Disney asks FAA for permission to fly drones for fireworks shows


Buzz Lightyear may not be Disney’s only thing that wants to go “to infinity and beyond.”

The Walt Disney World Co. has applied to the Federal Aviation Administration for an exemption to fly drones at Walt Disney World and Disneyland in California.

Flying drones for commercial use is currently illegal unless an exemption is given by the FAA.

According to a 48-page petition to the FAA, Disney officials want to fly unmanned aircraft systems with LEDs called “Flixels” for entertainment, including fireworks shows.

The Flixels would fly pre-programmed flights – lighting up the sky – in areas at least 100 feet away from permitted guest-viewing areas. Up to 50 drones could be used at a time.

The petition stresses Disney’s legacy of safety. The Flixels would launch from land within restricted areas and their flight paths would largely take place over water elements and restricted areas.

Here’s exactly how the Flixels would work, according the petition:

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“Deployed from a monitored platform designated as the launch/land area in restricted access areas of each resort, Flixels will be ‘magically’ incorporated into Disney story elements that engage and inspire children and their families. Once the show segment concludes, Flixels will return to the launching/landing area. “

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