Walt Disney’s Personal Airplane Discovered Through Aerial Photos

An aerial photograph of The Mouse plane.
This post may contain affiliate links; please read the disclosure for more information.

Walt Disney’s personal airplane that was used during the scouting for the ‘Florida Project’ has been rediscovered, thanks to some recent aerial photos. The Grumman G-159 Gulfstream 1, was used during the purchasing of land for the Florida Project, tag teaming it along with one of Walt’s other planes, the Queen.

An aerial photograph of The Mouse plane.

With Walt often co-piloting over low landscapes, much to the dismay of Lillian and his insurance brokers, the November Two Three Four Mickey Mouse, or simply “The Mouse” as it is commonly referred to, was utilized by Walt Disney himself in the 1960s during trips from Burbank to Orlando while the company was purchasing land for what we, of course now, know as Walt Disney World.

Originally, N732G was the tail number when Walt Disney used the Gulfstream, with N234MM belonging to the Queen Air plane used while originally scouting land for the ‘Florida Project’, the tail number then moving to the King Air, before finally settling on the beloved Gulfstream that everyone knows as Walt’s plane. It was actually F.A.A. controllers who named the plane ‘Mickey Mouse’, using that call instead of the previously used name among controllers for Walt’s plane, ‘metro metro’, and thus, “The Mouse” was born.

The plane is perhaps most well known by guests from it’s time on display along the tram route of the now defunct Studio Backlot Tour attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

An aerial photograph of The Mouse plane.

Recently, the plane was discovered in a restricted backstage area, surrounded by a number of barricades. While the plane was stripped from its original interior last time it was publicly visible, it is interesting to note that the aerial photos do reveal that “The Mouse” has been repainted back to its original incarnation, complete with the big orange stripe.

An aerial photograph of The Mouse plane.

An aerial photograph of The Mouse plane.

An aerial photograph of The Mouse plane.

It is unclear if there are any plans for the plane as of now, but it certainly is neat to get a glimpse of the plane, and to know that it is still together in one piece. “The Mouse”  became the highest utilization Gulfstream in worldwide corporate service, due to continuous flights carrying Disney Executives weekly to New York and Florida in 1964-1965, for World’s Fair and Walt Disney World. The orange stripes and Mickey Mouse logo that we all recognize today were actually not painted on until the 80s. Preferring anonymity while scouting and purchasing land in Florida, the plane originally had only generic markings on it, not indicating that it was a ‘Disney’ plane at all! After becoming a shuttle for imagineers from Burbank to Orlando, and after executives had graduated to a corporate jet, ‘The Mouse’ was finally retired in 1992.

Thanks to Nearmap for providing WDWNT with the aerial photos. If you want to read more info on The Mouse and other planes used by Walt, take a look at this interview by Jim Korkis!

MY LATEST VIDEOS

I don’t know about you, but there are times when planning a Disney vacation can be overwhelming! There are so many options, where to stay, when to go, is this the best price. So, I want to introduce you all to Cindy Minor and the team at Small World Big Fun. They will help you plan your Disney vacation for FREE. Contact them today!

About the author

Jesse DeRosa

Jesse first visited Walt Disney World in 2007 and instantly developed an affinity for the immersive level of storytelling and theming that Disney is so well known for. Fast forward about a decade later and Jesse is now a soon-to-be college graduate, specializing in blowing through his hard-earned money to renew his AP rather than paying for school. If for whatever reason you feel inclined to contact this person, you may reach him by email at [email protected]

8 Comments

Click here to post a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • That’s a great find. Does anyone know exactly where they hid the plane on property. It would be interesting to know how far away it is from the studios.

  • I was doing some work at the wastewater plant when they were piecing it back together. (It’s (maybe was) mapped in Waze) I’ve got a few up close photos of it. It was pretty cool to talk to those guys. Disney apparently won’t give them the rights to take it off site and restore it for a museum. Maybe one day they’ll decide it’s a waste of space there, but it is well out of the way on the lot.

  • Has anyone tried checking google maps? That might the water treatment plant off of Western Way, by Animal Kingdom. Someone should check there.

Latest Videos