Walt Disney World STOLport -Disney’s Own Airport

I love finding little-known gems of information from the original Walt Disney World. Here’s a doozy! When the resort first opened in 1971, cialis they had their own STOLport (a short take off and landing runway) on property. Not only that, discount viagra the Lake Buena Vista STOLport was the first officially designated STOLport in the U.S.

Walt Disney World Stolport 1971

Walt Disney World STOLport 1971 Photo courtesy of Progress City USA

Walt and company were quite the visionaries and planned ahead for the huge crowds traveling into the area.  At the time, the only attraction in Central Florida was Cypress Gardens to the west of Orlando.  There wasn’t even a large airport, just the Orlando JetPort at McCoy.  It was a civil-military joint operation with McCoy Air Force Base.

Walt Disney World STOLport Schedule 1970's

Walt Disney World STOLport Schedule
Photo courtesy of Progress City USA

For these reasons, it made a lot of sense to have their own, privately-owned runway on property for connecting flights from Tampa and other areas for guests and employees.  The STOLport was used for only a few years in the early 1970’s.

Walt Disney World STOLport, Shawnee Airplane Photo courtesy of Sunshine Skies

WDW STOLport, Shawnee Airplane
Photo courtesy of Sunshine Skies

The runway is still on property and visible from the monorail going from Magic Kingdom Ticket & Transportation to Epcot.  Today, it’s used as a staging area for buses, construction equipment and storage.

So the next time you’re on board the monorail going over to (or from) Epcot, remember to look for a long strip of pavement in a wooded area and think back to the time when guests could fly directly in to the “happiest place on earth.”

Walt Disney World STOLport 1970's

Walt Disney World STOLport
Photo courtesy of Progress City USA

Photos from DadForDisney.com.







F. G. Mama

About the author…F. G. Mama, Katie McDill, has been in love with Walt Disney World since first entering the gates in 1976. After her two kids went off to college, she moved from Georgia to the backdoor of the Magic Kingdom in Florida. She worked several years at Walt Disney World performing as Fairy Godmother in day parades, the “Best of Disney” castle stage show, and the original Electric Light Parade. For the last ten years, she along with daughter and family, have enjoyed “living the dream” in Celebration (the town that Disney built) just across the bridge from Disney World. During this time she has collaborated with son-in-law Jimmy in several production projects including Orlando Attractions Magazine-The Show, The Mindy Mouse Show and FunaticsTV. Her other career included being a writer, artist/designer, special events creator and coordinator. Now she is enjoying the good life of Anna Maria Island, Celebration, Disney World and, of course, sharing magic at FUNaticsTV!

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