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Disney and Universal Pushing for Law Change to Allow Beer Advertisements & Promotions in Theme Parks

Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort are pushing again for a state law change that would give beer companies more exposure and the parks potentially more revenue during the coronavirus pandemic recovery.

According to Gabrielle Russon of the Orlando Sentinel, Universal and Disney are both lobbying for HB 73, which carves out an exemption to a Prohibition-era rule that would let theme parks make advertising and naming rights deals with beer manufacturers. The theme parks are jumping into a fight with craft brewers and smaller distributors who fear an uneven playing field if Anheuser-Busch Inbev or another large company gets multimillion-dollar deals with the corporate-owned theme parks.

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A theme park couldn’t give preferential treatment to the advertiser and could still sell beer from another company though, according to the bill.

You can read more of the story here.

  1. I think this is the important take away, though – “A theme park couldn’t give preferential treatment to the advertiser and could still sell beer from another company though, according to the bill.”

    I don’t drink, for example, Budweiser but if putting “sponsored by Anheisser-Busch” at the bottom of the sign helps to stave off a price hike or two, go for it.

    It is possible, however, that I am being naive…

    1. It doesn’t remove price hikes. Just like the hotel parking charges never decreased hotel costs in any other ways. It just went into Disney’s deep pocket. Disney wants to maximize it’s profit. If they can get the money, they’ll take it.

  2. The Orlando Sentinel requires subscriber login to read the article, which I don’t have, so I’m entirely imagining the advertising tie-ins.

    Pirates of the Caribbean – pirates are all swinging bottle of Captain Morgan while singing “drink up me hearties, yo ho!”
    Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride returns, sponsored by Budweiser. Starts with a voice of Mr. Toad saying “I’m totally fine to drive.”
    Dumbo ride disables rider control and becomes erratic flying pattern to play up the scene where Dumbo’s drunk. Sponsored by some champagne company.
    Something about the Rockin’ Rollercoaster that I’m not cleaver enough to come up with now.

  3. If you can’t go a few hours without a drink, you have bigger problems to contend with. There’s no reason Disney or the airlines need to serve or advertise alcohol on their property. It only causes more avoidable problems.

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