Isolated incidents or cause for concern?

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Cinema Too's picture
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Isolated incidents or cause for concern?

In reading some recent postings (and by the way, there have been some really great trip reports) a word has popped up on more than one occasion that has set off a bit of an alarm in me. Intoxicated.

It made me recall two incidents that my wife and I observed on our last visit. (Can you believe it has been a year and a half?)

The first incident was severe enough that we asked each other, "at what point does Disney step in?" When the second happened just a few hours later, we wondered if it was a developing trend. Both incidents occurred during the middle of the day. Both involved groups of young people (one a 21st birthday celebration and one a bachelorette celebration. Both had multiple people having difficulty walking and bumping into people. Both took place in a public area, not inside a restaurant or bar.

Please note that I am not a prude on the subject. I've spent the last 32 years in the beverage alcohol industry. I understand having a good time, but I also understand the difference between having one to many one night at the local joint and stumbling around World Showcase at 3 in the afternoon.

So....

Isolated incidents or cause for concern?

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I say isolated incidents. There has only been one time where ive seen people drink a bit too much, but they were behaving. You could just tell they were definitely drunk. But weve been to Disney a lot, and thats the only time I remember and it was at Epcot right before Illuminations. To me... this kinda of stuff happens everywhere its sold. You will have people who dont care about their limit, and drink till the cows come home. Its just a matter then if you want to ignore it and move on... or you can report them.

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I agree 'isolated incidents'. The only time I've seen/heard someone be way out of line due to booze was at Epcot at night. You need how it gets, pretty crowded and people move in large herds together both ways, just trying to get around world showcase and at some points it kind of bottle necks and gets a bit tighter. We were goin for our ADR at Tutto (amazing meal) so we travelled left into WS to go to Italy and it happened at Mexico. Mexico is on of the places that kind of bottle necks so there was a lot of people and the crowd was moving in opposite direction through one another, this guy start shouting telling everyone just to get the 'F' out of his way, again and again. I don't get offended by swearing, I do it enough myself, but there is a time and a place. Disney isn't the place and differently when there are kids and families around, that ain't the time. Everyone in the crowd know that the guy had been drinking and we all seemed to be of the same opinion, 'he was a fool'.

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I agree, considering the amount of people in Disney World, the actual incidents seem to be pretty isolated.

From what I saw a few years ago, some cast members aren't shy about preventing such obnoxious behavior. As my friend and I were walking from UK to Canada, we passed one of the other guys in our traveling party who was trying to buy some beer at a stand. The CM saw that he had clearly had enough to drink for the time being and suggested that he get something to eat and sit down for a rest instead. Our friend is a reasonable guy, he understood and took their advice, but I could also see how a patron would get uppity over such a suggestion.

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I can't say I've ever seen anyone drunk at WDW. The only time I've ever come close myself was after that kir at the Tune In Lounge, and I was only a little tipsy. Enough that I felt it, not so much that I would appear stumble drunk to others.

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Don't get me wrong, when we were in Epcot on a Saturday, there were guys who were obviously getting ready to watch/celebrate a college game. They were having a few drinks and larking about but they weren't hurting anyone, just having fun.

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I was surprised at the stumbling during my last visit during Food and Wine, so I decided the next time I went during that celebration, I would avoid Epcot in the evening hours, especially if I have the kiddos with me. That's the only time I've seen people stumbling around Disney. Fingers crossed that MK doesn't get too obnoxious with Gaston's Tavern opening!

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Nancy D wrote:
I was surprised at the stumbling during my last visit during Food and Wine, so I decided the next time I went during that celebration, I would avoid Epcot in the evening hours, especially if I have the kiddos with me. That's the only time I've seen people stumbling around Disney. Fingers crossed that MK doesn't get too obnoxious with Gaston's Tavern opening!

Gaston's Tavern doesn't serve any alcohol. Be Our Guest serves wine and beer.

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The hubby and I have seen plenty of people who have had too much to drink. Especially at Epcot. What can you expect though...hot sun, giant beers, a festival that celebrates wine and beverages being sold everywhere. I think we probably notice it more since we don't drink. People generally are well behaved. I just thank God for Disney transportation and hope no one tries to drive home. You know maybe we should credit Disney here for us not seeing the ugly side of this. Perhaps the reason we don't see any problems is because Disney is on it before things get really out of hand.

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This is a hot subject with me, and I am not a prude or at all opposed to drinking, I enjoy a drink at EPCOT frequently. I disagree that this is an isolated incident. We go to Disney so regularly that we often pick up on trends, including peoples behavior. There is absolutely more drinking at EPCOT than there used to be, and it is excessive. The worst time is during the F&W festival, and usually later at night. We attend the concert series often, and many times we go to all 3- 5:15, 7:00 and 8:15. The atmosphere is totally different at the last concert, with a lot of obvious intoxication. The later it gets, the more drunken behavior can be seen, without a doubt.
I don't know if it's being marketed by Disney, but I know more and more adult, non-family groups - birthday, bacheolorette, etc. that go to Disney to "celebrate" with drinking at EPCOT from here in Tampa. Drinking Around the World is very popular. There was always Pleasure Island to enjoy adult beverages, but it seems EPCOT at night has taken that place. We even notice how people are dressed up more at night, it has a definite bar-night club atmosphere later.
We had a conversation last week about what Walt would like and not like about Disney today. We agreed that he would be disappointed that EPCOT has turned into a giant bar at night, at least during the f&w. EPCOT is the only place I have ever seen public intoxication, never at any other park (obviously until now, not MK).
We have been aware of this for a few years now, and it was surprising at first to see obvious public intoxication at EPCOT, but we have adjusted to it and know when to avoid certain places now. I am used to the big groups of drunken people, don't like it but not gonna change it. What I don't like is the families and kids who may be exposed to inappropriate behavior. If you take your kids to Bourbon St. at night you'd expect it, but EPCOT? not so much. I'm all about having a good time, and drinking is fine, but I think Disney needs another adult place where the drunken behavior may be more acceptable.
That's my 2 cents, it's just a subject that we have strong opinions on and have been watching things change for a while now.

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Wonder what Disney's policy is for how much is too much or what to do when someone has taken too far? Anyone know? Though I doubt anyone around here knows from experince.

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J - I know that Disney has a policy that limits one person to buying only two drinks at a time. However, that isn't really a safeguard against public intoxication IMHO. Any other limits I have no idea about.

The only time that I've ever seen anyone really drunk at Epcot is during Food & Wine festival. However Julie is right and Drinking Around the World has become a destination trip for celebrations. Since my daughter Tori was about 17 she's been planning her 21st birthday at Epcot so that she can give it a try.

I think that it's easy to not pay attention to how much one is drinking at Epcot, especially with heat & dehydration factoring in. When you're there in a group you can also lose track of what's being consumed because of the "here finish this" factor. People forget that they finished off this or that for a friend, but it still counts. Smile

I must admit that I have been drunk at Epcot, I drank two Grey Goose Slushies in the mid afternoon heat and then felt *so* sick my husband and I left the park so I could go lay down back at the hotel. I suppose that's the difference though, I stopped drinking and left the park to take care of myself vs. stumbling around annoying folks.

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When we were there last week we went to see the countries during EMH on a Friday night and noticed alot of drinking. The worst thing I saw was a mom pulling her child through the crowds going one direction and she caused him to bump into a guy going the other direction which in turn caused him to spill his beer all over himself and the kid. The mom apoligized and just kept right on walking while the guy proceeded to scream obcenities at her and say is you saying sorry going to pay for my 9 dollar beer you just spilt all over the ground. I hate seeing behavior like that... And my thing is of your going to complain about the prices then don't pay them... It's as simple as that. Also one thing that I learned and I applaud Disney for is they won't let anyone leave with an alcoholic beverage. My mom bought a margarita in Mexico and then we headed out and when we got to the gate they said she had to either finish it or throw it out.

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Jess wrote:
When we were there last week we went to see the countries during EMH on a Friday night and noticed alot of drinking. The worst thing I saw was a mom pulling her child through the crowds going one direction and she caused him to bump into a guy going the other direction which in turn caused him to spill his beer all over himself and the kid. The mom apoligized and just kept right on walking while the guy proceeded to scream obcenities at her and say is you saying sorry going to pay for my 9 dollar beer you just spilt all over the ground. I hate seeing behavior like that... And my thing is of your going to complain about the prices then don't pay them... It's as simple as that. Also one thing that I learned and I applaud Disney for is they won't let anyone leave with an alcoholic beverage. My mom bought a margarita in Mexico and then we headed out and when we got to the gate they said she had to either finish it or throw it out.

What a rude man! And how awful for the kid... sad

I completely agree that someone shouldn't buy a for a drink if they're so upset about the prices. Personally, I would not get a drink and walk around Epcot because I would hate to spill my $10+ drink! I'd rather sit comfortably in Jellyrolls or the Bellevue Lounge to enjoy it. I hope your mom wasn't too upset about needing to finish or get rid of it.

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The Cookie Crumbler wrote:
Jess wrote:
When we were there last week we went to see the countries during EMH on a Friday night and noticed alot of drinking. The worst thing I saw was a mom pulling her child through the crowds going one direction and she caused him to bump into a guy going the other direction which in turn caused him to spill his beer all over himself and the kid. The mom apoligized and just kept right on walking while the guy proceeded to scream obcenities at her and say is you saying sorry going to pay for my 9 dollar beer you just spilt all over the ground. I hate seeing behavior like that... And my thing is of your going to complain about the prices then don't pay them... It's as simple as that. Also one thing that I learned and I applaud Disney for is they won't let anyone leave with an alcoholic beverage. My mom bought a margarita in Mexico and then we headed out and when we got to the gate they said she had to either finish it or throw it out.

What a rude man! And how awful for the kid... sad

I completely agree that someone shouldn't buy a for a drink if they're so upset about the prices. Personally, I would not get a drink and walk around Epcot because I would hate to spill my $10+ drink! I'd rather sit comfortably in Jellyrolls or the Bellevue Lounge to enjoy it. I hope your mom wasn't too upset about needing to finish or get rid of it.

No she wasn't... We weren't in a hurry... Brooklin was passed out in her stroller so we just sat down on a bench in front of the golf ball and people watched while she finished it. She said she was glad that they have a policy like that.

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Jess wrote:
When we were there last week we went to see the countries during EMH on a Friday night and noticed alot of drinking. The worst thing I saw was a mom pulling her child through the crowds going one direction and she caused him to bump into a guy going the other direction which in turn caused him to spill his beer all over himself and the kid. The mom apoligized and just kept right on walking while the guy proceeded to scream obcenities at her and say is you saying sorry going to pay for my 9 dollar beer you just spilt all over the ground. I hate seeing behavior like that... And my thing is of your going to complain about the prices then don't pay them... It's as simple as that. Also one thing that I learned and I applaud Disney for is they won't let anyone leave with an alcoholic beverage. My mom bought a margarita in Mexico and then we headed out and when we got to the gate they said she had to either finish it or throw it out.

Wow....gaah

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Jess wrote:
Also one thing that I learned and I applaud Disney for is they won't let anyone leave with an alcoholic beverage. My mom bought a margarita in Mexico and then we headed out and when we got to the gate they said she had to either finish it or throw it out.

That's happened to me as well. Which gate were you leaving through?
I was at the World Showcase gate with a Grey Goose Slushie.

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You are not aloud to leave any park with open alcohol. If you buy a bottle of wine, that's fine, but don't try to leave with a glass of beer. We also saw a lot, and I mean a lot of intoxication at the last F&WF we were at, to the point of people openly throwing up outside the rest rooms, people passed out in the bathroom stalls . It was a Friday night and apparently the locals come to EPCOT for Mexican Night or something the one weekend. We pretty much had to push our way out of the World Showcase from Le Cellier. We will probably never go back to F&WF at night and to me , that's the nicest time with all the lights, so we may never go back for that. I do think the "Drinking around the Worlds" is starting to be problem, we pretty much always see someone doing it, or at least trying every trip, but the F & WF is the worst time.

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Kristen K. wrote:
Jess wrote:
Also one thing that I learned and I applaud Disney for is they won't let anyone leave with an alcoholic beverage. My mom bought a margarita in Mexico and then we headed out and when we got to the gate they said she had to either finish it or throw it out.

That's happened to me as well. Which gate were you leaving through?
I was at the World Showcase gate with a Grey Goose Slushie.

The main gate

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Jess wrote:
When we were there last week we went to see the countries during EMH on a Friday night and noticed alot of drinking. The worst thing I saw was a mom pulling her child through the crowds going one direction and she caused him to bump into a guy going the other direction which in turn caused him to spill his beer all over himself and the kid. The mom apoligized and just kept right on walking while the guy proceeded to scream obcenities at her and say is you saying sorry going to pay for my 9 dollar beer you just spilt all over the ground. I hate seeing behavior like that... And my thing is of your going to complain about the prices then don't pay them... It's as simple as that. Also one thing that I learned and I applaud Disney for is they won't let anyone leave with an alcoholic beverage. My mom bought a margarita in Mexico and then we headed out and when we got to the gate they said she had to either finish it or throw it out.

You didnt tell me about this.... wow.....

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I know Disney cannot control the behavior of folks who make some "bad decisions" about drinking, but I just somehow feel like they will not let things get so over the top out of hand that guests will stay away...perhaps a few voices of "complaint" to guest services will encourage Disney to trouble shoot this situation. I really don't think Disney wants guests to feel uncomfortable. Walt was shooting for a "wholesome," family place, not what Mr. Hub is describing. I have seen this too, and not during F&W.

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I am not a drinker but I really have hard time understanding why you would want to drink so much that you lose control anywhere you are.

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PirateGirl wrote:
I am not a drinker but I really have hard time understanding why you would want to drink so much that you lose control anywhere you are.

I enjoy certain things.... but the only liquid I could just drink a lot of water. Alcohol to me for some reason is too thick. I enjoy a good Ale... but I cant drink more than one...

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Okay, so let's toss another factor into the pot and stir it up. What do you think about this?

"New Frozen Novelty at Epcot Ice Cream Kiosk: Seagram's Escapes Frozen Sangria is now being offered at select ice cream kiosks in Epcot. This frozen novelty contains alcohol and is selling for $5.75." Source

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Kristen K. wrote:
Okay, so let's toss another factor into the pot and stir it up. What do you think about this?

"New Frozen Novelty at Epcot Ice Cream Kiosk: Seagram's Escapes Frozen Sangria is now being offered at select ice cream kiosks in Epcot. This frozen novelty contains alcohol and is selling for $5.75."

My first thought was "Wow, those are sold for less than $2 near us!"

These things are, like, frozen Capri Suns with malt liquor in them. The college kids in the area love them during the summer. Alcohol dehydrates you if you're not careful, and with something as portable and easy to drink as this, not to mention a drink that tricks you into thinking it's refreshing because it's so cold, I can see some park guests getting sick easily in the hot Florida summer.

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I think it's still isolated incidents, however, I have noticed an increase in the number of people I see with drinks in hand in Epcot. World Showcase - Near the Mexico and Canada pavilions in particular. It seems that since they've removed most of the clubs from Pleasure Island, the local crowd looking for a place to drink has shifted to World Showcase. We didn't see anyone who was really disruptive or rude, but there were some obviously tipsy (and in one case, totally bombed, but funny) people. We really didn't see any of those people until much later at night when there weren't many kids around. It's something that I know they're going to have to keep an eye on, but it is obviously a money-maker for them (And we know how Disney loves their money! But, that is the idea of a business in the first place, to make money). I can't look at it and say Walt wouldn't have liked it. He was a businessman and we have to take into account the time period that he is 'frozen' in (no pun intended). We all view him from the image he projected in the 50s and early 60s, a totally different era. If he were alive today, I think he'd have a different perspective. Disney has always tried to cater to what their customers want and if what they want is a place to gather and buy overpriced alcohol, that's what they'll give them. While WDW is first and foremost, a family destination, I don't think you can totally exclude 'adult' pastimes in deference to keeping everything "kidified".

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Mase wrote:
PirateGirl wrote:
I am not a drinker but I really have hard time understanding why you would want to drink so much that you lose control anywhere you are.

I enjoy certain things.... but the only liquid I could just drink a lot of water. Alcohol to me for some reason is too thick. I enjoy a good Ale... but I cant drink more than one...

I'm the same. I love wine, but one is usually my limit. I might indulge in two glasses on a special occasion like New Year's Eve, but then I have to space them a few hours apart. I also don't understand the appeal of getting drunk - I hate the feeling.

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crazycatperson wrote:
Mase wrote:
PirateGirl wrote:
I am not a drinker but I really have hard time understanding why you would want to drink so much that you lose control anywhere you are.

I enjoy certain things.... but the only liquid I could just drink a lot of water. Alcohol to me for some reason is too thick. I enjoy a good Ale... but I cant drink more than one...

I'm the same. I love wine, but one is usually my limit. I might indulge in two glasses on a special occasion like New Year's Eve, but then I have to space them a few hours apart. I also don't understand the appeal of getting drunk - I hate the feeling.

I remember in college I would sit back watching all my friends get blitzed, and I would sit there with a 12 pack of pepsi asking.... Why? Seriously... why would you drink so much? The answer I got was a bit puzzling. They compared it to eating hot wings. At least for me this statement made sense because the hotter the better at the time. Basically the concept is... good idea at the time. Taste sooooooooo good at the time you just dont care about the outcome afterwards.

But then I told them... ok. Understand why... but at least hot wings wont kill you in the long run... heh

But seriously... id be at this party. Everyone just drinking away, and id be pounding Pepsi and knowing the worst ill get is a sugar rush or a caffeine high... lol

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Yes I think Disney will keep an eye on it and if it comes down to it, make changes where needed. And yes, it is a totally different era, and Walt's opinions probably would have changed many things. What ruins it is the one that go with the intent to get totally canned, and they are the ones that know that probably can't handle it in the first place. I'll be the first one to admit, i've had 2 or 3 martini's at dinner and then gone into the parks and rode rides or what ever, but I've never been falling down drunk or to the point of getting sick. Whats the point or fun in that?