This original production sketch was used in the making of a 1972 commercial produced by Walt Disney Productions, which co-promoted both Walt Disney World and the resort’s official airline, Eastern Air Lines. Eastern’s sixteen-year partnership with Disney even facilitated their sponsorship of a Tomorrowland attraction, “If You Had Wings.”
The sketch itself shows classic Disney characters Dopey, Snow White, Little John (from the yet-to-be released Robin Hood), Pluto, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, White Rabbit, and Sleepy making their way down a jetway, having just landed in sunny Florida. The drawing is hand-numbered 53, though is unassignable to any one particular Disney artist.
The completed concept of the “jetway” scene can be viewed in the accompanying print advertisement from 1976. In addition to the presence of the many familiar Disney faces, the text of the print ad also capitalizes on the park’s year-long bicentennial celebration, which featured its own themed parade, fireworks show, and various other special events throughout the year, reading as follows:
CELBRATE AMERICA’S 200TH BIRTHDAY AT THE MAGIC KINGDOM
Join Mickey and his friends as they celebrate the Bicentennial.
Eastern Airlines can fly you to this special birthday celebration.
You’ll see the spectacular America on Parade extravaganza with dozens of fantastic floats, marching bands and all of the Magic Kingdom’s other fabulous attractions including the Hall of Presidents and America the Beautiful.
Eastern is the official airline of Walt Disney World so we’ve got the flights and the vacation plans to make your dreams come true.
For more information call Eastern. Or see the travel specialist, your travel agent.
Also included is an original boarding pass sleeve, printed in October 1972, one year after Walt Disney World’s opening, and featuring an image of Cinderella Castle on the front, as well as the logos of both Eastern Air Lines and the resort, and the following headline: “We fly to 107 cities, 7 islands, 6 countries and now one Magic Kingdom.”
These three vintage items represent the type of corporate relationship that Walt had relied on in previous years to help populate Disneyland with attractions, and which the Florida parks would continue to utilize as the resort grew into the vacation mecca that it is today. Though Disney’s partnership with Eastern Air Lines would end in 1987 (and the airline itself dissolved in 1991), the company’s presence in many of the park’s early ad campaigns, as well as in the Magic Kingdom itself with their own sponsored attraction, ensured their association with the Walt Disney World of old would remain a part of the vacation memories of many who visited during those years.