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We visited Disney’s Boardwalk and Disney Springs (part of the Disneyworld Resort in Florida) last week. We were a party of adults, the youngest being 30 years old.

At Disney’s Boardwalk, two of us walked around to the entrance to EPCOT to watch the 9pm fireworks. The two 30 year olds went to check on the bars and nightclub.

On return from the firework show, we were met by two indignant lads who had been refused entrance to the nightclub and refused an alcoholic beer in the ESPN bar. The reason – they only had their British photo card driving licences and that wasn’t good enough as ID. Disney apparently has an ID rule whereby non-US citizens, who appear under 30, require both a photo ID and a passport in order to gain admission to a club or be served alcohol. Some later research found that a photocopy of a passport is acceptable. This isn’t a Florida state law, where your driving licence is sufficient.

I searched for similar information for Disney Parks in California and it seems the rule is the same there.

I understand that Disney has a wholesome reputation to maintain and wants to avoid the scandal of underage drinking. But this policy isn’t advertised – if, for example, you book one of their restaurants, there is nothing to warn you of the ID requirements. I also question the validity of a photocopied passport, which could easily be photoshopped.

We visited Disney Springs a few days later, for drinks and dinner at the Irish Raglan Road Pub – with passports. None of us were asked for ID, perhaps because I made the whole group look older!

This is what I think Disney should do:

  • Actively advertise the alcohol ID policy.
  • Offer numerous locations where visitors can bring their passport and driving licence for validation and perhaps a Disney-issued photo ID or at least a free photocopying service for passports.

In the meantime, if you think you look younger than 30 on a good day, take enough ID with you to Disney.