No one is going to claim that Walt Disney World is an eco-friendly destination. Ever. It’s built on what is essentially swamp land in the middle of the sprawl of Orlando, which has to be one of the most unsustainable developments in the history of mankind.
Some of the hypocrisy just gets to me. Particularly at Animal Kingdom. All throughout the park you are preached to about certain elements of eco-centricity. There are no straws at Animal Kingdom because those are a common item that ends up polluting the animal enclosures at zoos all over the world. I am down with that, but then explain to me why each tray of food at the quick service outlets had a small plastic card begging people not to litter? Why not just print the message on the trays rather than include a disposable plastic card? I cannot explain this conundrum.
However, you are given a paper straw with dinner at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. So, not all straws are bad I guess.
Then there are balloons. A common souvenir is a balloon that encases another balloon shaped like Mickey Mouse’s head. Cool right? Except at Animal Kingdom you cannot get balloons because they might float away and end up in an enclosure. Okay, but a balloon released at any of the other parks—Magic Kingdom is the farthest park away at less than 5 miles—could easily end up in Animal Kingdom. Why not ban the balloons at all parks? Oh wait, dollars…
There are dozens of examples of eco-hypocrisy that I witnessed in my five day trip to the resort. I do not want to sound like a grump, but wrapping yourself in the flag of self-righteousness when everything else runs counter to that image is just wrong.
At least the toilet paper has 25% post-consumer recycled content:
You can understand my fascination with toilet paper considering that I started this blog talking about toilet paper so long ago.
One place where the resort does a better job than most other parts of the country is in terms of mass transit. In the middle of Florida, which seems to hate mass transit because it just smells like some kind of socialist conspiracy, there is plenty of mass transit on the resort grounds. You can spend your entire trip from airport and back in the embrace of Disney operated mass transit.
Even more impressive than its ubiquity is the organization of the mass transit. There are no disorganized bus stops with people trying to figure out what queue to stand in. Nope. Each destination has clearly marked stops and where the frequency merits there are actual employees assigned to assist people in finding their way. Even at the busiest of times the wait is rarely twenty minutes. Granted, you are paying a premium to stay on-resort but getting to where you are going without renting a car is pretty sweet.
Now, about that monorail…