“Come fly with me, let’s fly, let’s fly away!”
In honor of this week’s grand reopening/re-theming of the former Condor Flats area of Disney California Adventure into the new Grizzly Peak Airfield, I thought it would be nice to take a look back at a terrific show that began here in February 2012 and sadly ended in October 2013.
What was Minnie’s Fly Girls Charter Airline?
Possibly conceived as a synergistic companion to the ABC show Pan Am that premiered in 2011, but unfortunately was canceled just as Minnie’s Fly Girls Charter Airline was opening in the park, this show may have been doomed by the lack of success of the TV show. Or perhaps it was that the original theming of Condor Flats to California’s aerospace industry roots with its concrete pavement, lack of shade and only one attraction in the land, made the area more of a quick walk-through and less of a stop and hang out for a while location that didn’t help the placement of this fun and upbeat show either.
Featuring an around-the-world travelogue of the places you could visit if you booked a flight with them, this team of talented performers sang a wonderful selection of American standards from the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s along with classic Disney tunes about flying. Throw in some charming choreography and the perfectly period-appropriate Pan Am style outfits for the Fly Girls and this show was an utter delight from beginning to end.
Who were the performers?
The show featured three of Minnie’s “Fly Girl” stewardesses and the airfield mechanic, Lee. But it couldn’t be a show called “Minnie’s Fly Girl Charter Airline” without an appearance from that lovely mouse herself who would join her crew for the finale and then be escorted nearby to do a Meet & Greet with guests after the show!
When and where could I find it?
Minnie’s Fly Girls Charter Airline took flight daily in the Condor Flats area of Disney California Adventure near the former Fly n’ Buy store (now Humphrey’s Service & Supplies) across from the Soarin’ Over California attraction.
Why spotlight it?
I really liked this show a lot as it added life and personality to an otherwise rather industrial location and when it was announced that it was ending, I actually felt guilty that I hadn’t gone to see it more often to help add to the crowd numbers (which I do suspect can sometimes help make a difference when determinations are made of which shows to keep and which shows to cut). I really did not stop to see this show often enough and I regret that.
I felt then and now that Minnie’s Fly Girls with their music, choreography and visit from Minnie was actually a better and more cohesive show for kids and adults than Five & Dime which has stayed. Five & Dime always felt more redundant as a second show on Buena Vista Street (along with the excellent Red Car Trolley News Boys), whereas Condor Flats really felt so empty with the loss of Minnie’s Fly Girls as nothing was brought in to add as an entertainment option to this location. But as a result of losing the Fly Girls show, I started to make a point to stop by Five & Dime more often – which I like, just not as much as I liked the Fly Girls. Because I hate to see any good park performance fall by the wayside – especially when nothing new is brought in to replace it, leaving an area that was formerly filled with music and entertainment with a barren and almost desolate feeling once it was gone.
Did you stop by Condor Flats to book a flight with Minnie’s Fly Girls Charter Airline? What was your favorite destination that they sang about?