Travel

WDW History- A Mickey Mouse Airport?

Did You Know that Walt Disney World once had a working private airfield?

In the background, you can see Disney’s Contemporary Resort to the right and Cinderella Castle to the left of the resort.

Walt Disney World Airport was a STOLport- Short Take Off and Landing. It was built in the early 1970s to serve WDW employees, guests and even some celebrities.

Guests traveling along World Drive toward the Transportation and Ticket Center or on the monorail may have seen what’s left of the runway. It was near what used to be the WDW Speedway. Disney has used the strip as a parking and storage lot for its buses.

According to sources, part of the service was provided by Shawnee Airlines to Orlando Jetport at McCoy, now MCO and Tampa International. Was very busy after construction, but could only accommodate 4 aircraft at a time and no hangar space was ever built.

We love this old advertisement! Remember calling collect and calling information for phone numbers? 😉

All passenger service was discontinued by the 1980s, mainly because of the expansion of the WDW Monorail. Imagine Disney legal as commuter jets would fly onto Disney property close to a monorail full of guests.

The original plan was to have an airport on the land that is now the city of Celebration. Orlando International Airport was built in 1976, which would make someone assume that the Walt Disney Company by then had decided to abandon the idea. This is a fun and interesting topic to jump down the rabbit hole to learn more.

Was there another airfield on Disney property? Stay tuned to find out!

Good vibes and Disney rides,

Darcie

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