Original If You Had Wings
Attraction Poster Concept by Greg Maletic
Created for WYW! A
You Had Wings ride-through
Live recording of full ride, c. 1985, mp3 file,
mono, 2.2mb, 4:35
If You Had
Wings Main Theme excerpt
IYHW theme as heard when first entering the globe,
from ride demo recording c. 1971, mp3 file, mono, 185kb, :23
Voice heard at the end of the ride, from live
recording, 1987, mp3 file, mono, 100kb, :11
You Had Wings demo recording
WED recording c. 1971, features voice of Peter
Renoudet, mp3 file, mono, 7.8mb, 6:19
The song, If You Had Wings, was written by
the prolific Disney composer Norman "Buddy" Baker and lyricist X.
If you had wings, you could do many things
You could widen your world, if you had wings
Chorus: If you had wings, if you had wings, if you
had wings, had wings, had wings, had wings, had
You could fly to a plaza, where the people play
At the Mexican fiesta, in the land of ole
You could fly to Bermuda, like a flying fish
Have a ball on a cruise ship, or catch fish if you wish
Wanna buy a sombrero, made of real fine straw?
How about a nice handbag, for pretty mama?
You could follow a tradewind, down to Old San Juan
And explore an old fortress, before traveling on
You could flitter and flutter, to the isle of springs
To that emerald green garden, and do wonderful
You could fly with flamingos, to that old French town
Go on regale New Orleans, wear the carnival crown
You do have wings, you can do all these things,
You can widen your world, for you have wings
Post-show (exit) version:
For you have wings, For you have wings
For you have wings, have wings, have wings, have
wings, have wings
transcription is based on comparisons of a demo
recording of the ride's music and live recordings of the
attraction's true audio tracks, during which the stupidity of the lyrics was
made fully manifest. WYW is not
responsible for the contents of the above song nor does it
assume liability for any damages resulting from the
misuse of the same.
Eastern Airlines WDW Commercial with Orson Welles voiceover
1971, wmv file, low-resolution,
If You Had Wings ride-through
1985, courtesy Jan & Donna Freitag, wmv file, low-resolution,
Statistics & Notes
The Speed Room's seven high-velocity scenes were of an airplane taking off on
a runway, a train speeding headlong down a forest track, waterskiers zipping
across a lake, motorcyclists racing along a two-lane road (with a little white dog
in their midst), dune buggies careening across a desert, airboats blasting through
the Everglades and landsailers gliding through California's Owens Valley.
The Dunn's River Falls scene was without waterfall sound effects for the
attraction's first seven years. The sound effect was added in 1979 at the
suggestion of a Tomorrowland attractions host who noticed that most of the
other scenes in the ride had their own accompanying sounds.
Eastern "pilot's wings" were distributed free of charge during the 1970s. This practice
was discontinued as a cost-cutting measure but it didn't keep Eastern from
folding in 1991.
As with most other Disney rides, If You Had Wings contained a portion of
track where the ride vehicles could be pulled from the attraction or placed back
in. It was "hidden" in the New Orleans scene, where a rollup garage door
separated the track area from an alley space between If You Had Wings and the
Plaza Pavilion restaurant.
In 1972 Eastern Airlines produced the 20-page booklet, pictured here, to promote
their new attraction. My copy came courtesy from Dave Hooper of Baltimore
(thanks Dave!) who was told by the seller that he'd only ever seen five copies
of the publication. It contains a series of monochromatic ride images,
many of which have been scanned for this site, and a complete written breakdown
of the show scenes.
Coming off a less-than-telling view of the Carousel
building's blue and white walls, the succeeding If You
Had Wings vantage points stood in stark contrast to that
concrete closeup. The WEDway track cut through the
southernmost third of If You Had Wings' show building,
allowing for three separate views into different portions
of the ride. It began with the WEDway passengers
entering the final dark tunnel on their journey, where
their attention was soon drawn to the right of their
The first, and most expansive, viewpoint looked down
upon the Caribbean Port section of the ride. WEDway
riders could look back toward the dense north portion of
the show building and make out faint glimpses of the
Ancient Mexico and Mexico City scenes in the distance.
Flowing out from the center of this vista was a line of Omnimover cars which had reached a peak as they left
Mexico and then began a snake-like descent into the
port. The cruise ship scene was clearly visible, as was
most of the Straw Market area leading up to the Puerto
Rico area. This view of the ride was, at least to me, a
little intoxicating - perhaps in part because one could
watch with voyeuristic delight about a dozen Omnimover
cars full of people who were absorbed in the ride. Nearly
all remained unaware of the WEDway's front-row
vantage point hidden in the darkness just one floor above
them. The view was also enhanced by the steel drum music from the
Caribbean Port scene. This same music accompanied the subsequent
two viewpoints as well.
Also looking north, the second preview opened up on the vertically-oriented
Jamaican waterfall scene, where WEDway guests took in a variation of the scene
illustrated here. Everybody loved seeing these people "dancing" (or, rather, holding
on to each other for dear life) on the terraced steps of Dunn's River Falls. Something about
it was hypnotic.
The third preview, arguably the least effective yet still viable, faced south into a
portion of the New Orleans area. The building which contained Mardi Gras festivities
could be seen to the right, and further on fireworks (which comprised the segueway
into the Speed Room) burst on a dark skyline.
These three previews remained the same during the attraction's brief stint as If You
Could Fly (1987-1989), with only the accompanying music altered to denote the
change. ORAC-1's narration was not updated, undoubtedly because If You Could Fly
was regarded a temporary condition. Strangely enough, the voice
used in conjunction with Dreamflight bore no resemblance to ORAC-1 and continued
in this incongruous fashion until 1994.
When If You Could Fly was transformed into Dreamflight in 1989, the previews were
completely messed up. The first series of windows, which had originally looked down
into the Caribbean Port, were covered with a backlit graphic panel depicting cartoon
images from Dreamflight's barnstorming scene. This was probably a good thing, as
what had been the Caribbean Port had turned into a huge room covered in charcoal
grey sheeting nailed to the wall and ceiling with tacks. The only thing to see in this
room was a large screen that would have barely been visible to WEDway riders if the
window had remained, making Dreamflight appear even more dull than it truly was.
The second preview over what had been the Jamaican waterfall now glimpsed the
Parisian skyline from Dreamflight's global clipper scenes. While not wholly
unattractive, the backdrop was not viewed from the proper angle for appreciating the
forced perspective, and hence appeared awkwardly incomplete.
The third preview was eliminated wholesale and has not since returned. An
elevated look at the swirling effects lighting of Dreamflight's jet engine scene
(previously If You Had Wings' New Orleans), would most likely have blinded WEDway
riders. To prevent this, someone had a flash of inspiration and covered the last set of
windows with black curtains.
Subsequent renovations to the WEDway, which left it operating as the
Tomorrowland Transit Authority in 1994, brought about the substitution of the
Dreamflight backlit panels with a glimpse into an art deco salon where a spaced-out
lady is having her hair pulled in different directions. The second preview changed
only when Dreamflight, after a moment in the guise of Take Flight, was turned into
Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin in 1998. At present these windows look down
upon a scene of unintelligible nonsense, which fits in nicely with the rest of the