Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Disney tests the limits of going green

Disney has relaunched one of its oldest attractions, the submarine ride, nine years after it emptied the lagoon. The original submarines ran on diesel; now, all eight original submarines are powered by clean and quiet magnetic coils. The fake coral reefs under water are not colored with paint anymore, but with recycled glass sprayed on with an organic epoxy.

Other parts of the park have changed too. Trains now run on 100 percent biodiesel, including the EP Ripley, the same train Disney himself rode on the theme park’s opening day.

Disneyland says it buys 150,000 gallons of biodiesel each year, and prices are currently competitive with regular diesel. Some visitors have complained the smell of the trains now isn't the way they remember it: the biodiesel smells somehow like French fries and they miss the diesel smell but with Disney claiming a savings of about $60 million over 10 years on environmental programs, it looks like biodiesel and the other environmental initiatives are here to stay.

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