For aviation geeks, there’s something just not right with a plane sitting seemingly forgotten, in a field. Even more disturbing is that this plane has a significant history and played a role in making Central Florida the vacation destination it is today.
The plane I’m talking about is Walt Disney’s Grumman Gulfstream 1 (N-234MM).
You’ll remember this plane parked along the tram route for those who went on the Backlot Tour at Disney MGM-Studios. It was how Walt Disney flew over Florida and decided to put Disney World in Orlando. Its last flight was in 1992, when it touched down on World Drive.
Once the Backlot Tour was closed, Disney moved the plane to a location near a water treatment plant on the property. If you look, there are YouTube videos going back to 2018 that show the plane on Google Maps images of the area.
Thanks to Bioreconstruct on Twitter (who always has amazing aerial photos of Disney World and the surrounding area), we can see that plane is still sitting there, but is covered by a tarp.
Aerial look at Walt's plane in a service area of Walt Disney World. Seems like part of the tail is exposed, and rain could be collecting inside if plastic is well-sealed below.@WDWGuestService could you pass this report along to appropriate maintenance to check on conditions? pic.twitter.com/Ycq4RkHFt5
— bioreconstruct (@bioreconstruct) August 22, 2021
The main concern is that the tarp apparently has a tear and rain may be collecting inside.
For a company that has shown a desire to keep many of Walt Disney’s things preserved, such as his office, it’s a little sad to see this historically significant plane sitting in a field, under a tarp and surrounded by a fence. The latter was no doubt added to keep away people who want to get a closer look.
From what I’ve read, the plane’s interior has been gutted and there was a desire to donate it to an aviation museum in Florida, but no one wanted to take it.
The FAA registration is still good until August 2023 so I guess Disney has some time to decide what they want to do with this piece of Disney history. Hopefully, they’ll get someone out there to check on the tarp before then.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary
Walt Disney’s Airplane (N234MM) on the Studio Backlot Tour in Disney’s Hollywood Studios photo by JeffChristiansen is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0