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

3 days ago 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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Bullseye19671 hour ago

I think you misunderstood. I didn't mean walk through. I meant a platform on the outside people could walk by and look in. It was a very mass produced plane and getting parts would not be that big of an issue for the cockpit.

Goofy2131 hour ago

We all see what Disney does to classic airplanes.

flynnibus1 hour ago

I can see them redoing the cabin and maybe some visual work for a cabin.. but these kinds of aircraft make really bad displays :) They are too small to really cycle people through. It's worse than the railcars which is an example of some display that people typically can't get in because of similar space and wear constraints. My money is on external with blocked windows... maybe a mocked up cockpit because you could probably bolt one together from another older plane with limited effort.

Bullseye19671 hour ago

The money would be well spent to bring the cabin back to looking good, so it could be a walk up display wherever it ends up. I agree there is no way they put in the money and effort to make it air worthy. But I do believe they are going to do more than just the exterior.

flynnibus1 hour ago

Considering Disney really has no use for a plane of this vintage... they wouldn't get any value out of doing all the work to make it airworthy. And if they don't intend on selling the plane, no one else would get any value from that work either. And once you do the work, you gotta keep spending to keep the plane in good status. So it's a recurring cost, not just a one time investment. So it's even less desirable to do that kind of investment. It just doesn't make any sense to modernize and repair the plane to fly if no one is going to be flying it. And it's basically antiquated vs the practical needs. The only potential is something like marketing... but that seems incredibly unlikely vs just hauling it around on a truck when needed.

Bullseye19671 hour ago

The airworthiness date you see is the original cert date. Not sure why they do it like that.

Bullseye19672 hours ago

very cool!

FettFan2 hours ago

"It'S LiKE poEtRY. iT RhyMES."

larryz2 hours ago

Look where the main landing gear pop out and it's obvious why they need the wings. I'm not an engineer, but I'm guessing the wings come off just outboard of the engine nacelles.

larryz3 hours ago

FTFY The latest airworthiness date is listed as 1963. I doubt that it'd be considered airworthy without extensive work/inspection/test flights.

TikibirdLand3 hours ago

My uncle worked for Beech back in the day. I remember seeing these coming off the assembly line.

larryz3 hours ago

I'm saying it'll be plundered in the desert on Tattooine. Cue the Jawas chasing off the Sand People.

larryz3 hours ago

That's a V-tail Beechcraft Bonanza. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beechcraft_Bonanza

TikibirdLand3 hours ago

So, are you saying Walt's Gulfstream will stand in for Tattooine?