The Prohibition era has almost totally ended at the Magic Kingdom.
Much to its founder’s dismay, every sit-down restaurant in the original Disney World theme park in Orlando is now serving booze.
Actually, we don’t know for sure how Walt Disney would feel. He was very concerned about rowdies boozing it up at his park, but his views might have changed were he still with us at age 116.
Maybe he would order the $9.50 Beso del Sol Sangria at Cinderella’s Royal Table. Until a few days ago, that was one of three alcohol-free restaurants left at the Magic Kingdom.
Then Disney announced that the Plaza Restaurant, the Crystal Palace and Cinderella’s Royal Table would start offering beer and wine. They were the last restaurants where teetotaler families could dine in a booze-free atmosphere.
Somewhere (perhaps under Cinderella Castle) the man who started it all is doing 360s.
“No liquor, no beer, nothing. Because that brings in a rowdy element. That brings people that we don’t want, and I feel they don’t need it.”
That’s what he told the Saturday Evening Post in 1956, a year after Disneyland opened.
Times have changed, of course. When Disneyland opened, an admission ticket cost $1 and the most expensive ride required a 30-cent ticket.
Now it costs $129 to get into Disney World’s Magic Kingdom for a day.
Walt Disney might have changed with the times and raised a toast to the latest booze news. It’s really a symbolic retreat from his original vision.
Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., still does not offer alcohol to the general public. But Orlando’s Walt Disney World parks Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Epcot have long offered booze.
The Magic Kingdom, however, was Walt’s baby. When it opened in 1971, there was a strict no-alcohol policy.
It remained that way until 2012, when the Be Our Guest restaurant opened. For the first time, guests could open a menu and order some hooch.
Four more Magic Kingdom restaurants started serving alcohol in 2016. Disney said it was responding to the requests of guests, none of whom was named Walt Disney.
Quick-service restaurants in the Magic Kingdom still do not serve alcohol. But the final three restaurants that adhered to Disney’s 1956-era vision are gone.
The Magic Kingdom is now a place where dreams come true — at least if you dream of having a mimosa with any meal.