No conflict between entertainment industry and renewable energy. Let’s see Disney builds a magic green kingdom with a 50MW solar plant.

The Walt Disney World is the family-friendly destination where both kids and adults love the most, and it brings not only joy but also infinite imagination to everyone. One of the famous quotes from Walt Disney says: “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” And I think the dream is also like what the most scientists have been constantly pursuing. That is breaking through renewable energy technologies to solve the global energy crisis and fulfill the dream of sustainable energy. Actually, the dream of green kingdom is coming true.

Walt Disney company goes solar industry
As the giant in the entertainment industry, Disney already knows renewable energy sources are the trend. In April 2016, Walt Disney World (Orlando, Florida) opened a solar facility that’s famously shaped like Mickey Mouse’s head, which is claimed the biggest Mickey Mouse’s head in the world. The five-megawatt solar facility on 22 acres near Epcot is made of 48,000 solar panels. And it can meet about 1/4 of the electricity consumption in the resort. In the same year, Disney established solar panels sit atop the Radiator Springs Racers ride in Cars Land at the flagship Disneyland Resort. The system generates electricity for the Disney California Adventure Park. The 40,000-square-foot operation features more than 1,400 high-efficiency solar panels and generates enough energy to annually power 100 Anaheim homes.

In central Florida, a solar facility shaped like Mickey Mouse’s head produces enough electricity to power 1,000 homes.(Walt Disney World)

Disney's solar and renewable energy programs are not limited to the United States, but have been extended to Tokyo, France and Shanghai Disneyland in China. In Tokyo Disney's electronic float parade, its power comes from 600KW solar panels set on the roof of eight buildings in the park; in Disneyland Paris uses geothermal energy to power two of its theme parks and a hotel. In Shanghai Disneyland, the use of partially recycled waste heat is converted to energy, reducing carbon emissions by 60%. In addition, Disney is building 3 new cruise ships powered by clean-burning liquefied natural gas, which will head out to sea in 2021, 2022 and 2023.

In Tokyo, Disneyland’s electrical parade light show is fueled by solar panels atop eight buildings(Tokyo Disney Resort)

Dreams come true! Soon-to-open Disney World 50MW solar power facility
Before the end of 2018, Disney will flip the switch on a sprawling 50-megawatt solar power facility composed of more than a half-million solar panels. The move is aimed, in part, at helping Disney achieve its larger plan to reduce its net greenhouse gas emissions 50 percent worldwide by 2020, compared to 2012.
The 50MW solar power plant takes up 270 acres. It is expected to generate 120,000 megawatt hours of power each year to the resort, and is far larger than the existing 22-acre Mickey-shaped solar farm consisting of 48,000 panels near Epcot.
Moreover, it will produce enough energy to supply 10,000 homes annually and will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 57,000 tons per year, according to Disney’s estimates. That is the annual equivalent of removing roughly 9,300 automobiles from the roads, the company says.“At our sites around the world, we’re investing in hidden magic to continually reduce our environmental footprint,” Bob Chapek, chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products, said.

(Walt Disney World)

Not just entertainment company, but also a responsible citizen of word
The energy will not actually go to Disney’s theme parks, but rather into the local power grid. Driven by the global awareness of green energy, Disney's continued promotion of the solar renewable energy program will not only lift its global reputation, but also demonstrate to the world that the Disney company is truly a practitioner in renewable energy field.
According to a 2017 study by, about 79% of consumers say they seek out products that are socially or environmentally responsible.
“Our guests tell us the environment is important, so it’s a big deal for us,” said Mark Penning, vice president of Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment. Since it’s a big deal to guests, it is also a huge deal to Bob Iger, chief executive of Disney, who has repeatedly said that he wants Disney to be the most admired company in the world, “Not just for creating incredible content, but for being a responsible citizen of the world,” says Dr. Penning, who is a veterinarian.

(Walt Disney World)

Although some renewable energy advocates would like Disney to do even more to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels, Disney’s leadership in this area is likely to encourage others. “What Disney is doing is an important part of the trend that’s changing the nation’s grid,” says Gregory Wetstone, chief executive of the American Council on Renewable Energy.
“Just five years ago, very few companies were actively producing their own renewable powers. But now, he most sophisticated companies are learning how to go out on their own and do it. Of course, none can accomplish this without enlisting energy partners.” says by Gregory Wetstone, chief executive of the American Council on Renewable Energy.

Disney's solar green energy projects shows the company's responsibility for global environmental protection. However, I believe that what Disney is doing is to fulfill the dream where human beings and all the creatures can live in harmony. The world is like what Mickey and Minnie dream of!

References:Bruce Horovitz | Oct. 9, 2018. The Magic Kingdom Is Going Green. (The New York Times)

Energy Matters | Oct. 17, 2018. Disney resort goes solar with half a million solar panels. (Energy Matters)