Airspace over Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resort is a No-Fly Zone

There is no flying allowed over the Walt Disney World Resort or the Disneyland Resort. A strict no-fly zone has been in place over both areas since 2003.

The airspace over the Walt Disney World Resort and the Disneyland Resort is considered national defense airspace and violation of the no-fly zone could result in interrogation and even federal prosecution.

The airspace above Walt Disney World is a no-fly zoneThe airspace above Walt Disney World is a no-fly zone

The no-fly restrictions came about as part of a provision that ended up in a congressional spending bill more than a decade ago. According to a report in the Orlando Sentinel it wasn't government officials who wanted the airspace restrictions but rather a lobbyist for Disney.

Reportedly Disney wanted to end the flyovers by aerial advertisers who towed banners behind their planes. There are no fly-over restrictions in place for other theme parks in the areas.

The no-fly zone covers a three mile radius around both Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort and there have been legal challenges to the zones with opponents saying Disney doesn't own the airspace above the parks.

Government lawyers argued that the no-fly zones were meant to protect the public from terrorist attacks.

Last year FAA Administrator Michael P. Huerta testified at a Congressional hearing that if the original mandate the created the no-fly zone was removed the FAA would not grant Disney's request for a no-fly zone over the properties based on current FAA rules.


Kristen K. wrote on Mon, 11/17/2014 - 20:14:

Kristen K.'s picture

Very interesting, I always thought it was a safety issue vs. an advertising problem. However I'm ok with the no-fly zone over Disney, it helps keep me inside the happy bubble.

Aerial wrote on Mon, 12/08/2014 - 05:06:

Aerial's picture

The statement "There is no flying allowed over the Walt Disney World Resort..." is somewhat misleading and not entirely true. In actual fact there IS flying allowed over Walt Disney World - it is only restricted to 3000' above the ground when within 3 nautical-miles of the Contemporary Resort. To the specifications of the restricted area (called a TFR) only affects The Magic Kingdom and part of Epcot and Animal Kingdom. The hotel areas in the southern portions of the property are completely outside the restricted area.

It's normal to continually see low-level helicopter flying on the south side of Epcot and other aircraft flying over all the parks at 3000' or higher. Waivers can be granted to those who need low-level access to the TFR, while certain other aircraft are generally exempt.

Kristen K. wrote on Mon, 12/08/2014 - 14:29:

Kristen K.'s picture

Thanks so much for adding these details Aerial!

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