Fire up the flux capacitor and hop in the Delorean because we’re going back in time. I know, that’s Universal Studios talk, but Doc Brown is the only guy I know that can make this happen…
It’s 1957 at Disneyland. The park has only been open for two years, but Walt’s got lots of places for us to eat! Let’s take a little tour of our options starting with good ‘ol Main Street USA.
The Carnation Ice Cream Parlor (currently known as Gibson Girl) was the perfect spot for a cool treat. Further down the road you could stop at the Carnation Plaza Gardens for some quick service food. Does anyone remember the frozen malts they sold with the wooden spoons? I DO!
There was also the Refreshment Corner sponsored by Coca Cola, The Maxwell Coffee House Shop, The Puffin Bake Shop, and the Red Wagon Inn, which is said to have been Walt’s favorite park eatery and later became the Plaza Inn.
Another option was a cafeteria style restaurant called the Pavilion. Check out the photos below, I’m absolutely loving the popcorn cart and its cute little cowpoke customers!
Take a right off of Main Street USA and you’ll stumble into Tomorrowland. Here, you can hit the Space Bar, an automat type restaurant as well as the Yacht Club (self service) and the Dairy Bar, which was an exhibit sponsored by the American Dairy Association.
After Tomorrowland, we’ll head over to Fantasyland. Here you can eat at the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship (YES PLEASE!) or get some fresh grape juice from the Welch’s Stand.
In 1957, Frontierland was the place to really get your grub on; it had the most dining options of all the lands in the park. The Chicken Plantation Restaurant served up a fried chicken dinner for just $1.70. Meals could be enjoyed on the patio of a plantation style home along the Rivers of America. The Plantation House closed in 1962 to make room for New Orleans Square.
Not in the mood for fried chicken? Head over to the Golden Horseshoe for dinner and a show. Or visit the birth place of the Dorito chip and dine on some Mexican Food at Casa de Fritos. Looking for breakfast? Grab some pancakes at Aunt Jemima’s Pancake house. And if none of those sounded tempting, you could pop in at the New Orleans Barbecue. There was also the Oaks Tavern, a malt shop & an orange juice refreshment stand.
After viewing the backside of water, you could roam Adventureland and hit the Cantina for some light refreshments. It also shared an entrance to the Pavillion (cafeteria style) restaurant that was located off of Main Street USA. Another orange juice stand was located in Adventureland as well.
The Disneyland Hotel restaurants were also a happening spot. All hotel restaurants were run by the Gourmet Restaurant Company.
There was a Coffee Shop, a few cocktail lounges, and a dining area that seated over 1,000 guests. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks were available from the Gourmet eateries and they were open 7 days a week. I’m digging the groovy purple leather chairs in the main dining room!
AND before we head back to the future, I just had to include this fun 1957 “Disneyland Data” fact sheet.
Can you believe that in 1957 the average cost of a trip to Disneyland was $2.29 a person??? This price included admission to the park, rides, amusements, souvenirs AND parking! Today $2.29 won’t even get you a churro, but Disneyland, I love you anyways…
Do you remember any of these original park dining spots? I used to love the frozen malts at the Carnation Plaza Gardens as a little girl! If you could travel back in time where would you eat? My top spots are Casa de Fritos, The Pirate Ship and The Plantation House. Do you have any vintage Disneyland ephemera? I’m basically obsessed with vintage park maps, menus and guide books. This one came from a local flea market. I find it fascinating to flip through the pages of yesteryear and think about what it must have been like to be at Disneyland way back when.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!