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Micky Mouse


They say money can’t buy happiness, but money can buy things which make us happy. This time Disney bought the law!

Since 2003, Disney has restricted its airspace over its Orlando Walt Disney World and CA based Disneyland. On the day of the Iraq War, President Bush and federal officials ordered the closing of airspace above Disney World, Disneyland and select other targets that may appeal to terrorists. Disney was granted security permitters that put it on par with Andrews Air-force Base, The Pentagon and the White House among many others.

Despite this being over 12 years ago, Disney still has kept a monopoly on its airspace. The Chicago Tribune cites, “The Disney no-fly zones–barring planes from going below 3,000 feet within 3 miles of the center of the parks–have proved effective against airborne advertisers who try to lure customers away from Disney to nightclubs and attractions. At their height, the Orlando air wars daily featured small planes towing banners, blimps and single-wing skywriters. Disney got what it wanted with only 65 highly technical words tucked into a 3,000-page spending bill approved by Congress this year. Not one of those words was Disney.”

What makes it even more ironic is that after intense lobbying in Chicago the FAA put a no fly zone over the Sears Towers (America’s Tallest Building) but then removed that a month later. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) and Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) were the primary party responsible for the Disney FAA amendment. Moral of the story, if you can’t write the law yourself, just pay Congress to do it.


  1. grieve grieve

    This isn’t that surprising, since all NFL, MLB, and any NCAA stadium with seating capacity over 30,000 are no-fly zones during events. Considering the amount of people at Disneyland and DisneyWorld (both are no-fly zones) on a daily basis, it makes sense to have a permanent no-fly zone in place.

  2. strauss strauss

    Unlike grieve, I found this to be fairly surprising. Other theme parks like neighboring Universal Studios lack such protection, and despite what Disney says the no-fly zone is clearly not for the protection of its guests and park. From what I found researching the subject, subsequent attempts to get the restriction lifted have all failed, and the FAA says it would consider no-fly zones above other theme parks on a case-by-case basis. This situation demonstrates the benefits of large firms over small ones, though the ability to pay off government workers to obtain favorable laws isn’t easily illustrated in our models.

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