PALM SPRINGS, Calif. – The plane that helped Walt Disney scout the future site of Walt Disney World will now find a new home and display after its display at Expo D23 2022.
In January, Disney announced that the Grumman G-159 Gulfstream I aircraft would be restored to its original splendor and moved to Southern California for display to D23 Expo guests.
[TRENDING: Military, veterans, law enforcement and educators can sail for free on this cruise line | Become a News 6 Insider (it’s free!)]
On Thursday evening, Disney CEO Bob Chapek announced that after the exhibit’s conclusion, the historic aircraft would once again be moved, this time from Anaheim to the Palm Springs Air Museum, not far from Palm Springs Smoke Tree Ranch, a place where Walt Disney stayed with family.
“We are so happy that Walt’s plane landed at the Palm Springs Air Museum, just a few miles from where Walt and his family had vacation homes at Smoke Tree Ranch,” said Rebecca Cline, Director of Walt Disney Archive. “It’s the perfect setting for this incredible icon.”
The plane will be housed in a newly constructed exhibit and will open on Walt Disney’s birthday, Dec. 5.
In addition to seeing the repainted plane, the museum said guests will see rarely displayed items from inside the plane, including a custom dashboard originally located near Walt’s favorite onboard seat. ; a telephone handset that gave Walt a direct line of communication with the pilot in the cockpit; a flight bag with an image of Mickey Mouse sitting on the tail of the iconic airplane and much more.
The plane was first acquired by Walt Disney in 1963 and has helped ferry stars to Southern California including Kurt Russell, Julie Andrews, Annette Funicello and former US Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.
“Mickey’s initials were also included in the aircraft’s tail number, as N234MM, in 1967. During its 28 years of service with the Walt Disney Company, the aircraft flew 20,000 hours and carried approximately 83,000 passengers before being grounded,” Disney said in a post.
After its service, the plane sat for years in central Florida as part of the Studio Backlot Tour at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. When the attraction closed in 2014, the plane was eventually moved back to a secure backstage location where it sat out of sight of the public.
During the D23 Expo which begins on September 9, guests will be able to view the aircraft in an exhibit called Mickey Mouse One: Walt’s Plane presented by Amazon.
Use the form below to register for ClickOrlando.com In the Loop: Theme Park Scoops newsletter, sent every Friday morning.
Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando – All Rights Reserved.