OC Register: Disneyland trains running on oil from chicken and fries
Guests downing chicken nuggets and french fries at Disneyland’s Tomorrowland Terrace are no longer just fueling themselves for a day of walking the park and riding the Matterhorn. These days, they’re also helping fuel the Disney trains.
On Wednesday, the five Disneyland Railroad trains that circle a one-mile perimeter of the park began running on cleaner burning biodiesel made with oil that comes from the resort’s restaurants and hotels.
Park officials had tried a soybean-based biodiesel starting in 2007, but had to give up on that in November 2008 because of problems storing it underground.
So they regrouped while the trains went back to regular diesel fuel, then came up with the idea of recycling discarded cooking oil and turning into biodiesel for the trains.
“The improvement here is that it’s no longer using food for fuel. There are no soybeans grown in the Midwest to fuel our trains, just cooking oil that we’re already generating,” said Frank Dela Vara, Disney’s director of environmental affairs.
Barrels of discarded oil – which resembles maple syrup – are shipped to the Coachella Valley, mixed with a small portion of diesel fuel, then shipped back to Disneyland.
Eventually, the biodiesel also will propel the Mark Twain paddlewheel steamboat, some cleaning equipment and light towers throughout the park.
The effort is part of Disneyland Resort’s ongoing effort to reuse and recycle materials that otherwise would clutter landfills or drain to the ocean. Last year, the company won an environmental award for recycling 7.6 million bottles and cans.
The article goes on to note that the parking trams have been converted to natural gas, eliminating the need for 50,000 gallons of diesel fuel.
Disneyland expects some savings from the conversion to biodiesel, since they are supplying about half of their needed biodiesel supply via the used cooking oil from their restaurants. A Disney spokeswoman said the trains will emit a smell similar to french fries after all of the regular diesel fuel burns off.
Disneyland trains running on oil from chicken and fries - Around Disney - OCRegister.com