Walt Disney’s cherished airliner is being taken apart, piece by piece, in a field behind Disney’s Animal Kingdom, where it has been stored for years.
Walt Disney’s company airplane was his pride and joy. It was no secret that Walt loved planes and trains, and throughout his magical career, the Walt Disney Company used three different planes.
The first was a Beechcraft Queen Air (1963–1965). The Queen Air was later traded in for a brand-new turboprop, painted in the colors of the decade: tan and brown. The turboprop plane was a Beechcraft King Air (1965–1967). The King Air was originally chosen because it was fast and it was quiet.
Disney pilots routinely spoke to air traffic controllers, calling out, “Two, three, four, metro metro.” But they were more fond of calling out, “Two, three, four, Mickey Mouse,” which was technically not a true FAA communication. But soon, the improper communication took hold and became commonplace for air traffic controllers in their communications with Disney pilots.
Walt’s beloved plane became known as the “Mickey Mouse,” and the “special treatment” made other corporate pilots a bit jealous, according to D23.
But in 1964, Walt chose a Grumman Gulfstream I as his means of air travel.
According to Reflections on Walt Disney, the visionary’s Gulfstream had the serial number 121 and the tail number N732G, which was assigned to her on September 4, 1963. Its bill of sale was on December 6, 1963, one day after Walt Disney’s 62nd birthday. To this day, ownership has not changed hands.
But as Walt was a creative genius, he ordered special furnishings for the interior of the plane, which were completed by March 1964. Seventeen hundred pounds were added to the plane’s overall fuel capacity, giving Walt’s plane a maximum range of 2,540 miles on a tank of fuel plus reserves, more than enough for the treks between Burbank, California, and Orlando, Florida, where Walt used the airliner to survey land in the area for his new Florida theme parks.
Aerial look at Walt's plane. Tail removed. To be shipped for display at D23 in Anaheim in a month. Has been in storage North of Animal Kingdom. Walt flew in this plane to plan development of WDW. pic.twitter.com/r6CvlfqeuK
— bioreconstruct (@bioreconstruct) August 6, 2022