The Plane That Played a Key Role in the Creation of Disney World

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Walt Disney World and Disneyland are packed to the brim with more than a few secrets.

Like that Disney employees are only allowed to point with two fingers (now known as the “Disney point”), and that the water in the It’s A Small World ride comes from all over the world. And then there’s the fact that — as you may have suspected — Disney World pumps the scent of freshly baked cookies into the air along Main Street.

And, in a nod to Disney Parks’ history, a unique piece of the origin story of Walt Disney World sits right on the lot.

According to Yesterland, the twin-turboprop airplane featured in the former Studio Backlot Tour at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is actually the real plane the famed illustrator used to scout locations in Florida for what would one day become Disney World.

The plane, which has been on site since 1993, became a major part of the tour. As Yesterland transcribed, the tour recording said of the plane:

“In 1964, Walt Disney and his hand-picked team used this plane to scout locations for what he called the Florida Project. Soon, they secretly began purchasing thousands of acres of land, which became the Walt Disney World Resort in 1971. During the creation of the resort, and later Epcot, The Mouse shuttled studio executives and Imagineers between Burbank and Orlando making it the most-used executive aircraft in the country. Appropriately, The Mouse retired here in 1992.”

Unfortunately for fans of Disney history, the Studio Backlot Tour ended in 2014, and the plane is no longer on display to visitors. Now it’s only something Disney Cast Members can see.

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