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Saturday, March 3, 2012

Beer and Pepperspray In DCA

The story went viral on Disney forums and message boards a week or so back. An older gentleman, obviously intoxicated, had to be forcefully subdued over by the entrance to the Tower of Terror by Disney security and some park guests. Yes, they ended up pepperspraying him. And this being 2012, the whole ugly scene was captured on video and uploaded to YouTube. Of course there were the stories that it took too long for Disney security to respond, those that did didn't seemed to be adequately trained to handle the situation, and the fact that some park guests had to step in a give a hand. 

Of course this whole mess gave some Disney park fans the chance to vent against the selling of alcoholic beverages in Disney California Adventure, never mind the fact that chance for such a state of intoxication would most likely be caused by the person bring the alcohol in the park with him some way. Some park writers have said that this happens more often than people realize. I tend to believe that is true but here is my but....

In the last 10 years or so Mrs. DisneylandTraveler and I have spent probably 60 - 70 days at Disneyland and DCA. In those 10 years, I have yet to see anyone in a Disney park inebriated to the point of being a spectacle or a distraction to my visit. I went to a SF Giants baseball game last year and there were at least a dozen people in my immediate section that hopefully didn't have to get behind the wheel of a car to get home.

I think Disney and Disney security needs to be commended for keeping some of the unsavory sites caused by public drunkenness to really a minimum all things considered. There are some things that help out with this of course. The cost of excessive drinking at DCA is probably price prohibitive for most people's budget. There is a strong presence of Disney security and an in the back of your mind the feeling that everything and everyone is being watched to a certain extent. I remember a few years back a small group of rather loud youths making their way through DCA - 20 feet behind following them step for step was 4 Disney security cast members waiting for one wrong move. Good for them. Invasion of privacy? Screw that... their park, their rules, and just making it a nicer place for everyone.

For those that say alcohol sales should be removed completely from DCA, that ship has sailed and DCA is well tied in to alcohol sales with the park forever. There is never a shortage of people standing in line at the Karl Strauss beer wagon waiting to get 2 on a warm summer day. A nice glass of at wine with your lovely meal at Wine Country Trattoria? Absolutely even though the pouring is pretty small and a decent glass is at least 10 bucks. That new Carthay Circle Theater (which is actually a high end restaurant) will have not 1 but 2 cocktail lounges. A fruity cocktail at the Cover Lounge at sunset is really a nice to spend a little time. ElecTRONica has its End of the Line Bar serving up neon adult beverages at a huge markup and when ElecTRONica goes away in a few months, A Mad Tea Party will have a well thought up themed replacement for adult beverage consumption. The revenue stream here for Disney is lucrative. Somewhere there are accountants who will argue that "if Walt were alive today, he'd want alcohol sales in Disneyland". They won't win that argument but I'm sure they try. 

As for the DisneylandTraveler. On one of our first trips to see World of Color, on advice from a friend, Mrs. DisneylandTraveler and I put aside the fastpass and dining package options to see WOC from open area in front of the railing by Ariel's Grotto. To get a good spot, you have to get there a couple of hours early. Mrs. DLT is one of life's great waiters. Like a shark, she likes to keep moving. So I held the spot. Now Mrs. DLT also does not drink alcoholic beverages at all. She begrudgingly leaves that to me but on this night waiting for WOC she asked if she could go and get me something while she kept moving and I kept waiting. Sure "go over to the Karl Strauss beer wagon and bring me back a Red Trolley Ale". She didn't mind one bit and there is something nice about a long wait in DCA enjoying a beer to pass the time.

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