When Disneyland first opened in 1955, it was “dry” – no alcohol was served. When Walt Disney World opened 16 years later, it was also an alcohol-free park. However, that’s all changed over the years.
Club 33, an exclusive, members-only restaurant at Disneyland (most regular guests would never have access to it, due to membership requirements), has sold beer, wine and hard liquor since it opened in the 1960s. The story goes that Walt was against the idea of selling booze in any part of his park, but it was easier to sell memberships if alcohol was available at the restaurant. Similarly, Walt Disney World has served alcohol at select hard ticket events (special events that are held outside of regular operating hours and for which you have to buy a special ticket to attend) for decades. For example, when we had dinner inside the Haunted Mansion in 2002, a hard ticket event offered by Disney’s Dining Experience (now Tables In Wonderland), wine was available before and during the dinner.
Other U.S.-based Disney parks, such as Epcot, Disney’s California Adventure, etc., have sold alcohol since their respective opening days. However, the “Magic Kingdom” parks didn’t for a long, long time. But now they do. Here’s more about it…
The list of the most popular theme and amusement parks in 2018 was recently released by the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA), which is an international non-profit association representing the world’s leading creators, developers, designers and producers of compelling places and experiences, worldwide. Their 1,600 members are designers, producers, consultants, vendors/supplies, developers, owners/operators etc., in/for theme parks, water parks, museums, zoos, corporate visitor centers, casinos, restaurants, branded experiences, multimedia spectaculars, retail spaces, resorts and hospitality, destination attractions and more.
But we’re just going to talk about theme parks today, since the13th annual TEA/AECOM 2018 Theme Index and Museum Index: The Global Attractions Attendance Report was just released. I think you’ll see that some of the results are pretty “same old, same old” (spoilers: Disney parks), but others give a good idea of theme parks and other attractions you might want to visit in the future, if they’re that popular and well attended.
In spring 2019, the Walt Disney Company announced that effective May 1, 2019, there would be size limitations on strollers that could enter the parks and that stroller wagons were being added to the list of items with wheels (i.e. skateboards, scooters, inline skates, shoes with built-in wheels, pull wagons, and wheeled mobility devices with less than 3 wheels, among others) that could no longer be brought into the park. It was said to have been done in an effort to alleviate stroller congestion and improve park traffic flow.
From WDW’s website (Disneyland has a similar page on their website):
Why are you reducing the size of strollers and prohibiting wagons in your theme parks and water parks?
Walt Disney World Resort makes updates from time to time, and the reduction of stroller sizes is intended to ease guest flow and reduce congestion, making the park experience more enjoyable for everyone who visits. Many strollers, including many double jogging strollers, fit within these guidelines.
Are stroller-wagons permitted?
Stroller wagons, whether pushed or pulled, will not be permitted at any theme park or water park or at indoor venues at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
What if my stroller is larger than the size allowed?
Strollers are available for rent at the parks. Guests who have additional questions on the stroller policy may visit Guest Relations for more information.
How do I ensure my stroller falls within the size guidelines?
Strollers should be no larger than 31” (79 cm) wide and 52” (132cm) long when measured across the widest and longest points.
To ensure that their guests understand the new rules, Disneyland and Walt Disney World both placed size check locations outside each of their respective parks…
…but that doesn’t do you a whole lot of good if you bring your stroller from home and it turns out to not fit. So lots of future Disney guests are (hopefully) measuring their strollers before they take them to Disney.
Visiting Disneyland or Walt Disney World is expensive. More and more people say it’s too expensive. However there are ways you can have a Disney vacation and not necessarily break the bank…or at least not break it too badly. Here are some suggestions…
Fun Fact: Both Walt Disney World (WDW) and Disneyland (DL) have no fly zones over their respective properties. How and why that came to be, and exactly what/where the no fly zones have entailed in the past versus today (especially at WDW – theirs is not exactly the same as DL’s) is a very interesting piece of Disney theme park history…