Major Airline Ends Its Partnership With Disney World After More Than 10 Years

disney world cinderella castle disney airplane
Credit: Disney/ WestJet/ Canva

A major commercial airline announced this week that it has parted ways with The Walt Disney Company, ending a partnership that has been in place for more than ten years.

disney world cinderella castle disney airplane

Credit: Disney/Canva

Disney’s Recent Partnership With a Commercial Airline

In 2013, The Walt Disney Company announced a partnership between Disney Parks and WestJet Airlines. As part of the agreement between the parties, two themed Boeing 737-800 airliners would be painted to reflect Disney-inspired theming, with the first of the two aircraft beginning service on December 3.

disney westjet partnership

Credit: Disney/WestJet/Canva

Now that Disney and WestJet have parted ways, the Disney-themed airliners are headed for retirement. Both airliners will remain in service, but they will no longer feature their former magical theming, as the external parts of the airliners will be restored to reflect WestJet’s standard livery.

Per the Canadian-based passenger carrier, WestJet Airlines and Disney Parks ended their partnership in December when their agreement expired, referring to the parting of ways as a “natural transition.”

“In this case,” WestJet explained in a statement, “the co-branded liveries will be updated following a natural transition in our contract agreements with Disney Parks & Resorts.”

WestJet’s Disney “Magic Plane”

On December 2, 2013, WestJet and Walt Disney Parks & Resorts took off on an exciting adventure. The commercial airline and the Mouse House joined forces. The result was a gorgeous custom-painted Boeing Next-Generation 737-800 aircraft inspired by Disney’s Fantasia films and Sorcerer Mickey.

disney westjet magic plane

Credit: Disney/WestJet

As part of the celebration, WestJet Airlines hosted an event at the hangar in Calgary, Alberta, where the Mickey plane was being held. A magical unveiling was held with “WestJetters,” Disney team members, and media representatives in attendance. Even Mickey Mouse showed up to celebrate the new Disney-inspired airliner.

Dubbed the Magic Plane, the Boeing aircraft took its inaugural flight, which departed Calgary, Alberta, Canada, en route to the Walt Disney World Resort in Central Florida on December 3, 2013, after which it began flying throughout WestJet’s domestic and international network.

“We are very proud of our work with Disney and everything we’ve done together over the years to enrich the lives of our guests,” said then-President of WestJet Airlines, Gregg Saretsky, at the time of the debut. “With the Magic Plane, we are soaring to new heights, offering guests of all ages the chance to share the skies with one of the world’s most beloved and iconic figures.”

disney westjet magic plane

Credit: Disney/WestJet/Canva

When the Magic Plane first debuted, the headrests on passenger seats featured decals that resembled pixie dust, and guests received cookies in the shape of Disney characters on all flights.

headrest westjet disney magic plane

Credit: Disney/WestJet

Two years later, WestJet would add another airliner to its tiny magical fleet.

WestJet’s Disney ‘Frozen’ Plane

In October 2015, Disney and WestJet debuted a second Disney-themed plane inspired by Disney’s Frozen (2013). The new plane was painted in Fort Worth, Texas, by teams comprised of painters from Canada, the United States, and Germany.

disney westjet frozen plane/

Credit: Disney/WestJet

Before team members began the arduous task of bringing Anna, Elsa, and Olaf to life on the Boeing 737-800, they watched the blockbuster film inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen (1844) to get them in the spirit and to familiarize themselves with the characters and the story of Frozen.

WestJet Reveals New, Custom-Painted Aircraft Inspired by ...

Credit: Disney/WestJet

It took crews 21 days of 12-hour rotations by crew members who worked 24 hours a day to complete the transformation of the Boeing 737-800. More than 20 different colors of paint were used in the project. When the job was finished, crews had used more than 170 gallons of paint. Sparkles were then added to some of the sections of the aircraft to add a shimmery shine to the plane anytime it moved.

Inside the WestJet Disney Frozen plane, more than 50 separate overhead bin doors featured a unique Frozen-themed decal, and passenger seat headrests featured the same cold-to-warm theming painted on the external part of the fuselage. More than 36 different paint colors were used.

WestJet Reveals New, Custom-Painted Aircraft Inspired by Disney's 'Frozen' | Disney Parks Blog

Credit: Disney/WestJet

WestJet Airlines will still partner with Disney through WestJet Vacations and offer its passengers the option to purchase Walt Disney World theme park tickets on its official website.

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!

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