Written by Laurel Kruke, Sustainability Manager
I was in Orlando, FL a few weekends ago, visiting none other than...Disney World! I love Disney World –as a kid, it was awe-inspiring and magical, and as an adult, it’s equally as magical, and just as incredible now that I understand the world of business, entertainment, and education. Walt Disney truly was a visionary, and laid out plans for a complex, well-organized, and amazing theme park, community, and company. But I digress... I want to share with you some of the cool energy and sustainability attractions you can find at Disney World, specifically two attractions at EPCOT –Ellen’s Energy Adventure and Living with the Land.
As an adult, I appreciate EPCOT so much more than I did as a kid. EPCOT is home to the World Showcase, where you can learn about different countries and cultures, and Future World, which features attractions about technology, imagination, and invention. So many cool things to explore, and a few rides thrown in there as well!
Ellen's Energy Adventure is a 45-minute slow-moving ride through Ellen DeGeneres’ subconscious as she and Bill Nye (the Science Guy!) travel through time and learn about energy. They start way back with the dinosaurs, then slowly move through time to talk about different forms of energy – coal, oil, natural gas, solar, wind, and nuclear power. It’s all very basic (and could really use an update) but it does highlight some important information about fossil fuels, renewables like wind and the sun, and other types of energy we use today. Here's a YouTube video from Bill Nye's Science Episode collection that goes a little more in-depth about energy in general.
Another attraction at EPCOT that shows some cool sustainability initiatives is the Living with the Land boat ride.Living with the Land is located at The Land Pavilion, and takes guests behind the scenes to see Disney’s greenhouses, where they research and grow different foods and species of plants using different farming methods. The boat ride shows different growing techniques that Disney works with – traditional planting, hydroponics, and tower gardens, for example. The produce grown in the greenhouses is then also used in the restaurants around the park, specifically the Sunshine Seasons and Garden Grill restaurants in The Land Pavilion.
Disney has some amazing sustainability initiatives. They are stewards of the land and care about animal and environmental conservation. They work to reduce their energy and water consumption throughout the parks and resorts, they have efforts to decrease their waste consumption and encourage recycling throughout Disney World and Disneyland, and they utilize lower-emission power sources for attractions and transportation on property, when available. Walt Disney would be proud of the sustainable, future-conscious legacy his company is continually creating.