This Week, These Conveniences Become a Thing of the Past at Disney World

connections eatery at epcot disney world
Credit: Becky Burkett

Beginning Monday, guests visiting Disney World will no longer find certain conveniences at their fingertips.

disney world magic kingdom cinderella castle during daytime with visitors standing in front of castle

Credit: Becky Burkett

The impact and influence of the Disney empire are vast and far-reaching. And though Walt Disney died years before the extent of his own personal influence would be fully recognized–and long before the size of his empire grew into the colossal behemoth that it is today, Walt understood the importance of companies maintaining social responsibilities within the local community and around the globe.

walt disney laughs with children

Credit: Disney Archives

Next week, Disney World will take yet another socially responsible step in the right direction–though it may present a temporary inconvenience for some guests. And for others, it might even make things a little messy at first.

“Today, we are shapers of the world of tomorrow,” Walt said. “That is plain truth. There is no way we can duck the responsibility, and there is no reason why we should.”

Walt Disney died in December 1966, when the first man was still three years from landing on the surface of the moon. Scientists have learned so much in the 57 years that have passed since his death, and one area of research has yielded more new information than perhaps Walt could have imagined back then. We’ve learned volumes about how what we do on a daily basis affects our environment, our oceans, our planet overall, and even our own personal health.

RELATED: Ok, So Walt Disney WAS Cryogenically Frozen After All

Plastic trash flowing into the seas will nearly triple by 2040 without drastic action

Kids playing find discarded plastic and other trash on the beach/Credit: National Geographic

We’ve identified pollutants, chemicals, and other terrible things in every part of our daily lives, and further, we’ve been able to identify the harm that can come from those terrible things. We’ve even come to realize the harm that can come from things we use daily to make things a little more convenient–like plastic lids for drinks and paper and plastic straws.

Paper straws are biodegradable, whereas plastic straws are not, and they are much cheaper than plastic straws, though they still contribute to issues with waste that ends up in landfills over time.

An Important Petition

In late 2018, a petition to stop the use of plastic lids and straws at the Walt Disney World Resort was begun at by a 10-year-old boy named Brayden Bittel, who noticed there were no plastic straws at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and he wanted the same to be true for all of Disney’s theme parks. He also petitioned Disney to stop the use of plastic lids in the parks. And while it’s unclear exactly how much influence Bittel’s petition had, Disney eliminated plastic straws from the parks recently, opting instead to offer paper straws to guests.

Now Disney has announced that beginning Monday, August 21, neither plastic lids nor paper straws will be offered at self-service areas of quick-service dining venues at Disney World. Guests who want to use lids and paper straws will be able to request them from cast members at the quick-service locations, but they will not be out for guests to pick up at quick-service dining spots around the Walt Disney World Resort.

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!