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A new attraction in the Magic Kingdom - alcohol

Posted by Eric Wilbur, Boston.com Staff  September 14, 2012 10:36 AM

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The addition of "Gaston's Tavern" to the newly-revamped Fantasyland in Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom raised some eyebrows recently due to the theme park's long-standing ban on alcoholic beverages. What's in a name though, right?

As it turns out though, alcohol will not be served at the forthcoming restaurant. It will, however, be served at "Be Our Guest," which opens Nov. 19, sparking a debate as to why the ban has been lifted at the most family-friendly of Disney's four theme parks.

"As part of the overall theming, we wanted to offer wine that enhances the guest experience and complements the French-inspired cuisine," beverage director Stuart McGuire told the Disney Parks Blog. "The wines focus primarily on France's famous wine-growing regions, including Champagne, Alsace, Loire, Rhone, Burgundy and Bordeaux.

"We'll also offer the leading French beer, Kronenbourg 1664," said McGuire. "And, staying in the general region, we'll also offer Belgian beers."

Beer and wine has been served for years at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, and Epcot, where some visitors have even made it a day's challenge to sample beverages from around the World Pavillion, but the Magic Kingdom has always been treated as something of a sacred jewel in that regard by Disney. The quiet admission yesterday did not go unnoticed by many.

Previews of the new Fantasyland, which has already debuted a few attractions, begin in November, prior to its grand opening on Dec. 6.

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