I recently realized that it’s more fun to play golf when I’m happy. I also realized that I’m happiest when I’m not keeping score. It’s not that I’m a bad golfer – I play to a 12 handicap, and generally don’t embarrass myself much on the course – it’s just that sometimes I find myself becoming that unfortunate breed of golfer who may take the game a bit too seriously. If you play golf, you know there’s a type of player who can turn any warm sunny afternoon into a gripe-fest and always has a cloud at the ready for any silver lining. I hate the thought of being that guy, and that’s where WestJet’s Magic Plane comes in.
I love airplanes (lucky for me that I ended up working for an airline). I’m also fortunate in that the golf club where I play is adjacent to the flight path of aircraft taking off and landing at Calgary International Airport. Golf being the kind of sport that causes even the most optimistic sort to look skyward for encouragement, I often look up from the course to see WestJet flights coming and going. On quite a few occasions I’ve looked up and said, “Look! It’s the Magic Plane!” What follows is an instant good mood. It’s hard not to smile when you see the Magic Plane. I may not play better after watching it soar off into the distance, but who cares? I’m outside, I’m enjoying myself and I’m reminded once again that each day gives me the opportunity to consider and enjoy great ideas like the Magic Plane.
A bit of background: Walt Disney Parks & Resorts (Canada) Ltd., WestJet and WestJet Vacations teamed up in December 2013 to unveil the Magic Plane, a Boeing Next-Generation 737-800 with a custom paint scheme inspired by Fantasia, featuring Mickey Mouse in his most famous role as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice. The aircraft was an immediate hit. And like every hit, it inspired a sequel: our Frozen-themed plane is a Boeing Next-Generation 737-800 decked out with Anna, Elsa and Olaf from Disney’s Frozen®, and with scenes and décor inspired by the hit Disney movie.
Occasionally around the WestJet offices we’ll debate which is our favourite, and the camps seem to be fairly evenly divided: some of us prefer the more traditional vibe of Mickey and the Magic Plane, while others are more on board with Anna and Elsa. I found it interesting to know that it took 26 painters 24 days to paint the Magic Plane – which is about the same amount of time I’ve been putting off staining my back deck. The Frozen-themed plane was painted in a similar manner and displays an interior décor that mimics the transition of seasons from summer to winter, and mirrors the cold-to-warm scenario on the aircraft’s exterior.
So, if you think you might like to start enjoying your golf game a little more, here are two suggestions. Look up – you might spy the Magic Plane or the Frozen-themed plane flying overhead and that’s a sure way to boost your morale on the course. You could also try not keeping score.