Disneyland has, almost since the beginning, been a balance between the old and the new. It contains Main Street U.S.A., an idealized look at America's past, but it also has Tomorrowland, a place designed to look toward the potential future. In the same way, the park itself often finds itself having to make decisions to either uphold traditions, or try new things. Attractions get updated and even replaced and there are always fans who lament the loss of the old, while other's are excited for what's coming next. Another Disneyland tradition is on its way out, as the resort has announced that one of its most popular restaurants, the Blue Bayou, will begin to serve alcohol to guests when it reopens.
The Blue Bayou is perhaps the most iconic dining establishment in Disneyland, as it's located inside another iconic spot, the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction. Diners can watch the boats of the ride begin their journey as they eat their meals. What they couldn't do previously was enjoy that meal with a glass of wine or a beer. That's going to change, however, as a recent announcement by Disney regarding all sorts of new food and drink offerings at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World reveals that when the restaurant reopens, the menu will now include beer, wine, and a hurricane cocktail.
This is the second location inside Disneyland Resort to begin selling alcohol to the general public since the park opened in 1955. Previously the only place to get an adult beverage in the park was inside Club 33, which is only available to members. Walt Disney specifically forbade selling adult beverages as he didn't want the guests overindulging. That prohibition lasted until the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge two years ago, when Oga's Cantina became the first spot to sell alcohol to the public. Because the land itself was brand new, even many Disneyland traditionalists let it slide, but it was clearly an indication of what was to come.
Disney has always been pretty flexible when it came to the "no alcohol" rule in the parks. Disneyland had the rule in place, and so, when Magic Kingdom opened in 1971, a park that Walt Disney had been involved in designing, the rule was kept. However, each subsequent Disney theme park has sold alcohol openly. A few years ago, Magic Kingdom began serving beer and wine in table service restaurants, and that seems to be the model that Disneyland is now following. You still won't be able to walk around Disneyland park with a beer in your hands, but you can have one with a meal.
In all honesty this probably won't upset too many people. This has been the way Magic Kingdom has been functioning for years and it seems to be working out. And the writing was on the wall once alcohol was being sold on Batuu. I'd fully expect that all table service restaurants within Disneyland park fill follow suit before long.
Exactly when this change will take place is unclear. While Disneyland resort will be reopening April 30, it appears based on the announcement that the Blue Bayou will not be reopening on that day, likely because of limited seating requirements due to social distancing. But whenever the Blue Bayou does welcome diners once again, they will be welcomed with a new drink menu. Now hopefully they can also do something to raise the level of the food menu to match.
CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.
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