Niles: What would Walt Disney think of bars at Disneyland?

Was anyone surprised when Disneyland announced that it would expand alcohol sales in the park? Disneyland famously was a dry park for its first 64 years, until Oga’s Cantina in Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge started serving beer and cocktails when it opened in May 2019. Once that precedent had been set, many fans wondered how long Disney would take to start serving adult beverages elsewhere in the park.

Not long, it appears. The Blue Bayou in New Orleans Square will put beer, wine and a Hurricane cocktail on its menu when it starts welcoming guests again. Though the park returns April 30, Disneyland has not yet announced a date for the indoor Blue Bayou to reopen.

An outer space bar fit perfectly with Star Wars and serving drinks in New Orleans Square won’t be as out of place as not serving drinks there for more than 50 years has been. New Orleans is the only city I’ve ever visited where doormen throw people into the bars. Having a New Orleans Square without alcohol is like building a Star Wars land and leaving out Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader.

Oh wait, that’s a bad example, isn’t it?

The few Disney fans whom I have heard complain about booze in the Bayou all have name-checked Walt in their argument. Walt did not want drunks in his park, and I will agree that pretty much every current Disneyland fan feels the same way.

But Disney has developed a far more a more effective way of keeping drunks out than not selling alcohol. I am sure that Disneyland will price — and mix —its Hurricane cocktails so that your bank account gets hammered long before you do. And if Scrooge McDuck is picking up your tab, Disney’s cast members will work their magic to make you disappear if you can’t act responsibly. It’s a strategy that has worked for Disney at California Adventure next door, not to mention the four Walt Disney World theme parks in Florida, all of which serve alcohol — even Disneyland’s sibling, the Magic Kingdom.

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It’s proper for the people who run Disney Parks to be inspired by the company’s founder, but it’s folly to try to mimic him. You can’t finish first by following others — even the late, great Walter Elias Disney.

Walt Disney didn’t revolutionize the …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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