View Full Version : Flights over Disney World & Disneyland are now restricted..

03-18-2003, 06:45 PM
Airports and seaports
Border protection and increased security at airports and railways, and greater road security are also planned.

The Federal Aviation Administration Tuesday announced that aircraft flying in the New York City and Washington, D.C. areas, and near Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and Disneyland in Anaheim, California, will be restricted. Unless commercial or private pilots are granted specific exemptions from air traffic controllers, no flights are allowed within a 3-mile radius around the parks or below 3,000 feet.

The Transportation Security Administration, which is in charge of security at the nation's airports, announced several new measures Monday night, including random inspections of vehicles, increased canine patrols and increased law enforcement presence in and around airports.

The agency will also be putting up temporary signs inside airports asking the public to be aware of the increased threat level and to report unattended bags and suspicious behavior.

The Coast Guard will protect offshore petroleum sites near large coastal population centers, and security is being increased at chemical facilities, nuclear power plants, key electrical grids, bridges and subways.

There will also be increased monitoring of diseases and food security, Homeland Security said. The Agriculture Department is alerting food producers to step up their security -- such as inspecting all vehicles and escorting all visitors -- and is helping monitor feedlots, stockyards, and import and storage areas.

Imported food will also come under increased scrutiny by the Department of Health and Human Services, which is asking health departments and medical care providers to report unusual diseases or disease patterns.


The entire article can be read on cnn.com

Just click on the raised threat level story.. :(

03-18-2003, 06:52 PM
Tighter U.S. flight rules include Disney parks
Reuters, 03.18.03, 5:47 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Flight restrictions have been tightened in and around the cities of New York, Washington and other potential terror targets like Disneyland and Disney World, the Federal Aviation Administration said Tuesday.

The FAA, as part of tougher national security against possible terror attacks, also rescinded waivers that had allowed flights close to major sporting stadiums, an FAA spokesman said.

The U.S. government's color-coded terror alert level was raised to "orange," meaning a "high" risk of attack, Monday night just minutes after President Bush told Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to go into exile or face war.

At Walt Disney Co.'s Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in California, flights at or under 3,000 feet near the parks have been banned. Security sources have said the theme parks could be of symbolic value to potential attackers.

The impact of the tougher flight rules will be mainly felt by private pilots.

Around the nation's capital, private pilots will have to resume filing a flight plan and be in contact with controllers even if operating under visual flight rules, the FAA said.

Those flight plan and contact rules will also apply to general aviation flights within 30 miles of the New York area's three major airports -- LaGuardia, John F. Kennedy and Newark, New Jersey.

Copyright 2003, Reuters News Service

03-18-2003, 07:08 PM
What good does this do? It seems that the radius being restricted (3 miles), is not large enough to shoot-down an aircraft that enters the restricted airspace before it crashes into or drops a bomb on its intended target inside that radius. It seems the radius needs to be large enough to have time to identify if the aircraft is a real threat or just "wandered" into the restricted space by accident and if it is a threat to shoot it down. Plus, I doubt they have anti-aircraft missiles or other aircraft at stand-by to defend WDW.

03-18-2003, 08:59 PM
My wife is a commercial pilot and she also flies our small plane out of an airport near Disneyland. If you extended the TFR (temporary flight restriction) any furthur than 3000 feet and 3 miles, you'd be shutting down five or six airports that are VERY close to Disney. They are John Wayne (Orange County) airport, Fullerton Municipal, Los Alamitos RAS, Corona Airport, Long Beach Airport, Brackett (Pomona) airport and possibly El Monte Airport, Riverside airport, Cable (Upland) airport Chino airport and Compton Airport. Also, Disney is under what is considered the Los Angeles Class "B" Terminal area and that would also be affected.

It's my opinion that this is all for show. A little plane would do no more damage than an SUV and it could be argued that a heavy truck could do more damage. Fighter planes and commercial jets fly at high speeds (300-400 mph+) so you can see that a TFR isn't going to do much to stop that.

Also, Disneyland from the air is a speck. It is hardly even a city block. It is very hard to even pick Disneyland out from the air. The Matterhorn may look big on the ground, but in the air it's not even a bump. If it makes you feel better, then have your TFR around Disney but don't let that give you the warm and fuzzies about security. Terrorists bringing things into the parks is the very much real possible security breach.


03-18-2003, 09:44 PM
I know you cannot extend the no-fly zone to be a large enough area to be effective; so, you shouldn't even have a no-fly zone. Terrorists are not going to decide not to attack WDW because they are not allowed to fly within that 3 mile radius.

03-19-2003, 09:14 AM
I wonder if the Imagineers could properly theme a Patriot Missile battery for the top of SM and the Matterhorn ???

03-19-2003, 02:08 PM
But, if there is a no fly zone, won't there be fighters patroling nearby? It seems that would be more of a deterent than the actual restrictions.

03-19-2003, 02:20 PM
I have heard fighters going over a couple of times a day for the last two days. You can hear the very high, faint sound of powerful jet engines screeching along the coast. I wouldn't expect anything to happen on the west coast. Logistically, it's just too far from the mid-east.

The east coast is, unfortunately, more of a target because it's simply a closer part of the country to the Atlantic Ocean. It's probably not worth it to the terrorists to have to get themselves and their "stuff" across the country to the west coast. That's why almost everything so far has been on the east coast. (New York, Florida, etc)



03-20-2003, 11:06 PM
I don't think any area of the country is safer than another. Terroist could be living near by and you would never know. I live and work in the area where the last group came from and who knew. There are soft targets all over our beautiful country.

Anyway let's hope and pray this thing that has been set in motion ends quickly and diplomacy prevails. War solves nothing.

03-22-2003, 01:16 AM
I was talking with CRO today and asked about the *no fly* zone and the CM told me there is ALWAYS a *no fly* zone at Disney World. She said that they didn't want to risk a plane may develop problems while flying over the park... Just wanted to pass this along.


03-22-2003, 01:16 PM
I think your CM may have been speaking on old data. Years ago WDW had a no-fly zone but there was some kind of expense required to maintain it, so they gave it up. We see planes all the time flying over Epcot, especially when it's getting close to Illuminations time.

03-22-2003, 02:43 PM
I had my wife look over her aviation charts going back to 1982 and there was NEVER a "no-fly" zone over DL or WDW. There is no "expense" that Disney could pay the Federal Aviation Administration for a "no-fly zone." Let's not get carried away here, Disney has NO authority to do anything about the airspace above it's parks. Disney isn't a Government entity...Disney is a corporation. Also, Disney property isn't really all that big in the grand scheme of air traffic control. It's a common misconception that Disney parks have some sort of airspace restriction. This is not the case. As long as pilots maintain FAA minimums (1000 feet above populated areas) they can orbit Disney all day long. Now, there is currently a TFR (Temporary Flight Restriction) over DL and WDW that only encompasses 3 miles around the parks and the airsapce to 3000 feet. An airplane can STILL fly through this area on an IFR flight plan or it can fly over the TFR at 3001 feet. These TFR's are vigorously opposed and fought by the AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association) and they are pretty successful at getting them removed pretty quickly. I would imagine that the sky's above WDW and DL will be totally open to aircraft at all altitudes very shortly.

But again, Disney has absolutely NO AUTHORITY to restrict the airspace above their theme parks (only the FAA can do this) and it is not a "no-fly" zone...I think that calling it that gives people a scare when they see a plane flying over Disney (at 3001 feet and higher) and might make them panic that this is some sort of incursion. Even cities and states do not have the authority to restrict the airspace above them. Only the FAA can govern the airspace above the U.S. and it's territories.

I may seem a little miffed by this but I have a good reason. Recently, my wife and I were flying from our airport near DL to John Wayne Airport for some avionic repairs. We flew over DL at 3500 feet to get into John Waynes approach for landing. When we returned, we flew over DL at 3400 feet. When we landed we received a call from the tower that someone at Disney called and said that we flew over at about "500 feet". Radar proved that we were right (at 3400 feet) but this pointed out to me that there can be a hysteria that can get whipped up with these TFR's. The information that we all have must be accurate or it can feed into the panic.


03-22-2003, 05:12 PM
Originally posted by roymccoy
But again, Disney has absolutely NO AUTHORITY to restrict the airspace above their theme parks (only the FAA can do this) and it is not a "no-fly" zone...I think that calling it that gives people a scare when they see a plane flying over Disney (at 3001 feet and higher) and might make them panic that this is some sort of incursion. Even cities and states do not have the authority to restrict the airspace above them. Only the FAA can govern the airspace above the U.S. and it's territories.
One thing Roy ... having spent four years on the IllumiNations crew, I can say that Disney did have a standing request that planes not fly in certain areas during the laser show. Not for any danger (except for, perhaps a bit of a scare if the bright flash of a cyan laser or some fireworks popped in front of you), but because of the perception of guests if planes appeared to be flying into a laser scan or fireworks. The request is called in each night by the IllumiNations Stage Manager to the Orlando tower.

This is, of course, a request only and is by no means an official decree of any type, but they've been very good about asking private pilots to remain out of Epcot airspace until after the show is over. We had the same basic request when we were doing "Surprise in the Skies" and other daytime shows utilizing balloons, kites and paraplanes.

IllumiNations has several "spotters" on its crew, who scan the skies and make calls to the laser operators to disable certain beams and scans, depending on where planes might be.

Perhaps a CM comment about these types of restrictions are what started the rumors about past "no fly zones" over WDW?


03-22-2003, 07:25 PM
WDWSearcher....you are absolutely correct and I stand corrected on that point. There is what are known as "NOTAMS" (Notices to Airmen) that are put out by the FAA for those types of requests. NOTAMS aren't for the benefit of the parks (ie. keeping planes away from the parks during a certain show because they might ruin the mood) but they are put out to pilot's for the safety of the flight. In the case of Illuminations and Fantasmic, NOTAMS are put out because of the LASERS that are involved in shows. These LASERS could possibly temporarily blind a pilot and cause problems with the flight. They are requested by the source (Disney) and most always approved by the FAA and published. There is a standing NOTAM over the Luxor in Las Vegas because of the LASER that is used at the top of the pyramid. These NOTAMS are not binding and usually do not include a TFR (Temporary Flight Restriction) but you'd be an idiot to ignore them. NOTAMS are given to the pilots during their weather briefing and when they file their flight plans. They also pop-up on our Datalink GPS Navigation and Communication system in the airplane while we are enroute. BTW, there is no charge to have a NOTAM published...you just request it and it is only in effect while the potentially hazardous event is taking place. (The lasers during the show.) NOTAMS can also be heard by pilots on the ATIS (Automated Terminal Inflight Service) which is information about the airport that you are flying to. ATIS reports includes GMT, winds, sky observations, visibility, cloud heights, barometric pressure, temperature, runway being used, IFR approach being used at the time and any NOTAMS that have to do with the area of the airport. (ie. Orlando Airport during the show.)


03-23-2003, 08:38 PM
The DW and I were at Disneyland yesterday and we saw several helicopters flying by. Can't recall if I saw any other aircraft. The place was soooo packed with people you had to really keep your eyes on the ground.