News: Disneyland Bids Adieu to Disney Legend Chef Oscar Martinez

If you’ve enjoyed a meal at Carnation Cafe on Main Street, U.S.A., in Disneyland, you’ve likely been in the midst of real Disney royalty –perhaps without even knowing it.

Carnation Cafe

Carnation Cafe

Chef Oscar Martinez has been working in the Cafe for half a century — and he has been working at Disneyland for over sixty total years. This makes Chef Oscar the longest tenured Disneyland cast member ever.

Carnation Cafe's Chef Oscar

Carnation Cafe’s Chef Oscar

But after decades of turning out “Oscar’s Potatoes” and his Loaded Baked Potato Soup, Chef Oscar retired on September 27. (And may we say that it is a well-deserved break?!)

Chef Oscar with his New Penguin Buddies

Chef Oscar

Chef Oscar has been a touchstone for visitors to Walt’s park, often seen first thing in the morning, waving to guests as they entered the park. He was always game for a chat, as our Disneyland correspondent Heather Sievers (@diningindisney) found out one morning.

Oscar started as a bus boy and worked his way up the restaurant ladder, finally achieving fame as a connoisseur of comfort food at Carnation Cafe. It was here that Oscar spent the last fifty years of his service to the Walt Disney Company and to the guests he loved so much.

Chef Oscar

Chef Oscar

And while Oscar has more recently spent his time as an ambassador in the dining room rather than as a chef on the line, his influence will continue to be felt in the Carnation Cafe and in the Company for years to come.

We wish Chef Oscar all the best in his retirement — and thank him for spreading so much Disney magic over the past six decades.

Have you met Chef Oscar? Share your story in the comments below! 

Dining in Disneyland: Vintage Disneyland Menus from the D23 Expo Archives

As a Disney fan (OK… borderline maniac Disney freak) and a D23 member, I consider the D23 Expo a must-attend event.  In addition to the informative exhibits, amazing shopping, creative costumes, and fabulous people watching, I always look forward to the D23 Archives exhibit.

Seeing original pieces of Disneyland history up close and personal is such a treat.  This year’s archives exhibit was so wonderfully done.  I spent most of my visit drooling over the display of photos, menus and other original paraphernalia from the restaurants and snack spots of Disneyland’s first years.

Let’s go back in time and take look! (I apologize in advance for some of the photos and shadows. The display area was very dark and the photos overlapped each at other causing some shadowing.)

Let’s start with the Tahitian Terrace which was located behind the Tiki Room in Adventureland.  It opened in 1962 and closed in 1993.  The dinner theater offered guests food and entertainment inspired by the French Polynesian Islands.

Tahitian Terrace Entrance

Tahitian Terrace Entrance

How great is the artwork on the menu??? I love it!
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Memory Lane: 1955 Disneyland Restaurant Ads

Like Adventureland and Fantasyland, the “Kingdom of Good Eating” at Disneyland is another great attraction.

PaleoFuture recently published on scribd a scan of the July 15, 1955, Souvenir edition of the Long Beach Independent Press-Telegram. This is a Disneyland edition, on the front of which Walt Disney himself introduces Disneyland’s Magic Kingdom to the readers:

Presented in this special newspaper section are a few of the many delights and wonders that are yours to enjoy in Disneyland.

The paper includes stories about Disneyland’s new attractions, along with ads for Disneyland’s contracted landscapers, gas company, electric company, roofers, bra shoppe (??), and more. Of course, what we’re interested in is the food.

The following are several ads for the new Disneyland restaurants, along with one of a few journalistic stories about the dining options. If an image is too small to read, just click and enlarge.

Intro to the “Kingdom of Good Eating” in Disneyland

An intro to Eating Land at Disneyland

An intro to Eating Land at Disneyland

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Disney Food History: Disneyland’s Carnation Ice Cream Parlor

As many of you know, Disney Company and Disney parks history is of great interest to me, so when James (a.k.a. @DisneyNorth) sent along this fantastic menu, I couldn’t wait to share it with you.

Here’s a short quote from his email, describing his vintage find:

Thought you may find this item interesting. I bought it recently on eBay. It is a 1962 Carnation Ice Cream Parlor menu from Disneyland, that doubles as a postcard. Check out the prices on some of those sundaes!!!

Menu
In addition to the burgers, franks, and grilled cheese, the restaurant showcased sundaes created to highlight different parts of Disneyland, like Frontierland’s Old Timer, made with Peppermint Stick ice cream; and Fantasyland’s Snow White Sundae, made with Vanilla ice cream, coconut, and marshmallow topping.

Here are the images of the menu; you can click each photo for a larger version.

Carnation1

I love that the sandwiches are “delightfully” garnished with cottage cheese; and that the Mammoth Matterhorn Mountain sundae, “One of the world’s largest sundaes,” with 5 scoops of ice cream, sliced pineapple, 5 different sundae toppings, sliced banana, chopped almonds, whipped cream and cherry, costs just $1.00.

This description is to the right of the menu when the postcard is fully unfolded:

CarnationDescription

Here’s the postcard back of the menu ($.03 postage!):

CarnationFront

Carnation Ice Cream Parlor History
Carnation Ice Cream Parlor opened with Disneyland in 1955. An outdoor dining area was added in 1977, and the restaurant was closed in 1997. The indoor area now houses the counter-service Blue Ribbon Bakery, and the outdoor area survives as the Carnation Cafe, serving table-service meals.

You can read a great memory of the Carnation Ice Cream Parlor’s final day over on mouseplanet.

Thanks, James!