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You can fly: Get a bird’s eye view into a deserted Walt Disney World

Central Florida pilot flies over the happiest place on earth

Photo: Jonathan Michael Salazar
Photo: Jonathan Michael Salazar

ORLANDO, Fla. – We think it’s safe to say that we’re all missing some aspect of Disney right now.

For some, the closest we can get is by car, and the view really isn’t that spectacular.

But one Central Florida pilot was given the opportunity to fly over the happiest place on earth and give us the view we’ve been waiting on.

“This may be a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence,” Jonathan Michael Salazar, a Central Florida pilot wrote on Facebook.

Disney parks have a temporary flight restriction that limits pilots from flying within 3,000 feet of any of the parks.

But with Disney parks in the U.S. closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, some pilots have been granted permission by local air traffic control to fly over the deserted theme parks.

“This past weekend, I was able to fly through the Disney TFR Airspace (with permission) as low as 1,500 feet AGL and capture these shots,” Salazar wrote on Facebook. “I hope this will bring some joy to everyone currently in quarantine and missing the beloved parks.”

Seeing an empty Disney World has become a common sight to most of us during quarantine.

However, Salazar ventured outside of the Magic Kingdom and explored all areas of Disney Property.

During his flight, he was able to take pictures of:

  • Magic Kingdom
  • EPCOT
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom
  • Disney’s Blizzard Beach & Typhoon Lagoon
  • Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • Disney’s Polynesian Resort
  • Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort
  • Disney's Wedding Pavilion at the Grand Floridian
  • Disney's Swan and Dolphin Resorts
  • Disney’s Riviera Resort
  • Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Shades of Green Resort
  • EPCOT Resorts (Yacht & Beach Club, Boardwalk Villas)
  • Disney’s All-Star Resorts
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser Hotel
  • Disney Springs
  • Walt Disney World Entrance Sign
  • Mickey-shaped Solar Panel array

“This was a super fun and equally challenging project, but I’m so glad I was able to combine my skills as a pilot and photographer for this shoot,” Salazar added.

For those who want to keep the magic alive, these pictures might not be exactly what you’re looking for.

If you like seeing the ginormous buildings that house the attractions and the steel beams that support Black Spire Outpost, then, by all means, look away.

On the West Coast, Micah Muzio was granted access to fly over the Disneyland Resort in a helicopter.

During his flight, Muzio visited much of Orange County, California, which included stops at Angel Stadium, El Dorado Park and Long Beach Airport, to name a few.

[MORE: Helicopter pilot shares breathtaking view of Disneyland during coronavirus closure]

Walt Disney World has been closed since March 15 after rising concerns about spreading COVID-19.

Walt Disney Co. officials have yet to reveal when U.S. theme parks will reopen. The Disney chief medical officer said executives are looking at a gradual reopening for all or most locations.

While these sights from above are amazing and truly breathtaking, nothing can replace the view from the ground.

How else are you going to smell the ice-cream and popcorn?


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