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It's known that Peter Pan needed fairy dust to fly. He used it on Wendy, John, and Michael so they could fly with him to Neverland. (But in the books, there's no indication that the Lost Boys can fly -- if I misremember, please correct me!)

If a one-time dose of fairy dust was enough to let someone fly from then on, one would think we'd see the Lost Boys fly, since they would have had to fly to Neverland in the first place. (But it's also possible that, like the Indians and mermaids and pirates, they were native to Neverland all along.)

Does Peter (or anyone else) need repeated doses of fairy dust to continue flying, or is one dose enough to last for a lifetime?

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3 Answers

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Peter Pan is able to fly due to different reasons in different versions of the story (books, plays and movies). He was a part bird in one, used fairy dust in the other etc..

In the book The Little White Bird by Barrie, "[Peter] escaped from being a human when he was seven days old; he escaped by the window and flew back to the Kensington Gardens. ... All children could ... for, having been birds before they were human, they are naturally a little wild during the first few weeks, and very itchy at the shoulders, where their wings used to be."

Also from Wikipedia:

"Peter's ability to fly is explained somewhat, but inconsistently. In The Little White Bird he is able to fly because he – like all babies – is part bird. In the play and novel, he teaches the Darling children to fly using a combination of "lovely wonderful thoughts" (which became "happy thoughts" in Disney's film) and fairy dust; it is unclear whether he is serious about "happy thoughts" being required (it was stated in the novel that this was merely a silly diversion from the fairy dust being the true source), or whether he requires the fairy dust himself. In Hook, the adult Peter is unable to fly until he remembers his 'happy thought'. The ability to fly is also attributed to starstuff – apparently the same thing as fairy dust – in the Starcatcher prequels."

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Having just watched 'Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure' I can give you the Disney answer.

In the movie it's shown that fairies get a daily ration of fairy dust and at one point Tinker Bell has to try to get extra fairy dust in order to make a long journey. In the various Tinker Bell movies we see fairies using fairy dust to create other magical effects.

In the Disney Peter Pan movie Peter grabs Tinker Bell and gives her a spanking to shake the fairy dust off of her and onto Wendy and the boys.

Whenever someone flies using fairy dust they give off a distinctive trail of fairy dust. This is most noticeable when Tinker Bell flies over the Disney castle at the beginning of each Disney movie.

So we can deduce that a certain amount of fairy dust is required to fly and that it slowly wears off as it is used, and for fairies, is used up as part of their daily work.

Peter, being a friend of Tinker Bell, probably gets any fairy dust he uses from her. If she were to leave him, say in a fit of jealousy, he would eventually run out of fairy dust and be unable to fly. This will probably take longer than a day though, as in the Peter Pan movie she does leave him and yet he is still able to fly very well.

I'll leave analyzing his flight patterns and fairy dust usage statistics to the experts.

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There is an article on how the fairy dust works and if that's true then I guess it wears off as soon as you bathe.

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