When Walt Disney originally planned his Florida project, the goal was to incorporate a city along with the amusement parks and create some special rules that would allow the Experimental Prototype City of Tomorrow to do some things that normal cities wouldn’t do. To accomplish this, Disney negotiated a special deal with the Florida legislature establishing the Reedy Creek Improvement District and giving that government, essentially the Disney company, pretty much complete control of the land and what they wanted to do on it.
That’s the shorthand, if you want the full details, I can’t recommend the book Project Future enough. One of the fascinating things you’ll discover in that book is that, among the things Disney has control over with the unique district, is the energy plan. In fact, if Disney wanted to build a Nuclear Power Plant to power the resort, it could (assuming it gets the necessary Federal agencies to approve).
The Mouse apparently has green energy on its mind. They’ve just finished a 20 acre solar farm, a large portion of which is shaped like a giant Mickey Mouse head. They’ve also been retrofitting buildings with new more efficient air conditioning protocols (meaning they’ll use less energy). But even with those changes, they need more power.
So effective April 1st, Disney has filed for initial plans to build a two tower Nuclear power plant on property. The early designs I’ve seen would have the cooling towers camouflaged as giant volcanoes as they would appear in the distance behind the newly constructed Mount Prometheus (borrowed from Tokyo DisneySea), which is part of the, as yet, unannounced expansion for Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland (more on that in a post tomorrow).
My source tells me that Disney intends to sell any extra power generated and will take the green energy carbon credits to counter balance the pollution from the Disneyland property.
The filing and approval process is expected to take about a year with a ground breaking ceremony scheduled for a year from today.
What do you think of Disney’s plans to build a Nuclear power plant at Walt Disney World?