Friday, August 07, 2009

Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship Restaurant: An Insider’s Look

We’ve all seen at least a few hundred photos of the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship in Fantasyland. Here are two MORE lovely views from January 19, 1968.

“But Dave, you are boring me to death with these Chicken of the Sea shots. Two days in a row?!?”

I feel your pain. That is why today, I am taking you INSIDE the belly of the beast. Ready to order? These two lovely ladies are ready to serve you lines at all!

Here’s a closeup of the menu; boy do I dig those prices!

A closeup of the galley crew that is serving you that delicious Tuna Boat salad:

One last view of the inside for you:

More from San Francisco and the Disney Family Museum. The museum opens October 1, and the website is now live.

Gallery 4—The Move to Features: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Having redefined the art of animation, Walt dares to produce a feature-length film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. During the four years that it was in development, Disney and his brother Roy secured six-figure loans – each loan enough to finance an entire movie – time after time, and skeptics called the film “Disney’s Folly.” Disney brought in an art instructor to

work with his team and insisted that the animators study live models and animals. The studio created a Character Model Department, which constructed small sculptures of characters which let animators study characters in the round. Snow White premiered on December 21, 1937, and Disney won a unique Academy Award™ for the innovative movie: a standard-sized Oscar™ and seven miniatures.

Original art from Snow White, three-dimensional model figures, magazines of the period, audio clips, and a wide array of related 1930s merchandise will help recreate the story of Disney’s pioneering effort to produce Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

For all you internet social community crazies, the museum’s Facebook page & Twitter stream are up and running:

To download a museum factsheet, click here.

See more vintage Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship Restaurant photos at my regular website.


Matterhorn1959 said...

Amazing interior shots. I love the signage in the shape of fish (reminds me of the bumpersticker things Born Again Christians put on their cars.) This did bring back memories of eating at the Pirate Ship!

Robin's Egg Bleu said...

Was this restaurant still here in 1975? That's the first time I got to visit Disneyland, and in all the times I have been there, I do not recall seeing this.

Maybe I was just not too observational as a kid.

Davelandweb said...

Hi Robin - It was there until the Fantasyland remodel in 1983.

Major Pepperidge said...

Amazing interior shots!

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

WOW! Super interior shot, rattled a few old memories for me too!

I want that Fish shaped Menu sign!!!!

Katella Gate said...

The interior shots are BEAUTIFUL, but weird to the third degree... Tourists of the day just didn't take pictures like this. Are they professional photos for documentation or promotion?

The restaurant opened in 1955, lost the "Chicken o.t. Sea" sponsorship in 1969 and closed in 1982 (thanks Werner W.) The fonts used in the signs were popular only briefly in the early to mid 60's. (they are very similar to the fonts used at the World's Fair version of It's a Small World).

Is there any chance that these pics were used to document a face lift the restaurant got at that time? For example any graphics from 1955 would feel very stale by 1962.

Davelandweb said...

Katella - Yes, I believe they were taken for publicity purposes, as other shots from the collection were also of the same ilk. Other than that, i don't know much about the photos. What are you thanking Werner for? This is Daveland, not Yesterland! Ha!

mydisneycollection said...

Wow, I don't think I've EVER seen interior photos of the Tuna Boat. Thanks Dave!

Reading that menu gave me flashbacks to all those Fish on Fridays meals I had to endure as a kid. UGH.

Katella Gate said...

Dave-I used Yesterland as a crib sheet for the restaurant and sponsorship dates -- the internet is full of angry eyes and if I had quoted the wrong year... well, that's what guillotines are for.

By the way, when I am at the Park, I actually have three of the four refreshments: Dole Whip first when I arrive, Mint Julep second (when the counter's open)(*girr*) and Cherry Coke when I'm leaving the park (real, old fashioned Coke).

I had a hard time choosing.

Chris Jepsen said...

Love the interior shots, Dave! Another facet of "old" Disneyland that I never thought I'd see.

HollyLynne said...

Fantastic! I've never seen the inside!!! The prices make me want to cry . . . if only you could get lunch at Disneyland for under $1 anymore!

Davelandweb said...

Katella - next time you are there, you MUST try the Tinkerbell Twist at the Fantasia Freeze near the Matterhorn. It is especially good when you are feeling a little draggy towards the end of a long day at Disneyland. It peps you right up!

TokyoMagic! said...

Wow, those interior shots take me right back in time...although I don't remember the Christian looking menu signs, perhaps those were removed by the seventies.

Do I dare say it again? I MISS THE PIRATE SHIP AND SKULL ROCK!!!! There, I said it again.

Anonymous said...

Great rare shots of the boat. Yes those prices look about right. When I started in foods the tuna sandwich was $.65. I voted for the mint julip. My wife-to-be worked the Mint Julip Bar in the summer of '75 and I'd sneak a freebies when I was on Pirates crowd control. Oh those WERE the days!

Peter said...

Tuna Burger?! ...But hey for 55 cents I'd give it a try. Interior shots were excellent, Dave.


outsidetheberm said...

Great interior shots. Does anyone else remember how crowded, confused and hot it could get in there when the lines got long? It sure seemed like a pretty small space.

CoxPilot said...

Commenting on an old post, hope you see it:

Love the interior shots. Would get the tuna burger for lunch a LOT. Would take a nice rest and break under the awning by skull rock. If the breeze was right, it would blow a little spray from the bow of the boat, and cool the area.

Later, when management noticed that employees were buying lunch from the boat and taking it back to their respective break areas, they decided to offer several items in the employees cafeteria.

Disney employees were not allowed to eat out in public, but as Cox guys we could ignore that edict and enjoy skull rock.

Davelandweb said...

Lee - as always, your insider view is greatly appreciated!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this. The pirate ship was a family favorite. We always had lunch here.

It would be great if you could find some good shots of the dining grotto behind, I remember the tables and seats were barrels. Overhead were sliding canvas canopies like the French Market and the rock paving was special too. unlike paving elsewhere in d'land.

These photos run chills of good memories up my spine, thank you.

Davelandweb said...

Anonymous - I have plenty of those shots of the grotto. Check out my Chicken of the Sea page:

lawmanwv said...

Love the pictures of the interior of the ship. I haven't seen it in 40 years. The picture of the two ladies serving....the one on the right with the red blouse is my grandmother. She managed the restaurant from the early 1960's to about 1974. I went through a LOT of sandwiches on that ship!! I don't know where you found those but Thank You!!!! She taught me how to make the tuna the same way she did there and I've made it the same way ever since. I could never get used to the sweet pickles, though.

Dave DeCaro said...

Lawemanwv: Great to hear from you; I love it when a person/family/friend is able to ID someone and give a good background story. Many thanks!