Walt Disney World Airport

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Walt Disney World Airport
Airport type Private
Owner Walt Disney Company
Location Bay Lake, Florida
Coordinates 28°24′00″N 81°34′17″W / 28.4°N 81.5715°W / 28.4; -81.5715
Direction Length Surface
ft m
16/34[1] 2,000 x 100 609.6 x 30.5 Asphalt

Walt Disney World Airport, also known as Lake Buena Vista Airport and Lake Buena Vista STOLport, (IATA: DWS) is a former private-use airport owned by the Walt Disney Company, located within Walt Disney World, just east of Walt Disney World Speedway, in Bay Lake in Orange County, Florida, United States. When it was active it accommodated smaller regional airliners capable of operating from short runways, an arrangement often known as a STOLport. It is no longer registered as an active airport by the FAA, ICAO and IATA.


Lake Buena Vista Airport was built in 1971 to serve as a private STOL airfield for Walt Disney World guests and employees, with scheduled passenger service to Orlando Jetport at McCoy (now Orlando International Airport, MCO) and Tampa International Airport (TPA) provided by Shawnee Airlines, using de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter aircraft. This Shawnee Airlines service is mentioned in the "Air Commuter Service" section of the Sept. 9, 1972 Eastern Air Lines system timetable as a connecting service to and from Eastern flights at Orlando and Tampa. The airport was never large, with only enough space to accommodate four aircraft at a time; no hangar space was ever built. This STOL airfield was intended as a proof-of-concept for a planned, but was ultimately rejected in favor of a vision for a larger, full-service airport within Walt Disney World itself.[1] All passenger service was discontinued by the 1980s, largely due to extensions of the Walt Disney World Monorail System on either side. As of 2009, flight operations are prohibited by a no-fly zone in place since 2003; however, the runway is fully intact and may be visible to motorists traveling along World Drive toward the Transportation and Ticket Center, as well as by passengers on the monorail.


There has been no scheduled or unscheduled commercial service to this airport since the early 1980s, despite being listed in the airport databases of airlines such as Allegiant Air. The next nearest airport, Kissimmee Gateway Airport, briefly offered passenger service through the now defunct DayJet; currently, most Walt Disney World guests arrive through Orlando International Airport and Orlando Sanford International Airport.

"The Singing Airport"[edit]

Originally used to surprise the airplane passengers, the runway featured a set of grooves, like those on the side of a highway, that played When you wish upon a star when driven over at roughly 45 miles per hour.[2]


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