As an enthusiastic drone pilot, whether you fly as a hobby or commercially, you might have thought of flying your drone in a theme park like Disney World or Universal Studios. However, is it permitted, or can you be prosecuted for flying at the theme park?
No, you cannot fly a drone at Universal Studios. It is a violation of their rules, and you could get sued by the organization if you are caught flying a drone in its space. Universal Studios are in control of the airspace above their land.
The Federal Aviation Administration has laws in place to regulate the flight of drones in the United States. The FAA has the right to take action against you if you are caught violating any of its laws. So, you must ensure you abide by and comply with all the laws.
Can You Fly A Drone At Universal Studios?
We mentioned earlier that flying a drone at Universal Studios is a violation, and the organization can take legal steps against you. Let us see how and why flying a drone at Universal Studios is a violation.
Although the Federal Aviation Administration does not have any law that prohibits the flying of drones over private property, there are states and local laws that do prohibit it. Florida is one of the states with laws that prohibit drones over private property.
You may not know, but Universal Studios is a privately owned corporation. Seagram Co. controls eighty-four percent of the company, and Matsushita, a Japanese electronics company, controls the remaining sixteen percent.
One of the drone laws in Florida is that it is forbidden to use a drone to capture an image or a video of private property or the owner, occupant, or tenant on the property without their consent, especially if there is a reasonable expectation of privacy. With this law in place, if you are caught flying your drone at Universal Studios, you can be sued.
Florida State Laws For Flying A Drone
The Federal Aviation Administration is in charge of regulating and controlling drone flight in the United States. There are established laws that are enforced in every state across the US. Some of these states also have laws regulating drone flight. The laws are different from state to state. Some of Florida's drone laws are:
- It is prohibited to fly a drone near or over critical infrastructure.
- Flying a drone under the influence of drugs or alcohol can result in a jail sentence or fines.
- It is prohibited to possess or operate a weaponized unmanned aircraft.
- It is prohibited to use a drone to capture an image of private properties.
- Anybody harmed by the inappropriate use of drones can pursue civil action against the owner of the drone.
- The flight of drones is prohibited on managed lands, including Florida forests and state parks.
- A drone can be operated on managed lands only if authorization is granted by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
- Drones are prohibited from taking off or landing on District lands except authorized by a Special Use Authorization.
The laws stated above are Florida state drone laws; they control the flight of drones across the state of Florida. Cities, regions, or counties in Florida also have their own drone laws. We will look at some of the cities and their drone laws.
- It is prohibited to fly a drone within or over a half-mile radius of large venue events or sporting activities. You cannot fly a drone in any of these places; Marlins Ballpark, Calle Ocho Festival, Bayfront Park, Miami Marine Stadium, and any other parks during special events.
- It is prohibited to fly a drone equipped with any detachable cargo or any weapon.
Bonita Springs Town
- It is prohibited to fly a drone within twenty-five feet of buildings, people, light fixtures, or power lines.
- The flight of drones at Community Park is limited to only when the fields of the park are unoccupied. So, you cannot fly a drone at Community Park when there are people there.
- It is prohibited to fly a drone within five hundred feet of schools, city-owned parks, and arenas, like Harry P. Leu Gardens, Camping World Stadium, and Amway Center.
- It is prohibited to fly a drone within five hundred feet of gatherings with more than a thousand people.
- You require a permit to fly a drone in these areas, and it costs $20 per flight and $150 annually.
- The fine for violating any of these laws is between $200 and $400.
Defuniak Springs Town
- Flying a drone over private property or public property without the owner's consent is prohibited.
- Before flying a drone commercially, you must register your drone with the town's police department.
- It is prohibited to take off or land a drone on any property owned by the county and that has been listed as a non-recreation area or no-fly area, except granted permission by the designee or director.
- Drones are prohibited from taking off or landing on any land managed by the county, except for public safety purposes, and if the designee or administrator has granted permission.
Canaveral Port Authority
- The operations of drones are prohibited on any Canaveral Port Authority property without prior authorization. You must make an authorization request 48 hours before the start of the drone operation.
Where Can You Fly A Drone In Orlando, Florida?
For you to have a great time flying your drone in Orlando, you must ensure you fly it in places where drones are allowed. Some of the best places you can fly a drone in Orlando without violating any federal, state, or local drone laws are:
Cherokee Point Conservation Area
You can find the Cherokee Point Conservation Area located on the eastern shores of Lake Tohopekaliga in St. Cloud, Orlando, Florida. This is one of the few conservation areas where you can fly a drone. You will find a wide variety of animal species, including some endangered ones. However, you must be aware that the northern part of the lake is Class D airspace, and you must not fly your drone there.
Lake Street Park
Lake Street Park is located in Windermere, close to Orlando, Florida, and it sits on the western shore of Lake Down. There is a walking trail and a fishing pier in the park, as well as spectacular views of the lake. The park's surface area is about 886 acres, so this is a good location for both commercial and recreational drone pilots.
Hickory Point Recreation Park
The surface area of Hickory Point Recreation Park is 14,000 acres, and it is located on Lake Harris, Tavares, Orlando, Florida. The wildlife areas, the sandhills, and the cypress trees bordering the water to create a beautiful landscape are some of the beauties making this park a good site for drone pilots. However, the northern part of the lake is controlled airspace, so you must avoid flying your drone there.
Tangerine Field is located in Apopka, outside Orlando, Florida. The field consists of about fifty acres of land and is open to all types of unmanned aircraft. There is a large runway and open field for all types of aviation lovers, and you will enjoy flying your drone there.
If you are on a visit to Universal Studios, as a drone pilot, it can be very tempting to use your drone to capture some breathtaking images. But control yourself as there are consequences for violating the law. There are other fun places in Orlando where you can have a great time flying your drone.
Shawn Manaher loves to play with new toys and dive into new hobbies. As a serial entrepreneur, work definitely comes first but there is always room for hobbies.