Chopper pilot, passengers spot giant ‘Mouse’ in gated enclosure at Animal Kingdom

Credit: Fox35 Orlando

There’s a bit of Disney history around every corner of Walt Disney World.

Along Main Street U.S.A., the names of men and women who were instrumental and influential in building the Disney Parks empire can be found on upper windows in buildings that line the street.

Prince Charming’s Regal Carrousel and the Carousel of Progress attractions are pieces of Disney history themselves, and there are even parts of Magic Kingdom’s classic attractions that seem to have Walt’s fingerprints on them.

Other pieces of Disney history are so big that they can’t be missed, especially from the air.

Fox35 in Orlando captured this footage that shows Walt Disney’s personal airplane, affectionately named “The Mouse,” in a service area that’s located just north of Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

It’s sad to see something of such sentimental value to Disney fans sitting so idle and lonely out in a field by itself. But if it’s any consolation, it looks as though the plane might have even been painted recently, or perhaps it’s being readied for painting or being maintenanced in some way. (Otherwise, wrap it back up!)

Credit: Fox35 Orlando

Compare the above image to the image in the tweet below from @bioreconstruct, dated August 22, 2021, which shows The Mouse covered in a tarp with part of its tail and propellers exposed.

The “Mouse” was even featured in a post by Disney Parks Blog about 10 years ago.

The plane is a Grumman G-159 Gulfstream 1. Walt used the plane when he was traveling from Burbank, California, to Orlando and back. It was also used to fly Walt and his executives above central Florida while Walt looked for land on which to build his new Florida Disney park.

Its last official flight was on October 8, 1992.

There’s such a vast history to this aircraft, and the story behind the craft is one that’s just got to be told, especially in light of the 50th anniversary of the parks on the horizon. Stay tuned!



About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!