PHOTOS: Walt Disney’s Personal Airplane Now Covered and Fenced In Backstage at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
A new aerial photo shows that a fence has been installed around Walt Disney’s personal airplane, currently located in a backstage area near Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Back in 2018, we reported that the Grumman G-159 Gulfstream 1, which Disney used to travel back and forth between Burbank and Orlando when the company was acquiring land for what would become Walt Disney World, had been relocated to the backstage area and surrounded by barricades since the closure of the Studio Backlot Tour at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, where it was on display. Since then, the plane has been covered in a protective silver wrap. Below, you can see how it looked uncovered.
While backstage, the plane, affectionately dubbed “The Mouse,” had been repainted back to its original color scheme, complete with a large orange stripe.
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.
In addition to serving as a scouting plane during the land purchase, “The Mouse” became the most utilized Gulfstream in worldwide corporate service, due to continuous flights carrying Disney executives weekly to New York and Florida in 1964 and 1965 for the World’s Fair and Walt Disney World. After shuttling Imagineers from Burbank to Orlando, and after executives had graduated to a corporate jet, it was finally retired in 1992.
While we don’t know if or when the plane will ever be on public view again, it is nice to see the plane get some attention and care as Walt Disney World approaches its 50th anniversary. Keep reading WDWNT for complete coverage of preparations for the celebration!