Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Gaston's Tavern Possible Offerings

When the Fantasy Land expansion was revealed in 2009, the addition of Gaston's Tavern was announced along with the much anticipated Be Our Guest Restaurant.  There is now a good deal of speculation surrounding the tavern and what it will serve when it opens in 2012.  Here are the three options as I see it.  Obviously, it could wind up being a combination of any of the below.

A.  The tavern is simply another quick service eatery with a limited food menu and soft drinks. Pass.  Frankly, I can't seem Disney announcing something like this three years before opening unless it was going to have something a little bit more substantial, but stranger things have happened. 

B.  Disney creates a unique "soft" drink that would rival "butterbeer" served at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal.  What this would wind up being is anyones' guess, but the point would be that Gaston's Tavern is the only place in the World (big W) where you could find "it," making the tavern a destination and a talking point for Magic Kingdom guests. 

C.  Here's the big one.  There is a school of thought that the addition of Gaston's Tavern and the Be Our Guest Restaurant will mark the first time that alcohol will be served in the Magic Kingdom.  Be it a single beer on tap, or a full service bar, this would be a big change and counter to the philosophy of Walt Disney when he built both Disney Land and Magic Kingdom.

I consider myself a Disney purist so any changes in direct contradiction to Walt's vision are met with a healthy degree of skepticism on my part, and my initial reaction was to think "no way does this actually happen."

Whenever I hear people complain about the lack of alcohol in MK, I suggest they take a five minute monorail ride to one of the resorts.  I don't say it to be flip, but I genuinely feel that the solution is so easily remedied that there is no reason to go against the wishes of the man who invented the place. 

That is really my only point for not serving alcohol: nostalgia.

 Believe me, if you peruse enough WDW discussion boards, you see arguments about: not exposing "my" children to drunks, getting puked on when they ride Space Mountain, or not wanting to see people swimming naked in the moat outside Cinderella's Castle.  OK, the last one is made up. My point is, I don't buy most of the other reasons/excuses to avoid serving in the MK.

That said, times are much different now.  Maybe Walt would have long since given up his position (I don't think so but you never know).  Or maybe this is just another example of revenue for DIS getting in the way of the tradition of WDW. 

What do you think?  Comment below or email


  1. I'm going to side with alcohol here. One, if you're worried about child exposure to it, there are 3 other parks where your kids are already exposed. Second, does geography really matter? Drew Bledsoe could throw a football and hit the observation deck at the Contemporary, where alcohol is served, from Wedway. Third, don't people already puke on Space Mountain? Is there a rash of vomit at the Animal Kingdom, where the hooch flows freely, that I'm unaware of?

  2. But Dutch, what about all those drunken vagrants that have loused up Epcot? You know, the ones sleeping on benches in the UK, and bumming for spare change outside of Mission Space? You don’t want to bring that to MK, do you?

    Wait, what’s that? That doesn’t happen?

    Seriously, though, I don’t think that alcohol should/will be served in Magic Kingdom. For me, it’s all about momentum. If you were building MK today, Disney could serve alcohol and no one would care. But because it’s been dry for 41 years now (and longer, if you including Disneyland’s policy to the mix), the act of changing the already-extant policy would harm their reputation, and possibly their bottom line.

    Back to the original question, Gaston’s will be another lame counter service. Maybe they’ll serve something unique, maybe not. What they will do is put Belle up in that bizzotch a few times a day and watch little girls drag their parents (and their wallets) there.