Disney and Nuclear Energy

Hannah Howell
March 16, 2019

Submitted as coursework for PH241, Stanford University, Winter 2019


Fig. 1: This is a map of Disneyworld. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Disney is and has always been a popular place destination for tourists around the world. Fig. 1 displays a map of DisneyWorld. Mickey mouse and the Disney logo are notorious. When we think of Disney, we think of the happiest place on earth, not nuclear power. Currently, there is no nuclear power plant at Disney World. However, this could change in the near future. In 1967, Florida passed a bill which would allow Disney to build their own nuclear power plant. [1] Walt Disney understood that the park was going to be large, and wanted the rights to build a nuclear power plant if needed. The question is, has that time come?

Nuclear Energy and Disney World Today

Currently, Disney claims they have no plans to capitalize on this legislative power. What they intend to do is utilize 2 solar farms located on land they already own. [1] Florida state representative Bruce Antone, along with Central Florida residents, are still concerned with this power Disneyland has. Consequently, they are beginning to take action to have this power revoked. One reason they believe Disney will not build this plant is because of the high price tag - approximated at over 1 billion dollars. Disney is focused more on renewable energy than nuclear energy. Disney currently has an impressive: 270-acre, 50-megawatt solar farm along State Road 429, near Epcot Center, in the shape of Mickey's head. [1]

Currently, Disney's park costs over $10 billion a year to run, and used over a billion kWhs of electricity, resulting in a bill of over $100 million dollars a year. What does this mean? Two NuScale small modular reactors (SMRs) would be sufficient to cover this energy output, making nuclear energy a viable and reasonable option. Furthermore, given the weather and terrain of florida, this would be a reliable power source. [1] Some of this large quantity of electricity currently being used by Disney is already coming from Nuclear Power plants located in Florida.


Walt Disney said If you can dream it, you can do it. There is a reason Walt Disney wanted the power to create a nuclear power plant: to create one if it would be beneficial to the park. While there are no plans in the works for Disney's own Nuclear Power plant, it is not unreasonable for one to be built in the future.

© Hannah Howell. The author warrants that the work is the author's own and that Stanford University provided no input other than typesetting and referencing guidelines. The author grants permission to copy, distribute and display this work in unaltered form, with attribution to the author, for noncommercial purposes only. All other rights, including commercial rights, are reserved to the author.


[1] G. Russon and G. Rohrer, "Old Florida Law Says Disney Can Build a Nuclear Power Plant. Legislators Could Change That," Orlando Sentinel, 14 Feb 19.