WW GOES TO WDW at Yesterland.com Places Not to Drink
at the
Magic Kingdom

In the tradition of the original Disneyland, the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World does not serve alcohol—not even beer and wine—to the general public during normal operating hours. But there are plenty of places not to drink alcohol there—even though they appear to be drinking spots or they suggest alcohol in one way or another.

So, in this article, we’re taking a tour of the Magic Kingdom to look for good places not to drink alcohol.

Werner Weiss, Curator of Yesterland, March 18, 2011


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Liberty Tree Tavern in Liberty Square

Let’s start with the definition of tavern. The dictionary defines it as “an establishment for the sale of beer and other drinks to be consumed on the premises, sometimes also serving food.”

The Magic Kingdom has always had one or more taverns. The Liberty Tree Tavern in Liberty Square has been there since the park opened in 1971. Inside, it’s decorated with drinking vessels of the Revolutionary War period—such as pewter tankards that look like the one that brewer and patriot Sam Adams holds on beer labels.

So, the next time you don’t want a beer at the Magic Kingdom, consider Liberty Tree Tavern.

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Hook’s Tavern sign

There was also the Troubadour Tavern in Fantasyland, which become Hook’s Tavern in 1993.

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FASTPASS for Peter Pan’s Flight

The former site of Hook’s Tavern is now the FASTPASS distribution area for Peter Pan’s Flight—complete with the recycled Tick-Tock the Crocodile. Because it’s no longer a tavern, you’ll have to find someplace else not to have drink.

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Tortuga Tavern in Adventureland

The Magic Kingdom has new tavern for when you don’t want a beer. In early 2011, Tortuga Tavern replaced El Pirata y el Perico Restaurante. Do you remember Isla Tortuga in the Pirates Of The Caribbean movies? Those pirates weren’t drinking Dasani Water or Diet Coke.

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Inside Tortuga Tavern

A sign inside proclaims this to be a “Publick House.” That’s the old British term for a tavern. So this could be a good place not to drink English ale.

Perhaps you prefer not drinking something stronger than beer. If you think about the pirate clientele of Tortuga Tavern, rum comes to mind.

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Yo ho ho and a barrel of rum in Adventureland

Do you remember the scene in the second movie when Captain Jack Sparrow, holding his empty rum bottle, asks, “Why is the rum always gone?”

Well, the rum isn’t gone at the Caribbean Plaza stage in Adventureland. There are two large barrels of this intoxicating product that’s made from sugar cane. The reason the rum’s not gone is that this is the Magic Kingdom—so nobody drinks it.

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Rum in the Swiss Family Treehouse

Nearby, at the Swiss Family Treehouse, Father Robinson keeps a barrel of rum on the floor of the elevated dining room of his arboreal home.

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Brandy in the Swiss Family Treehouse

If you look up to a high beam in the same room, you’ll see where Father keeps his brandy. The rum and brandy have been there for almost 40 years, so the Swiss Family isn’t drinking it. Their treehouse is a delightful place not to drink rum or brandy.

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Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Café

So far, you haven’t had a drink of beer, rum, or brandy. But let’s say you prefer whiskey when you don’t want a drink. What better place not to down some of this distilled spirit from malted grains than at a saloon in the Old West of Frontierland? The sign above the door says “Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Café,” but the sign at the top of the building says “saloon.”

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A whiskey flask behind glass at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Café

Inside the saloon, you’ll find bottles that appear to be whiskey. But they’re on the wall, behind glass. That’s okay. Remember, you’re looking for places not to drink.

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Gallon jug of whiskey in Frontier Mercantile

Still thinking about whiskey? Then head to another Frontierland establishment, Frontier Mercantile. Among the many items there, you’ll find a gallon jug of Phil G. Kelly Straight Whiskey from Richmond, Virginia.

However, because this is the Magic Kingdom, you can’t buy it and drink it.

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Whiskey jugs in the Country Bear Jamboree

Well, perhaps you could buy it if you were ursine rather than human. It appears that at least one Country Bear Jamboree performer has been shopping at Frontier Mercantile.

The Five Bear Rugs—Zeke, Zeb, Ted, Fred, and bear named Tennessee—use gallon jugs of whiskey in their act. Ted’s musical instrument carrier contains an open jug and one with a stopper in it. He also uses one as a musical instrument. Perhaps he can adjust the pitch by drinking some of the contents until he has just the right sound.

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“Tears will be the chaser for my wine.”

Ted isn’t the only County Bear with a fondness for alcohol. Trixie sings “Tears will be the chaser for my wine,” while holding (and carefully not spilling) her glass of rosé.

The Country Bear Jamboree is a show, not a bar. But it used to exit into the Mile Long Bar next door. Alas, that bar is now gone.

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Tony’s Town Square Café

Speaking of wine, Italian restaurants and Italian wines are inseparable. Tony’s Town Square Café is no exception. The decor even includes the fat, round bottles associated with Chianti in years gone by, along with tall, tinted Italian wine glasses on the same shelf.

May I suggest not ordering a bottle of Chianti Classico Riserva to pair with Tony’s Lasagna?

Now let’s head over to Tomorrowland.

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MIDORI cocktails along the exit path from Space Mountain?

After you survive Space Mountain, it’s the perfect time not to enjoy another drink. As you stand or walk on the moving sidewalk on your way to the exit through the Tomorrowland Arcade, a robot butler waits for you, holding a tray with two bright green drinks. What beverages are that color? They must be MIDORI cocktails, made with the honeydew melon-flavored liqueur.

Tomorrowland represents a fantasy future, but what about the real future of the Magic Kingdom?

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Gaston’s fountain in the New Fantasyland

The future involves a New Fantasyland, now under construction. One part of this spectacular addition will be yet another tavern—Gaston’s Tavern. A fountain near the tavern includes Gaston’s lackey Lefou with two beer mugs, while barrels around the fountain and one held under Gaston’s massive arm spew streams of water—or perhaps that’s not just water?

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Inside Gaston’s Tavern

The publicity art for Gaston’s Tavern shows Mom and Dad with beer mugs containing brown or amber contents with foamy white heads. Gaston’s Tavern looks like the perfect place not to drink beer—except possibly of the “root” variety.

That about covers it. Whether you don’t want beer, whiskey, rum, brandy, wine, or even fancy green cocktails, there’s no shortage of places not to drink at the Magic Kingdom.

 

The policy of not selling alcohol to the general public goes back to when Disneyland opened in 1955. When the Magic Kingdom opened in 1971, it had the same policy. The four American Disney parks that followed not only sell beer and wine with meals; they have full bars and kiosks selling various kinds of adult beverages. Guests can wander all over World Showcase at Epcot with jumbo mugs of beer—and when their mugs are empty, another opportunity to buy beer is always nearby.

Guests who inquire about the Magic Kingdom alcohol policy are told that Walt Disney World strives to maintain a family atmosphere at the Magic Kingdom, and that’s why they’re staying with “Walt Disney’s vision.”

It doesn’t bother me that the two American Disney parks with castles in the middle are dry. Okay, it would be nice to be able to order wine at table service restaurants such as Tony’s Town Square Café. I’ve only had dinner there once. I ordered a soft drink. The waiter said it was from the “Barq’s vineyard” and had “a fine root finish.”

I’m just surprised that Disney management is willing to leave so much money on the table when they’re trying to earn as much profit as possible from everything else—and when so many other things are done differently than when Walt Disney was alive.

 

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© 2011 Werner Weiss — Disclaimers, Copyright, and Trademarks

Updated March 18, 2011.

Photograph of Hook’s Tavern sign: Allen Huffman, 1996.
Photograph of FASTPASS distribution location for Peter Pan’s Flight: Allen Huffman, 2007.
All other photographs at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in this article: Werner Weiss, February 2011.
New Fantasyland renderings © Disney.
 
Sincere thanks to Allen Huffman for the idea for this article!