Vote of the week: Beer at a theme park

May 30, 2008, 8:34 AM · This week's question is from Theme Park Insider reader Brian Emery. Thanks, Brian!

We asked about alcohol in theme parks once before, but this question is about what you do, not what you think ought to be (or not to be) served. If you vote "no," please pick the option that best describes why you do not drink in the parks.

I know that there might be a small selection of readers who don't drink beer, but might drink wine in a sit-down restaurant (e.g. at Epcot). For those readers, I'd suggest picking "No, I drink, but not at theme parks." We're trying to get a gauge on the popularity of in-park beer here.

Talk about your choice in the comments, please. Beer fans, tell us your pick for best beer in the parks, too. (On quality and value.)

Replies (20)

May 30, 2008 at 9:16 AM · We (wife and I) love to have a few libations while at the parks. We will split a beer while walking around. We never get drunk, and we have never seen anyone drunk at a park.
I think when in Orlando on vacation, a nice cold beer is a perfect way to help enjoy the parks…. Especially at Sea World where it is free…..

Thanks for the fantastic web site Robert..!!
May 30, 2008 at 9:46 AM · I drink alcohol at restaurants with my food, but I haven't been a big fan of beer anymore after graduating college. I associate it with another time in my life, and it definitely helped create a "beer gut", so I've change my lifestyle along with that milestone in my life.

So yes, I drink, but usually not in the parks.

May 30, 2008 at 10:51 AM · The park I go to the most is Busch Gardens Europe. I typically do the Brewmaster Club at the Festhaus and sometimes, also in Ireland. I drink the beer samples there, but that is it. It is so expensive for alcohol within the park I generally don't buy any.
May 30, 2008 at 10:53 AM · For me, alcohol + MISSION:SPACE is not a good combination.

Thankfully, I have a good enough time at the parks without beer. And besides, if I overdid it, then what happens? "Hey kids, here's a switch, Daddy's gonna puke on you!"

Now, were I single, childless, and 15 years younger....hell yes I would drink beer at the parks, and lots of it!! =)

May 30, 2008 at 11:13 AM · Not a fan of beer anymore, but do enjoy a cocktail!!
But i dont drink when im at a theme park. They charge too much for it, and drinking detracts from enjoying myself on rides.
May 30, 2008 at 11:30 AM · I drink at theme parks, but not on every visit and usually not until the day is starting to taper off. Now when I go to Halloween Haunt, Hall-o-scream, or HHN I usually have a few. I don't get startled easily and having a few drinks gets me to put my guard down. I'm just not one to drink and ride. I'm always too afraid that I'll get sick.

And Robert I am glad you linked to that old poll. My first thought when I saw this on my RSS was that you were repeating a poll and I thank you for clarifying that.

May 30, 2008 at 12:03 PM · Love an ice cold beer whenever we're in the Orlando theme parks. We tend to hit the thrill rides early in the day. So when the afternoon rolls around we move on to the (air conditioned) theater attractions -- where a bit of a buzz does not collide with 60 MPH inversions.

When we are at the Magic Kingdom we usually venture out the Main Gate and take a boat ride to the Poly or grand Floridian to bend an elbow. Makes for a nice break in the day.

May 30, 2008 at 12:14 PM · I'm not a drinker and never have been so I don't even visit the areas of various theme parks that serve alcohol. Thankfully we actually have never seen anyone drunk at any park we've ever attended.
May 30, 2008 at 12:36 PM · I don't always drink at the park. I've been known to have one occasionally. No horse pee (aka Bud or similar) for me, which is what most parks seem to be serving. I'm an import beer kind of guy, and you can't find import at most parks. The Mike's Hard Lemonade or a similar concoction is usually my choice if I have one.
May 30, 2008 at 6:34 PM · I'd drink more at theme parks if they served good beer. I mean, what kind of respectable theme park doesn't serve Schlitz Malt Liquor? ;)

Honestly, I haven't had a beer since my first kid was born in 1997....

....and I would rather have a Dole Float anyway.

May 30, 2008 at 9:26 PM · Dole Float indeed! That stuff is so good it should be illegal.

I know it's not the only reason people are rude or use foul language at a theme park, but nothing kills an experience more than a bunch of potty mouthed teens or even adults... especially in front of kids! Places like Six Flags, and those kinds of parks with the rides that push physical limits, breed the wanna-be thugs that show up to a park either drunk or high.

May 30, 2008 at 11:05 PM · The theme park I most often visit is Busch Gardens Europe, and I will occasionally drink a beer when the weather is hot. But never more than one or two. I tend to prefer the tap selections in Das Festhaus and Grogan's to the aluminum bottles that are easily available all around the park. (But if it is hot enough, I will settle for anything really cold!) My personal favorite this season is Shock Top (without the fruit, please!)
May 31, 2008 at 7:06 AM · Brandon -
On the note of wannabe thugs, put them in their place by walking past 'em with a cold one. Nothing rubs it in more than a legal person having fun in public while Thug Life has to sip his mickey in a bathroom stall.
May 31, 2008 at 7:12 AM · I find that beer makes me thirstier, especially in hot weather. I do do it one in awhile, but usually at sit down places. EPCOT is the best in my opinion because there is a very wide selection of beer and other drinks. Sea World does a good job with the beer, especially with the food that they serve by the beer area. Its actually a good combonation
May 31, 2008 at 9:12 AM · I don't usually drink beer at home, but when I'm at BGA, I definately get my free beer sample. To me, there's nothing like a really cold beer on a really hot day. I forget the name of the concoction, but they mixed a light beer with a dark beer. It was pretty good, but I prefer just doing the "light" beers. I will drink frozen cocktails at the other parks, but limit myself since rides and booze don't go well together...made the mistake of riding Montu after my free sample. Didn't get sick, but wasn't the best idea I've ever had.

I have seen some really obnoxious drunks - especially at Universal. Perhaps it's the party atmosphere, but the 2 couples were definately feeling no pain. And a couple of years ago at Epcot, there was a group so bombed their loud voices (filled with expletives) caused a CM to ask them to please quiet down or they might have to leave the park. Guess they had tried to drink their way around the "world".

June 1, 2008 at 4:21 AM · Ive weighted in on this before...And still a firm beliver in Booze, rides, and hot weather just dont work...Dont care how much anyone says they can control there consumpition..Always been of the idea if you need a drink 1 or 21 stay home ..Please
June 2, 2008 at 12:51 AM · I never drink then go on the rides, I have a drink but near the end of the day about an hour before the parks shut & enjoy the sunshine in Orlando watching the day go by.
June 2, 2008 at 2:02 PM · There are good and bad methods to handling beer at parks. Epcot seems to be the most subtle. SF parks are blatant. I will occasionally enjoy a beer with food in a park, when I'll be there for a few more hours (or I'm riding the resort shuttles back to an on-property hotel).
June 2, 2008 at 4:23 PM · I never get drunk, or even buzzed at theme parks...but come're gonna go to Epcot without stopping for a beer in Germany? You're gonna pass up your complementary beer at the Busch parks? You kiddin me?
June 3, 2008 at 10:28 AM · We visit Busch Gardens Europe almost most weekends durning the summer and my wife and I like to enjoy a cold one.

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