By L.A. Williams, Correspondent
Christian Action League
HARRISBURG, Pa. — After four decades of offering a family-friendly atmosphere in the “happiest place on earth,” Disney World is bringing beer and wine to the Magic Kingdom via its French-themed ‘Be Our Guest’ restaurant set to open in November as part of the park’s Fantasyland expansion.
The American Council on Alcohol Problems (ACAP), meeting this week in Harrisburg, passed a resolution decrying the theme park’s decision to allow alcohol in the park most-geared toward young children and asking Disney officials to repeal their “ill-conceived plan.”
“Already there are alcohol sales in EPCOT, Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios,” said the Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League and president elect of ACAP. “Magic Kingdom was the only park where non-drinkers could take their children and know that they wouldn’t have to deal with the problems that alcohol abuse can create. Come November, that alcohol-free haven will be gone unless Disney executives have a change of heart.”
Theme park officials have said there will be no booze “to go” from the new 500-seat restaurant, and that alcohol — mostly French wines at $8 to $17 a glass and three beers from $6.25 to $10 — will be sold only during dinner hours. Even so, many Disney fans point out that the move would not have pleased the park’s founder, Walt Disney, who had adamantly opposed alcohol sales at the resort and had even rejected St. Louis as a theme park location after a Busch executive there insisted anyone would be crazy to open such an attraction and not sell beer.
“Unfortunately, the Disney Corporation is succumbing to a growing trend in theme parks even though Magic Kingdom has been wildly successful without alcohol,” said Dr. Creech, chairman of the Resolutions Committee. “We are glad to see Dollywood, Silver Dollar City and some others retaining their wholesome family atmosphere by remaining alcohol-free.”
The ACAP resolution noted that the more exposure youth have to alcohol ads, the more likely they are to start drinking.
“Seeing alcohol as part of a landscape geared specifically for children and equated with fun is tantamount to kid-focused advertising,” the resolution states.
ACAP has a long history of addressing alcohol policies that present a danger to the health and well-being of the public. This year’s annual meeting, held Sept. 17-19, was hosted by the Rev. and Mrs. Don Wert. Rev. Wert leads Pennsylvanians Concerned about Alcohol Problems (PCAP)
See the American Council on Alcohol’s Resolution against Alcohol Sales at Disney’s Magic Kingdom by click here