Alcohol in Amusement Parks

Most amusement parks sell alcohol.

If you're wondering whether they sell alcohol in amusement parks, the answer depends on which amusement park you plan to attend. Some amusement parks do not serve any alcohol at all, while others do. The decision depends on the specific individual preferences of the theme park. There is no universal regulation regarding alcohol and amusement parks. That being said, the vast majority of theme parks do allow alcohol.

Reasons Amusement Parks Sell Alcohol

Money is the main reason theme parks decide to sell alcohol. Alcohol is widely accepted in contemporary society, and the profits, especially at theme parks, can be enormous. For example, a six dollar bottle of wine can be divided into six glasses, sold for six dollars each. With soaring gas prices affecting overall attendance, theme parks are looking for new ways to increase revenue and margins. Alcohol is an easy way for theme parks to make a lot of money.

A survey of 165 tourist attractions in the United States was conducted between 2000 and 2005 by International Theme Park Services. The results showed the growing trend of alcohol being permitted in amusement parks. Forty-five percent of the attractions either began serving alcohol during this time, or expanded the number of places in the park where alcohol is permitted.

Parks that Serve Alcohol

  • Florida Aquarium in Tampa
  • Busch Gardens
  • Discovery Cove
  • Canada's Wonderland
  • MGM Studios
  • Animal Kingdom
  • Epcot Center
  • California Adventure
  • Sea World Aquatica
  • Sea World San Diego
  • Universal Studios
  • Six Flags

Parks that Do Not Serve Alcohol

Walt Disney made it clear that he did not want his parks to serve alcohol. He felt that alcohol was not needed for families to enjoy themselves. Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom and Disney World have honored Walt Disney's wishes by not offering alcohol. However, there are some other Disney theme parks which do allow alcohol.

Arguments for Banning Alcohol in Amusement Parks

Many people believe that alcohol should not be offered at family attractions. Watchdog groups believe that alcohol can interfere with family interactions. These groups argue that children who are exposed to alcohol are more likely to have a drinking problem when they grow older. Drunk driving is also a concern. Many parks such as Six Flags claim that inebriated individuals will be removed from the park. Yet enforcement of this regulation is very difficult. The fact that alcoholic beverages are so exorbitantly expensive in most parks does help to eliminate the number of inebriated individuals.

Bring Your Own Beer

Guests are not allowed to bring in any outside alcoholic beverages. Most parks also forbid admission to people who appear to be inebriated. Parks reserve the right to refuse service or admission to anyone. Outside nonalcoholic drinks and food are also usually not permitted into the park.

Summary

Alcohol is found in the vast majority of theme parks. If you are looking for a park that does not serve any alcohol, try Disneyland in California, or Walt Disney World in Orlando. There are usually designated areas where you will be able to find alcohol in theme parks. Even though alcohol is permitted in the park, often times it is only served in certain venues, so if you want to stay away from alcohol you can refrain from entering these venues. Other amusement parks have more liberal liquor laws and allow guests to walk around the park holding a beverage. Finding alcohol in amusement parks is easier than being able to select a park without alcohol. Though Disney stands by the wishes of Walt Disney, they lose millions and millions of dollars by banning alcohol. Though Disney is willing to take such a large hit in revenue, most other theme parks are not. In fact, without alcohol sales, many amusement parks might not be able to stay in business. Alcohol sales is big business, and theme parks will continue to provide the drinks that customers desire for the enormous profit they provide to the park.

Alcohol in Amusement Parks