Disney breaks tradition to serve alcohol

19th September, 2012 by Richard Ross

For the first time in its 41-year history, Disney’s Magic Kingdom theme park is to offer wine and beer for sale – but only with a meal.

The park has had a no-alcohol policy since it opened, but Disney bosses are relaxing the ban for the opening of a new themed French restaurant in the Park, called ‘Be Our Guest’.

Maribeth Bisienere, vice president of food and beverage for Walt Disney Parks told the Orlando Sentinel newspaper: “You cannot walk into a French restaurant and not get a glass of wine or beer. It made more sense to do it than not to do it.”

The ‘Be Our Guest’ restaurant is based on scenes from the Disney film ‘Beauty and the Beast’. Although the restaurant is to be open throughout the day serving ‘French-inspired cuisine’ as a ‘quick-service’ canteen, alcohol will only be served in the evenings when the restaurant becomes a table service venue.

The restaurant’s wine list offers 20 wines from France and California, and four beers from France and Belgium.

Alcohol is already sold in other Disney venues. The Epcot Centre opened an Italian-themed wine bar earlier this year, and pressure from French visitors brought alcohol to restaurants at Eurodisney near Paris.

‘Ratatouille’ wine from Disney Pixar never made it to the shelves

Disney, however, remains cautious about associating its brand with alcohol. A planned wine, linked to the 2007 Disney Pixar film Ratatouille, was pulled from shelves after concerns over use of a cartoon character on the label.

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