• Welcome to the WDWMAGIC.COM Forums!
    Please take a look around, and feel free to sign up and join the community.You can use your Twitter or Facebook account to sign up, or register directly.

The Case of the Missing Dolphin Light

lazyboy97o

Well-Known Member
Advertisement
If Walt had lived to see any shovels at work in Florida, much less see what the place is like now, he'd want to know why there aren't helicopters and small jets landing along Bay Lake.
Celebration sits on the northern portion of the airport site.
 

WDW Monorail

Well-Known Member
Oh, you do.

The restricted flight zone was only introduced in 2003 after a lot of pushing from Disney. The FAA are known to not to be keen about it.

Even so, MCO has one flight path that takes flights south to north virtually along Epcot Center Drive, behind Mexico and Test Track.
It’s basically a permanent TFR. Latest being issued on 10/27/2014 with an ending date of “Permanent”.

It’s fun to see the RNAV waypoints like HKUNA, MTATA, JZMN, RFIKI, etc.

While I cannot give a definitive answer on the Dolphin, I can talk a little about conspicuity lights.

At one time I had a microwave transmission engineering team, and every so often the lighting requirements on our towers came up (especially when we increased the tower heights). There are a lot of factors that go into the lighting requirements with the FAA, including general aviation in the area, the terrain and a whole bunch of other things. It is a mountain of paperwork, and the FAA will look at your tower application and come back with what you need to do. I assume buildings use the same process.
I’ve only prepared one of these Notices of Proposed Construction or Alteration as they are known which results in the FAA making a determination of what is required to be done.

There was a study conducted in 1999 for the addition of an antenna to the top of the Swan. A Determination of No Hazard to Air Navigation was made for that particular antenna. It is 2’ tall and is listed as being at the top of a 250’ structure.

Sometiems you see dozens of these determinations made in a small area. Most recently you can see dozens of these determinations in Florida for FP&L concrete poles only 55’ in height.
 

Smiley/OCD

Well-Known Member
Walt had been dead for a couple of years before the first shovel went in the ground. And when he died in 1966 the Florida theme park was just a cut-and-paste copy of Disneyland circa 1965.

But when Walt was alive and running Disneyland in the 1950's and 60's he insisted on a heliport right at Disneyland. It was a stop on Los Angeles Airways route from 1956 to 1972. And they were giant Sikorsky's that thundered and roared and shook the china cabinets on Main Street USA when they went overhead several times per day. It wasn't subtle, and it didn't theme with any of the lands at all, but Walt thought it was cool so it stayed.

Disneyland service started in 1956, landing in the Disneyland parking lot. That's the TWA Rocket to the Moon in the background.


Giant Sikorsky copters thundered over Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom via scheduled service to LAX, Long Beach, and Newport Beach several times per day. Per Walt.


Here's Walt in the Disneyland parking lot welcoming some of the first LA Airways passengers to his park.


By the early 1960's the Disneyland Heliport moved across the street to the Disneyland Hotel. A flight to LAX was 7 bucks, about $55 in today's money.


If Walt had lived to see any shovels at work in Florida, much less see what the place is like now, he'd want to know why there aren't helicopters and small jets landing along Bay Lake. Just make sure the China Shop on Main Street USA knows the flight schedule so they can close up the display cases before the rattling starts.
I stand corrected...The description I saw looked like east/west runways...when we flew in from NJ, obviously we flew south and made a wide westerly turn before approach...naturally it felt like we were landing west. I was wrong, as usual, you guys always educate me well.
 

Smiley/OCD

Well-Known Member
The photos of the helicopter service at Disneyland are awesome...but IMHO, the whole illusion would be somewhat ruined with planes flying in such close proximity to the parks, especially MK...kinda like looking at all the roofs of the attractions while on the sky ride back in the day.
But then again, that's just my opinion, for what it's worth.
 

TP2000

Well-Known Member
The photos of the helicopter service at Disneyland are awesome...but IMHO, the whole illusion would be somewhat ruined with planes flying in such close proximity to the parks, especially MK...kinda like looking at all the roofs of the attractions while on the sky ride back in the day.
But then again, that's just my opinion, for what it's worth.
And your opinion is a valid one, and there's no telling how Walt would have changed his mind (several times over) when it comes to theme park operation if he had lived into the 1970's and 80's. :)

It's very easy for East Coasters to think "Walt wanted it that way" when it comes to WDW, because there's this bizarrely inaccurate revisionist history that has been created in the Internet age when it comes to how WDW operates. And TDO doesn't help by latching on to "Walt" urban myths for merchandise and for-profit guided tours, etc.

I've taken two official guided tours at WDW in the last decade-ish; Keys To The Kingdom and From Marceline To The Magic Kingdom. Both of them had perky tour guides who gushed facts and figures and Walt tales, but too much of what they said was wrong or wildly inaccurate. The housewives from Ohio and pin collectors from Connecticut who were on the tour with me lapped it all up and believed every word. And why shouldn't they?!? The guide was wearing an official plaid skirt for gosh sakes!

No one from WDW's guided tour department thinks it's a problem that their plaid tour guides are spouting off incorrect information, inaccurate timelines, made-up stories and urban myths, or just outright lies, especially about Walt and the formal planning and construction of Walt Disney World years after his death.

I've also taken the Walk In Walt's Footsteps Tour at Disneyland twice in the last decade, and the contrast to how that tour is conducted couldn't be more night-and-day compared to WDW tours. The Disneyland guides are just as perky as WDW's, but they are strictly scripted, they never stray into sketchy third-hand accounts or speak for Walt, urban legends are not part of their script, and their information is 100% dead accurate. They often cite their sources on the tour, usually the Walt Disney Archives in Burbank, the Imagineering Library in Glendale, or the actual people who worked for Walt and then went on record in their autobiographies. No such sources were ever cited by the guides on any of my WDW tours, you are just supposed to believe the guide is telling the truth about the inaccurate story she just told. There's also a formality and elegance to the Anaheim guides that is typically Disneyland, but that's another thread's topic.

In short, it's no wonder so many WDW fans have inaccurate ideas about what Walt wanted or what he did at WDW (not much actually), because the WDW managers of the 21st century seem fine to let Walt's impact on the place devolve into nothing but inaccurate urban myths and a few outright lies. They sell more t-shirts and guided tours that way, and they don't seem to care. The WDW visitors can't be blamed for believing it all. 😕
 

Smiley/OCD

Well-Known Member
And your opinion is a valid one, and there's no telling how Walt would have changed his mind (several times over) when it comes to theme park operation if he had lived into the 1970's and 80's. :)

It's very easy for East Coasters to think "Walt wanted it that way" when it comes to WDW, because there's this bizarrely inaccurate revisionist history that has been created in the Internet age when it comes to how WDW operates. And TDO doesn't help by latching on to "Walt" urban myths for merchandise and for-profit guided tours, etc.

I've taken two official guided tours at WDW in the last decade-ish; Keys To The Kingdom and From Marceline To The Magic Kingdom. Both of them had perky tour guides who gushed facts and figures and Walt tales, but too much of what they said was wrong or wildly inaccurate. The housewives from Ohio and pin collectors from Connecticut who were on the tour with me lapped it all up and believed every word. And why shouldn't they?!? The guide was wearing an official plaid skirt for gosh sakes!

No one from WDW's guided tour department thinks it's a problem that their plaid tour guides are spouting off incorrect information, inaccurate timelines, made-up stories and urban myths, or just outright lies, especially about Walt and the formal planning and construction of Walt Disney World years after his death.

I've also taken the Walk In Walt's Footsteps Tour at Disneyland twice in the last decade, and the contrast to how that tour is conducted couldn't be more night-and-day compared to WDW tours. The Disneyland guides are just as perky as WDW's, but they are strictly scripted, they never stray into sketchy third-hand accounts or speak for Walt, urban legends are not part of their script, and their information is 100% dead accurate. They often cite their sources on the tour, usually the Walt Disney Archives in Burbank, the Imagineering Library in Glendale, or the actual people who worked for Walt and then went on record in their autobiographies. No such sources were ever cited by the guides on any of my WDW tours, you are just supposed to believe the guide is telling the truth about the inaccurate story she just told. There's also a formality and elegance to the Anaheim guides that is typically Disneyland, but that's another thread's topic.

In short, it's no wonder so many WDW fans have inaccurate ideas about what Walt wanted or what he did at WDW (not much actually), because the WDW managers of the 21st century seem fine to let Walt's impact on the place devolve into nothing but inaccurate urban myths and a few outright lies. They sell more t-shirts and guided tours that way, and they don't seem to care. The WDW visitors can't be blamed for believing it all. 😕

Valid points...however, a) I never mentioned Walt in that particular thread...I think one of the problems is that Walt felt so "squeezed" in Anaheim, i.e. not many choices to expand and it's well known that be bought as much land as he did in Florida so he would never have that problem. That's widely known and agreed upon. He felt as though he would correct what he perceived as errors when the Florida project opened.

b) I never realized that us "East coasters" were that inferior to you "left coasters"...thanks for pointing that out to me. Another reason to stay east of the Mississippi.
 

lazyboy97o

Well-Known Member
And your opinion is a valid one, and there's no telling how Walt would have changed his mind (several times over) when it comes to theme park operation if he had lived into the 1970's and 80's. :)

It's very easy for East Coasters to think "Walt wanted it that way" when it comes to WDW, because there's this bizarrely inaccurate revisionist history that has been created in the Internet age when it comes to how WDW operates. And TDO doesn't help by latching on to "Walt" urban myths for merchandise and for-profit guided tours, etc.

I've taken two official guided tours at WDW in the last decade-ish; Keys To The Kingdom and From Marceline To The Magic Kingdom. Both of them had perky tour guides who gushed facts and figures and Walt tales, but too much of what they said was wrong or wildly inaccurate. The housewives from Ohio and pin collectors from Connecticut who were on the tour with me lapped it all up and believed every word. And why shouldn't they?!? The guide was wearing an official plaid skirt for gosh sakes!

No one from WDW's guided tour department thinks it's a problem that their plaid tour guides are spouting off incorrect information, inaccurate timelines, made-up stories and urban myths, or just outright lies, especially about Walt and the formal planning and construction of Walt Disney World years after his death.

I've also taken the Walk In Walt's Footsteps Tour at Disneyland twice in the last decade, and the contrast to how that tour is conducted couldn't be more night-and-day compared to WDW tours. The Disneyland guides are just as perky as WDW's, but they are strictly scripted, they never stray into sketchy third-hand accounts or speak for Walt, urban legends are not part of their script, and their information is 100% dead accurate. They often cite their sources on the tour, usually the Walt Disney Archives in Burbank, the Imagineering Library in Glendale, or the actual people who worked for Walt and then went on record in their autobiographies. No such sources were ever cited by the guides on any of my WDW tours, you are just supposed to believe the guide is telling the truth about the inaccurate story she just told. There's also a formality and elegance to the Anaheim guides that is typically Disneyland, but that's another thread's topic.

In short, it's no wonder so many WDW fans have inaccurate ideas about what Walt wanted or what he did at WDW (not much actually), because the WDW managers of the 21st century seem fine to let Walt's impact on the place devolve into nothing but inaccurate urban myths and a few outright lies. They sell more t-shirts and guided tours that way, and they don't seem to care. The WDW visitors can't be blamed for believing it all. 😕
We do know where Walt wanted the airport, the opposite side of the property from Disneyland East. There are also plenty of reports of Disneyland tour guides spewing nonsense.
 

TP2000

Well-Known Member
Valid points...however, a) I never mentioned Walt in that particular thread...
Sorry for the confusion, I was referring to this statement you made in this thread regarding Walt; That Walt on his deathbed in 1966 would have made some corporate decree that aircraft couldn't fly over his Florida theme park for aesthetic reasons, which is not accurate.

Knowing how Walt was for details, I wouldn't be surprised if that fact wasn't agreed upon before the first shovel went in the ground.
See Los Angeles Airways operation from 1956 to 1972 for examples of how Walt felt about aircraft flying over the parks. And finally,

b) I never realized that us "East coasters" were that inferior to you "left coasters"...thanks for pointing that out to me. Another reason to stay east of the Mississippi.
I was born and raised in Titusville.

But as a Walt fan, you really should visit Disneyland once in your life for at least a day or two and then visit the Walt Disney Family Museum up in San Francisco. The weather in Anaheim is generally fabulous! ;)
 
Last edited:

Tom Morrow

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
So on my drive down I4 this evening, I took note of what buildings had FAA lights. I noted that the Rosen Centre Hotel, which is supposedly 287 feet, does not have any FAA lights, unless they are not visible from ground level. Some of the Lake Buena Vista / Disney Springs hotels do have them, and others do not (I forget which ones are which). It would seem that the Dolphin is not the only exception to this rule. My guess is that some buildings below 300' but above 200' in height are exempt from the rule somehow, but no non-building structures 200' or above are exempt.

Krakatau at Volcano Bay is described as 200 feet, and it does not have a light, so maybe it is actually 199 feet.
 
Last edited:

JoeCamel

Well-Known Member
So on my drive down I4 this evening, I took note of what buildings had FAA lights. I noted that the Rosen Centre Hotel, which is supposedly 287 feet, does not have any FAA lights, unless they are not visible from ground level. Some of the Lake Buena Vista / Disney Springs hotels do have them, and others do not (I forget which ones are which). It would seem that the Dolphin is not the only exception to this rule. My guess is that some buildings below 300' in height are exempt from the rule somehow, but no non-building structures are exempt.

Krakatau at Volcano Bay is described as 200 feet, and it does not have a light, so maybe it is actually 199 feet.
Correct, the volcano tip is below the 200' mark

But it can have a huge red light on top if someone flips a switch.
 

Thebolt

Active Member
I suspect the resort gets away with the light on a technicality.
Whilst the triangle reaches to 257ft, most of the section above the main roofline is all fake building.
The actual building structure is likely below 200ft; and somehow they got away with using that as the height.
 

lazyboy97o

Well-Known Member
I suspect the resort gets away with the light on a technicality.
Whilst the triangle reaches to 257ft, most of the section above the main roofline is all fake building.
The actual building structure is likely below 200ft; and somehow they got away with using that as the height.
It doesn’t work like that. It’s all the building structure even if the whole height isn’t habitable space.
 

Smiley/OCD

Well-Known Member
Sorry for the confusion, I was referring to this statement you made in this thread regarding Walt; That Walt on his deathbed in 1966 would have made some corporate decree that aircraft couldn't fly over his Florida theme park for aesthetic reasons, which is not accurate.



See Los Angeles Airways operation from 1956 to 1972 for examples of how Walt felt about aircraft flying over the parks. And finally,



I was born and raised in Titusville.

But as a Walt fan, you really should visit Disneyland once in your life for at least a day or two and then visit the Walt Disney Family Museum up in San Francisco. The weather in Anaheim is generally fabulous! ;)
I think we're getting on to nit picking on this subject...I would NEVER imagine that Walt would have discussed this on his "deathbed", however he WAS present at the press conference with the then governor of Florida, and during those talks and negotiations in which he was present, I was just venturing a guess (and an opinion) that the subject MIGHT have come up...do I know what was talked about? Of course not, but I'm sure MANY things that Mr. Disney felt were "short comings" in Cali were addressed in those meetings i.e. Reedy Creek, which allowed WDW to be independent from the state and local jurisdictions in dealing with zoning matters, property acquisitions and the like. Someday, in the VERY distant future, I hope I have the opportunity to ask him many questions, although I'm sure the line to speak with him will be VERY, VERY long! LOL
 

Phonedave

Well-Known Member
Well the purpose of these lights is that they are supposed to remain lit even if the rest of the lights go out for a power outage.

And if they do go out, and you cannot get them repaired in under 24 hours (I think it's 24 - don't quote me, it's been a while) you have to issue a NOTAM, Notification to Airmen, that there is a tower/building with non-working lights in the area.
 

Smiley/OCD

Well-Known Member
And if they do go out, and you cannot get them repaired in under 24 hours (I think it's 24 - don't quote me, it's been a while) you have to issue a NOTAM, Notification to Airmen, that there is a tower/building with non-working lights in the area.
Dave, yes that is true...in 1983, I was at Seton Hall Univ. and worked for WSOU, their radio station, and while I was working the board on an early Saturday morning, we got a call from the FAA alerting us to the fact that our beacon light was out atop our 400' tower...we were in the flight path of Newark airport, It seems pilots were alerting the tower...it's not something they mess around with.
 
Top Bottom