Curiosity

This Massive Solar Farm At Disney Looks Just Like Mickey Mouse

This is awesome!

Walt Disney World needs a lot of power to keep the magic going at all its resorts and theme parks in Florida. And, while Tinker Bell provides plenty of pixie dust to help things along, her enchantments aren’t quite enough to meet the needs of the constantly-expanding area. So, The Walt Disney Company has increasingly turned to solar energy. In February, the company opened its latest massive solar facility, which generates enough power to keep two of Disney’s four central Florida theme parks running.

That new power station joins an existing solar farm near Epcot from 2016, which Disney fans will surely recognize on first sight. Sure, Disney could simply build a traditional plant to meet Walt Disney World’s power requirements — but its engineers decided to take the design to the next level. The 48,000 solar panels are shaped in the form of Mickey Mouse’s head! This solar project isn’t just is a technological marvel — it’s also probably the most creative.

Check out this video from Orlando, Florida’s WESH 2 News’s Facebook page, which shows both the existing Mickey Mouse head and the brand-new solar installation:

Disney opened the 2016 project as a team effort between The Walt Disney Company, Duke Energy and the Reedy Creek Improvement District (the local government in the Walt Disney World area). The Mickey Mouse-shaped solar farm produces five megawatts of power, which is “equivalent to 1,000 residential rooftop systems.”

Using solar power is not exactly a new concept for The Walt Disney Company. Engineers installed the first solar panel on Disney property back in 1978 at the Disneyland Hotel’s Bonita Tower.

Then, in 1982, designers covered Epcot Theme Park’s Universe of Energy attraction’s two-acre roof with 2,200 photovoltaic panels. The moving vehicles inside the attraction were also partially powered by the solar cells on the roof. Since then, other Disney projects, such as Castaway Cay, have also regularly utilized solar power.

disney world photo
Getty Images | Handout

The 2019 addition to Walt Disney World’s power grid is a 270-acre, 50-megawatt solar facility, which puts it on a much larger scale than the Mickey Mouse-head solar farm. The most recent state-of-the-art project, built in collaboration with Reedy Creek Improvement District and Origis Energy USA, is the latest push toward The Walt Disney Company’s goal of reducing its emissions by 50% from its 2012 levels.

Seems like Disney’s putting out a message: clean energy and Mickey Mouse go hand-in-hand! Sounds sustainable to us.