Disney has a Drinking Problem

 

UPDATE December 16, 2016

The Orlando Sentinel has confirmed that beer and wine will now be served at almost all of Magic Kingdom’s table service restaurants!

These four restaurants join Be Our Guest, which began servicing beer and wine in 2012. Here is the original blog post from 2012.

 

I knew it was inevitable.  Sure enough, today there was an explosion on the blogosphere and Twitterscape. Magic Kingdom’s  Be Our Guest restaurant will serve beer and wine, making it the first time alcohol is available at Magic Kingdom. At first I was godsmacked, my jaw nearly hit the floor. However, after reading posts from Disney bloggers around the world my mind changed.

A lot of buzz about getting buzzed…
Alcohol is nothing new to Walt Disney World, but Magic Kingdom has always been the dry county of this vacation kingdom. I have always believed that it should stay that way, but today I was convinced otherwise. The great news about Be Our Guest restaurant serving beer and wine is that it is done with taste. The Be Our Guest restaurant in Magic Kingdom will offer a dining experience unlike anything else ever done at Magic Kingdom. Gourmet meals and pure culinary delights will tempt the palette of the park guests. What’s a French gourmet meal without wonderful wine or beer to pair with?

Inside Be Our Guest Restaurant (Source:thedisneyblog.com)

What settled it for me and put me at ease is that the beer and wine will not be available to go. One must enjoy it with their meal and they will not be permitted to bring the beer or wine with them around the park a la Epcot style. This is why Gaston’s Tavern does not serve alcohol, it is a quick-service location… let’s see how long that lasts. In addition, the selection is quite high class.  Check out the beer and wine menu for Be Our Guest restaurant here (thank you partythroughtheparks.com).

Why now?

One might wonder why Disney would make such a decision after 41 years of “prohibition”.  Disney has said that guests will want a nice wine to go with their French meal. The new Fantasyland opening is a big deal and all the buzz about MK finally having alcohol adds to it.  Another answer, in my opinion, is revenue. They may not be able to match Universal’s money making butterbeer (which is non-alcoholic), but they can offer a fine dining, and drinking experience that will rake in the bucks. Anyone who’s ever worked in a restaurant knows that alcohol is a high margin product, a lot of profit is made. I’ve heard many complaints from park visitors about the high prices of alcohol in the parks. There are two main reasons that the parks charge such a high price for alcohol.

1) to make money (which does not bother me, the whole point of running a theme park is to make money) and 2) to attempt to drive consumer behavior.  In theory, if it costs a lot of money to drink people will not be able to afford overindulging. However, as seen many, many times in Epcot’s World Showcase this is not always the case.

All in Good Taste

Don’t get me wrong, drinking in a theme park is not bad.  I certainly love the experience. When you turn 21 in Orlando it is practically a rite of passage that you celebrate in a theme park with alcohol; how gratifying it is to finally be of legal drinking age and able to enjoy an adult beverage or two in a place that you went to as a child.  What is important to me is that it is done with taste, class, and most of all with the theme.  So far, that is what is being done at Be Our Guest.  I just hope that after a while of everyone being their guest and putting their service to the test, that the alcohol does not spread to the rest…. of the park that it is.

What are your thoughts?

P.S. – As a thank you for reading… here is a promo I found that you can use at Epcot for a free margarita. (Promo ends 9/27/12).

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6 thoughts on “Disney has a Drinking Problem

  1. Well written thoughts. As you have stated, the way in which it is carried out – I’m not bothered at all. I could see the same think taking shape at the Blue Bayou at Pirates of the Caribbean here on the west coast. I can’t help thinking how nice it would be to have that glass of wine while dining in perpetual twilight as boats float by.

    Definitely not an advocate of beer ODV carts or anything like this – to me, it’s a huge contributing factor of my personal problems with Sea World – but in the right setting, I have nowhere as near a problem with it.

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