There are suggestions that Euro Disney SCA, operating group of Disneyland Paris, could be about to sign a landmark agreement with French energy partner EDF.
Currently, as visitors arrive at the resort by car or coach, they’re greeted by a pleasant — but exceptionally large — parking space. A huge expanse of tarmac poured nonchalantly over the former fields of Marne-la-Vallée, this has perhaps never been the best of first impressions for the French to become enamoured with Disney’s controversial arrival.
However, according to rumours now doing the message board rounds, the flat, single-level parking lot serving the two Disney Parks — with more than 11,000 car parking spaces — would be covered end to end in so-called “Ombrières”, a patented type of solar power canopy covered in photovoltaic cells.
An unfortunate necessity becomes a publicity coup?
Creating electricity which can then be used on-site or sold back into the grid, the futuristic canopies also collect rainwater to reduce piped water usage as well as protecting people — and their cars — from the elements, be they a rainstorm or a scorching hot day.
Rather than your car burning up in the full heat of the Summer sun, that energy would be transformed into real power — possibly even to power your ride on Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster or Phantom Manor!
The idea is not entirely new, already being in use at locations such as the E-Leclerc shopping centre near Montpellier seen in these photos. These canopies are manufactured by French company SunVie. Should the enormous parking surface at Disneyland Paris be covered by “solar panels” like these, it would apparently become the largest such energy plant in France and almost certainly one of the largest in Europe.
Naturally, after the initial excitement at such a prospect, thoughts are now turning to the visual impact of the “Ombrières” which, whilst actually functionally good-looking, would probably contrast a bit too much with the more whimsical structures already dotted around the parking lot, such as the canopies of the moving walkways.
To redesign them with a little more Disney spark certainly wouldn’t be hard, but multiplied over several hundred rows could amount to a restrictively large rise in construction costs.
Indeed, details so far are rather sketchy as to how such a project would be managed between Euro Disney and EDF — who would pay for the set-up, who would get the power generated? Nevertheless, this would be a sure-fire publicity winner for the resort, and hopefully more than just blue sky (solar) thinking…
• See more details, photos and a video here.
Images: DLRP Today; SunVie. News via Parcs et Companie, thanks to lil-shawn (magicforum).