Disney World’s flagship park, Magic Kingdom, is unique for many different reasons. Not only is it the first Disney World park, but it has a certain kind of, well, magic that the other three parks don’t seem to have!
If you’ve ever wandered around Magic Kingdom wondering, “Where can I get a beer??” …you’re not alone. In Disney World’s other three parks, throw a rock and you’re likely to hit a location selling alcohol. But NOT Magic Kingdom. It was the only Disney World theme park to NOT serve alcohol — but that is no longer the case! If you haven’t been to Magic Kingdom in the past several years, you may be totally unaware of this change, but it’s true!
Wait…why would this confuse anybody?
When Magic Kingdom opened in 1971, there was no alcohol to be found ANYWHERE in the park. As other theme parks and resorts opened over the past 50 years, Magic Kingdom continued to have the distinction of being the only Disney World park that did not sell alcohol.
WHY no booze? Cause that’s how Walt wanted it. He was quoted by Pete Martin of the Saturday Evening Post back in the 50s as saying, “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.”
Uncle Walt drew a line in the sand that his Disneyland wouldn’t serve alcohol to the public. Period. (The exception being Club 33 which has privately sold alcohol to patrons for decades.) This all changed when Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opened and alcohol was sold at Oga’s Cantina. Disneyland is also preparing to begin serving alcohol at Blue Bayou later this year.
But, at the time Disney World was built, it was still very much “dry” in Disneyland. When Roy, Walt’s brother, established Magic Kingdom in Disney World, he did so upholding his brother’s beliefs. In this case, no booze would be sold in the Magic Kingdom.
In 1982, when EPCOT first opened, it was revealed alcohol WOULD be for sale in Disney World’s second park. Such a huge feature of World Showcase was and still is experiencing other cultures. Food and, for many countries, drink are a key component to that. (Could you imagine an EPCOT International Food and…Food Festival? 😂) The booze was allowed to flow in EPCOT, but the Magic Kingdom would remain dry. In the time since, other Disney World parks have followed suit allowing of-age guests to freely imbibe in public.
So it was well known for a very long time by Disney World regulars that Magic Kingdom was the “dry park” and not the place to go if you were seeking an adult beverage. You had to either hop on the Monorail to one of the resorts, or hop to another park entirely. This policy was in effect for quite some time. Until 2012.
When did Magic Kingdom begin selling alcohol?
When the new Fantasyland expansion took place in Magic Kingdom, it included the grand opening of Be Our Guest Restaurant, a new signature dining experience at Disney World. When the restaurant opened its doors in 2012, it became the first dining location in Magic Kingdom to offer alcoholic drinks on its menu (that’s right, this change has been around for nearly a decade!).
The restaurant offers a more fine dining type of experience, and it didn’t necessarily make sense to not include alcoholic beverages on the menu. If Disney is asking guests to shell out $60+ for a steak dinner, a lot of people would expect the option to pair a glass of wine with their meal! The alcohol offerings were limited to just a small selection of beer and wine.
This change was met with mixed reactions, but Disney was able to introduce alcoholic drinks to the park in a way that didn’t impact the guest experience if you were against these changes. For example, you still cannot purchase alcohol at any counter service or kiosk location like you can in the other theme parks. The ONLY places to experience alcohol in the park are sit-down restaurants. The one exception we’ve seen over the years is that alcoholic drinks are served at select ticketed small events like the Happily Ever After Dessert Party.
As we’ll cover in just a second, the vast majority of the alcoholic beverages Magic Kingdom offers are either beer or wine. There are hardly ANY mixed drinks (we’ll note the exceptions below), and you won’t find any “full” bar options.
Where can you purchase alcohol in Magic Kingdom?
Like we mentioned above, you’ll only be able to order alcoholic beverages at Table Service restaurants in Magic Kingdom. These include:
- Be Our Guest Restaurant (menu includes wine, beer, cider, and champagne)
- Cinderella’s Royal Table (menu includes wine, beer, and champagne)
- Jungle Navigation Co., Ltd. Skipper Canteen (menu includes beer, wine, and a select number of beer or wine-based cocktails, including their house-made Sangria and Jungle Navigation Co. Shandy)
- The Crystal Palace (menu includes beer, cider, wine, and a select number of wine-based cocktails, including their house-made Sangria and Mimosas)
- Liberty Tree Tavern (menu includes beer, cider, wine, and a select number of cocktails, including Shandy, Mimosas, and their house-made Sangria)
- The Plaza Restaurant (menu includes beer and wine)
- Tony’s Town Square Restaurant (menu includes beer wine)
For those of you looking to add an adult drink to your lunch or dinner, don’t forget that you can totally do so at Magic Kingdom! And for those who wish to keep the alcohol as a separate part of your vacation experience, it’s not as “in your face” as it may be in the other parks. Magic Kingdom strikes a good balance, offering both kinds of experiences for its guests!
Disney World knows a thing or two about serving a variety of adult drinks across its theme parks and resorts. While Magic Kingdom has seen several major changes in recent years, it still offers a unique touch of magic that you won’t quite find in the other parks! We’ll continue to bring you the latest coverage from Disney World so you can be prepared for your next vacation!
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What is your favorite Table Service restaurant in Magic Kingdom? Let us know in the comments!