Disney World and Disneyland are notorious for their use of pyrotechnics in extravagant firework shows. There are over 230 firework shows a year in Disneyland. With rising health and environmental concerns Disney did what Disney does best, got creative, creating a greener, cleaner, quieter line of fireworks to use at their daily shows. Instead of using gunpowder to propel their mortar shells, they now use compressed air. A majority of consumer fireworks are powered by gunpowder.
Disney saves 30,000 pounds of explosive material a year, by having switched to compressed air propulsion. However, Disney is still using 60,000 pounds of explosive material to make their fireworks go boom. Disney switched from gunpowder to compressed air in 2004, in 2003 Disney used 90,000 pounds of explosives. The theme parks use roughly 350 shells per show, all of which are now launched by compressed air.
Disney plans to donate their patented technology to other theme parks in an effort to reduce air pollution all around.
People who live in the residential neighborhoods surrounding Disneyland complain about the nightly ruckus caused by the fireworks shows. People living in the area say that their dogs go up in a howling frenzy every night, and some have double-paned their windows and added more insulation in order to help drown out the sound, a few neighbors have even filed lawsuits against the park. However, on the upside, residents get a free lightshow most nights. (Latimes)
Disney also receives non-noise related complaints:
“Since 1991, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) has received 73 complaints citing smoke, ash, odor and minor property damage from falling debris resulting from fireworks shows at the Disneyland theme park in Anaheim, California. While not a large problem when compared to the amount of fireworks shows given at the park each year” (All Business)
Fireworks are composed of toxic combustible chemicals, they will never be truly “environmentally friendly”. Newer technology can make the use of fireworks obsolete. Technology such as laser light shows, illuminated night kite shows, and holographic fireworks. Next time you hear the boom, bang, and awe of a firework watching crowd, take a second to consider the risk and reward of the toxic bang by asking: is the boom worth the environmental and health bust?
Barboza, Tony. “Disneyland | For Residents near Disneyland, Nightly Fireworks Shows Have Lost Their Spark – Los Angeles Times.” Featured Articles From The Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, 03 July 2010. Web. 27 June 2011. <http://articles.latimes.com/2010/jul/03/local/la-me-anaheim-fireworks-20100704>.
O’Rourke, Morgan. “Disney Fireworks Go Green | North America United States from AllBusiness.com.” AllBusiness.com | Business Solutions from AllBusiness.com. Risk Management. Web. 27 June 2011. <http://www.allbusiness.com/operations/business-insurance-risk-management/1171639-1.html>.
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