FAA Grants Approval for UAVs in Walt Disney World

The agency approved an exemption in the Orlando theme park’s no-fly zone to allow UAVs to be flown in nighttime shows.

Drones at Disney
Two to four employees will monitor as many as 50 drones during Disney's upcoming holiday fireworks shows.YouTube/Disney Parks

Although Florida pilots aren’t permitted to overfly the mouse, the FAA this week approved a special exemption for the no-fly zone over Walt Disney World in Orlando. In the coming weeks, UAVs will be featured in the theme park’s holiday shows.

The FAA’s proposed UAV rules only permit daytime flights, with a pilot only flying one drone at a time, but Disney received permission to fly automated UAVs during its nighttime fireworks show with two to four employees monitoring as many as 50 drones. While it can be rescinded at any time, the FAA’s special exemption applies until November 2020.

On the Disney Parks blog, the company unveiled a sneak peak of its upcoming UAV light show that will premiere in Disney Springs.