Monday, February 18, 2013

The Back Side of Chicken

If this building looks familiar, it's probably because the faux plantation-style house inside of the Blue Bayou Restaurant was patterned after it. The Plantation House Restaurant (also known as The Chicken Plantation) was sponsored by Swift's Premium Meats. It is located approximately where the Haunted Mansion now resides. To get your bearings, here's a view of it from September 1961 that also shows Fowler's Harbor.

It's not too difficult to find vintage photos of the front of the restaurant, but the backside is a different story. Here's a previously posted black and white shot of the adobe-styled rear of the Plantation House.

$1.70 for a fried chicken dinner? Not bad!

Recently, I acquired these two color images of the back side of The Plantation House, with the first one from September 1959:

Obviously, the back side styling of the restaurant fit into the Frontierland theme much better than the front, which was more in line with New Orleans Street and the New Orleans Square that eventually replaced it.

For a short time during the beginning stages of the New Orleans Square construction, guests could order their fried chicken from a walk-up window. After that, you'd have to get your Fried Chicken fix taken care of over at The Red Wagon Inn, another Swift-sponsored restaurant.

See more vintage Disneyland Chicken Plantation photos on my Chicken Plantation web page.


Dan said...

Great post & even better title, Dave! Plantation House was before my time, but existing photos suggest a lively serenity—the wafting scent of frying chicken mingling with Dixieland Jazz makes for a nice combination.

Current-day New Orleans Square is still a favorite spot, but a short walk to the Plaza Inn is necessary if you desire some (real good) fried chicken. Hmm... wonder how today's fried chicken measures up to the Plantation House? Did Cordelia Knott ever sneak in to try to botch their efforts?

K. Martinez said...

I like the split theme of the Chicken Plantation. It kind of reminds me of the Pavilion restaurant building on the Main Street/Adventureland border.

That last photo of the shady park between the restaurant and the railroad tracks looks so cool and inviting.

Anonymous said...

I also have no recollection of the place, but it looks to have beenb a very pleasant setting. Not much is left in the park to enjoy some serenity. KS


Actually todays Plaza Inn serves BROASTED CHICKEN so the Chicken Plantation FRIED chicken would have tasted slightly different, but must have been pretty popular for Disneyland to continue serving thru a construction wall!

John Hench once mentioned that shortly after the park opened the Southwestern theme side of the Chicken Plantation structure was remodeled a bit to feature some fancier
Western details like shutters and other decorations to fancy it up a bit because SWIFT Company reps thought it looked like a mud hovel and not very enticing to potential guests viewing from the train.

Daveland said...

Mike - Interesting how on the official DL website, with all the restaurants listed, the mini paragraph for Plaza Inn lists it as "Fried," but when you go inside, it's listed as "Broasted." I believe the signage inside still says "Fried," but either way - it is delicious! Thanks for the info on Hench perking up the backside!

KS - Yes, those serenity spots keep getting harder and harder to find. Part of the problem with them having limited real estate for DL.