Photos courtesy of WestJet
On December 2, 2013 a bit of Disney Magic touched my hometown in a way no one had seen before. At a special ceremony in Calgary, Canada; WestJet unveiled what was instantly dubbed by social media as the #Magicplane.
Having been partnered with Disney since 2004, as the official carrier to both Disneyland and Walt Disney World for Canadian travelers, WestJet cranked it up a notch and had one of their 737’s painted from nose to tail in what can only be described as one of the coolest paint jobs of all time. Mickey, in his Sorcerer’s robe, stands tall on the tail as he points the way to the castle which is featured towards the front of the plane. Complete with pixie dust, stars and fireworks, this one of a kind aircraft will surely grab attention as it’s seen at airports throughout North America and the Caribbean. But as every Disney enthusiast knows, it’s the details that count; which is exactly why Disney chose to partner with WestJet in the first place.
WestJet built it’s business and reputation on a founding principle, “C.A.R.E.” which stands for, create a remarkable experience. They, like Disney, understand that the fundamental success of any business lies with the experience guests have; and them wanting to repeat it. So, since it’s inception, WestJet has hired people that live for customer service. Although it’s encouraged and discussed endlessly at the company, it isn’t something that’s trained for; it’s expected, period. You either have it or you don’t. That natural ability to anticipate needs, a friendly and outgoing demeanor that makes people smile and brightens their day and an impulsiveness to help everyone around you. This relationship forged with Disney, only seemed natural and their creativity and devotion to their guests helps make the journey to the parks an enjoyable part of the experience too.
Just as Disney looks for ways to make happy memories for visitors, WestJet is always coming up with ways to make their guests day brighter as well. With everything from a personal valet and escort for a large family trying to make it from one gate to another in an unfamiliar airport (my personal experience), to surprising a plane load of guests with Christmas gifts upon landing at their destination; WestJet is definitely aligned with Walt’s vision for creating happiness.
See WestJet create some Christmas magic here .
With the seats of the plane highlighted with pixie dust to help ensure that they can fly, they can fly, they can fly,and Disney shaped cookies for guests to indulge in mid-flight, WestJet has made sure that anyone lucky enough to board the Magic Plane will have a memorable and enchanting flight.
Of course, deciding on such an attention grabbing project, didn’t come without it’s hurdles. The mural took a year and a half to develop, plan and finally execute and secrecy was of the utmost importance. Even the president and CEO of the airline, Gregg Saretsky, didn’t see the final product until the morning of it’s unveiling. Painted in Seattle, the plane was rolled onto the tarmac at SEATAC under the cover of darkness and flown to YYC in the middle of the night to help minimize sightings and media leaks. But in the end, this plane will be seen by millions as it travels to 35 cities in 18 different countries and will surely bring smiles to those lucky enough to catch a glimpse…or better yet…a ride.
A total of 26 painters worked around the clock for 24 days to create this amazing mural. Watch a time lapse video of their work here
The artistic crew came from 5 countries and 12 different cities.
Both sides of the plane are mirror images of each other except for one thing, but WestJet nor Disney is saying what’s different.
Within 5 years its estimated that the Magic Plane will have flown over 400,000 passengers to their destinations.