The Magic Kingdom is Going Green

Even the visionary Walt Disney probably could not have imagined this one.

Before the end of 2018, Disney will flip the switch on a sprawling 50-megawatt solar power facility composed of more than half a million solar panels, generating enough renewable solar energy to fully power two of its four parks at the Walt Disney World Resort in central Florida.

The site stretches over 270 acres right outside the Magic Kingdom and will generate enough energy to power 10,000 homes per year — or reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 57,000 tons annually. With these savings, Disney hopes to achieve its larger goal of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by 50% worldwide by 2020.

‘57,000 tons = annual equivalent of removing roughly 9,300 cars from the roads’

It's an impressive stat, and Disney’s solar and renewable efforts don't stop here. This switch echoes Disney's ongoing efforts abroad. In Tokyo, Disneyland’s electrical parade light show is fuelled by solar panels from eight building rooftops. Disneyland Paris uses geothermal energy to power two of its theme parks and a hotel, while Shanghai Disney Resort, uses a combined heating and cooling plant that converts waste heat into energy, slashing emissions by 60%!

Did you know… Disney is building three new cruise ships that will be run on clean-burning liquefied natural gas when they head out to sea in 2021, 2022, and 2023.

With one eye on its global reputation and another on its customers’ increasing focus on sustainability, Disney is emerging as a renewable energy force. Here's a breakdown of exactly what else the House of Mouse is doing to help the planet:

  • Ditching Single-Use Plastics: Disney revealed plans to remove plastic straws and stirrers from all its parks, resorts, and properties by 2019. Disney estimates this change will eliminate over 175 million plastic straws and 13 million stirrers per year!
  • Reducing Waste and Water Use: Disney's overarching goal is to divert 60% of its waste from landfills and incineration by 2020
  • Installing LED Light Displays: At the Cinderella Castle at Disney’s Magic Kingdom in Florida, the collection of 170,000 lights is now completely LED, reducing the display's energy usage to 'an amount needed to power just four coffee pots!'

And that, my fellow Walt-ineers, is a wake-up call to just how significant each of these efforts might eventually be.