Have you ever wanted to take a peek at Walt Disney’s plane? Check out details here to see where and when to catch it before it’s gone.
Walt Disney’s plane is newly repainted with updated wing edges and windows will be on view along with never-before-exhibited items from the aircraft’s interior. These include a customized instrument panel that allowed Walt to monitor flight conditions.
Next, guests can check out a telephone handset that gave Walt a direct line of communication to the pilot in the cockpit. Finally, don’t miss the flight bag featuring an image of Mickey Mouse sitting on the tail of the iconic plane; and more.
Walt’s Plane Returns after a Decade
Walt’s plane will return to the West Coast for the first time since October 8, 1992. Before departing for the West Coast, it was part of the display at Disney-MGM Studios (now Disney’s Hollywood Studios). Here, it resided as a part of the Studio Backlot Tour until 2014.
Making the Plane His Own
In 1963, Walt acquired the iconic Gulfstream. Later this was affectionately named “The Mouse.” The interior of the plane, initially designed with creative input from Walt and his wife, Lillian, seated up to 15 passengers. Also, it included a galley kitchen, two restrooms, two couches, a desk, and nods to the mouse who started it all.
Then, the matchbooks and stationery were all adorned with a silhouette of Mickey Mouse. Mickey’s initials were eventually included in the tail number of the plane, too, as N234MM, in 1967. Throughout its 28 years of service to The Walt Disney Company, the plane flew 20,000 hours and transported an estimated 83,000 passengers.
Fun Plane Facts
During this all-new exhibit, guests will be invited to “take to the skies.” Guests learn about the role this iconic role of this plane throughout the company’s history. Fun facts include:
- In 1963, Walt, members of his family, and company executives took off on a demonstration Gulfstream aircraft to explore potential locations, including Central Florida, for a proposed development often referred to as “Project X.” After Walt received his own Gulfstream in early 1964, he made several trips to Florida. This ultimately laid the foundation to bring the magic of Walt Disney World to life.
- Walt’s plane flew a total of 277,282 miles back and forth between Burbank and New York to oversee preparations before and during the 1964–1965 New York World’s Fair. Also, this World Fair a debuted iconic attractions such as “it’s a small world.”
- The plane also took Disneyland to new heights. Walt found inspiration for the look of the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction as he flew over the El Moro fortress in San Juan, Puerto Rico, while conducting research for the now fan favorite.
- “The Mouse” has a star-studded past, having been used for promotional tours for and in classic movies such as The Jungle Book (1967). It also made appearances in The Walt Disney Studios films The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes (1969) and Now You See Him, Now You Don’t (1972), both of which starred Disney Legend Kurt Russell. The aircraft has also transported notable guests including Disney Legends Julie Andrews and Annette Funicello, as well as former U.S. Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.
- Painted blue and white in 1985, Walt’s plane embarked on goodwill tours and character visits to children’s hospitals.
Where to Catch this Iconic Plane
Walt Disney’s Grumman Gulfstream I plane is making a cross-country journey to Anaheim, California. Here, it will be on display for fans attending the 2022 D23 Expo from September 9 through 11.
Walt Disney’s plane will be on display at the 2022 D23 Expo from September 9 through 11.
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