Alcohol can be a touchy subject at the best of times, but when it comes to theme parks - should they serve it at all?
This week saw the news that the new Be Our Guest restaurant at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom will be the first at the park to serve alcohol. It may come as quite a surprise to many theme park-goers that this has caused such a stir, given that nearby Epcot already serves beer and wine in many of the bars and restaurants in its World Showcase area.
But what are the potential pros and cons of serving alcohol at a theme park? Many people enjoy a beer or glass of wine with a meal at lunch or dinner time, and for those that drink responsibly having a couple of drinks at a theme park is surely not a problem. At parks that stay open until 10pm or later, offering alcohol alongside dinner could almost be seen as a commercial necessity.
Being at a theme park, though, is obviously not the same as being on a night out at a restaurant or pub. Guests are primarily there to take advantage of the rides and attractions that are on offer.
The big question over alcohol has surely got to be around safety. Theme park visitors need to be able to take responsibility for themselves and, often, for others. Having groups of drunk guests queuing or riding on an attraction could potentially put their safety and that of others in jeopardy.
Given the poor quality of public transport links to many theme parks (though clearly not those at Walt Disney World), drink-driving could also be an issue. As with any drinking venue, though, the responsibility here surely lies with guests not to get behind the wheel if they are not fit to do so.
Does alcohol have a place in theme parks? Let us know what you think by voting in our poll below.
Should theme parks serve alcohol?
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