Walt Disney’s Personal Plane, Abandoned History at Disney World

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As far Disney is concerned, there’s more history to the man, the myth, and the legend of Walt Disney himself than could fill an entire library of books. That’s why any hint of new history (or mystery) relating to Walt attracts nearly everyone enchanted by Disney. Recently, Walt Disney’s personal plane has received attention from footage showing it abandoned at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Here’s all the interesting stuff you want to know about…

Walt Disney's Personal Plane Abandoned at Walt Disney World? [Source: bioreconstruct via Twitter]
Walt Disney’s Personal Plane Abandoned at Walt Disney World? [Source: bioreconstruct via Twitter]

Where Is Walt Disney’s Plane?

Interestingly enough, one of the biggest questions about Walt Disney’s personal plane…

Concerns its whereabouts.

In other words, where on earth is Disney’s plane?

The interesting thing about this (to me, anyway) is that people seem to be way less interested in the fact that he had a personal plane as far back as the 1960’s, than in where it might be located today!

Given the lore around everything regarding Mr. Disney, this does sort of make sense, though.

People want to know where Disney himself is (here’s the answer to that one!), so it makes sense to wonder where his stuff might also be located.

So, to the question at hand…

Where is Walt Disney’s personal plane? The personal plane of Walt Disney is currently located at Walt Disney World. Which seems very appropriate! Where else would we want such historical treasures to be located, but in one of the Disney Parks? 🙂

The airplane took its last flight on October 8, 1992, and it’s also the one you can see on a Studio Backlot Tour at WDW.

Was Walt Disney a Pilot?

A related question concerning Walt Disney’s personal plane regards whether the man himself actually flew it on his own.

Walt Disney Personal Airplane with Mickey Mouse [Source: Reflections on Walt]
Walt Disney Personal Airplane with Mickey Mouse [Source: Reflections on Walt]

In other words…

Was Walt Disney a pilot? No, Walt Disney was not technically a pilot, because he never got his pilot’s license. BUT, he did frequently sit in the co-pilot chair in the cockpit. Chuck Malone, Walt’s personal Gulfstream pilot, believed that Disney could take over if he was ever unable to fly during an actual flight, though.

Walt Disney's Personal Airplane [Source: Joe Penniston on Flickr, Creative Commons License]
Walt Disney’s Personal Airplane [Source: Joe Penniston on Flickr, Creative Commons License]

According to Reflections on Walt, one great source of information on Walt Disney’s piloting experience comes from the book Walt Disney: An American Original, in which Bob Thomas writes:

Walt took delight in planning each trip, plotting the itinerary on maps in his office over his evening Scotch. When passengers arrived at the plane’s home base at Lockheed Airport, he loaded their luggage aboard. During the flight, he served the drinks and supervised the galley. For years, Walt had yearned to pilot a plane, and on occasion, the company pilot, Chuck Malone, allowed Walt to take over the controls. Walt insisted that Ron Miller and Bob Brown learn how to land the plane in case of emergency when they were flying with their families. After Chuck Malone became ill while piloting the plane alone, Walt established the rule that two pilots would be required during all flights.

Walt Disney: An American Original

So, there you have it!

That’s a lot of the juicy bits you need to know about Walt Disney’s personal airplane, as well as his piloting experience and knowledge.

Other great sources on this topic: Reflections on Walt (for more in-depth history on this topic) and Yesterland.com (for stories, interviews, and great photos).

Have a magical day!

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