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'Beast' brings wine & beer to Magic Kingdom; best places for a drink at Disney World

BeastI've heard some suggestions that Hell is about to freeze over as Disney prepares to serve alcohol for the first time at Magic Kingdom. The new Be Our Guest restaurant in Beast Castle, part of the Fantasyland expansion, will serve wine and beer as part of its sit-down dinner service in the French-themed restaurant.

According to Disney's sample menus, wine (from France and California) will run $8-$17 per glass; beer (one French, three Belgian) will be $6.25-$10.50. The restaurant officially opens Dec. 6 with the rest of the expansion, but as with the rest of the attractions has been having "rehearsals" and will have a soft opening in the next few days.

Magic Kingdom is the only park in Disney World that doesn't already serve wine, beer or cocktails, and this seemed a good time to tell you about my favorite places to drink in the other parks.

With its World Showcase, Epcot has the most opportunities for an adult beverage -- a British pub, beer at the German pavilion, champagne and Grand Marnier slushies from France -- and especially for people who love their upscaled margaritas and tequila. La Cava del Tequila (pictured at right) serves some outrageous margaritas -- some with a cactus-lemongrass or Cavadeltequila hibiscus salt rim, or perhaps flavored with cucumber and basil or muddled jalapenos. La Hacienda de San Angel also offers a variety of margaritas plus tequila flights. At both places, most margaritas are in the $12-$14 range, plus La Hacienda de San Angel fruity frozen margaritas for $9.25.

But my favorite spot for a drink at Epcot is Tutto Gusto, a wine bar that opened this spring adjacent to the Tutto Italia restaurant. It has an extensive wine-by-the-glass list, with most wines in the $7-$11 Tuttogustorange, as well as by the quartino, a larger pour, most $11-$14. Tutto Gusto has a nice menu of small plates, cheese and cured meats ($6-$12, pictured at left) -- and its intimate atmosphere makes it perfect for lingering.

Disney's Hollywood Studios has the Tune In Lounge, the bar in the Prime Time Cafe, both with a '50s TV theme. The drinks menu features Dad's Classic Cocktails, including a classic martini, Cosmopolitan, margarita or Singapore Sling, and drinks from Dad's Liquor Cabinet, served with Dad's Experimental Electric Ice Cubes, all around $10.  Primetime

I found the cheapest margaritas at the Dawa bar next to the Tusker House Restaurant at Animal Kingdom. Dawa is a roofed but open-air bar. It serves an African Margarita made with tangerine liqueur (only $8.25) as well as African beers.

Photo credits: Walt Disney Resorts