For Guests who visit from Texas, the Walt Disney World Resort can present quite a problem, and thanks to an 80-year relationship that was begun by Walt Disney himself, there seems to be no resolution in sight.
Texans can be some of the friendliest people in the world, but they’re particular about a few things. Friday nights in the fall are for high school football (Friday night lights are a real thing), even if you don’t have kids in high school. Texans love their Cowboys, even though that’s not the only NFL team in Texas. Most families own a “pick-up” truck, and many own the “Texas Edition” Ford, Toyota, GMC, or Chevrolet version of a truck. Texans love their Whataburger, their barbecue, their sweet tea, their Buccee’s, and their Schlitterbahn. And most Texans love their Dr. Pepper. (This writer gave it up years ago).
Dr. Pepper is yet another “Texas tradition,” the likes of which must often be explained to non-Texans, which is just fine because Texans like to talk and routinely strike up friendly conversations with total strangers. (You will not feel unwelcome in the Lone Star State.)
The soft drink was created, manufactured, and sold beginning in 1885 and got its start in the Central Texas town of Waco (pronounced “way-co”), according to the Dr. Pepper Museum’s website, and non-Texans got to meet Dr. Pepper for the first time at the 1904 World’s Fair.
People from Texas really like their Dr. Pepper.
But it’s not available in any flavor at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, which presents a problem for some Texans who just can’t understand why Disney would choose Coca-Cola over Dr. Pepper in its theme parks. But there’s a reason for that.
Coca-Cola and Disney have been partners for about 80 years now, and there’s no indication of any trouble in paradise that might lead to a breakup. In fact, Disney’s decision to continue serving Coke products exclusively in the parks is a bit of a nod of respect to Walt Disney himself, as the partnership was initially begun by the visionary in 1942.
According to Disney Parks Blog, Disney’s love affair with Coca-Cola began with an appearance by Walt Disney on a radio program owned by Coca-Cola that year.
“Our relationship with Coca-Cola started in 1942 when Walt Disney first appeared on the Coca-Cola radio program ‘The Pause That Refreshes on the Air.’ In fact, back in 1950, Disney’s television special, “One Hour in Wonderland,” was sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company! And when Disneyland opened on July 17, 1955, our friends at Coke were right there alongside us, sponsoring Refreshment Corner on Main Street U.S.A.”
When Walt was first constructing Disneyland Resort in California, he needed more funding to fully realize his dreams for the new theme park in Anaheim. To do this, he enlisted help from corporate sponsors for individual attractions and experiences. Initially, Coca-Cola sponsored the Coca-Cola Refreshment Corner, and Pepsi-Cola sponsored the Golden Horseshoe.
Sadly, Dr. Pepper has yet to play a role in any part of Disney Parks’ history.
Sorry, Texans. We know it’s a shock. But you’ll have to be Dr. Pepper fasting at Disney World. And–side note–the closest Whataburger is quite a distance away as well.