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Fun Find Friday

September 30, 2011
Location: Disney's Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom

In 1986 Walt Disney World received a brand new attraction that revolved around space travel in Epcot. In the attraction guests could find futuristic costumes, aliens, and of course, a spaceship. The same year Disney released a new film that consisted of these things as well. The film focused around a boy who disappears in the year 1978 and is found 8 years later. It ends up the boy had been traveling aboard a spaceship which allowed him not to age when his family discovered him 1986! The film? Flight of the Navigator!

While riding the Studio Backlot Tour you will go through a "bone yard" which shows guests vehicles from past films. Here you can find Herbie the Love Bug, some Star Wars vehicles, and the spaceship used in Flight of the Navigator! Pretty simple Fun Find Friday, right? Wrong!

You see, the film actually used two spaceships for different scenes throughout the film and the second spaceship can actually be found somewhere else in Walt Disney World! You see, Disney has a habit of placing props from old films in attractions as a nice little nod to their past. For instance, do you know where the organ in Disneyland's Haunted Mansion is actually from? We'll get to that in another Fun Find Friday. First let's finish this one.

At times when Imagineers place a prop in the park they will dress it up so guests don't realize what they are looking at right away. Some times, in fact, guests can go years looking at a prop from an old film and just think they are looking at something that was made specifically for the park (much like I did for the second Flight of the Navigator spaceship). So I know what you are thinking, Where in the World is the second ship at?

The second ship, after a paint job and some detailing, was placed in Tomorrowland. Where exactly? While facing Space Mountain you can find a Coke stand on your left hand side called "Cool Ship." Adorning the top of this stand is a red spaceship called "Thirst Rangers." While studying for the D23 Scavenger Hunt I studied every inch of this spaceship and it wasn't until a few months later that someone pointed out to me what the ship truly was. None other than the second ship used in the filming of Flight of the Navigator!

 

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