Imagine: you just had the most magical Disney vacation yet! The fireworks were perfect. You secured every virtual queue and Individual Lightning Lane you wanted, and even the churros tasted better than last time. You board the flight home and endure one of the fastest and steepest takeoffs in the world. Turns out, that is the experience of every Disneyland Guest flying out of Orange County’s John Wayne Airport (SNA).
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According to a new report, the Southern California Airport is very much aware of its unofficial status as one of the scariest airports in the country, and it is apparently due to its relatively shorter runway and noise restrictions. The runway measures 5,700 feet compared to the standard 13,000 feet, and each plane’s angle of ascent is 25 degrees instead of the usual 10 degrees (for context, the big drop on Splash Mountain is 47 degrees). On top of that, departing planes have to get high and away fast due to demands from the residents of nearby Southern California communities Newport Beach, Irvine, and Costa Mesa to reduce the noise made by air traffic as much as possible.
“SNA flights are thus quick, loud and sudden right from the start – hence its dubious reputation,” said The Daily Mail. “Since its 1979 opening, travel sites have come to a consensus the airport is among the world’s scariest, with ABC’s ’20/20′ labeling it one of the most dangerous airports in the world.”
Good morning from John Wayne Airport! Sharing our #viewfromthetop on this #FeelGoodFriday! #FlyjJWA #AviationPhotography pic.twitter.com/xzCKrYU60n
— John Wayne Airport (@JohnWayneAir) April 26, 2019
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SNA actually brags about its noise policy, saying, “To mitigate potential noise impacts from aircraft operations, [SNA] maintains some of the most stringent noise rules in the United States.”
Either way, Disneyland Guests undoubtedly get one last ride on their way home.
John Wayne Airport sits 14 miles away from the Disneyland Resort and caters to over a dozen airlines including American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Delta Airlines, and United Airlines.