The Disney Blog reader Andrew is a flight instructor and when he heard we’d been inquiring as to the condition of Walt Disney’s plane that used to sit in the Backlot Tour at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, he remembered seeing it on one of his recent flights over the area. Saturday, when Andrew’s flight path took him over the area of Walt Disney World where the plane is kept, he snapped a few photos for us.
As the lore goes, the twin engine propeller plane, identified as N234MM (MM for Mickey Mouse, of course) by the numbers on its tail, was the one Walt Disney used to survey the future Walt Disney World property and later used to shuttle Imagineers over to Florida to start their work on the project.
We’re not giving away the location as it is back stage and we don’t want to encourage guests to drive around looking for it. We are happy to see that the plane has a number of highway barriers up around it. That makes it less likely some truck or other vehicle might back up into it and cause damage.
As we reported last year, we had heard rumors that the plane had been damaged in transit to its current storage location. ‘Crushed’ was the exact term we were told. We’re happy to report from Andrew’s photos, that N234MM isn’t destroyed and from what Andrew could ascertain, hasn’t received any significant damage at all.
That certainly is good news. The bad news is that apparently no one at Disney has budgeted any money to refurbish and move the plane to an on-stage location at Walt Disney World, or transfer it back west where it might be seen on the Disney head quarters in Burbank, the remove studios at Golden Oak, or perhaps even the old Glendale airport, which is now the home to Walt Disney Imagineering and a number of other Disney divisions. Maybe they could spare some of that money they’re planning to spend to acquire 21st Century Fox?
Update: If you want to learn more about N234MM check out this short armchair archivist video from D23 – the official Disney fan club:
What do you think Disney should do with the historic N234MM plane?? Keep in in Orlando on-stage somewhere, or let the Disney archives decide where it best belongs?