The Orlando Sentinel today confirmed a story that has been floating around for the last few days – four new Magic Kingdom restaurants will begin serving beer and wine on December 23rd. That means Tony’s Town Square Restaurant, Liberty Tree Tavern, Skipper Canteen and Cinderella’s Royal Table will join Be Our Guest Restaurant in serving alcohol to guests dining at those restaurants. As the Sentinel stipulates, no alcoholic beverages will be available to go and there will be no “bar” to speak of.
Magic Kingdom was of course historically “dry” during regular hours before Be Our Guest opened with an extensive beer and wine list back in November/December 2012. At that time, there was some “concern” that alcohol sales would spill out to other restaurants and perhaps even quick service outlets or mobile carts. But regardless of what your stance is on whether or not Disney “should” serve booze based on what Walt Disney may or may not have meant 60 years ago, I think the fact remains that Be Our Guest’s beverage service has not increased the number of drunks rummaging about the Park in any meaningful way. And there really shouldn’t be much concern that adults that would like to enjoy a glass of beer or wine with their meals will stumble out of Tony’s Town Square at 1:30pm and proceed to throw up on Donald Duck while traumatized children cry and angry parents attempt to cover their eyes.
But while you could easily argue that someone consuming two or three drinks over the course of an hour at The Wave or Tambu Lounge and then hopping on the monorail to Magic Kingdom would be more intoxicated than anybody sipping a glass of Veuve at Cinderella’s Royal Table, and because of that, “what’s the big deal,” the fact that Magic Kingdom did not serve alcohol was one of those intangibles that made Disney special. On the other hand, does anybody really turn up Main Street and say to themselves, “So uhhhhhh this is okay but the fact that I can order a Saison Dupont at Be Our Guest Restaurant during dinner hours really kills the mood.”
So personally, I have mixed feelings about this. $8 bottles of beer and $75 bottles of Rosa Regale are not really my thing anyway. And that’s okay. If you choose not to order a drink, I don’t think you’ll really be affected in any meaningful way. Out of all of my visits to Magic Kingdom, I’m not sure I’ve ever really noticed anybody that was visibly intoxicated. And one of my favorite stories of all time was watching a dad chug a Bug Light going over to Magic Kingdom on the ferry boat at 7:45am. Dude knew what he was up against and he was taking proactive measures. You have to respect that.
But with Disney breaking the seal and moving beer and wine to the other table service restaurants, it seems reasonable that in a few years we’ll be talking about what’s on tap at Pecos Bill and whether the cocktail list at Tony’s makes up for the frozen chicken parmigiana. Of course, we will have to cross that bridge when we come to it.
For now, this is obviously positive news for those that wish they could order a glass of wine with their steak. For those that are offended by the very notion, the good news is that it shouldn’t have any sort of appreciable effect on your day. A glass of wine is not going to cause most people to punch Mickey and swear at your kids. And in reality, that glass of wine has been available ten minutes from the gate for 45+ years.
Don’t let me stop you from visiting the Pitchfork Emporium on the way home from work though.