WandaVision Has Inspired Us To Share This Retro Look at Disneyland Dining Over The Years
If like me, you’re planning on curling up on the sofa and watching the new WandaVision show on Disney+ then chances are you’re looking for some snack time inspiration! I don’t know if its because I’ve been writing about the retro-style wonderfulness of WandaVision all week but I’ve been doing a lot of reminiscing about popular theme parks treats throughout the years! And right on queue, Disney drummed up a timeline of the culinary delights found at Disneyland since it opened in 1955.
So let’s celebrate the weekend and WandaVision with a journey through some of the sights, sounds and tastes of Disneyland parks over the decades!
When Disneyland first opened in 1955, meals could be anything from a quick hotdog to a sit down meal at Swift’s Red Wagon Inn (now the Plaza Inn) which served upscale meals in an elegant setting. A highlight during this time was the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship and Restaurant in Fantasyland. Over in Tomorrowland the Yacht Club and Space Bar pulled in the quick service crowds.
On Main Street USA you could find decadent treats at the Carnation Cafe a highlight of which was different ice cream flavors representing each land! At this time Rancho del Zocalo was called Casa de Fritos and served up a tortilla bowl with hamburger and cheese. And who can forget The Golden Horseshoe, which not only delivered “tongue teasing foods and drinks” but also a stage how!?
This was the decade that brought us the famous Blue Bayou Restaurant in New Orleans Square and just above, the private and exclusive Club 33 was created for Walt to host dignitaries and sponsors including those being courted for Disney World.
To this day, New Orleans Square is known for its classic Disney treats which includes Monte Cristo sandwiches, beignets and mint juleps. Over at Adventureland there was the Tahitian Terrace along the Jungle River and Don De Fore’s Silver Banjo Barbecue (which held the distinction of being the only restaurant at Disney that was named after someone other than Walt or a Disney character.) One of the specialties here was the Fantasia Ice Cream which was a blend of banana, pistachio and cherry.
It was the start of a new era for Disney snackers with the introduction of DOLE Whip to the theme parks! It was served up at Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room. Did you know that the Tiki Room was originally designed to be a restaurant but this idea with scrapped when it was felt diners would be too distracted by the birds?
Instead, what debuted was a theater experience with three shows running each hour. In another interesting bit of Tiki Room trivia, legend has it that the Tikis in the Garden were hand-carved by Imagineer Rolly Crump using a plastic fork from the commissary at Walt Disney Studios!
This year gave us neon, Cabbage Patch Dolls and CHURROS! These treats were created to be served as a snack at Videopolis in Tomorrowland but were taste-tested at a kiosk near the exit to the Mark Twain Riverboat. Apparently only 100 were made on the day they premiered in 1985 and became an instant hit. Decades later and the popularity of Churros is still going strong! Disney has debuted many different varieties over the years along with special dipping sauces. BBQ reigned supreme when it came to quick service dining and Big Thunder Barbecue became a popular lunchtime spot. The eatery offered outdoor dining and dishes included beef or chicken with a range of family-style fixings.
Another decade, another iconic Disney treat! According to Disney Parks Blog, it took Disney 40 years to come up with this beloved snack. There were several iterations including a version where only the Mickey ears were covered in chocolate. However, since the 90s, Nestle has been producing this beloved ice cream snack. The 90s also brought us Bengal Barbecue, a popular spot near Indiana Jones Adventure that serves up delicious beef, chicken and veggie barbecue!
2000s – Today
These days its all about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge which opened in 2019 and gave us a whole host of intergalactic goodies include Blue and Green Milk (Luke Skywalker’s favorite) Ronto Wraps and some bubbling drinks at Oga’s Cantina!. And though its fairly new on the scene, we also can’t imagine a visit to Adventureland without stopping at Tropical Hideaway for a chat with Rosita and one of the incredible Dole Whip varieties on offer.
Don’t miss WandaVision on Disney+ where you can NOW catch the first two episodes! Also keep following along with MickeyBlog for more Disneyland news and updates!
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