Disney Expands Solar Energy Project at Walt Disney World

UPDATE (2/22/2019):

  • Walt Disney World’s new solar facility is now officially online. The Disney Parks Blog shared the exciting news with fans on Wednesday.
  • This new solar facility will harness energy from our sun to power two of the four theme parks at Walt Disney World annually. Now that’s a bright idea!
  • All silly puns aside, Disney’s efforts to use clean, renewable energy at its parks will also help to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions at the resort. In fact, by the time 2020 rolls around, Disney will have lowered their greenhouse gas emissions by 50% compared to 2012.
  • Along with the announcement Disney shared a time lapse video of the construction condensing months of work into just seconds, and they even used a solar powered camera to film the progress!
  • Disney says they will be “celebrating this milestone in the coming months and look forward to sharing more details with you real soon.”

UPDATE (10/9/2018):

  • This morning, The New York Times reported on Walt Disney World’s green practices and how by the end of the year, they will bring the new 270-acre, 50-megawatt solar facility online.
  • Located outside Animal Kingdom, this new facility will help Disney reach its goal of reducing its net greenhouse emissions by 50%.
  • The article also covers Disney Parks around the world and the commitment to caring for their environments:
    • Tokyo Disneyland’s electrical parade light show is fueled by solar panels from eight building rooftops.
    • Disneyland Paris uses geothermal energy to power its theme parks and a hotel.
    • Shanghai Disney Resort, uses a combined cooling and heating plant to help reduce emissions by 60 percent — partially by converting waste heat into energy.
    • Disney Cruise Line is building three new cruise ships that will be run on clean-burning liquefied natural gas. The ships are set to sail in 2021, 2022, and 2023.

What they’re saying:

  • Bob Chapek, chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products: “At our sites around the world, we’re investing in hidden magic to continually reduce our environmental footprint.”
  • Dr. Mark Penning, vice president of Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment: “Our guests tell us the environment is important, so it’s a big deal for us.”
  • Dr. Mark Penning regarding Bob Iger and the desire to be the most admired company in the world: “Not just for creating incredible content, but for being a responsible citizen of the world.”
  • Dr. Mark Penning on whether Walt Disney could envision the Parks relying on renewable energy: “I’m not sure if he could dream of this. But his dreams did result in Epcot, which was meant to be the first sustainable development.”
  • Gregory Wetstone, chief executive of the American Council on Renewable Energy: “What Disney is doing is an important part of the trend that’s changing the nation’s grid.”


In an effort to maintain green practices and protect our environment, Walt Disney World has begun using renewable solar energy to power sections of its 43 square mile property. Yesterday, Disney announced they are expanding the project. The additional half a million solar panels will provide up to 25% of the resorts energy needs.

Walt Disney World Expands Solar Energy Efforts

What’s happening:

Dr. Mark Penning —Vice President, Animals,Science and Environment, Disney Parks—recently shared more about the project with the Disney Parks Blog:

  • Disney is harnessing the power of the sun in the Sunshine State. In a recent collaboration with Reedy Creek Improvement District and solar project developer Origis Energy USA, Disney will bring a new 270-acre, 50-megawatt solar facility online by the end of the year.
  • The new facility will be located near Disney’s Animal Kingdom, with construction beginning in the coming months.
  • Disney recently unveiled a five-megawatt solar facility near Epcot that was developed in conjunction with the Reedy Creek Improvement District and Duke Energy.

Positive effects:

  • Together, the two facilities will generate enough renewable clean energy to provide up to 25% of the power needs at the Walt Disney World Resort.
  • This solar energy project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 57,000 tons per year—an annual equivalent of removing 9,300 automobiles from the roads
  • By 2020, Disney’s goal is to reduce its net greenhouse emissions by 50% compared to 2012.

Walt Disney World Expands Solar Energy Efforts

Dr. Penning on expanding the project: “Representatives from Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment and Horticulture teamsare exploring ways to make the new solar facility pollinator friendly, with rich wildflowers and vegetation, creating a safe and welcoming habitat for butterflies, bees and other insects, including endangered and at-risk species. This important work aligns perfectly with the Disney Conservation Fund’s “Reverse the Decline” initiative, which aims to reverse the decline of 10 threatened species, including butterflies.”

Other environmental practices:

  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom celebrates it’s 20th Anniversary on Earth Day—April 22nd. The park will host an extended Party for the Planet throughout the rest of the month.
  • The Behind the Seeds Tour at Epcot’s Land Pavilion allows guests to take a guided tour through one of Disney’s fully functioning greenhouses. Food and plants grown here are used throughout the resort to nourish guests.

The Walt Disney Company maintains its focus on conservation and preservation, and continues to be a good steward of the planet. Their leadership, innovation, and commitment prove that everyone can protect the Earth.

Laughing Place recommends MouseFanTravel.com for all your Walt Disney World travel planning
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