The day-to-day management of the site’s green spaces is by no means the Nature and Environment team’s only concern. They also deploy their creativity to implement innovative and sustainable initiatives to increase biodiversity on the site, protect the environment, and promote the resort’s natural heritage. All these initiatives are of course implemented for practical purposes, but they also help to present the different areas of the site in their best light and to enhance the guest experience for young and old alike by raising their awareness of environmental issues, whilst reducing the need to use increasingly controversial plant protection products. Here are a few examples…
Using the materials on hand
For many years, Disneyland® Paris contracted an external supplier to build the bamboo fences surrounding Adventureland in the Disneyland® Park. This safety feature blends in perfectly with the theme of the attraction. In addition, there is a bamboo plantation just adjacent to the backstage areas. Since 2011, the Nature and Environment teams, in collaboration with the Maintenance team decided to start using the bamboo canes regularly removed to clear the woodland areas to build new fences or make repairs. This gives the bamboo a new lease of life and has turned it into a locally sourced product.
A swarm of beehives across the resort
Across the world, bee populations are in decline and yet they really are a gardener’s best friend; it is estimated that 80% of plant species rely on bees for fertilisation. Protecting the bees’ population is therefore a critical challenge. In April 2012, Disneyland Paris inaugurated the resort’s first apiary at Disney’s Davy Crockett Ranch, made up of 15 hives. A further 60 hives were subsequently set up throughout the resort, both backstage and on stage. These 75 hives have allowed Disneyland Paris to become home to colonies of pollinating bees which find everything they need in the surrounding flowering meadows to produce top quality honey. Every year, these busy little workers produce 250 kilos of multifloral honey which guests at Disneyland® Hotel can enjoy for breakfast. The main purpose of this project is to encourage the establishment of beneficial and protected species which in turn facilitates pollination and the spread of plants on the site, thus increasing biodiversity. The second aim is to raise guests’ awareness by placing these hives in highly visible locations. As safety is always the number one priority, the species selected are those known for being non-aggressive. Finally, the hives are placed in locations which make use of unused backstage areas or less visited on stage areas (Disney’s Davy Crockett Ranch, for example).
Four-legged assistant gardeners
Every year since 2011, from March to October, Disneyland Paris welcomes in some very special workers to help maintain the green spaces. Each year, thirty Solognot sheep, an endangered French species, make Disneyland Paris their temporary home. Divided into several flocks, they are put out to graze 10 hectares of land which are difficult for our gardeners to access. This environmentally-friendly grazing system facilitates the teams’ work and is pollution free unlikethepower tools used for mowing or clearing the undergrowth. The animals feed on the plants growing in the area; their presence stimulates growth, diversifies plant life, and enriches the soil in the areas where they graze. The presence of animals on the site (in particular around Disney’s Davy Crockett Ranch) is also an attraction for guests and helps to raise the awareness of young and old alike about issues relating to environmental protection.
Remy’s vegetable garden
In honour of the opening of the Ratatouille inspired attraction at the Walt Disney Studios® Park in July 2014, Disneyland® Paris decided to organise a celebration of French cuisine and local products. As part of this project, a 250 m² vegetable garden was created at Disney’s Hotel Cheyenne® in April. Around twenty different species of vegetables are grown here, including of course all the herbs and vegetables needed to make the famous ratatouille. The 100% Bio vegetable garden contains a number of rare and heritage varieties of vegetables, with new varieties are regularly brought in by the teams in charge of its upkeep,as well as 10 heritage varieties of tomatoes, donated by Louis Albert de Broglie from the National Tomato Conservatory in Bourdaisière. This vegetable garden is a genuine ecological tool as it contributes to perpetuating rare varieties and to plant diversity on the site.
The heritage orchards
With the aim of preserving local varieties, the Nature and Environment team has planted two orchards on the Disneyland Paris site, which contain 50 fruit trees, including 38 heritage varieties. The first orchard was created at Disney’s Hotel Cheyenne, in collaboration with the charity Les Croqueurs de pommes de Brie Gâtinais which advised the teams on the varieties to plant. The varieties used were exclusively local varieties (apple and pear trees) which have the additional benefit of being melliferous, providing a habitat and source of food for beneficial birds and insects. A second orchard was created next to Disney’s Davy Crockett Ranch, this time planted with apple, pear and plum trees. The site’s tree surgeons maintain these spaces in a natural way that is kind to the environment and does not use any plant protection products.