One of the most unique Disney artifacts is undergoing a restoration process ahead of its own exhibition at this year’s D23 Expo, Walt Disney’s Grumman Gulfstream I airplane!
You can catch a trailer of the plane’s restoration ahead of the exhibition in this video by D23:
The plane is currently being stored backstage at the Walt Disney World Resort, where it has remained since the closure of the Studio Backlot Tour at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 2014. For Guests visiting the park, they were able to see the plane from a distance while entering the Lights, Motors, Action! stadium, but since that show closed in 2016 the plane has been kept entirely out of Guest view.
The Grumman Gulfstream I, Walt’s company plane, was instrumental in the Walt Disney Company securing the land in Central Florida that would become Walt Disney World. Walt and his colleagues used the plane to fly over available plots of land and seek out areas they agreed should be considered for the construction of the Walt Disney World Resort.
In addition to using the plane to find land to build Walt Disney World, Walt used the aircraft to travel between his studio in Burbank and the Orlando area as initial work was being done on the new Florida property.
Called “The Mouse,” fans have been calling for something to be done with the plane (primarily for it to be properly preserved) since the Studio Backlot Tour attraction closed and fans noticed the plane was still sitting behind Hollywood Studios.
D23 Expo Platinum Sponsor Amazon is working alongside the Walt Disney Company to restore the plane, and once it is ready for display at this year’s D23 Expo Guests will be able to view the aircraft in an exhibit called Mickey Mouse One: Walt’s Plane presented by Amazon.