Peter Pan's Flight is a suspended dark ride at the Magic Kingdom, Disneyland, Disneyland Paris, Tokyo Disneyland, and Shanghai Disneyland theme parks. Located in Fantasyland, it is one of the few remaining attractions that was operational on Disneyland's opening day in 1955. The ride's story, music, staging and artwork are based on Walt Disney's Peter Pan (1953), the animated film version of the classic Peter Pan story by J. M. Barrie. Peter Pan's Flight is one of Disneyland's most popular attractions.
The original intent of the attraction was for guests to fly through the ride as if they were Peter Pan. Audiences did not quite grasp this concept and were left wondering why Peter Pan was not in the Peter Pan attraction. The Walt Disney World version of the ride, which opened in 1971, expanded on the original Disneyland attraction. While the overall theme and format of the ride was consistent with the original in California, the Magic Kingdom ride, as with the other dark rides, would feature its characters in Audio-Animatronic style.
In 1983, Disneyland's Fantasyland was in a phase of major overhaul. Some of Fantasyland's rides were relocated to make way for expanded versions of existing dark rides, as well as the addition of a new one. The posh redo of Fantasyland now resembled a rustic European village in the Alps, rather than a medieval fair. Mr. Toad's Wild Ride and Snow White's Scary Adventures moved their respective loading areas and partial murals indoors. Peter Pan's Flight continued to feature a colorful mural which depicted the characters from the film. During this renovation, the original Pirate Ship Restaurant and Skull Rock were closed permanently and removed. The riggings, lanterns, and other props from the restaurant were added to Peter Pan's Flight. An Audio-Animatronic Peter Pan was added to the ride.
The original ride featured the ride vehicles flying through scenes of the nursery, over London, onward to Neverland, and finally through Skull Rock, where riders saw Captain Hook, Mr. Smee and Tic Toc Crock before unloading. The exterior of the attraction had a medieval design and the queue was outside.
Departing from the station, but before entering the actual ride building, guests fly over the rooftops of London. The new version of the ride includes Audio-Animatronic versions of the characters, like at the Magic Kingdom in Florida. As part of the new remodel, scenes from the Florida ride were added to Disneyland, including the pirate ship deck where Peter and Hook duel on the tip of the ship's bowsprit (at the Magic Kingdom Peter and Hook duel on the ship's mainsail). Few scenes are identical between the two versions, but they are very similar nonetheless.
The new Disneyland ride opened as part of New Fantasyland on May 25, 1983. After winding through the queue, guests board a three-passenger miniature galleon, which is suspended from a track on the ceiling above to enhance the sensation of flying through the air. The ship leaves the load area and winds through the Darlings' nursery, passing Nana the Saint Bernard dog nursemaid next to some toy blocks which spell "D1SN3Y" when read backwards. Wendy, John and Michael Darling are on the bed and Peter Pan's shadow is on the wall.
Guests hear Peter Pan saying, "Come on, everybody! Here we go!" At this point, the ship flies out the nursery window and over moonlit London. Lights twinkle all around. Below guests are miniature versions of some of London's famous landmarks, including St. Paul's Cathedral, Big Ben, the Tower Bridge and the Thames River.
Then, going past "the second star to the right and straight on 'til morning," the flying ships reach Neverland, where guests pass some of its landmarks, including the Indian village, a glowing volcano, The Lost Boys camp, Mermaid Lagoon and Skull Rock. It is here that guests encounter some of Neverland's most famous residents, including Princess Tiger Lily, Mr. Smee, Tick-Tock the Crocodile and Peter's arch rival, Captain Hook, in addition to Peter and the Darlings.
On February 2, 2015 the attraction closed for refurbishment. It was originally scheduled to reopen on May 21, 2015, but was later pushed back to July 1, 2015. New animatronics of Wendy, John, and Michael now fly above John's bed in the Nursery (previously John and Michael were sitting in John's bed, with Wendy sitting on a chair next to them). New special effects were also added to the London and Neverland scenes.
One of the most popular attractions at Disneyland Paris, Peter Pan’s Flight is a dark ride that sees guests boarding “flying” pirate ships which are suspended from an overhead rail, plus soaring over miniature recreations of London and Neverland. This version is slightly longer than the original, with a complete circuit taking around 3 minutes, and beginning with a short flight over London at night.
The load/unload area features Omnimover-style moving ramps, like those found at the Haunted Mansion, to allow for a smoother flow of traffic. The scenes in the ride are on a larger scale and feature Audio-Animatronic figures. Upon entering the very beginning of the nursery, a play tea party featuring two famous toys, Raggedy Ann and Andy, can be seen. The Lost Boys camp and Mermaid Lagoon are now a part of the Never Land scene. Also, Hook's 48-foot pirate ship is included, complete with deck, masts, sails and rigging. Guests see Hook and Peter engaged in hand-to-hand combat on the mainsail, while the boys are lashed to the mast and Wendy is about to walk the plank. Then, guests see Peter and the Darlings posed victoriously on the ship, poised to sail into the sky, back to London.
In 2014, this version was upgraded to include an updated indoor queue, wherein the old restrooms were removed, the new queue starts by entering into a corridor with interactive murals, it then leads you into the Darling family residence, with a special emphasis on the nursery. This new queue has an extremely high attention to detail. The attraction is connected to the theme park's reservation system called ″FastPass″.
Peter Pan's Flight at Tokyo Disneyland opened in 1983 and its features are very similar to those of the Magic Kingdom version.
In Early 2016, the attraction was renovated to include new digital effects. A new Neverland scene was added, where guests now fly over the island of Neverland at nighttime, before flying past the Lost Boys' hideout, the Mermaid Lagoon & the Indian camp.
Peter Pan's Flight opened alongside the rest of Shanghai Disneyland in 2016. Unlike previous iterations, this version features 4-person vehicles instead of 2. These vehicles also have the ability to stop and change speed, unlike before. The ride also includes enhanced versions of scenes from previous iterations, as well as new scenes, such as a "splash down" into Skull Rock.