The restricted airspace over the Walt Disney World Resort was breached last week while Guests were in attendance at the parks.
Disney World’s no-fly zone was first put into place in 2003, and not in response to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, as many believe. That special status is why Guests at the parks can look up in the skies over Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney Springs, and they won’t see any airliners or drones.
Many believe that Disney World’s no-fly zone was enacted in 2001 in response to the 9/11 attacks, but the long-standing status Disney enjoys today didn’t begin until 2003, although Disney World was among places over which airliners were banned as the events of that terrible day in America’s history began to unfold.
In May, Congressman Troy Nehls (R-TX) began the work of attempting to dissolve Disney World’s no-fly zone. In letters to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Nehls points out that Disney World’s closest competitor enjoys no such special privileges, and that “special interests have been hijacked.”
Nehls introduced a bill over the summer that aims to dissolve Disney’s special accommodations with regard to its no-fly zone statute.
Last week, however, another government entity came into the picture and went so far as to breach the restricted airspace over Magic Kingdom–and it was a welcomed endeavor for all who witnessed it.
On Thursday, Disney World kicked off National Veterans and Military Families Month a few days early, hosting a magical flyover at Magic Kingdom by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds. The talented aviators soared 500 feet over Cinderella Castle toward the train station, giving Guests and Cast Members quite a thrill–restricted airspace or not!
The Thunderbirds performed precision aerial maneuvers, and they showed us their world-famous “delta break maneuver,” [during which ] they passed over Cinderella Castle, accelerating rapidly and in different directions giving us a fantastic display of acrobatic flying precision.
The Thunderbirds are in town through the weekend for the Orlando Air and Space Show but made time to fly over Magic Kingdom Park in celebration of Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary and the U.S. Air Force’s 75th anniversary.
Disney’s support for the Armed Forces is part of our company’s heritage, and we would like to give a big Disney SALUTE to all who proudly serve the nation in uniform and their families!