I'll never forget back in the fall of 1999, when our staff of directors got to vote on whether to take a step no other park had dared to try.
Free soft drinks.
I remember like it was yesterday, because it was a dramatic moment. (For me, anyway.)
Right before we voted, Will made sure we all understood: "This is for keeps. If we do this, we can't ever take it back."
Inside, I did a happy dance. Knowing we wouldn't pull the plug a few years after offering such an amazing perk put me at ease.
The vote, as I recall, was unanimous. And the room was very quiet.
The next month, at our annual theme park trade show, lots of park CEOs got in Will's face and asked with great emphasis, "Are you NUTS?!"
That was our Will.
Like a fox.
A year later at that same expo, Will was given an award for what amounted to the industry's "best new idea."
That's not to say we haven't tweaked around on the program from year to year.
First we added more diet soft drinks. Then Gatorade. And this year a yummy no-calorie peachy green tea.
Here's the full offering you'll find around the parks:
Caffeine-Free Diet Pepsi
Diet Mountain Dew
Caffeine-Free Root Beer
Caffeine Free Sierra Mist
Diet Dr Pepper
Fruit Punch Gatorade
Brisk Sweet Tea
Diet Peach Green Tea
*A little punctuation trivia: Dr Pepper does not have a period after the Dr.
Additionally, we have brewed tea (sweet and unsweet) at Kringle’s Kafé, Alamo, and Plymouth Rock Café plus coffee at Kringle’s Kafé and Mrs. Klaus’ Kitchen.
And what is our most popular beverage? That would be ... Gatorade.
Please stay hydrated this summer - and don't forget to use our free sunscreen. We want you to be safe, comfortable, and happy during your visit.