John Mulaney learns about the no-fly zone over Disneyland, but don't tell fleeing felons

On the May 7 episode of John Mulaney's Netflix series "Everybody's in LA," the topic was helicopters, and a viewer called in to say that he live-tweets advice to criminals involved in helicopter-assisted police car chases. His advice to fleeing suspects is to drive closer to Disneyland, because helicopters can't follow you there.

The unlikelihood that fleeing suspects are checking "Tony from Little Armenia's" Xitter feed during chases, and the ethics of aiding suspects and guiding them toward theme parks full of children aside, the caller was not wrong.

One of the show's guests, Zoey Tur, a helicopter pilot and journalist, was on hand to confirm the assertion, and they gave Mulaney a dubious explanation:

Disney, because we went out there one year, and we got videos of accidents happening on the rides. So, Disney got Congress to pass a law that says that it's illegal to fly over the airspace.

If Tur's self-aggrandizing claim that they flew over Disneyland in his helicopter so often that he happened to film multiple ride accidents in one year, causing a federal law to protect Disney from helicopter cameras, sounds suspect, it's because it's certainly not true. First of all, with tens of thousands of tourists' cell phones recording every inch of the park and every moment of every ride every day, the additional eye of an occasional helicopter camera at 1,000 feet would be inconsequential.

In fact, there is a no-fly zone over both Disneyland in Anaheim, California, and Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, but it is a Federal Aviation Administration rule (not a federal law) put into place not to thwart Tur's fearless journalism, but for security reasons, after 9/11. The same rule restricts flights over the White House and NASA's Kennedy Space Center, and a 2003 law restricts flights over major sporting events.

A 2015 article about the no-fly zone in The Orange County Register is here.

As the Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District learned earlier this month, anyone planning to fly over the theme parks needs a special waiver approved by the Federal Aviation Administration and the Transportation Security Administration.

The Anaheim parks and Walt Disney World received flight-restriction status after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The 2003 law also prohibits aircraft from flying over sporting events in stadiums with a seating capacity of 30,000 or more.

The ban includes any unmanned remote-controlled devices such as drones. Nothing can fly below 3,000 feet and within 3 miles of Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Those are the only theme parks in the United States to have no-fly zone designations.

Law enforcement, medical, and military aircraft are exempt from the restriction as long as they are in contact with air traffic control.

By the way, last year, as part of Ron DeSantis and the Republican Party's bizarre jihad against The Disney Company for having the temerity to criticize DeSantis's "Don't Say Gay" bill in Florida, a group of Congressional Republicans introduced a bill to revoke the no-fly zone designations for Disney theme parks. Link to a May 11, 2023, article is here.

The bill would direct the U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg, to rescind the no-fly zone designations over the domestic Disney theme parks, which were given to the parks after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

"Theme parks like Disney should not receive special treatment just because they are well-connected. Our national security should not be compromised to fit the needs of one corporation," [U.S. Rep. Troy E. Nehls, a Republican from Texas] said in a statement. …

In 2022, Nehls accused Buttigieg and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) of "blatant favoritism towards the Walt Disney Company" and sent letters urging them to reconsider the no-fly zones designations, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Previously: Disneyland`s original prospectus revealed!