Tuesday, May 01, 2012

TPE: Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship Restaurant

When whining about "lost" Disneyland, I would have to say the thing I miss most about the original park is The Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship Restaurant. You're probably all sick to death of me talking about how I wish this former Fantasyland restaurant could have been saved, so you'll have to pardon me again as I take my Time Machine on a journey back to when it still loomed merrily over Dumbo. Maybe I could hitch a ride to Disneyland in the official Chicken of the Sea motor car!

I'd also want to get a few shots of the original (translation: rushed to get finished on time) paint scheme, trimmed in a bright white:

Plenty of characters I'd want to get to know on the ship as well, such as Paco the talking parrot:

...and this peg-legged pirate—

...who got to hob-nob with Walt Disney himself when this area was plussed with more detailed thumbing. Here are a few shots from when the incredible Skull Rock Cove area was unveiled in 1960:

And here it is, the signature item...a Tuna Boat!

I think Walt is at a loss for words, staring at the Tuna Boat in his hands:

A few shots of Walt licking his lips in anticipation of his first taste:

An April 1963 shot of the impressive Skull Rock Cove:

June 1965:

A September 1964 view from the Skyway:

No trip to the past would be complete without a journey below the deck:

A closer look at the menu:

And the cast members serving you your meal:

We have to take a look at the lush seating area behind the ship:

For JG, a few extra bonus color shots of the Skull Rock Cove area:

Sadly, the restaurant became a casualty of "new" Fantasyland in 1983. Thanks for indulging me once again as I lament the good ol' Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship!

See more vintage Disneyland Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship photos on my Chicken of the Sea web page.


Thufer said...

Those pictures of Walt crack me up.

K. Martinez said...

They should've done the Circus-Disney "land" behind Storybook Land and move Dumbo over there like they planned. That way Skull Rock Lagoon and Pirate Ship could've stayed. I guess it was not to be.

I'm always amazed by the photos you have of of Walt Disney doing various promotions and publicity shots at the park.

Maverick said...

This is the first time I've ever seen photos of the inside. Sadly, for the life of me, the Chicken of the Sea ship and Skull Rock are the two things I simply don't recall ever seeing. I grew up at Disneyland, did Grad Nite in 82, remember many things others don't, but those two things...I draw a blank. It's crazy.

Heidi Ann said...

I loved seeing the menu and all of the photos - especially the ones with Walt , and the menu! Thank you for yet another fabulous post.

JG said...

Dave, you can kvetch about these all you want and I will be right in line behind you cheering you on. The loss of these beauties is one of the worst disfigurements Disneyland has suffered.

But, we can still visit with your great pictures. I am stunned by the interiors, how wonderful to see that again. I did see in another blog a very dark shot of the Eyvind Earle mural on the back wall.

Also good to see some pics of the outdoor dining area, which was one of my most favorite places, dark, cool, with the sound of running water. Just a beautiful little hiding place right outside the busy midway.

I can see the beautiful stone mosaic paving in the last two B&W shots. I remember that so vividly, for some reason. Maybe because at that age, I was so close to it. Any chances of seeing that paving in color? I recall it as gray and white in black matrix, and similar to the paving in the restroom area of the Tiki Room.

Thank you again.


Connie Moreno said...

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! The inside shots jump-started my brain and I began to remember all sorts of things. Those pics are GREAT!

Daveland said...

JG - It would appear that my collection is deficient in color shots of your beloved pavement. Hopefully the 3 extra shots I added to the end of the post will make up for that!

JG said...

Thank you, Dave! Yes, they do somewhat compensate. Each one a gem in it's own way.

Mother and son.
Aerial view of the uniquely piratical trash can.
And the long view of Casey Jr.

Hard to pick a favorite out of those, all right out of youth.

When my plan for world domination comes true, I will have the pirate ship and skull rock reconstructed in my back yard, that's the only solution.


Dave Meek said...

This was always one of my favorite spots at Disneyland and no trip was complete without lunch at the "Tuna Boat." I still remember the smell of the water from Skull Rock falls and playing pirate up on the deck of Cap'n Hook's ship. I recall we did some things in that rigging that would give the Disney lawyers fits today! Thanks for the great memories as always.

Melissa said...

Walt is thinking, "I knew you could tune a piano, but how do you tune a boat?"

Floating deck said...

Definitely put the pool in first. As you are assembling it, you really need space all around to put up the wall and the liner, etc. Also, it's often easier to place, adjust, and trim the deck to fit the pool exactly, rather than the other way around.. . As for concrete underneath the pool, it's not necessary, but could be a good idea. For most installations, all that you need to do is level the ground, and put sand down for an even surface. Since the weight is evenly distributed, there's are no pressure points that need to be supported.. . If, however, the ground is very soft or marshy, then a concrete slab might be a good idea so that the pool doesn't shift over time.. . Incidentally, you'll definitely need concrete for the footings for the deck.

Unknown said...

Hi, Dave:
The peg leg pirate was Captain Guy. He had a real peg leg. He lost his leg in the Korean War.
The two men with Walt and the tuna salad - on the left Peter Buchan (sp) and the one on the right is my father, Glenn Copeland - at the time he was Vice President of Chicken of the Sea.
The guys with Walt on the exterior shots - left to right Gilbert Van Camp Jr. in the dark glasses - He was president of Chicken of the Sea, the company had been started by his father, Gilbert, Sr.; then Capt. Guy, Walt and Glenn Copeland.
John Copeland

Daveland said...

Hi John! Good to hear from you; you'd sent me that info a few years ago and I put it on my Chicken of the Sea page: https://davelandweb.com/chickenofthesea

Steven A Foos said...

Great pictures, bringing back memories. I worked there in high school 1966-1967. My best friends mom managed the ship.

Daveland said...

Hi Steven - I sure would love to have heard her stories!