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Disney Unveils Walt's Plane at D23 Expo ... See Before & After Photos

This could be one of the largest actual pieces of Walt Disney History that has ever been restored. The team at Walt Disney Archives and Walt Disney Imagineering have worked hard to restore it to it’s glory.

Walt Disney purchased the plane, Gulfstream, in 1963 which would fittingly be known as “The Mouse.” Walt and his wife Lillian helped to design the interior 15-passenger which included a galley kitchen, two bathrooms, two couches, a desk and little touches of Mickey Mouse throughout: from stationary to matchbooks, cocktail napkins, THE Mouse could be spotted.

It’s been out in the sun on the backlot at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (formerly Disney MGM Theme Park) at Walt Disney World for their Studio Backlot Tour for the last 30 years — which is where we first saw it back in 2016. When we saw it for the first time it had both Walt Disney World and Disneyland logos on the side as well as Mickey Mouse on the tail. I honestly don't remember it being so large! As you can seen from the unveiling... it's beyond magnificent.

The Walt Disney Company plane was flown over 20,000 hours and transported 83,000 passengers before it was grounded. Passengers on this aircraft included Disney Legends Julie Andrews and Annette Funicello, and even two U.S. Presidents: Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.

After its unveiling at D23 Expo, it will be transported to The Palm Springs Air Museum which is near Smoke Tree Ranch - Walt and Lillian’s Palm Springs home. A new exhibit will showcase this incredible and historic plane which will open on Walt Disney’s birthday, December 5th.

This is by far my favorite thing at D23 Expo this year! It’s magnificent in person. The next time we visit Palm Springs we will definitely go visit it, again.

Here are a few fun facts from D23:

  • “MM” (Mickey’s initials) were included in the plane’s tail number N234MM in 1967.

  • Walt’s plane flew a total of 277,000+ miles between Burbank and New York before and during the 1964-1965 World’s Fair which is where attractions like It’s a Small World and Carousel Of Progress debuted before finding a home at Disneyland.

  • Walt flew over the El Moro fortress in San Juan, Puerto Rico which gave him inspiration for the look of the Pirates of The Caribbean attraction.

  • It was used for promotional tours for Disneyland and my favorite Disney movie, The Jungle Book (1967) and can be seen in The Walt Disney Studios movies like Computer Wore Tennis Shoes (1969) and Now You See Him, Now You Don’t (1972), both of which starred Disney Legend Kurt Russell.


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