Walt Disney's Gulfstream I
Long relegated to a static attraction in the backlot at Disney World, a newly repainted and restored Gulfstream I, which formerly served as Walt Disney's personal transport, will be featured at the Disney Company's annual D23 Convention later this year in California.

Walt Disney's Restored Gulfstream To Star At D23 Convention

The aircraft served the company for 28 years, carrying employees as well as guests such as three former presidents.

A retired Gulfstream I owned by the Walt Disney Co. will be a featured attraction at September’s D23 Convention at California's Anaheim Convention Center next door to Disneyland, the company recently announced. The twin-turboprop was purchased in 1964 by Disney, who designed its interior with his wife, Lillian. It features a galley, a pair of couches, a desk, and a jump seat right behind the cockpit that the ever-inquisitive Disney occupied during flights.

Disney and his staff used the aircraft to fly from California to New York to oversee the company’s installations at the 1964-65 World’s Fair and later to travel to Orlando, Florida, during the design and construction of Disney World. Reportedly, Disney would occupy the copilot seat and operate the controls for short periods during the cross-country flights. Air traffic controllers initially referred to the Gulfstream as “Two-Three-Four Metro-Metro,” but the latter part of that name was soon replaced with “Mickey-Mouse,” giving the aircraft the nickname “The Mouse.”

It is rumored that while making a pass over San Juan, Puerto Rico, in the Gulfstream, Disney spied the El Morro Fortress, which served as his inspiration for the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction in his parks.

The aircraft served the company for 28 years, carrying employees and guests such as three former presidents and other celebrities. Its final journey occurred on Oct. 8, 1992, when it was flown to Walt Disney World in Florida and was put on display in the backlot area of the Disney MGM (now Disney Hollywood) Studios theme park.

For most of its life, the 15-passenger aircraft carried a somewhat nondescript paint job consisting of a wide orange stripe along the windows and a small orange circle with a Mickey Mouse logo on the tail. A video released by the company shows it wearing that scheme once again. The company did not respond to BJT's inquiry about whether the GI, which still carries active FAA registration, is being returned to flight status.