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Helicopters Over the Resort

ChrisE405

Active Member
Original Poster
On a recent trip with a 9 day stay at SSR, I noticed frequent helicopter flights over the resort. The helicopters were flying overhead every 5-10 minutes from morning until night. One of the lifeguards told me Disney leased certain airspace over WDW to a helicopter tour company. I know better then to listen to cast members but it actually made sense given that the same copters were flying overhead throughout the trip. Anyone else notice this or have an idea what's going on? I've seen other visitors make the observation on social media.
 

skypilot2922

Well-Known Member

Expensive but you fly in a Bell JetRanger vs a Robinson R44 if you use the Orlando Eye location, The JetRanger is quieter and more comfortable safety no difference both are very safe birds with long histories of safe flying.

Worth doing in my opinion but hey look at my user name
 

ChrisE405

Active Member
Original Poster

Expensive but you fly in a Bell JetRanger vs a Robinson R44

Worth doing in my opinion but hey look at my user name

Those are a copters I saw, for sure. Is there any truth to Disney allowing this whereas they didn't in the past? Did they control the airspace above the resort?
 

Bullseye1967

Is that who I am?
Premium Member
A few up now.
Screenshot_20210804-155130.jpg
 

ChrisE405

Active Member
Original Poster
All four parks, plus the entirety of the Disneyland resort.

A normal helicopter tour is 1,000 feet, but I think they could get away with this if they stayed above 3,000. It's either that or they're getting a waiver as far as I can tell.
I am just surprised Disney wouldn't do this themselves, but perhaps there is too much liability.
 

skypilot2922

Well-Known Member
Airspace is only closed above MK from what I understand.

Airspace is closed across all the parks, Closed airspace is open to operators with permission (the waivers mentioned in TFR), basically the pilot calls ATC for clearance and ATC checks aircraft ID from transponder (all are unique) and grants or denies clearance. For example if the President was visiting Disney the airspace would be closed to all but military traffic.

Here's the actual TFR

 

skypilot2922

Well-Known Member
I am just surprised Disney wouldn't do this themselves, but perhaps there is too much liability.

Pilots are expensive, independent and think they are God with a few improvements. They would not make good CM's Disney may have tried but the pilot is the ultimate arbiter of whether a aircraft leaves the ground so if the pilot is unhappy with his equipment its grounded until pilot is happy. So no matter how loud a manager yells the pilot has the final say and the FAA backs the pilot in these cases. The manager can fire the pilot but they cant make them fly if they feel aircraft or conditions unsafe.
 

Unbanshee

Well-Known Member
All four parks, plus the entirety of the Disneyland resort.

A normal helicopter tour is 1,000 feet, but I think they could get away with this if they stayed above 3,000. It's either that or they're getting a waiver as far as I can tell.

I'm constantly surprised at the misinformation about airspace. Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, and a sliver of World Showcase at EPCOT are not covered by the no-fly zone and it's been that way for 20 years now.

Disney cannot "lease" airspace, and with the no-fly zone only covering 3,000ft above Magic Kingdom and a majority of EPCOT, you'll often see helicopters over Disney's Hollywood Studios and the south edge of EPCOT
 

CaptainAmerica

Premium Member
I'm constantly surprised at the misinformation about airspace. Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, and a sliver of World Showcase at EPCOT are not covered by the no-fly zone and it's been that way for 20 years now.

Disney cannot "lease" airspace, and with the no-fly zone only covering 3,000ft above Magic Kingdom and a majority of EPCOT, you'll often see helicopters over Disney's Hollywood Studios and the south edge of EPCOT
Your first paragraph is 100% incorrect.

Your second paragraph is mostly incorrect.

The only true thing you said is that Disney cannot lease airspace.
 

Bullseye1967

Is that who I am?
Premium Member
I'm constantly surprised at the misinformation about airspace. Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, and a sliver of World Showcase at EPCOT are not covered by the no-fly zone and it's been that way for 20 years now.

Disney cannot "lease" airspace, and with the no-fly zone only covering 3,000ft above Magic Kingdom and a majority of EPCOT, you'll often see helicopters over Disney's Hollywood Studios and the south edge of EPCOT
Did you see my post above? It was enacted 7 years ago.
 

donsullivan

Premium Member
Tons of misinformation in this thread being spread all over the place. The official FAA No-Fly zone DOES NOT cover the entirety of the Walt Disney World Property. The shaded segment of the image below is the actual official No-Fly zone. The geographic center of the zone is just south of Contemporary resort and spans out 3 nautical miles from that point as shown below. That is why you see helicopters flying over the southern side of Epcot and over DHS and DAK. All of those areas are outside the official FAA No-Fly zone.

1628115318992.png


The exact center of the 3NM radius area is at the location of the red pin on the island to the south of the Contemporary Resort.
1628116488457.png


There are also lots of temporary ones that pop up for sporting events and the like as well. If you go to the FAA website that lists them all right now you can see the one off the eastern coast of Cape Canaveral for the planned rocket launch.

The details of the Walt Disney World one originally enacted as a Temporary Flight Restriction or TFR and made permanent in 2014 can be found at:

 
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Bullseye1967

Is that who I am?
Premium Member
Tons of misinformation in this thread being spread all over the place. The official FAA No-Fly zone DOES NOT cover the entirety of the Walt Disney World Property. The shaded segment of the image below is the actual official No-Fly zone. The geographic center of the zone is just south of Contemporary resort and spans out 3 nautical miles from that point as shown below. That is why you see helicopters flying over the southern side of Epcot and over DHS and DAK. All of those areas are outside the official FAA No-Fly zone.

View attachment 577329

There are also lots of temporary ones that pop up for sporting events and the like as well. If you go to the FAA website that lists them all right now you can see the one off the eastern coast of Cape Canaveral for the planned rocket launch.

The details of the Walt Disney World one originally enacted as a Temporary Flight Restriction or TFR and made permanent in 2014 can be found at:

Isn't that the same one I posted?
 

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