Friday, December 28, 2012

The Original Carnation Cafe

Most guests that visit Disneyland probably do not realize the history behind the Carnation Cafe; to them, it is a restaurant with outdoor seating on Main Street that recently added an indoor area. Ironically, it began its days at Disneyland as indoor venue, complete with counter seating, just like an old fashioned Ice Cream Parlour.

Up until now, I'd never seen a color photo of the interior. Back in the day, interior shots of dark rides and restaurants/shops were rarely taken, due to the limitations of the camera equipment that the typical guest would own. Now, thanks to the August 1966 image, you can see the colorful interior of the Carnation Cafe in its original form:

Where the outdoor seating exists today was formerly the Flower Market, where guests could buy faux floral arrangements to take home with them. Imagine an old fashioned farmer's market mixed in with the modern wonders of plastic! As you can see in this vintage shot, there were a few cafe tables outdoors where guests could sit and order their food.

Through the miracle of Photoshop, I combined two vintage images to get this panoramic view of the Flower Market area:

The Carnation Company truck, parked in the middle of the Flower Market, was a popular spot for photos, as you can see in this August 1963 shot:

See more vintage & current Disneyland Carnation Cafe photos on my Carnation Cafe web page.


Anonymous said...

That interior shot sure looks familiar, very different from the heavy-handed pseudo-Victorian of today.

Love the paper coffee cups on the tables. Remarkable how similar in design they are to the vintage Campbell's Soup can.

Red on top, white below, with the logo mediating between the two colors. If they were still using this look today, there would be blood.

Thank you Dave, for the look back.


Anonymous said...

Certainly the way I remember it, when Main Street had real charm. Plastic or not, this was a very pretty camera spot.

Anonymous said...

I had lunch at the counter at least 3 times a week. They had a great hamburger, and a small salad on the side, all for about a dollar.


The Viewliner Limited said...

Happy New Year Dave. All the best, Richard.

K. Martinez said...


Here's another vintage interior shot I saw of the Carnation Ice Cream Parlor.

Chrissy @ Adventures in DIY said...

Carnation is one of my favorite places to eat in the park because I love their baked potato soup! I've also had the pleasure of chatting with chef Oscar. I have friends that work at the park and know him, so whenever we eat there, we make sure to chat with him - he's the sweetest man!

I've been following your blog for quite some time - it's wonderful to see all the old & new things at Disneyland. Oh - and I voted for your beautiful picture. :)

Allan Olson said...

The previous interior appearance of Carnation Café is really different from how it’s like today. It’s a bit shady compared to its current interior which is bright. Taking a glance at its original setting gives you a carnival atmosphere though. It simply tells you that this establishment is indeed a landmark of Disneyland!