
When AS decided it was time to retire the original Spirit of Disneyland, the carrier decided to replace it with a 737-900 N318AS (MSN30018 LN1326) and named it ‘Spirit of Disneyland II’. The fourth Disney-themed aircraft wore its colors until October 2021.
The fifth themed plane was the 737-800 N570AS (MSN 35185 LN 2212). AS named it ‘The Adventure of Disneyland Resort’ and featured the characters from the Pixar Series Cars movie series as the theme park had just opened its new Carsland at its Disney California Adventure theme park. This scheme was retired in 2019 and replaced with the “Honoring Those Who Serve” color scheme.
The next three painted aircraft are still active and currently flying across the entire AS network. ‘Friendship and Beyond at the Disneyland Resort’, which is painted on N537AS (MSN 35204 LN 3913), was unveiled in October 2019 and featured the characters from Toy Story and Pixar Pier, which had recently opened up.
The seventh and last full Disneyland theme was unveiled on May 4, 2022, and is called ‘Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge Disneyland.’ To celebrate the large expansion in the main theme park, AS painted the final classic Icicle color, aircraft N538AS (MSN 41188 LN 4045). This is also the last 737-800 the airline took delivery of in 2012.
With a sleek space-black livery, the N538AS fuselage showcases the legendary Millennium Falcon being pursued by TIE fighters.
Feature Image: ‘Mickey’s Toontown Express’ pushes back from the gate for the first time in Seattle. Photo: Brandon Farris/Airways