Disney Bakery Produces Treats With Less Environmental Impact

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According to the OC Register’s Around Disney blog:

Do you remember how you felt around 2 p.m. Easter Sunday when you were 10?

That’s kind of how you’d feel after touring Disneyland’s new central bakery off Ball Road in Anaheim with the park’s executive pastry chef, Jean-Marc Viallet.

Viallet, intensely proud of the new facility opened in March, will stuff you full of Mickey Mouse cookies, molten chocolate cake, cheese cakes, fresh-baked bread and a myriad of other sweets.

Disney processes hundreds of pounds of sugar, flour, chocolate, dairy products and fruit every day to distribute almost 9 million pastries and baked goods per year throughout Disneyland and the resort area, Viallet said.

And that huge, tasty effort just got a little more environmentally friendly.

THE FACILITY

David Lopez, the project manager who oversaw construction of the new central bakery, said that the building has many features that help save energy and water. The roof is filled with tubular skylights, mirrored inside, that direct sunlight into the building during the day, reducing the need for electric lighting — some rooms don’t even need any lights on.

Big, double-paned windows let still more light in while insulating the facility from heat.

Part of the parking lot is porous to allow rainwater to seep back into the water table, rather than running off into the ocean, and the building’s perimeter acts as an earthen sieve that filters most of the rest of the runoff into the ground.

Even the downspouts from the roof are filtered to remove trash or particles that might collect on the flat roof and wash onto the ground or into storm drains, Lopez said.

Much of the baking equipment sucks down a lot of energy, but the dishwashers are Energy Star appliances that conserve water and electricity.

With the new building, Disney has centralized most of its baking in the 10,000-square-foot facility. Park officials say Disneyland does 97 percent of its own baking, and the new facility handles 90 percent of that. Some specialty items for restaurants like The Napa Rose, for instance, will continue production in the localized bakeries in the park.

The bakeries had before been scattered throughout the resort’s hotels.

THE PROCESS

The production line is shaped like a “U” — in one end, trucks drop off hundreds of pounds of chocolate, cream, sugar, flour and other raw ingredients. They either go into the pantry, or the big walk-in freezer.

Accessible from the outside, the freezer is as big as the entire bakery in the Disneyland Hotel.

The center of the “U” is dominated by wide finishing tables, stove tops, huge industrial mixers capable of handling 350 pounds of dough, stone slab-lined bread and pastry ovens, ovens with rotators and baking spaces big enough for a man  to walk in comfortably.

These handle 7-ft. racks holding dozens of trays of brownie batter or Mickey cookies — the bakery churns out 500-600 Mickey-face cookies a day, 365 days a year.

Off to the side is a specialty climate-controlled chamber that pastry chefs use to make any kind of cake — from a four-year-old’s standard birthday treat, to the most elaborate wedding or banquet cake imaginable.

A special temperature-controlled counter top in the cake room allows bakers to work with all different kinds of materials like fondant or milk chocolate at exactly the right temperature.

Gary Maggetti, the general manager of food and beverage at Disneyland, said that once the Celebrate promotion really ramps up, park goers will be able to call a restaurant in the park and order up a custom cake for any kind of occasion. The order will go to the cake room where bakers will whip it up to specifications post-haste and ship it off to the appropriate restaurant.

All the shipping out of the bakery comes through the opposite end of the “U” to trucks, where it’s distributed out to the park and hotels.

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