Friday, August 27, 2010

The Plaza Inn: A Disneyland Classic!



Anyone who has suffered through a trip to the park with me knows that The Plaza Inn is one of my favorite restaurants there. Its fried chicken and caramel apple pie call to me like the song of the siren each time I stroll by. Originally called the Red Wagon Inn, it was renamed in 1965 and became the restaurant that we all know today. Photo number one today is a heavily retouched shot of Walt, sitting inside the Plaza Inn, 1966. Back before photoshop, newspapers would have to handpaint or airbrush photos before publication to eliminate flaws and to bump up the contrast to improve their look on newsprint. Retouched or not, Walt still looks mighty pleased to be there.

This 1960’s interior view shows guests being entertained by live music and attended to by a cast member dressed in era-appropriate garb.



Here’s a closeup of the band, which looks like they escaped from the set of The Lawrence Welk Show:



Another vintage interior view:



Although some of the interior has changed over the years, it still has the same warm overstuffed Victorian charm of the 1965 original:











View more vintage and current Plaza Inn photos on my regular website.

14 comments:

Robin's Egg Bleu said...

I adore the Plaza Inn! I think it has the best food for the best price with the best ambience. When you're sick of the 'junk' food, this is the place to go, especially if you have kids.

I've tried the Blue Bayou in the Pirates a few times, and been highly disappointed each occasion. Never again.

From now on, the Plaza!

Connie Moreno said...

I love, love,love the Plaza Inn just because it's so beautiful. My favorite is the pot roast. YUMMY!

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Great post - Hey, I've only ate at the Plaza in twice, one of the times was with you!

And a one and a two....... Ah Wunnerful!!

Disney On Parole said...

Hey Dave,
I too think the Plaza Inn is the best!
I miss the tuna fish sandwich they used to sell... But bring on their FRIED CHICKEN!!! [yum]

It's a shame that it's now hidden behind tall hedges. I miss being able to see the beautiful building as walking by...
Thanks for the shots.

Thufer said...

I have many wonderful memories of 'breakfast with..' and late night cups of coffee to keep going to the end of the night. It is a wonderful spot and ranks high on the places to sit and people watch meter.

Skinny Arbuckle said...

i too love the plaza inn. why are we not going to dland together???

William Bezek said...

I always liked those Victorian draperies, what can I say...I was a weird kid!

Mark Taft said...

Just ate lunch here last trip. The food was good, but the atmosphere was beautiful. Disney elegance of old!

Mark
www.InsightsandSounds.blogspot.com

Mark said...

There was a time when Walt entertained guests in a private room at the Red Wagon Inn, which was a pre-cursor to Club 33. Not sure where this private room was exaclty. Perhaps Dave or someone else knows.

Great article and photos. And I agree, this is a super place to bring a family, or anyone for that matter.

JG said...

These photos vividly recall a visit there with Mom and Dad when I was very young.

The musicians looked exactly like the photo. Since Welk was a big favorite in our house, I'm sure they were a big draw.

The violinist came out to walk around the dining room as a solo, he would come to the tableside and play a bit. Might be the guy in that picture.

I was mortally embarrassed when Dad called him over and tipped him to play "My Little Alice Blue Gown" for my Mom. They held hands while he played.

Thanks for the memory.

JG

david said...

I ate there last year. Great food! I tried to eat again this year but "Storyteller cafe" won out. Will definitely eat there again when next I go.

Nick Brown said...

I remember that decades back, a bunch of us teenagers took valuable time away from the rides to have a sit-down-and-served meal in the Plaza Inn.

Nowadays, wife and I follow the siren song of the chicken (and apple pie) ... just this week we noticed that the texture and color of the fried chicken was darker and not as appetizing. Pull of the skin and it's just as tasty!

danascullymdfbi said...

Wow, this was awesome. Thank You so much! I was a greeter and server at the Plaza Inn and Plaza Pavillion in 1988-1989 (during the Disneyland State Fair and The Blast to the Past), and I actually caught your blog in search of some photo or image of the costume I wore at the Plaza Inn in 1989. I am now 42 with two young teenage boys, in Northern California, and we go to Disneyland every year at Christmastime. I still miss being "a star in the Disney show..." Thanks for the memories...

Davelandweb said...

Always good to hear from cast members! If you have any memories you'd like me to add to my Plaza Inn page, feel free to email me at dvdpicasso@aol.com