. The evening firework show is a mainstay of a Walt Disney World vacation. And one of the most magical points in the show is when Tinkerbell takes her flight over the Magic Kingdom. But just how does Tinkerbell fly over the Magic Kingdom?  And when did this tradition begin? 

The Beginning of Tinkerbell’s Flight

Here is how it all began. In 1957, Walt Disney was attending a show at the Hollywood Bowl. During the show, a circus performer appeared and did a high wire act across the top of the theater. Walt thought; “That is what’s missing from my fireworks show!” After a few years of back and forth, in 1961, Tiny Kline, made her first flight as Tinker Bell over Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland in California. She was 4’10”, weighed 98 pounds and was 71 years old. To this day Tinker Bell must still be under 5 feet tall, and weigh no more than 105 pounds.

On July 3, 1985, Tinker Bell made her first flight from the top of Cinderella’s Castle in Walt Disney World.  And now, most of us cannot even remember a time when Tinker Bell didn’t appear. Here’s a little history behind Tinker Bell’s magic flight.


How she takes flight

About an hour before the fireworks show Tinker Bell begins putting on her makeup and climbing the stairs and eventually taking a ladder to her place, 189 feet up, inside Cinderella’s Castle. There is room at the top for Tinker Bell and one other Tech person. The door she climbs out of is only 4 feet tall.
Once the cue is given the tech person literally shoves Tinker Bell out of the window (that’s the only way they could get us to go) and depending on the shove off, and the wind resistance, Tinker Bell can fly anywhere from 20 to 35 mph; the flight usually takes about 30 seconds.
At the top of the Tomorrowland Terrace, there is a gymnast mat up on its side waiting to bring Tinker Bell to a screeching halt. Before she gets to the mat, there are 2 techs standing on the roof with a net spread open to “catch” her.

What Happens When its Windy?

Tinker Bell is wearing a battery pack in a backpack, to make sure that her wings are fully illuminated, but that isn’t the only thing in the backpack, she has a rope…Yes, a rope! Tinker Bell is not on a pulley system, her flight is pretty much a free fall down the zip-line. If the wind is against her or she doesn’t get a great shove off, Tinker Bell might not quite make it all the way to Neverland!

When that happens, Tinker Bell turns off her lights and pulls herself hand over fist the rest of way down the wire to the top of the Tomorrowland Terrace. Once there, and out of sight of our guests, she reaches into her backpack and pulls out that rope. She then drops it to the 2 techs that are standing on the roof, and they pull her the rest of the way to safety.
So we have to ask… Any volunteers?!

11 thoughts on “Just how does Tinkerbell fly over the Magic Kingdom?”

  1. Carl Anderson says:

    when did this tradition begin? On July 3, 1985 Tinker Bell made her first flight from the top of Cinderella’s Castle.

    in 1961, Tiny Kline, made her first appearance at Disneyland in California as Tinker Bell.

    Therefore the veracity of the entire story, although containing truth, causes on to wonder where?

  2. YC Choi says:

    How do they set wire across magic kingdom to tomorrow land ? It’s only seen at night time not in day time. Thnk you.

    1. The wire is always there — Most guests do not notice it during he day time. Thank uu for commenting.

  3. Josie Rae says:

    […] Tiny Kline did make her appearance at DISNEYLAND in 1961, 1985 is when Tink made her first flight from Cinderella castle which is in DISNEY WORLD. The castle at Disneyland is Sleeping Beauty castle.

    1. Kate says:

      The comment you’re referring to was actually quite helpful in that it pointed out a few places where we could improve our post! The original version was still factually correct, but this one leaves no room for confusion. (Though I may go in and add ‘Sleeping Beauty Castle’ as well, so thanks for your comment!)

  4. Madelyn says:

    How much does tinker bell make

    1. Tinkerbell is part of the Character department and is generally an hourly wage. Tinks pay would depend on how long she has been with the company. Thanks for inquiring.

  5. Michelle Hillman says:

    I would love to do this. Im 4’9 and 80 something pounds and i love tinker bell.

    1. Michelle, You should apply?

  6. Kate says:

    You totally should! Quick question for you…how are you with heights?

  7. Anneliese says:

    Do you know who casts Flying Tinkerbell? I am super interested and I cannot find any information on auditions or casting calls for it.

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