Incandescent lighting frequently used at WDW

baharini

Member
Original Poster
I recently visited WDW for the first time since 2015 and, as a lighting geek, picked up on incandescent lighting being used in many attractions' general areas, queues and load/unload stations. (I'm not talking about the stage lighting in the attractions themselves, just the general-purpose lighting in areas us public walk around in).

I was not expecting to see so many incandescent lights still in service; in my daily life in the UK, it's pretty rare to see them at all and they aren't available to buy in most stores. I'm not sure why WDW hasn't replaced these yet; except for a few special cases such as Haunted Mansion's chandeliers, I think LEDs are up to task for these use-cases and would be interested in hearing any ideas as to why incandescent lights are still so common in the parks. (Edit: I say this as someone who loves incandescent lighting, and am questioning this from a rational/economic perspective that Disney may have).

I've attempted to note the attractions I saw them at, and took some photos. This list is not exhaustive but hopefully interesting to others:

Magic Kingdom:
  • Space Mountain - Many turquoise lights (R30 size I think) at queue next to load stations, and unload stations. Also many white PAR30 recessed lights in the early long hallway part of the queue.
    fxNnQtp.jpg

    6Vddra0.jpg
  • Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin - white recessed lights in queue, along with a couple MR16 lights with dichroic blue filters. At the unload station, there were the same turquoise lights as seen at Space Mountain.
  • Haunted Manson - Chandeliers at load station were all incandescent (discussed previously); looks like there were some PAR20 recessed lights after the unload station.
    k8UYRjY.jpg

    RELX3pV.jpg

    dpLBaZe.jpg
  • Carousel of Progress - Everything was incandescent.
  • Under the Sea - Journey of The Little Mermaid - Many white incandescent lights in its queue.
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh - In queue, turquoise R40 lights.
    PIcz91N.jpg

    HE67wXe.jpg
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train - All queue lights were white incandescent lantern-style lights.
Epcot:
  • Soarin' - White MR16 halogen track lights in queue.
    3GMQdGg.jpg
  • Spaceship Earth - Incandescent white PAR30 recessed lights at unload stations.
  • The Seas with Nemo & Friends - PAR30 recessed lights at unload station. Turquoise R40 lights in multiple aquarium exhibits such as Ocean Life.
    vOtQ95N.jpg

    RLzvzgk.jpg
  • Mission: Space - Most queue lights are white halogen reflectors.
    eJ7Cda5.jpg
  • Test Track - Most queue lights are white halogen reflectors.
    TVYX2B7.jpg

    Z0TEgUK.jpg
  • Journey into Imagination with Figment - white PAR30 lights at load station (the ones at the top are LED).
    adk2wJy.jpg
Hollywood Studios:
  • Star Tours - Many white PAR30 recessed lights in the queue.
  • Tower of Terror - White incandescent pendant lights in the basement queue, although a few of these looked to have been switched to LED - perhaps they are being replaced when they blow.
 
Last edited:

JIMINYCR

Well-Known Member
In my business Ive just switched over to mostly LED lights, but I had a huge supply of incandescent bulbs that I paid lots of money for that were sitting in storage. I wasnt about to switch over and just throw out what I had paid good money for. Some of my lighting fixtures needed to be switched over for LED light bulbs. The cost of getting my electrician on site and switch over to LED fixtures was going to be costly too. Sure I'm saving money on lighting now and it made sense to switch over but I did it when it was cost effective. Now I dont know what Disneys excuse is but maybe like me the cost of switching park wide every lighting system and discarding massive quantity of bulbs they have on hand will eventually come but the timing isnt right for them yet.
 

Henry Mystic

Author of "A Manor of Fact"
Premium Member
I recently visited WDW for the first time since 2015 and, as a lighting geek, picked up on incandescent lighting being used in many attractions' general areas, queues and load/unload stations. (I'm not talking about the stage lighting in the attractions themselves, just the general-purpose lighting in areas us public walk around in).

I was not expecting to see so many incandescent lights still in service; in my daily life in the UK, it's pretty rare to see them at all and they aren't available to buy in most stores. I'm not sure why WDW hasn't replaced these yet; except for a few special cases such as Haunted Mansion's chandeliers, I think LEDs are up to task for these use-cases and would be interested in hearing any ideas as to why incandescent lights are still so common in the parks.

I've attempted to note the attractions I saw them at, and took some photos. This list is not exhaustive but hopefully interesting to others:

Magic Kingdom:
  • Space Mountain - Many turquoise lights (R30 size I think) at queue next to load stations, and unload stations. Also many white PAR30 recessed lights in the early long hallway part of the queue.
    fxNnQtp.jpg

    6Vddra0.jpg
  • Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin - white recessed lights in queue, along with a couple MR16 lights with dichroic blue filters. At the unload station, there were the same turquoise lights as seen at Space Mountain.
  • Haunted Manson - Chandeliers at load station were all incandescent (discussed previously); looks like there were some PAR20 recessed lights after the unload station.
    k8UYRjY.jpg

    RELX3pV.jpg

    dpLBaZe.jpg
  • Carousel of Progress - Everything was incandescent.
  • Under the Sea - Journey of The Little Mermaid - Many white incandescent lights in its queue.
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh - In queue, turquoise R40 lights.
    PIcz91N.jpg

    HE67wXe.jpg
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train - All queue lights were white incandescent lantern-style lights.
Epcot:
  • Soarin' - White MR16 halogen track lights in queue.
    3GMQdGg.jpg
  • Spaceship Earth - Incandescent white PAR30 recessed lights at unload stations.
  • The Seas with Nemo & Friends - PAR30 recessed lights at unload station. Turquoise R40 lights in multiple aquarium exhibits such as Ocean Life.
    vOtQ95N.jpg

    RLzvzgk.jpg
  • Mission: Space - Most queue lights are white halogen reflectors.
    eJ7Cda5.jpg
  • Test Track - Most queue lights are white halogen reflectors.
    TVYX2B7.jpg

    Z0TEgUK.jpg
  • Journey into Imagination with Figment - white PAR30 lights at load station (the ones at the top are LED).
    adk2wJy.jpg
Hollywood Studios:
  • Star Tours - Many white PAR30 recessed lights in the queue.
  • Tower of Terror - White incandescent pendant lights in the basement queue, although a few of these looked to have been switched to LED - perhaps they are being replaced when they blow.
Such a cool post. Thank you for putting this together!
 

JIMINYCR

Well-Known Member
I apologize, I'm not into lighting so forgive me if this is a stupid question. What's the issue with incandescent lights
There is a manufacturing ban on incandescent bulbs because they are not energy effecient. You will be finding it harder and harder to find bulbs for sale. They are being phased out. At some point every household and business will be forced to change over to LED lighting. It has been going on for a while but hasn’t gotten to the point where change is necessary. It’s all about energy usage, the govt started this move slowly over time and it’s being felt more now.
 

baharini

Member
Original Poster
Like analog sound they provide a one of a kind illumination that might be imitated but not exactly duplicated with LEDs.
Or the cynical me says they are too cheap to upgrade until they have to.......
Absolutely. I don't think I made this clear in my original post but I love incandescent lighting and it was really cool to see these in the wild! (hence the pics I took in the first place).

The confusion on my part was in thinking Disney's take on this would be purely rational/economic and the energy savings of LED would warrant changing them all out. As others have since commented on Disney having large bulb stockpiles, that certainly makes sense as to why they're still in service.

I just wanna say I think it's so cool that you have such knowledge about something as simple as a lightbulb.
Thank you! I've certainly read my fair share of threads here on fairly esoteric topics, so am glad to add my own contribution.
 

baharini

Member
Original Poster
In my business Ive just switched over to mostly LED lights, but I had a huge supply of incandescent bulbs that I paid lots of money for that were sitting in storage. I wasnt about to switch over and just throw out what I had paid good money for. Some of my lighting fixtures needed to be switched over for LED light bulbs. The cost of getting my electrician on site and switch over to LED fixtures was going to be costly too. Sure I'm saving money on lighting now and it made sense to switch over but I did it when it was cost effective. Now I dont know what Disneys excuse is but maybe like me the cost of switching park wide every lighting system and discarding massive quantity of bulbs they have on hand will eventually come but the timing isnt right for them yet.
Makes sense, thanks for sharing!
Incandescent lights are extremely commonplace everywhere in the US. I see no issue with the lighting at WDW.
Interesting to hear about the differences across the pond. It's not at all common in the UK, I don't recall seeing it in any business in at least a year.
 

Goofyernmost

Well-Known Member
Suppose Disney decided to change every incandescent to LED in the parks. Do we have any idea how much lighting that involves. Most of the areas do not require a lot of mechanical alteration because they are just screw in bulbs, but all the specialty light fixtures might need to be changed. Not to mention the overall cost of LED's to make the initial change would be quite large. Even if they started making that transition two years ago they would be no where near done. It makes no sense that Disney would just opt out for incandescent but two factors have to be considered. The first and most difficult even for me in my apartment, the LED's s last forever so it would be foolish to not change over wherever they can. just the cost of changing those short lived incandescent must be staggering. It would over time save based on less electrical usage and much longer bulb life, so why would Disney not be anxious to change over. Second, there are many special uses for light bulbs and they vary in intensity and tone. It is hard, not impossible, to match LED's with the desired lighting where it's not to bright and not to dark and even though they do have range it is not as wide or the same as incandescent.

As others stated before, I think it is a combination of spacing out the change over and using up the probable giant supply of old ones and timing it to run out about the same time the change over is done. Think of the number of lights just outlining the buildings. They would have to change them all at once or take from one and use at another until all are the same. I think we all tend to compare our household usage to Disney and the two just don't compare. There is a difference between literally tens of thousands of bulbs to our single change from light fixtures one at a time at home.
 

NickMaio

Well-Known Member
Saving energy and money with led bulbs.
Even switching over every bulb in our house we noticed a difference in our energy monthly bills.
 

DisAl

Well-Known Member
Some LED bulbs are indistinguishable from incandescent bulbs. I have some all glass LED bulbs that look exactly like their incandescent cousins. If you use the low color temp between 2700k and 3000k the light output from the bulbs looks exactly like incandescent. I use 150w equivalent 17w LED floodlights at my home and the light output and the bulbs look exactly like the old bulbs. I changed 114 40w incandescent bulbs to LED in our church and nobody even noticed the difference but it lowered our power consumption by over 4,000 watts.
So, there may not be nearly as many incandescent bulbs as you think.
 

lazyboy97o

Well-Known Member
In a non-residential setting, and especially in a show setting, you’re not usually just switching bulbs like you do at home. Instead the entire fixture is replaced and because they use so much less power there are cases where modifications do need to be made so that too much power isn’t being sent to them. In a show environment they’re also not just on a switch so the new fixtures also have to be integrated into the show control systems.
 

Tom Morrow

Well-Known Member
LED bulbs are not without their issues either. Rather than burning out, they tend to develop an unpleasant flicker as they die out, or in worse cases, they turn into strobe lights. It makes more sense for Disney to use up the incandescent stock they have and also wait as LED bulb technology continues to improve rather than change them all out at once.

For what it's worth, Universal still uses a ton of incandescent bulbs too.
 

Chef Mickey

Well-Known Member
Saving energy and money with led bulbs.
Even switching over every bulb in our house we noticed a difference in our energy monthly bills.
Lighting is only about 10% of residential usage and while LED uses 75% less power, the bulbs cost double or more. To realize the savings, you’d have to project many years and that’s if the LED bulbs lasts like it says.

In the real world, I’ve had LED bulbs burn out in under a year or just a few years, making the whole change pointless.

In general, using something that’s already been made and purchased is better than changing it out to something more efficient. The same is true for cars. It’s better to continue driving a less efficient car than demanding a brand new electric car.
 

JIMINYCR

Well-Known Member
Lighting is only about 10% of residential usage and while LED uses 75% less power, the bulbs cost double or more. To realize the savings, you’d have to project many years and that’s if the LED bulbs lasts like it says.

In the real world, I’ve had LED bulbs burn out in under a year or just a few years, making the whole change pointless.

In general, using something that’s already been made and purchased is better than changing it out to something more efficient. The same is true for cars. It’s better to continue driving a less efficient car than demanding a brand new electric car.
I agree but at some point with the govt banning bulb manufacturing it will get to the point that we will have no options but to go totally LED.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

John park hopper

Well-Known Member
Prior to the ban I stocked up on incandescent light bulbs they were cheap compared to the LED bulbs. I prefer the incandescent light bulb and the nominal increase in cost of using them IMO is offset by the the high cost of LED. I save far more money hang cloths on a clothes line than running the dryer.
I"m sure Disney isn't worried about the cost --they just pass it on to the guests
Now straws and plastic lids are another story ut I won't open that can of worms again
 

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