Walt Disney's airplane previously on display at the Studio Backlot Tour has been restored and will be on display at the 2022 D23 Expo

Jan 13, 2022 in "Studio Backlot Tour"

Posted: Thursday January 13, 2022 2:04pm ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

D23 Expo will debut a new exhibit in 2022 featuring Walt Disney's Grumman Gulfstream I company airplane that was previously on display at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

For many years, the plane sat on the backlot near Catastrophe Canyon at Disney's Hollywood Studios, part of the Studio Backlot Tour.

The 1963 GRUMMAN G-159 with registration N234MM was nick-named Mickey Mouse One, and was used by Walt to scout for locations to build Walt Disney World.

The Studio Backlot Tour closed in 2014, and the location of Walt's plane since the closure was unknown.

D23 and the Walt Disney Archives, working with new D23 Expo Platinum sponsor Amazon, are restoring the airplane, which is currently housed backstage at Walt Disney World Resort, and transporting it to Anaheim for the Expo.

The Mickey Mouse One: Walt's Plane presented by Amazon exhibit will debut September 9 for attendees of the D23 Expo.

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Figments Friend4 hours ago

I am very pleased to learn of the plans to restore the interior. It is absolutely wonderful that what seemed to be abandoned, forgotten, and left to slowly decay out of sight has been salvaged and saved. Just so happy this historic airplane is getting the love it has needed for so many years, and deserves. -

Goofyernmost6 hours ago

Seriously, is it possible for you to do anything but insult people you don't agree with. Unless you have absolute proof that they are still there in their original state you really don't know anymore about it then you claim I do. It is completely unimportant either way, but no let's try to make yourself the person with all the answers. To me it makes no sense that they would have kept them in because they worked when they flew it from California. They are heavy and would just add to the issue of craning it into place and easily removing the wings when they wanted to move it. It was an old plane before they ever put it in DHS and they had other newer planes in the inventory by that time. I don't see that they ever had any intention of going into the wild blue yonder again. They may or may not be still there, but I can't see Disney passing up on 10's of thousands of dollars when they had no need for them anymore. I know the tail number is still in Disney's name, but that is more than likely just to keep others from getting that number. Small price to pay to keep it in the family. You know it is possible for someone to have an opinion that differs from yours. It doesn't mean that the other opinion is frivolous or wrong. Without proof, either opinion could be nothing more than wishful thinking. So can we end this foolishness and attempt at superiority and just agree to disagree?

HauntedPirate8 hours ago

"Why do you care? I don't care, so you shouldn't either. It's pointless in my mind and thus no one else should care about it and there's no reason to even discuss it." I could easily see why a museum would want to have an entire aircraft restored, from nose to tail. Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why. There is zero evidence that the engines were, in fact, sold and removed and replaced by... something... to make it look like there were engines there during the time it was in the Backlot. I mean, it flew to Florida in 1992 and was then lifted by crane into it's Backlot spot. I could see draining the engines of any fluids, but why bother selling two engines that wouldn't even be a drop in the ocean for a company the size of Disney, even back then? Makes about as much sense as the poster in question most times.

EeyoreFan#2410 hours ago

I just mean there are people who take aviation very seriously and may want to make efforts to be as close to complete as possible.

JoeCamel10 hours ago

"If they aren't Walt's engines just fuggaboutit.."

HauntedPirate11 hours ago

Why would anyone do that? "Those engines are gone, you know, because I think I read something somewhere sometime, and there's no reason to have anything functional in a museum piece because that's just dumb because I said so."

Goofyernmost18 hours ago

If they aren't the original engines there when Walt was inside the plane then there is no principle of the thing. Then it is just fantasy. If the original engines are still there, like some seem to believe, and they have no intention of flying it again but they cannot be actually seen doesn't make any sense either. However, that said, who am I to say you can't believe whatever you want. Attempting to be accurate has no place in any conversation especially if it involves any amount of logic.

JoeCamel1 day ago

I know a guy who could do justice to the interior...... http://www.skyachtone.com/skyranch-one

EeyoreFan#241 day ago

Maybe not to fly it, but they could get some old unmaintained engins from another museum or some airplane boneyard/scrap pile somewhere to mock up or put on display. I guess it depends on how far they want to go. I could see a situation where the restorers want to be a thorough as possible, even if the public never sees it. More of a principle of it thing.

Goofyernmost1 day ago

Maybe so, but if they have no intention of flying it again, there will be no need for any engines. All they have to do is the same thing that Disney did. make a unit for the front of the engines to hold the props. If at a later day someone decides that it would be something to become airborne again, then they might invest in engines, but not until then and certainly not since it is now a museum piece it would be a massive expense just for a what if situation. I knew it was being restored internally, but complete is just that, no one has any reason to think they would spend hundreds or thousands of dollars for actual engines. I'm not even sure why it seem so damned important for them to do so. Walt didn't build or ride on the engines. Redoing the interior is all that is needed for the nostalgia purpose. I'm glad they are doing that for the plane, but I see no reason to believe that restoration will include restoring the unneeded and unseen motors.

Goofyernmost1 day ago

I don't have it at my fingertips but I did read about it quite a few years ago. I know it is fun to try and make a logical observation gibberish, but they never intended that plane to fly again so why have engines. They could sell those parts for a good amount because they were rare even at that time. So the question is not do I have hard data that the engines are still there, but do you have any logical proof why they would have left functioning engines in a plane to rust away for 4 decades? Or was that another "he doesn't know anything so why listen or is your post just a way of letting others know that you are ignorant about mechanical things and want to make sure everyone else is as well. Do you have any idea what the purpose would be to have engines in it now 40 years later? But, I guess you know for a solid fact that they are there. If you do, prove it!

Goofyernmost1 day ago

For what purpose, did you see the hollowed out interior? Nothing there, no seats, to cockpit anything, that was probably sold too. And that is if you forget that they plane was around 60 years old at this point.

JoeCamel1 day ago

The company that is doing the restoration is one of the largest builders and owners of this type of aircraft. I think they can find a couple to fill the space. It won't be made airworthy but it will be complete when done. Maybe read the article?

HauntedPirate1 day ago

Ignorance is a hell of a drug. Thankfully, there are ways to get around it here when someone repeatedly posts twaddle. ;)