Disney's California Drone Adventure or a Sly Marketing Campaign for Planes Flick?

See the update on Page 2 that has me wondering if this whole drone tale is clever marketing for the new animated Disney flick Planes.

ORIGINAL POST, AUG. 9, 10 A.M.: It's a world of laughter, it's a world of ... drones?

That's what an Anaheim Disney resort employee--excuse me, cast member--is reportedly feeling after a strange small object was supposedly seen hovering over California Adventure last Friday, Aug. 2.

Spokesfolk with the Mouse and the Anaheim Police Department deny anything was out there--or up there--that they know about, reports Lake Forest Patch.

Patch editor Roy Rivenburg also received "no comments" from the FAA, which must authorize craft over what is a no-fly zone, and Homeland Security, which apparently parks a large van in the theme park district at times. (Having worked there a million years ago, I know the feds could learn a thing or three from Disney security about surveillance.)

The cast member reportedly described the object seen in the sky around 7:30 a.m.--just before the park opened--as 3 feet in diameter, which might lead some to suspect Tinkerbell, who usually flies around during the nightly fireworks show. But this contraption was said to have several propellers and a flashing blue light as it hovered about 40 feet from the ground, which sounds more like the handy work of Launchpad McQuack.

Some workers, thinking it was a camera, waved at it, according to the employee. Smile, you're on NSA camera!

Walt Disney Imagineering often tests new gadgets at the resort, but Disney spokeswoman Suzy Brown reportedly told Patch she would have been informed about a park-authorized UFO. And she wasn't.

Disney's California Drone Adventure or a Sly Marketing Campaign for Planes Flick?

UPDATE, AUG. 9, 11:57 A.M.: Hmmm ... in light of what you just read above, check this out from City News Service:

Coachella Valley residents and visitors can check out one of the planes depicted in the new Disney movie Planes tomorrow at the Palm Springs Air Museum.

The F4U Corsair will be on display at 1 p.m. Saturday as part of the museum's "Open Cockpit" events, in which people can sit in the plane's cockpit and pose for photos.

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Now, that'll be a real, full-size--and, this is key, prop-driven--Corsair to depict what Planes' character Skipper flies in the new animated flick, which is being compared to Cars in the air. But that's not to say Disney won't be readying more high-flying tie-ins to the potential summer blockbuster that just opened.

And what if the theme park cast member who spoke with Lake Forest Patch is in on it? Talk about micro-marketing. Don't put it past the Mouse.

Email: mcoker@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!

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