Goofy law? FAA wants to revisit Disney ‘no-fly’ rules

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The only thing that’s been flying above Disneyland for the past decade is Tinkerbell.

But the L.A. Times reports that the Federal Aviation Administration now plans to take a fresh look at the need for no-fly restrictions above Disney theme parks in Anaheim and Florida.

The skies over the Disney parks were quietly declared “national defense airspace” in a provision slipped into a Congressional spending bill before the 2003 Iraq War. The idea was that as symbols of America and places where large crowds gather, the Disney parks could be targeted by terrorists.

At the time, Disney was involved in a fight with aerial advertising companies that were towing banners over its parks. Those companies are now pushing for a change in the law. They point out that other theme parks are not given similar protections – and they say the no-fly zones serve no real security purpose. Big sporting events have similar “temporary flight restrictions.” And the FAA says it’ll be taking a look at those, too. Any action will require a change in federal law.

Listen below as Press Play’s Madeleine Brand finds out why this no-fly zone is exclusive to Disney and the special place in American culture that Disney occupies with author of “Realityland,” David Koenig and LA Times Reporter, Matt Pearce. 

“It traces back to their desire to keep all reality out of Disneyland,” says Koenig.