As for amusements parks...well, no.
I find it interesting that all the comments so far have been from the "yes" crowd while the poll results at this time seem to indicate no. Sounds like some folks can't justify their arguments.
You can drink elsewhere--and pay a lot less for it. It cracked me up at HHN at Universal last year too see all these poeple lining up at beer and margarita stands, losing precious minutes out of their already expensive evening, just to pay too much for beer or margaritas.
HOWEVER -- If it's a zoo or oceanarium, especially one that has any sort of interactive exhibits (Sick Flags Discovery Kingdom comes immediately to mind), then my preference would be no.
I would be willing to make an exception for alcohol served in a designated spot where you cannot take it with you to the rest of the park, AND if the servings per customer are strictly limited.
It may sound harsh, but I've seen animals and visitors alike put at risk through stupid behavior when the visitors involved are sober, let alone when they get plastered. My preference, overall, would be to keep alcohol OUT of any park that has an animal component, even if it's something as simple as a "petting zoo."
Keep the peace(es).
(FWIW, I don't drink alcohol. I find the concept of getting drunk a bit sad but see nothing wrong at all with people having some drinks now and then.)
Though, when I think about it longer, I realize that it's the *cart* which bugs me, not the beer. I'd love to see a theme park devoid of food and beverage carts -- Americans eat too darn much as it is. Let visitors go into a well-themed ice cream parlor for an afternoon cone, if one wants. But get the ugly, calorie-pushing carts off the streets. (Perhaps this is one reason why I love Legoland so much. I can't recall seeing carts there.)
Back to the topic: It seems to me that it would be quite easy for theme parks to limit the purchase of alcohol, and that they wouldn't have to rely on the judgment of employees to do it. Just use the same technology that Disney, for example, uses for its FastPass.
You know how you can't get another FastPass for two hours after you get one? Make people swipe their admission ticket when they buy a drink, just as they do to get a FastPass. Then the park can set its system to limit drinks to one every x hours, or y total drinks for the day.
If you really want to get fancy, you can "card" the buyer at the front gate when the ticket is purchased. Those over 21 would have to prove it and opt in to allow their admission card to enable them to buy drinks (kind of like I have to tell the doorman at House of Blues if I'm going to drink to get a wristband when I go to a concert there). Everyone else's ticket is blocked, and they can't use it to buy alcohol.
Now, this system would be tougher to implement at parks that use mostly one-day only admission, especially print at home tickets. But it still could be done.
And if any park wants to adopt this idea -- it's all yours. Just make sure TPI is at the top of your media release list in exchange. ;-)
Stating the obvious, large crowds in which even a small percentage are consuming alcohols can produce a very interesting environment. To contain or control the possibility of negative incidents, especially in the eyes of the media, Parks would eventually be compelled to increase the security presence. This would possibly mean hiring off-duty officers or extra security personnel. The concept of a personnel increase is one of the most costly line items to an operational budget and would surely be reflected in the cost of admissions.I work regularly with officers who provide security at large music venues, clubs, pro football coliseums, and have worked these events myself. Officers and security persons are not generally done with an incident once the subject is removed or detained, many will result in arrests and the subsequent court proceedings and costs. These costs will also impact the parks and its patrons in regard to paying for the personnel to be at court and any attorney fees that apply during a prosecution. The statistics that are overwhelming, in the information that we now gather, are the incidents in which alcoholic beverages are involved.I can only see an increase in incidents and costs to prevent and contend with those individuals who will surely over-indulge if given the opportunity. Limiting the availability and location to consume alcoholic beverages is simply the easiest way to decrease the possibility of these problems. If a person wishes to “have a drink or two”,that can be acceptable, but unfortunately, most will get caught up in the party frenzy atmosphere and go too far. Drinking in the restaurants or clubs at the parks would be better, as long as the staff is trained appropriately to monitor intake levels. Many restaurant chains will now limit the number of served drinks to patrons. I am not of the abolitionist mindset, as I do like to have a mixed drink, beer, or glass of wine, but I know what is enough. My family enjoys the “Food and Wine Festival” as mentioned by someone previously and I would commend the handling of the event by security officers. We purposely attend the park to take part in the festival and I have seen only a few examples of highly intoxicated subjects, during our frequent trips into Epcot while the festival is happening. I’m sure the parks security presence is enhanced at the very least.
It’s just going to be better if it’s left out, or limited to planned events which may be contained with less impact on the general populous of park guests.
I’ll shut up now!
I suppose it could be handled by having to turn in your admission card & showing ID with each alcohol purchase. They could scan it into a park computer, keep a record of your purchases and only sell you a certain number of drinks each day. But it still brings alcohol out from a controlled area making it readily accessible in a family zone and that I cannot condone.
The bottom line for me is that theme parks are family parks, not nightclubs. When I leave a park at the end of the day that I've paid a lot of money to enjoy, I want to be reasonably certain that "some drunk" is not a phrase I use to describe my family's experience with anyone that day.
NO for alcoholic beverages to be consumed in general Park areas but YES to be served in restricted areas like licensed restaurants and monitored so not to be taken into the park.
The alcohol to be restricted to say two drinks per legal paying customer just not to have drunken louts running amoke within the Parks causing havoc with other guests.
Busch Gardens and Sea World are owned by the "beer king", come on. Epcot...they have the most popular event, "the Food & Wine Festival, it's not the Food & Soda Festival...not as much interest without the wine and beer from the different countries.
I do not drink everytime I go to a theme park, but on some occasion I do and I like the option of being able to do so if I wish.
Of course alcohol should be served at theme parks. With the exception of the Magic Kingdom -- per of Mr. Disney's decree.
Perhaps, Mr. Niles should have posed the question differently. Those of us who frequent TPI have (combined) visted a zillion different themeparks on a zillion different occassions. Thus, a more appropriate question might be "Have you ever witnessed or experienced something at a theme park that would cause you to believe that alcohol should not be served?"
I've been visiting the Disney parks since my first trip to Disneylan in the Spring of 1968. I can't recall any incident at any theme park (or Pleasure Island [including House of Blues concerts] for that matter) where something has happened that would make me advocate implementation of theme park prohibition.
Now if you will excuse me ... "Um ... Mr. Bartender. Could I get a re-fill down here, please?"
In general alcohol has always been a huge revenue source anywhere you go. For the fact that they charge so much and so many people buy them. Of course one way to change that is for people to stop buying the alcohol, this of course will never happen. So I would have to say yes to this particular question.
Now as a former theme park Guest Services person I could see why many people say no. I don't know how many times I got calls from guests upset that alcohol was being served in a family park. I do agree that people need to know there limits but some people just don't seen to follow that. In fact over the recent weeks I have seen how people are to each other in a service atmosphere, and let me tell you there are some really not nice people out there, and they were sober! I do know that park employees try there best to ensure everyone has a great time, unfortunatly you can't watch everyone, nor can you control there actions BEFORE they get to a park.
One trend that I know people do, especially those that are underage, is that they will get drunk before coming to a theme park. That way they get there buzz without paying the high prices. This tends to happen most often when it comes to HHN. I guess a lot of people find the event more appealing if their lit. Me personally, while I will have ONE drink, and usually it's the premixed "specialty" drink that they make that is already watered down, I enjoy HHN without the need to libation because watching everyone else make fools of themselves is entertainment in and of itself.
I also think if they were to get rid of alcohol at Epcot, you would see attendance drop dramatically. The attitude towards alcohol is different in other countries and in fact is part of their heritage in a lot of cases. Imagine how many really PO'ed people you would have if they went to Germany and could not buy beer. Imagine how angry the countries themeselves would be. Remember, the French were not to happy with Disney's no alcohol policy for DLP. Now they are the only Magic Kingdom that serves alcohol.
So while I understand the no, because as parents you want to protect your children, I would have to vote yes, but again people really need to know there limit and need to start being courteous to other guests.
If you take it away would it hurt Orlando? Probably not, but now you would be hurting the gross profits - YES.
We are not talking about your local drunk going to a bar everyday after work (not that there is anything wrong with that) and getting sh** faced. This is not Jack Daniels.. Its just beer. You have to drink a lot of beer really often to get hammered. With the prices that they charge at $4.00 a beer, I find it hard to believe many get drunk at theme parks during the day.
Saying we all must have problems because we enjoy a lavation on vacation is BS.Serenity now!!
I have only witnessed one incident of a drunk, but it was at Pleasure Island and he was just a little over-excited at the Adventurer's Club. They gave him a warning to settle down, and when he didn't, they asked him politely to leave. He obliged.
Once again, that was Pleasure Island. I notice at Universal that guys just walk into lines with drinks. I think they should be restricted from entering a ride with a drink, and while I dislike cart vendors, I'm not against having them.
It really depends on the park. Some parks are safer than others, and can tolerate an alcohol-fogged judgement. There are other parks at which a drunken stagger could lead to staggering medical bills.
So, my answer is "No." from the events of that day. Walt was right when he said that he didn't want any drunks running around "my park."
John Zucchero, what happened to your child at Epcot is totally uncalled for and shouldn't have happened and I am glad it was taken care of for u. However, some people are like that even without booze in their system. He was just an a** hole period! Unfortunatley u have to look at it this way. If u don't want your kids around booze then don't take them to the Food & WINE Festival. The drinking around the world showcase is a given. If u don't want your kids around booze then definatley skip this event.