Disney, Universal, Sea World, and more are pushing for a new exemption to an old law in the Florida Senate. The bill, labeled HB 73 is set to give theme parks an out to the old Malt Beverage laws that prohibited them from taking money for advertisements and promotions.
HB 73 Would amend s. 561.42, F.S. which basically states:
“Malt Beverage Advertising Agreements; Prohibits certain entities & persons from assisting or providing specified items, monies, or services to a licensed vendor; prohibits licensed vendor from accepting specified items, monies, or services from certain entities or persons”
Basically theme parks could make agreements with larger “malt beverage” aka beer, distributors for naming rights or advertising. Who wouldn’t want a beer advertisement in their photo. I mean they would like pay a lot of money to Disney or Universal to have it there!
I could see Universal paying some big beer company to make “Duff Beer.”
The new wording would allow entities like the theme parks to “enter into a written agreement for brand naming rights and associated cooperative advertising in an arm’s length transaction for no more than fair market value ..” but certain conditions must be met to qualify as an permitted premises.
It’s also worded so that preferential treatment can’t be given to the brands from a sponsor company and the theme parks can still sell other companies products.
Smaller breweries are still concerned that this will just give more leverage to the larger corporations who already have the brand recognition and the money to pay for more advertising.
As a guest, I’m okay with special events and activities as long as they’re not intrusive. Disney especially touts itself as a “family park” and Walt Disney didn’t even want alcohol in Disneyland. But money talks with Disney.
Does this mean we will get rides or attractions sponsored by beer companies now?
This was the first thing we asked when we heard this. The answer is currently–No. So we aren’t getting something like “Pirates of the Caribbean sponsored by Anheuser-Busch” or anything like that.
Apparently they did try to get this through back in 2017 according to the Orlando Sentinel:
“Lawmakers considered a similar bill that failed to pass in 2017 that would have allowed brewers to sponsor rides or events at major theme parks, an exemption to the “tied house evil” law that bans brewers from giving gifts or special deals to retail sellers. In Britain, a “tied house” is a bar required to sell beer from a particular company.”
At this time it seems that isn’t what this is about. Of course that could change over time. Right now the issue seems to be that some see it as another hurdle for small breweries in market competition.
Many think it’s fine and a smart business choice. I think it’s just about money and companies like Disney trying to make up revenue. When you can’t get anymore blood from the rocks you find new rocks.
What do you think? Comment and let us know.
Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered blog that objectively covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.