- McDonald’s unveiled an 8,024 square foot solar-powered restaurant at Disney World on July 1.
- The new restaurant is covered in solar panels and has a 1,700 square foot living wall that naturally cools the building and collects rain water.
- The restaurant is already open for drive-thru and delivery from 8 am to 10 pm.
- Take a look at the restaurant in pictures below.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
On July 1, McDonald’s unveiled a brand new solar-powered restaurant at Disney World.
The 8,024 square foot restaurant is covered in solar panels and features eco-friendly design features that minimise energy use and keep the building naturally cool. It was designed by Chicago-based Ross Barney Architects and Florida-based architectural and engineering firm CPH, according to a press release emailed to Business Insider.
“These unprecedented times have only heightened the importance of innovation that fosters long-term security and sustainability,” Marion Gross, McDonald’s North America chief supply chain officer, said in the press release.“While health and safety in our restaurants is our top priority, we must also remain focused on creating positive change for our communities and the planet. This restaurant marks an important step in McDonald’s journey to reduce our carbon footprint and identify meaningful solutions in the fight against climate change.”
McDonald’s intends to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its restaurants and offices by 36% by 2030. Learnings from the solar-powered restaurant will be applied to those efforts. The chain will also apply for a zero energy certification from the International Living Future Institute for the restaurant.
The new McDonald’s is located on Buena Vista Drive in Disney World Orlando. Although Disney World will not reopen until July 11, the solar-powered McDonald’s is already open for drive-thru and delivery service. Take a look at its eco-friendly features below.
A previous version of this article stated that the restaurant was open to the public for dine-in and carry-out. McDonald’s has informed Business Insider that the restaurant temporarily closed its interior to guests starting July 9.
The restaurant’s architecture has a natural cooling effect that offsets the Florida heat.
1,066 rooftop solar panels produce up to 600,000 kilowatts of electricity per year.
Photovoltaic glass panels are integrated throughout the building.
There’s also a living wall covered in native Floridian plants that require less water and keep the restaurant cool. The wall absorbs rainwater to prevent erosion and flooding.
Once the restaurant reopens for dine-in, customers can ride stationary bikes that generate electricity to light up the Golden Arches on the living wall.
BlogMickey photos were originally published in a BlogMickey article.
The outdoor seating areas are shaded by 1,500 square feet of solar glass, which can generate up to 70,000 kilowatts of electricity per year.
The solar glass also keeps the outdoor seating area cool, which will be vital as customers attempt to social distance in the Florida heat.
The interior is spacious and conducive to social distancing.
Louver windows automatically open and close to push out hot air while keeping cool air inside the restaurant.
Customers can use the touchscreen kiosk to order, or they can order ahead using the McDonald’s mobile app.
The restaurant plans on being 100% solar-powered this year, although those plans might change depending on how much energy the restaurant ends up actually consuming.
Some aspects of the restaurant, like the self-service drink machine, won’t be operational until later due to the pandemic.
In the meantime, although Disney World hasn’t reopened yet, anyone can visit this solar-powered McDonald’s restaurant for drive-thru service.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.