Walt Disney’s beloved 1964 plane is being BROKEN APART, piece by piece, in an abandoned field behind Animal Kingdom

Credit: Disney Archives/Twitter: @Bioreconstruct

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.

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walt disney airplane

Credit: D23

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.

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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.

bioreconstruct on Twitter: "Aerial looks at Walt's plane in a backstage  area of Walt Disney World. It was on display in Disney's Hollywood Studios,  with Mickey Mouse on the tail, as the

Credit: Twitter/@bioreconstruct

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.

walt disney and guests aboard airplane

Credit: Disney History Institute

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.

walt disney airplane at disney world

Credit: Disney

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.

By August 1991, Walt’s beloved Grumman Gulfstream I had been flown more than 18,500 hours and had landed 8,500 times.
Walt Disney airplane

Credit: Reflections on Walt Disney

It was in service for 20 years, and its final flight was on October 8, 1992. On that day, Disney’s plane landed on World Drive near the Walt Disney World Resort. The landing strip at Disney World was unavailable to the pilot, so the highway was blocked off. And of course, there was lots of fanfare, including a marching band!
Take a Flight Back in Time with 'The Mouse' | Disney Parks Blog

Credit: Disney Parks

The plane was featured as part of the Backlot Tour at then-called Disney/MGM Studios, now Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It has since been moved to a field near the waste treatment building at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
walt disney airplane studio backlot

Credit: Disney

And it is in that very field where the plane is currently being broken up, disassembled. At first glance, the sight is unsettling: a massive piece of Walt Disney history, being broken down into pieces. In a tweet from aerial photographer @Bioreconstruct, Walt’s plane can be seen in the field behind Disney’s Animal Kingdom with its tail removed.
“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,” the tweet reads.

As announced earlier this year, Walt’s beloved plane will be part of a special exhibit, “Mickey Mouse One,” sponsored by Amazon.
Walt Disney airplane

Credit: Twitter/@bioreconstruct

The airplane is being disassembled and readied for shipping to Anaheim, California, where it will be on display at the exhibit at this year’s D23 Expo held at the Anaheim Convention Center. Why isn’t it being flown? As reported, the plane hasn’t been airborne since October 1992.
Map from Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park to Anaheim Convention Center

Credit: Google

We’re thinking Walt’s plane is just a bit out of shape for such a haul–nearly 2,500 miles one-way!

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!