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Photo of massive Disney World parking lot raises questions about park design: 'Never going back there again'

"What nightmare it was!"

"What nightmare it was!"

Photo Credit: iStock

A photo of a massive Disney World parking lot has some people questioning whether the theme park can claim to be the Happiest Place on Earth. 

A Redditor posted the image in the subreddit r/UrbanHell, a community that spotlights problems with urban development. 

Considering the massive amount of asphalt in the photo, it's easy to see why the original poster felt the lot was worthy of inclusion. 

"What nightmare it was!"
Photo Credit: Reddit

Most of the world is breathing unhealthy air, and gas-powered vehicles are a significant part of the problem. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the transportation sector generates the largest amount of planet-warming pollution in the United States at 29%. 

Huge parking lots, like those seen at Disney and sports stadiums, incentivize people to drive. Developing a more robust public transportation system, on the other hand, would eliminate large amounts of pollution every year. 

Vast stretches of asphalt also make things feel hotter than they are by creating a heat island effect. That is probably not something vacationers would be happy about in a traditionally toasty, humid spot like Florida, where Disney World is located. 

"We went there two months ago. 2 adults and 2 kids. What nightmare it was! It was so expensive. We were miserable," one commenter wrote, noting they spent $60 on parking. "Never going back there again — ever!"

"In France, those types of parking are now illegal, they have to either have to be at least 50% covered by trees or by photovoltaic panels," someone else noted — "photovoltaics" is the conversion of sunlight into electricity that solar panels use. 

Another commenter confirmed that Disneyland Paris' lot does have a solar canopy, which generates clean energy and provides shade for the park's visitors. 

An official Disney Parks blog notes that projects in Tokyo, Hong Kong, the Bahamas, and California are also reaping the benefits of solar power, some of them canopies. The one comment below it reads: "When will solar canopies be built over the WDW parking lots? We could really use the shade!"

As that post mentioned and as The Hill reported in 2022, Disney World said it intends to power about 40% of its electricity needs with solar by 2024 as part of its plans to reduce planet-warming pollution. That is admirable and a reason Disney resorts are still among the more eco-friendly travel destinations for theme parks, but The Cool Down was unable to find any reporting on plans to install solar canopies at the Florida parks.

"At least cover the parking lot with solar panel roofs. Imagine how much they will save in their electricity bill. Not to mention the reduction in pollution," another Redditor said of the Florida park. 

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