When my wife and I were walking back from EPCOT to Yacht Club, last week, she asked me a very interesting question. Why is the concrete at Walt Disney World not all white or black-topped?
I thought about this for minute and the best answer I could come with was that white concrete would be too bright and reflect too much sunlight. This would lead to many sunburned legs and the need for sunglasses through the parks. Black-topped pavement would be too hot and melt in the Florida Sun. And given that temperatures got above 100 on both Saturday and Sunday during our stay, this is a distinct possibility. Reddish-tinted concrete would not be as hot as black-topped pavement and is dull enough that it wouldn’t reflect light.
My logic seemed sound until I returned home and researched the answer further this afternoon. The concrete is colored because it provides more vivid colors for photographs when light reflects off the colored concrete compared to plain concrete. In the planning stages of the park, Kodak and Disney studied which shades of concrete provide the best colors for pictures. This is best seen in the Magic Kingdom where each land has a different concrete color which defines where one land ends and new land begins.