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How Environmentally Sustainable is Disney World?

With so many people taking action to help reduce their environmental impact on the planet when thinking about taking a trip to the Most Magical Place on Earth just how environmentally sustainable is Disney World?

"Conservation isn't just the business of a few people. It's a matter that concerns all of us."

- Walt Disney

The great news is in 2020 Disney World was voted by Uswitch to be the world's most eco-friendly tourist attraction! In fact three Disney Parks made the top 10 list!

Disney World came out on top by scoring 56 out of a possible 60 when looking at sustainable transport, renewable energy, wildlife efforts, recycling scheme, water reduction and low emissions.

So what measures do Disney take to help reduce their impact on the environment?

No Plastic Straws or Lids

Disney took the step to replace all plastic straws with paper straws, move away from plastic stirrers and remove plastic lids from fountain drinks.

Animal Kingdom Park had made the switch over a decade ago due to the harm plastic straws can cause to wildlife.

Since 2019 Disney World's single-use straws and stirrers have been plastic-free! Lids for fountain drinks are no longer provided to reduce the amount of plastic waste created by the parks.

These measures have been predicted to have eliminated 175 million straws and 13 million stirrers annually.

Switched to LED Lights

Disney World made the switch to more environmentally friendly LED lights. The stunning holiday display of lights on Cinderella Castle, which features 170,000 lights, was switched to LED lights and can now be run on the same amount of energy used for 4 pots of coffee!

Disney have also switched signs, decorations and tree lights to LED to save on energy.

In the Disney Resorts lighting has also been changed to energy-efficient LED lights.

Disney now turn off or dim external lighting once the parks are closed for iconic displays such as Cinderella Castle in Magic Kingdom, the Tree of Life in Animal Kingdom Park, Mickey's Sorcerer Hat at Hollywood Studios and Spaceship Earth at EPCOT

Introduced Hundreds of Plant-Based Food Options

In 2019 Disney announced plans to roll out plant-based options across all Disney-owned restaurants.

A plant-based diet is the single biggest action an individual can take to reduce their carbon footprint, so it is amazing Disney are giving so many options to help people reduce their environmental impact!

With so many dishes to choose from there is something for everyone and so much to enjoy! Just look out for the leaf symbol on menus to know which dishes are plant-based.

Here is just a sample of the types of plant-based dishes currently on offer at Disney World:

  • Impossible Meatloaf and Warm Johnny Appleseed Cake at Liberty Tree Tavern in Magic Kingdom

  • Plant-based Fish and Chips or Bangers and Mash at The Rose & Crown Dining Room in EPCOT

  • Toasted 'Lobster' Roll from Rosie's All-American Cafe in Hollywood Studios

  • Roasted Vegetable Bowl from Yak & Yeti Restaurant at Animal Kingdom

  • Kung Pao Cauliflower from Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs

  • Plant-based Chili and Tots (plus a dairy-free milkshake!) from Beaches & Cream Soda Shop at the Beach Club Resort

  • Avocado Toast from The Wave...of American Flavors at the Contemporary Resort

  • Plant-based Blueberry Donuts from California Grill at the Contemporary Resort

  • Plant-based Loco Moco or Modified Tonga Toast from Kona Cafe at the Polynesian Village Resort

  • Wild Mushroom Scramble from Topolino's Terrace at the Riviera Resort

The iconic Disney World snack, Dole Whip, is plant-based as standard and now comes in a range of delicious flavours such as pineapple, lime, orange and raspberry!

Mickey Pretzels are an awesome plant-based snack and the famous buttery Disney popcorn is surprisingly totally plant-based (it tastes super buttery but in fact contains no butter!).

Other fan favourite dishes such as Mickey Waffles and Sanaa's Bread Service can be made plant-based on request!

If you have a sweet tooth be sure to visit Eric McKenna's Bakery NYC in Disney Springs. Everything available is vegan and gluten-free! Choose from cakes, pastries, cupcakes, desserts, ice creams and milkshakes. A must visit for sweet treats!

Check out my Guide to Vegan Options at Disney World which features a 50-page list of all the plant-based options available at Disney World! 50 pages! Disney sure are doing a lot to help make it as easy, and delicious, as possible to eat awesome plant-based foods whilst at Disney World!