A Non-Alcohol AffairJuly 7, 2014 By: Jack Robertiello
It’s not a surprise that Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, a brand name synonymous with family fun, would be well known for providing non-alcohol options galore. But as the winner of the 2014 VIBE Vista Award for Best Alcohol-Free Program among hotels, casinos and cruise lines, sponsored by Monin Gourmet Flavorings, the alcohol-free program offers a vast array of beverage options designed to satisfy every wish list, including signature alcohol-free cocktails, all-natural lemonades, signature drinks served in souvenir glassware, organic juices, custom blend coffees, premium iced and loose leaf hot teas, locally sourced purified water and more.
The program supports Disney’s overall beverage objectives - to provide a unique and memorable beverage experience for guests. In addition to the variety of selections offered, the program includes popular new premium beverages featured in souvenir glasses. “We provide a lot of extras that differentiate our program from others,” says Stuart McGuire, food and beverage concept development and beverage director for Disney. “For example, we strive to develop primarily `better for you’ specialty beverages that are marketed to adults and children.”
Left: LeFous Brew - Right: Red's Apple Freeze
As an example, Disney’s Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge features a selection of signature alcohol-free cocktails, like the Rose Petal Soda, prepared with locally sourced and purified sparkling water flavored with rose essence and garnished with an edible sugar-glazed organic rose petal. And then there’s Wildberry Lemonade, made with all-natural lemonade and flavors of blackberry, strawberry, raspberry and blueberry topped with wildberry fruit foam and a spritz of purified sparkling water.
All-natural, alcohol-free wine sodas are also available, sweetened with California grape juice - Chardonnay, Pinot Noir or Rosé. Other specialties include the Coconut Elixir made with Zico Coconut water, pineapple and cranberry juices, and the No-Jito, made with fresh limes, organic agave nectar and mint, topped with soda water.
In terms of souvenir glassware, Disney came up with LeFou’s Brew, named after Gaston’s sidekick in “Beauty and the Beast.” It’s a frozen apple juice drink with a hint of toasted marshmallow, topped with an all-natural passion fruit-mango foam. Prepared in a layered fashion with foam on top, it’s served in souvenir steins and goblets at Gaston’s Tavern at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Florida. This same beverage, renamed Red’s Apple Freeze, is served at Cars Land in California. Popular with kids and adults alike, Disney has sold an average of 30,000 a month.
Disney’s program also offers health and wellness focused beverages including options like Odwalla 100% fruit juices, Zico Coconut water and certified organic Honest iced teas. A “create your own fresh fruit smoothie bar” is available at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort at Walt Disney World in Florida. The five-diamond Victoria & Albert’s restaurant, located inside Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, features a premium water menu for guests with over 20 selections from around the world.
Alcohol-free signature beverage sales have increased by a record 39% over last year. “We are thrilled that our alcohol-free beverages are performing so well,” says McGuire. “Disney has made a significant investment to ensure that our guests receive a memorable beverage experience and these results indicate that our many new alcohol-free options have been very well received.”