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Disneyland to serve alcohol to general public for first time

After more than 60 years of teetotal fun, Disney...

Posted: Aug 31, 2018 5:18 PM
Updated: Aug 31, 2018 5:18 PM

After more than 60 years of teetotal fun, Disneyland Resort in California will begin serving alcohol to the general public in 2019.

It's a watershed travel moment -- right now if you fancy a beer between roller coaster rides, your only choice is to bag an invite to the enigmatic and private Club 33 in New Orleans Square.

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But thanks to the hotly anticipated "Star Wars: Galaxy Edge" -- due to open next year -- any Disney adult visitor who wishes it can drink in new hot spot Oga's Cantina.

"Visitors come to this notorious local watering hole to unwind, conduct shady business and maybe even encounter a friend -- or a foe," says Scott Trowbridge, portfolio creative executive at Walt Disney Imagineering, in a statement.

Feel the force

Star Wars fans have been waiting with baited breath for the opening of Galaxy Edge since 2015. Last August, Disney announced this immersive land will be home to a "Star Wars"-themed hotel in the Florida outpost, which will allow guests to go on their own adventures and live the life of a resistance fighter.

The addition of the cantina will seal the deal for many fans, especially after they're read the tantalizing description of what to expect.

"You never know when a stormtrooper or a familiar face will show up," hints Trowbridge. "Patrons of the cantina come from across the galaxy to sample the famous concoctions created with exotic ingredients using "otherworldly" methods, served in unique vessels. With choices for kids and libations for adults, the cantina will make for a great stop!"

The bar is named after Oga, a new face in the Star Wars universe, described as "an intriguing alien proprietor."

Music will be supplied by RX-24 -- the pilot Disney fans will know from the much-loved "Star Tours" ride.

Mixed reactions

However, as Disney has traditionally been alcohol-free (aside from the hotels, Downtown Disney and Disney California Adventure) adding a bar to the parks is a watershed moment.

When he envisaged the park, Walt Disney wanted a wholesome, child-friendly experience without the addition of alcohol, so this historic change has prompted mixed reactions on social media:

"I hate alcohol. I love Disney Parks," wrote one Twitter user.

"Historically Disney Parks have kept alcohol under control but in recent years it's getting worse.

The last thing I want to see is some drunk a**hole stumbling around The Magic Kingdom."

But some Disney fans embraced the change.

"I tend to be a pretty hardline traditionalist when it comes to Disneyland, but alcohol sales were inevitable and, frankly, long overdue," wrote another user.

"It's 2018 and the way we, as a culture, interact with alcohol is wildly different from 1955. Walt also didn't want CMs [Cast Members] to have beards."

The decision isn't without precedent -- across the pond at Disneyland Paris, alcohol is regularly available. The decision was taken back in 1993, with officials arguing "Visitors from Germany or England want wine because it's part of the French experience."

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