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  1. #1

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    Wink Walt's opinion on......

    (I hope I'm not pissing off the mods, since the last thread about alcohol was recently closed, but I asked an honest question and would like an honest answer!)


    It's often brought up in alcohol related threads here that Walt didn't want alcohol in the park, akin to something about keeping it family friendly. (Example)

    My question....is there an actual quote published somewhere? Is there a citable source for this claim? Where did this information come from?


    This post isn't meant to open another discussion on whether alcohol belongs in the parks, so please don't get this thread shut down. I'm genuinely curious. Thanks for any help!

  2. #2

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    Re: Walt's opinion on......

    I wish to know as well. Unless there is a creditable source, I'll just assume it's something made up by the anti-alcohol brigade.

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    Re: Walt's opinion on......

    I have nothing to add, other than the fact that Walt's "wants" and "wishes" are actually brought up all the time when discussing many issues about the parks.

    It would be interesting to see/hear what exactly he did ​say/think/write.

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    Re: Walt's opinion on......

    All I know is Walt liked to Drink. Doesn't answer your question but he was not a prude.

  5. #5

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    Re: Walt's opinion on......

    Walt certainly drank, himself....but the whole purpose of Disneyland, to him, was to create a "better than reality" experience where the whole family could have fun together. In the creation of the park, he oversaw all details, according to many sources...right down to deciding there would be sponsorships both by Coke and Pepsi within the boundaries, the height of fences, and when time ran out, if they should build bathrooms or drinking fountains for opening day.

    Quoted from the biography of Walt by Neil Gabler: "Publisher Walter Annenberg, after visiting the park, said that if he were forced to reduce it to a 'single descriptive statement, I would say wholesomeness.'.

    In short...there is no definitive statement of Walt going on record specifically saying no liquor in Disneyland. However, he and his teams searched and visited many places...Coney Island, county fairs, overseas parks like Tivoli, where they certainly did serve alcohol. The proof is in the execution: Walt micromanaged Disneyland and loved the place as his private retreat and playground. When it opened, it didn't serve alcohol, and it was the only park he ever personally saw or set foot in with his name on it.

    Therefore, just like the rest of the park, this was a deliberate decision not to serve or sell beer (apart from in the private Club 33, which he did help plan well after opening). This is not a "revisionist spin" or anti-alcohol concoction (I like a drink myself), but simply a case of the facts supporting that he didn't want it in his park, just like he didn't want any number of other "common" things he saw elsewhere. All the parks that serve alcoholic beverages publically today in the Disney brand opened after Walt's death, and the Disneyland-style park in Florida very decidedly does not, which was the decision of Walt's brother Roy and others he worked closely with during his life.
    Last edited by RegionsBeyond; 12-20-2011 at 04:31 PM.

  6. #6

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    Re: Walt's opinion on......

    Quote Originally Posted by RegionsBeyond View Post
    Walt certainly drank, himself....but the whole purpose of Disneyland, to him, was to create a "better than reality" experience where the whole family could have fun together. In the creation of the park, he oversaw all details, according to many sources...right down to deciding there would be sponsorships both by Coke and Pepsi within the boundaries, the height of fences, and when time ran out, if they should build bathrooms or drinking fountains for opening day.

    Quoted from the biography of Walt by Neil Gabler: "Publisher Walter Annenberg, after visiting the park, said that if he were forced to reduce it to a 'single descriptive statement, I would say wholesomeness.'.

    In short...there is no definitive statement of Walt going on record specifically saying no liquor in Disneyland. However, he and his teams and searched and visited many places...Coney Island, county fairs, overseas parks like Tivoli, where they certainly did serve alcohol. The proof is in the execution: Walt micromanaged Disneyland and loved the place as his private retreat and playground. When it opened, it didn't serve alcohol, and it was the only park he ever personally saw or set foot in with his name on it.

    Therefore, just like the rest of the park, this was a deliberate decision not to serve or sell beer (apart from in the private Club 33, which he did help plan well after opening). This is not a "revisionist spin" or anti-alcohol concoction (I like a drink myself), but simply a case of the facts supporting that he didn't want it in his park, just like he didn't want any number of other "common" things he saw elsewhere. All the parks that serve alcoholic beverages publically today in the Disney brand opened after Walt's death, and the Disneyland-style park in Florida very decidedly does not, which was the decision of Walt's brother Roy and others he worked closely with during his life.
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    Re: Walt's opinion on......

    Quote Originally Posted by RegionsBeyond View Post
    Walt certainly drank, himself....but the whole purpose of Disneyland, to him, was to create a "better than reality" experience where the whole family could have fun together. In the creation of the park, he oversaw all details, according to many sources...right down to deciding there would be sponsorships both by Coke and Pepsi within the boundaries, the height of fences, and when time ran out, if they should build bathrooms or drinking fountains for opening day.

    Quoted from the biography of Walt by Neil Gabler: "Publisher Walter Annenberg, after visiting the park, said that if he were forced to reduce it to a 'single descriptive statement, I would say wholesomeness.'.

    In short...there is no definitive statement of Walt going on record specifically saying no liquor in Disneyland. However, he and his teams and searched and visited many places...Coney Island, county fairs, overseas parks like Tivoli, where they certainly did serve alcohol. The proof is in the execution: Walt micromanaged Disneyland and loved the place as his private retreat and playground. When it opened, it didn't serve alcohol, and it was the only park he ever personally saw or set foot in with his name on it.

    Therefore, just like the rest of the park, this was a deliberate decision not to serve or sell beer (apart from in the private Club 33, which he did help plan well after opening). This is not a "revisionist spin" or anti-alcohol concoction (I like a drink myself), but simply a case of the facts supporting that he didn't want it in his park, just like he didn't want any number of other "common" things he saw elsewhere. All the parks that serve alcoholic beverages publically today in the Disney brand opened after Walt's death, and the Disneyland-style park in Florida very decidedly does not, which was the decision of Walt's brother Roy and others he worked closely with during his life.

    This all makes sense to me, thank you for taking the time to seriously attempt to answer my question! I am still hoping for something a little more definitive/specific than educated inference. I am looking for good book, so maybe I'll check out that Gabler one.

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    Re: Walt's opinion on......

    In addition: Main Street at Disneyland opened with a Tobacco Shop, selling cigars and supplies for such. That was something a period small town would have, and not excluded just because it was for adults only. Today, selling tobacco products in the stateside parks is a definite no.

    In Frontierland, the saloon (also a establishment typically aimed at adults) sold ice creams and soft drinks, maybe a sarsaparilla. No beer.

    I think folks can draw their own conclusions on that one.

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    Re: Walt's opinion on......

    What RB said in his posts above.

    I can't track down the source right now, but I remember reading in at least one of the Disney biographies* that Walt nixed booze at Disneyland, particularly beer, because of the smell and its association with the kind of amusement park atmosphere that he was trying to avoid with Disneyland. Ditto Walt's ban on cotton candy.


    * If someone wants to search their Shickel, Thomas, Maltin, Gabler or Mosley, it's doubtless in one of those.
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    Re: Walt's opinion on......

    Quote Originally Posted by brenden View Post
    My question....is there an actual quote published somewhere? Is there a citable source for this claim? Where did this information come from?
    The proof was in the pudding.. there was nothing but Walt keeping beer out of DL for the 10+ years it operated directly under his eye.

    Walt drank liquor every night at the end of his workday.. yet there is no such perk at Disneyland. It's not by coincidence, and it's not because of external constraints.
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  11. #11

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    Re: Walt's opinion on......

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
    I can't track down the source right now, but I remember reading in at least one of the Disney biographies that Walt nixed booze at Disneyland, particularly beer, because of the smell and its association with the kind of amusement park atmosphere that he was trying to avoid with Disneyland.
    If you end up tracking it down, please let me know!

  12. #12

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    Re: Walt's opinion on......

    I believe he kept a bottle in his DL apartment.


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    Re: Walt's opinion on......

    Quote Originally Posted by flynnibus View Post
    The proof was in the pudding.. there was nothing but Walt keeping beer out of DL for the 10+ years it operated directly under his eye.
    I'm pretty sure everyone can draw this conclusion. I'm not challenging that he didn't want alcohol in the parks based on his own actions...I am just hoping for a more definitive, clear answer that isn't a postulation.

  14. #14

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    Re: Walt's opinion on......

    Well there is that legend of August Busch and the St. Louis Disneyworld.......of course land being far cheaper in Fl probably had a lot more to do with Walt's final choice than anything Auggie might have said.
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    Re: Walt's opinion on......

    Quote Originally Posted by sleepyjeff View Post
    Well there is that legend of August Busch and the St. Louis Disneyworld.......of course land being far cheaper in Fl probably had a lot more to do with Walt's final choice than anything Auggie might have said.
    That's really weird, I was just reading up on this after I posted here.

    I call bull on that whole thing. There are plenty of other, legit reasons to build a theme park in FL over Missouri. Found this excerpt:


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