It Turns Out Many of Disney’s Animated Classics are Steeped in…Tea!

A few months ago, I wrote a blog about how for decades, the Walt Disney Company has been obsessed with dinosaurs, featuring the prehistoric creatures in movies, TV shows and park attractions.

Thanks to the folks at Kent & Sussex Tea and Coffee, we now know that The Walt Disney Company has had a decades-long obsession with tea. [Courtesy of Kent & Sussex Tea and Coffee Co.]
Turns out, Disney has had another decades-long obsession. Care for a spot of tea, anyone?

That’s right. Thanks to the good folks at Kent & Sussex Tea & Coffee Co., I’ve learned that Disney has incorporated tea into its films at [pardon the pun] a rather brisk pace.

While dinosaurs have almost always been the stars during their film/TV/attraction appearances, tea has had more of a supporting role over the years. Still, tea’s presence in works by Disney is quite impressive. Kent & Sussex analyzed 39 hours of Disney films to prove how obsessed Disney is about tea.

Tea and Disney films, by characters. [Courtesy of Kent & Sussex Tea and Coffee Co.]
They thoroughly examined the animated classics and made note of the number of scenes where characters appear to be drinking, pouring or talking about tea. They also examined how often tea pots and teacups appear in the films. Their findings resulted in an illustrated guide to Disney’s tea addiction. Here are some of the highlights of their deep dive into Disney and tea:

Tea and Disney films, by location. [Courtesy of Kent & Sussex Tea and Coffee Co.]
Alice in Wonderland has the longest tea scenes, racking up more than 12 minutes [that’s 15.5% of the film] of hot-tea content. The Mad Hatter’s tea party is the most iconic, but the Mad Hatter also lays out an impressive table of tea for the Queen of Hearts. And Alice falls through a hot teacup in one of the final scenes.

The film with the second longest tea scenes is an unexpected entry. Six minutes (8.5% of the film) of Cinderella is devoted to “tea time.”

One of Cinderella’s main duties is serving tea to the household, even though in the entire film, Lady Tremaine [the wicked stepmother] is the only character to take a single sip of tea.

Tea and Disney films, by scene. [Courtesy of Kent & Sussex Tea and Coffee Co.]
In third place is Mary Poppins, with nearly four minutes [2.5% of the film]. Mary Poppins has the most characters who interact with tea of any Disney movie, but the most preoccupied isn’t Mary Poppins herself, but Mr. Banks [not even cannon-fire comes between him and his morning cup of tea!].

In fact, Mary Poppins has one of the most memorable tea-related scenes in all of Disney’s films: A tea party on the ceiling, hosted by lovable Uncle Albert, who was played by Ed Wynn. [Wynn, it should be noted, was the voice of the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland.]

The floating tea party scene from “Mary Poppins.” [Walt Disney Productions]
Curiously, Beauty and the Beast, the only Disney film which features tea-inspired characters – Mrs. Potts is an actual tea pot, while her son Chip is a teacup – has just two scenes where tea is consumed.

Kent & Sussex’s research into Disney films reveals which character drinks the most tea; which country consumes the most tea; which movie has the most tea scenes, and how many times the word “tea” is mentioned [Answer: A total of 64 times].

The research also found that tea pots appeared 190 times in classic Disney animated films, while teacups were shown 208 times. There’s one area which Kent & Sussex didn’t dip a spoon into: Tea’s presence in Disney Parks.

A scene from the wonderfully wacky Alice in Wonderland attraction in Disneyland. [The Walt Disney Company]
There’s the wonderfully whacky Alice in Wonderland attraction in Disneyland. Of course, there’s the quaint English Tea Garden at the England pavilion in World Showcase at EPCOT.

And who can forget the spinning Map Tea Cup attraction in Fantasyland at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom? For more on Kent & Sussex’s research into Disney and tea, visit .

The Kent & Sussex Tea and Coffee Company was established in 1982 by the Smith family and is based in the heart of the English County of Kent. They are a tea and coffee importer, packer, and coffee and tea wholesaler, producing a range of more than 1,000 products, including lose leaf teas, tea bags and fresh roast coffee.

Chuck Schmidt is an award-winning journalist who has covered all things Disney since 1984 in both print and on-line. He has authored or co-authored seven books on Disney, including his most recent, The Beat Goes On, for Theme Park Press. He also has written a twice-monthly blog for AllEars.Net, called Still Goofy About Disney, since 2015.

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Chuck Schmidt, bitten by the Disney bug at an early age, remembers watching The Mickey Mouse Club after school in the mid-1950s. During his 48-year career in the newspaper business, he channeled that love of Disney as the Sunday News and Travel editor for The Staten Island Advance. Chuck has written or co-authored seven books for Theme Park Press, including Disney's Dream Weavers, On the Disney Beat, An American in Disneyland Paris, Disney's Animal Kingdom: An Unofficial History and The Beat Goes On. Chuck has shared his passion for all things Disney in his Still Goofy About Disney blog on AllEars.Net since 2015. He resides in Beachwood, N.J., with his wife Janet. They have three adult children and seven grandchildren.

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