Walt’s Blue Law had been in effect since the park opened, and stayed that way until 2012, when ONE restaurant offered beer.
Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom theme park will now serve alcohol at all of its restaurants, effectively ending a four-decade “dry law” that had been in place since opening day, and only loosened up a tiny bit in 2012.
As The Daily Meal reports, “Walt’s Blue Law” had been in effect in all of Walt Disney World since the first paying guests stepped through the gates in 1971. That law had been amended incrementally as other theme parks opened (more on that in a few paragraphs), but the resort’s flagship park, the Magic Kingdom, had been bone dry until 2012, when the Be Our Guest restaurant opened with beer on the menu.
Now, the Kingdom’s other table-service restaurants will loosen up the taps.
Specifically, the Crystal Palace, which hosts a Winnie the Pooh and Friends character buffet, will offer beer, cider, wine, and a specialty cocktail: a mimosa made with Domaine Ste. Michelle champagne. The Plaza Restaurant will offer a similar selection of beer & wine, plus their own specialty cocktail: a sangria made with Kenwood Sauvignon Blanc, pineapple juice, spice, and fruit.
According to the Disney Food Blog, the planned expansion of the Magic Kingdom’s previously-limited alcohol offerings coincides with some tweaks and changes to the Disney Dining Plan.
Have you dined w/ The Beast at Disney World’s Be Our Guest Restaurant? Candy nearly fainted ? https://t.co/Bq2hIPUb9I #BeautyandtheBeast pic.twitter.com/rVpCACJF9x
— Travel Pockets (@TravelPockets) May 16, 2018
The Magic Kingdom joins Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom as now being fully, er, “wet.”
Wait, Why Was The Magic Kingdom Dry For 40 Years?
You can thank Walt Disney himself for this. Many of the ideas that informed the development of Disneyland, back in the 1950’s, came from Walt’s desire to make the park not be like the decrepit county fairs and city parks that he loathed taking daughters to. Keeping alcohol – and drunks – out of the park was one of his ways of keeping things family-friendly.
After Walt’s death, his brother, Roy, kept Walt’s Blue Law in effect for Walt Disney World when it opened in 1971. The Magic Kingdom, the only park in operation at the time, was bone dry.
But You Could Drink Booze At Other Disneyworld Theme Parks, Right?
When Epcot, with its international pavilions being the focal point of World Showcase, became a thing, keeping the park dry wasn’t an option. After all, what’s a visit to the United Kingdom without a pint? What’s a visit to France without a glass of wine?
Disney-MGM Studios (now Disney’s Hollywood Studios) and Animal Kingdom followed, having alcohol on at least some of their menus since opening day.
The Magic Kingdom, however, remained the park of choice for teetotalers – that is, until 2012.
What Happened In 2012?
In a word (two of them, actually): Fantasyland expansion. When the aging and stale section of the Magic Kingdom was revamped and grown, the land’s flagship restaurant was to be the Beauty and the Beast-themed Be Our Guest restaurant. And without much hullabaloo, beer was placed on the menu.
So Will Alcohol Ruin The Magic Kingdom?
Probably not. Epcot has been a thing for going on 37 years now, and while the occasional guest has a few too many, Disney’s security apparatus is so efficient that drunks are dealt with and moved out of sight so quickly that most guests fail to take notice. The same holds true at the two other “wet” theme parks, and at Disneyand’s two parks, so clearly alcohol and Disney aren’t a toxic mix.
And as of this writing, there are no reports out of Forest Lawn Cemetery in L.A. of Walt Disney rolling in his grave.
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