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The Magic Kingdom Is Expanding Alcohol Sales


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From its inception, nearly 50 years ago, the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney Worlddid not serve alcohol. However, back in 2012 that changed, and now the places where the park serves alcohol have been expanded. When the high end Be Our Guest restaurant opened in 2012 it was the first location inside the Magic Kingdom to serve adult beverages. Then in 2016, four more table service locations in the park began to serve beer and wine. Now, the two remaining table service locations at the Magic Kingdom now serve some sort of alcohol.

The two brand new locations are The Crystal Palace and The Plaza Restaurant, and, along with Be Our Guest, they join Tony's Town Square, Cinderella's Royal Table, Skipper Canteen, and Liberty Tree Tavern. Each location serves drinks that match the aesthetic of the restaurant, so Tony's Town Square, which serves Italian food, offers Italian beers and wines to go with it. According to The Disney Food Blog, both of the brand new locations will be serving a similar menu of beer and wine, though the Crystal Palace will also offer mimosas, and the Plaza Restaurant will offer sangria.

The inclusion of alcohol has always been a touchy subject for Disney Park purists, as Walt Disney himself always wanted his parks to be alcohol-free. Disneyland in California and the Magic Kingdom in Florida abided by that rule when they were built, but when Epcot opened in 1982, the park, which was half dedicated to a World Showcase, spotlighting other nations of the world, decided to include alcohol from those places as well. Disneyland Paris became the first Magic Kingdom-like park to serve alcohol because it was France and the French would likely riot if wine wasn't available with dinner.

The fact that alcohol is expanding at the Magic Kingdom is clearly an indication that the policy of limiting drinks to restaurants is working. Alcohol is obviously a huge moneymaker for the parks, but that income would be negated if the Magic Kingdom was having significant issues with people who went overboard. It seems like a solid compromise. People who want a glass of wine or beer with dinner can have it, but the people wandering the park don't have to deal with it.

I've recently argued that this restaurant-only policy should make its way to Disneyland, the only remaining park in the U.S. where the general public can't have a glass of wine. If it works well enough at the Magic Kingdom to offer it at every restaurant, it's unlikely that Disneyland would see significant issues overall.

Since this change is simply the expansion of an existing policy, it likely won't see a significant backlash. Of course, any expansion from here, which you have to assume somebody somewhere is considering, would mean bringing alcohol into the main areas of the park. If that happens down the road, you can be sure some people will have a problem.

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