Vote of the Week: Shanghai Disneyland signs with Pepsi; Which company's soft drinks do you prefer?
Published: February 28, 2014 at 2:32 PM
Shanghai Disneyland announced this week that Pepsi will have the pouring rights at the Chinese theme park, which is expected to open late next year.
Wait a minute — "coming back?", you might ask. Theme park fans who know Walt Disney World and Disneyland as exclusive Coca-Cola territory might be surprised to learn that those parks once poured Pepsi soft drinks, too.
The Pepsi-Cola Company was the original sponsor of It's a Small World at the New York Fair and of the Country Bear Jamboree at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World, as well as the Golden Horseshoe in Disneyland, which the cola company continued to sponsor until 1990. For some years, the simple rule was that you'd find Pepsi poured on the west side of Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom, while you'd get Coke on the east side. Eventually, Coke bought the exclusive pouring rights for all Disney theme parks in the United States, and Pepsi disappeared from the parks.
Photo from Wikimedia Commons
Elsewhere in the U.S., Coke's been pushing Pepsi out from other theme parks in recent years, too. Three years ago, Coke acquired the pouring rights for the SeaWorld/Busch Gardens theme parks, again replacing Pepsi. You might not think this is a huge deal, but given the ridiculous profits that businesses can make on soft drink sales, pouring-rights deals often count into many millions of dollars. The SeaWorld/Coke deal is whispered to have helped finance a good amount of the expense of building SeaWorld Orlando's new Antarctica pavilion, for example.
We surveyed Theme Park Insider readers when SeaWorld made the switch and a plurality approved of the change over to Coke products. Now that Disney's made a step back toward Pepsi, let's ask the question again. Which company's soft drinks would you prefer to drink at your favorite theme park?
Fight the Great Soft Drink Flame War, in the comments. And before we start hurling fizzy drinks at one another, allow me a moment to thank you all, once again, for being part of the Theme Park Insider community. I'm always amazed at the diversity of theme park fans we attract from around the world, and want you all to know that you're always very welcomed and appreciated here.