Disneyland Paris & the environment

Villages Nature & Geothermal

Upon our arrival at Villages Nature, we were met by Romain, the Director for Sustainable Development of the resort, and taken a brief walk around Villages Nature. This resort, a co-production between Pierre & Vacances (Center Paris) and Disneyland Paris, is the first ecotourism resort created by Disney imagineers; everything here is designed to sit around the idea of sustainability and environmentally friendly design.

As Villages Nature is a self-catering resort, guests are typically cooking their own meals. In order to facilitate correct waste deposits, the resort has 3 recycling centres located near the main blocks of apartments. However, guests can eat in restaurants on the lakeside promenade; many of these restaurants, such as Cépages, use primarily organic food produce.

Villages Nature Recycling Centre
A Recycling Centre at Villages Nature Paris

Of particular importance is the Geothermal Energy Centre on-site. Villages Nature, as an ecotourism resort, relies on renewable energy in order to gather its power. 100% of the heating and hot water at Villages Nature is gathered by Geothermal energy; this involves harnessing the heat located within the ground. Seine-et-Marne, the region Disneyland Paris is located within, is a hotbed for this geothermal energy as the temperature below ground reaches 70-80 degrees Celsius.

At the Geothermal Energy Centre, operated on-site by experts from French power company Engie, water is extracted from the ground and passed through a loop in order to service different areas of the resorts. The cold water is then put back into the ground where it is heated back up again and placed in this same loop. The heat harnessed here can be used Villages Nature, but also Disneyland Paris.

Once water is extracted from the ground at 75 degrees Celsius, it is transferred to Disneyland Paris; by the time it arrives at the resort, the water has cooled somewhat to 65 degrees Celsius. This water is used across Disneyland Park, the Walt Disney Studios Park and the Disneyland Hotel. Once the water has been passed here, it is transferred back to Villages Nature. Of the heating and hot water requirements of the Disneyland Paris resort, 40% of it now comes from Geothermal Energy harnessed at Villages Nature.

The first port of call at Villages Nature is the Ferme Bellevie at an arrival temperature of around 55 degrees celcius, the water here is used for the heating and hot water. Also at the Ferme Bellevie, water in this Geothermal pathway is split into two channels – one channel remains hot and is used to heat the different installations; the other is used water which has cooled down. Water placed in this channel does not get reused at the Cottages and goes straight to the Aqualagon.

Villages Nature Geothermal Energy Learning Centre
A learning centre has been create to educate groups on Geothermal Energy

At a similar temperature, the water is then used to heat the Cottages and Apartments of Villages Nature.

Next on the loop is the Aqualagon where the two channels finally converge. Water here is used for heating, hot water and swimming water – the swimming water is heated to a 30 degree Celsius heat year round (both indoors and out).

Upon leaving the Aqualagon, the water heads back to the Geothermal Energy Centre where it is placed back into the ground.

Whilst often out of sight of Disneyland Paris guests, geothermal power has had an immense impact of the environmentally friendly schemes that Disney have started to run. The plant at Villages Nature is scalable and so the potential is there for Disneyland Paris to use even more of this in the future.

Let's explore how Disneyland Paris helps protect the environment

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