What is Disney’s most dangerous job you ask? Well, purely my opinion, the answer is Tinkerbell zip-lining overhead each evening during Magic Kingdom’s fireworks spectacular. Watch Happily Ever After until the end to catch her flight towards ending of show. There are some evenings she may not fly, for weather related safety issues. Now onto, 8 Things You Didn’t Know About Disney’s Most Dangerous Job!
How It Began
Walt Disney attended a show at the Hollywood Bowl in 1957, while seeing the high wire act and idea was sparked. He wanted to include something similiar to the fireworks show at Disneyland. In 1961 his idea came to life, when Tiny Kline made the first flight as Tinker Bell over Disneyland Resort in California. At the time she was 71 years old! She was also a petite woman at 4’10” and 98 pounds.
Disney World’s Beginning
Tinker Bell made her first flight from Cinderella’s Castle on July 3, 1985 at Walt Disney World Resort.
Disney World characters are based on height, Cast Members are given existing roles based on the Costumes they will fit. Tinker Bell is a petite role, the actor playing should be between 4’11” and 5’2″ and weigh no more than 105 pounds. All Characters are based on height, we wouldn’t want Minnie Mouse noticeably shorter one day than others! This element is used to keep the consistency and magic of Characters at Disney. There is more than 1 Cast Member who plays Tinker Bell, Minnie Mouse etc.
Tinker Bell Is Strong
Tinker Bell can fly! Therefore she needs wings and the costume she wears needs to able to stand the wind while zip lining. It is reported that her costume and wings weigh up to 70 pounds!
How She Starts Her Flight
Tinker Bell descends from 189 feet above Magic Kingdom, climbing through a 4 feet tall door to start her journey. The room is just big enough to fit 2, Tinker Bell and a helping friend. With a little help from her friend, Tinker Bell is pushed to start her zip line.
Speed & Length
Depending on the wind that evening, Tinker Bell generally flies between 25-30 mph. Her flight is usually complete after just 30 seconds. At the end of her journey (top of Tomorrowland Terrace) 2 techs are waiting to help her stop, along with mats for a soft landing.
It is reported that the role of Tinker Bell zip lining over Magic Kingdom is sometimes played by a man! I suppose if the weight and height fits then there is no discrimination on who can play this part. Next time you see Tink fly, it may be Tinker Bill!
Tinker Bell’s Pay
This is simply speculation from research, as the pay is anonymous. It is speculated she gets regular hourly pay as a Cast Member, plus Hazards pay due to the risk of the job. Reports are as much as $500 per flight! If you know anyone who has been friends with Tinker Bell (and are willing to share) leave a comment below.