Video, photos: US Air Force Thunderbirds soar over Magic Kingdom

Special flyover is part of kickoff for National Veterans and Military Families Month

U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds fly over Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort on Oct. 27, 2022 (Olga Thompson, Disney)

BAY LAKE, Fla. – The roar of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds engines could be heard around Walt Disney World Thursday morning.

The squadron of six flew over Magic Kingdom twice as part of the kickoff for National Veterans and Military Families Month.

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Disney’s legacy of supporting the military dates back to Walt, and his brother, Roy Disney, who both served in the military during World War 1.

“It was an absolute honor to fly over the Magic Kingdom today. Although things go by very quickly when you’re going 400 mph, you can see the crowd, you can see the iconic symbols with EPCOT and the Magic Kingdom. Flying by today is like bringing two worlds together from my youth and it was the opportunity of a lifetime,” said Lt. Col. Justin Elliott, Commander and Leader of Thunderbird 1.

See video inside the Thunderbird cockpit below.

Video onboard US Thunderbirds show Magic Kingdom Flyover

“Seeing Disney salute the military with a Thunderbird flyover is really a marriage of everything I love here at Disney, and what I have lived for 22 years in the service. So, being able to bring those two together and celebrate them together is really exciting,” said Kristy Hall, Executive Search Consultant, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products. “With the Heroes Work Here Program our veterans are able to bring their transferrable skills that they have learned in the service and they’re able to bring value to teams here at the Walt Disney Company.”

U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds fly over Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort on Oct. 27, 2022 (Disney)

The Thunderbirds were last seen at Walt Disney World in October 2020 as part of a tribute to honor past and present service members and our nation’s fallen.

The squadron is scheduled to perform at the Orlando Air & Space Show on Oct. 29 and 30.

The show takes place at the Orlando Sanford International Airport.

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About the Author:

Landon joined News 6 in 2017. He grew up in Southern Illinois and graduated from Southern Illinois University with a bachelors degree in TV and digital media. When he is not at work you can catch him at one of Orlando's theme parks or the beach. Before working at News 6 he worked for stations in Miami and Fort Myers.