Disneyland Officially Breaking Walt Disney’s Most Sacred Rule

in Disney Parks, Disneyland Resort

Walt Disney with Mickey Mouses

Credit: D23

Today, the Walt Disney Company has officially brought alcohol to multiple locations of Disneyland Park, breaking one of its founder’s most important rules.

Disneyland
Credit: Disneyland Resort

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Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA, is the park that started it all. Without this theme park, we’d never get Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Paris, or Tokyo DisneySea. Now neighboring Disney California Adventure and Downtown Disney, Disneyland is still the gold standard that every other amusement park must be judged by.

To this day, Disneyland thrives on the vision and legacy of Walt Disney, the creator of Mickey Mouse and the man who made the media empire possible. However, Walt had a very distinct set of rules that he firmly believed in, often at the cost of others. And almost 60 years after his death, the Walt Disney Company decided to go against one of his most important beliefs about Disneyland.

Walt Disney Never Wanted Alcohol at Disneyland

Walt Disney with his Imagineers
Credit: Walt Disney Imagineering

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On September 12, 2023, Disneyland in Southern California officially started carrying alcohol in locations separate from Oga’s Cantina in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and the Blue Bayou by Pirates of the Caribbean. This is a choice that Walt Disney had stringently been against ever since he first had the idea for Disneyland when he took his kids to the rides at Griffith Park.

Because he wanted the park to be a place for children and families, Disney was vehemently against alcohol of any sort entering the park. “No liquor, no beer, nothing,” he famously told the Saturday Evening Post. “Because that brings in a rowdy element. That brings people that we don’t want, and I feel they don’t need it.”

Beauty and the Beast Tavern scene
Credit: Disney

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However, the Walt Disney Company’s opinion on alcohol has definitely changed over the years. It has been introduced at just about every park under the Disney banner, and drinking is even a significant part of the culture surrounding EPCOT, where you can sample drinks from around the world.

Eventually, alcohol even made its way back to Disneyland Resort with Disney California Adventure, which has a beer and wine festival every summer, and Downtown Disney. And don’t even get people started on the various bars and restaurants that serve incredible drinks at Disney Hotels. If you go to the right spots, you can even partake in Walt Disney’s favorite drink: a Scotch Mist. Warning: It’s not for the faint of heart.

A guest standing back to back with Chewbacca at Star Wars Galaxy's Edge
Credit: Disney

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While Disneyland always had drinks at the Blue Bayou and the highly exclusive Club 33, alcohol became more available to the public at Oga’s Cantina in Star Wars: Galaxy Edge. Here, guests can partake in libations based on different areas of a galaxy that is far, far away.

Today, Disneyland has become more alcohol friendly than ever with the announcement of even more restaurants in Disneyland proper that are now serving a wide variety of alcoholic beverages. And while it may not be what Walt Disney wanted, the drinks look absolutely delicious.

All of the New Disneyland Drinking Options

Different drinks found at California Adventure and Oga's Cantina
Credit: Disney

Related: The Ultimate Disneyland Drinking Guide

Disneyland has announced new menu items for three restaurants in the Happiest Place on Earth through the Disney Parks Blog. These include alcoholic beverages that haven’t been seen in the original Disney Park before. The restaurants in question are the River Belle Terrace in Frontierland, Café Orléans in New Orleans Square, and the Carnation Café on Main Street, U.S.A.

Let’s take a closer look to see what precisely these brand-new cocktails, wines, and beers are.

River Belle Terrace

River Belle Terrace sign at Disneyland Park
Credit: Disney

Located in Frontierland, River Belle Terrace is a nice little spot to enjoy some Southern comfort food while taking in the Mark Twain Riverboat. On top of that, adult guests can now enjoy a unique Wildberry Mule.

  • Wildberry Mule: Tito’s Handmade Vodka, blackberry purée, lime, ginger syrup, and blackberries
  • Nielson Wines Chardonnay
  • Meiomi Wines Pinot Noir
  • Modelo Especial Mexican Lager
  • Smog City Brewing’s Sabre-Toothed Squirrel Hoppy American Amber Ale

Café Orléans

Guests sitting outside of Cafe Orleans at Disneyland Park
Credit: Disney

Located on the other side of the Rivers of America, Café Orléans is an inviting sidewalk cafe offering delicious Cajun-Creole style food as well as the Monte Cristo, a decadent ham and cheese sandwich that is believed to have been invented for Disneyland. Now, there are exciting alcohol options to join the sandwich, including a traditional Hurricane.

  • House Hurricane: Pimm’s No. 1 Liqueur, Bacardi Superior Rum, orange juice, strawberry purée, sweet and sour mix, simple syrup, and orange garnish
  • McBride Sisters Chardonnay
  • Mirassou Wines Pinot Noir
  • Karl Strauss Brewing Company Follow the Sun Blonde Ale
  • Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Hazy Little Thing IPA

Carnation Café

Carnation Cafe sign at Disneyland Park.
Credit: Disney

The Carnation Café is one of Disneyland’s earliest dining establishments. Sitting on Main Street, U.S.A., this café will quickly become the ultimate breakfast spot for the park since it offers two types of mimosas and a bloody mary with bacon. On top of that, the Carnation Café is carrying a Peach Pie Margarita, which sounds absolutely incredible.

  • Lavender Mimosa: Chandon California Sparkling Wine and lavender syrup (Breakfast Only)
  • Orange Juice Mimosa: Chandon California Sparkling Wine and orange juice (Breakfast Only)
  • Bloody Mary: Tito’s Homemade Vodka and Cutwater Bloody Mary Mix with a bacon and celery garnish (Breakfast Only)
  • Chandon California Sparkling Wine (Breakfast Only)
  • Peach Pie Margarita: Patron Tequila Silver, peach purée, sweet and sour mix, lime juice, and lime garnish
  • Fess Parker Winery Chardonnay
  • Silver Palm Wines Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Michelob ULTRA Light Lager
  • Golden Road Brewing Ride On 10 Hop Hazy IPA

Is Disneyland Moving Too Far Away From Walt’s Vision?

walt and mickey partners statue looking into sunset guns confiscated header
Credit: Disney

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While certain Disney Adults will be excited about these new alcoholic additions, other Disney fans are understandably more upset. They want Disneyland to remain a place that is built for children and families. Adding alcohol would just make the park a more desirable vacation spot for single adults, partyers, and “people that we don’t want,” to put it into Walt’s own words.

Speaking of Walt, Disney purists are also going to be focused on maintaining his vision for Disneyland, which is understandable. The whole theme park is built on nostalgia, both for guests’ childhoods and Walt Disney’s love for American culture. However, this isn’t the first time the Walt Disney Company has moved away from the beliefs of its founder.

cotton candy
Credit: Disney

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One of the other things Walt never wanted in Disneyland was sugar, specifically gum, cotton candy, and ice cream. In general, he felt it was sticky and difficult to clean up, so he cut it out of the park to save costs. Clearly, this policy has changed because there is more candy, cotton candy, and ice cream than ever before. Can you seriously imagine a Disney trip without Dole Whip?

Everything changes over time, and this includes the wants and needs of guests coming into the Happiest Place on Earth. Walt may have never wanted alcohol, but there is definitely a demand for it nowadays. While Walt Disney’s imagination and vision were the perfect foundation for everything that Disney has become, maybe it’s not the best idea to make all business decisions based on the beliefs of a man who died almost 60 years ago.

What do you think of more alcohol options coming to Disneyland? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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