Hodgepodge Archives

August 4, 2014

Disney Hodgepodge 5

Jack Spence Masthead

Today's article contains another collection of unrelated odds and ends. Enjoy.

Los Angeles Airways

This next bit of Disney history is probably better known to those of you living on the west coast of the US rather than those of you living in the east. This is because it really didn't directly involve Disneyland and was more of a local story. However, any true telling of Disneyland history can't ignore the incident I'm about to discuss.

In the late 1940's, Los Angeles Airways began offering the first ever regularly-scheduled helicopter mail service. As business grew, they started offering passenger service and by 1954 were whisking travelers between eleven heliports in Los Angeles, Orange, and San Bernardino Counties.

Los Angeles Airways

Soon after the opening of Disneyland, Los Angeles Airways began offering daily helicopter trips between the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and the Disneyland Hotel. At that time, the Disneyland Hotel was owned and operated by Walt's longtime friend, Jack Wrather.

Walt Disney & Jack Wrather

Even though the helicopter service was part of a Wrather concern and not one of Walt's, Walt was still proud that Disneyland was successful enough to warrant this type of attention. Although difficult to make out, the next two pictures show Walt using Los Angeles Airways.

Walt & Los Angeles Airways

Walt & Los Angeles Airways

The helicopter service was a big enough deal to be showcased on the second Disneyland giant souvenir map to be published.

Disneyland Souvenir Map

If you look closely at this next picture, you can see the Matterhorn in the background. (Right side of the picture, next to the lamp pole.)

Helicopter and Matterhorn

In this next picture, you can see the Moonliner and the old Rocket to the Moon buildings in the background. However, I don't know why the helicopter had landed in this spot. The heliport was located just north of the Disneyland Hotel, nowhere near Tomorrowland.

Helicopter Near Tomorrowland

Due to the sprawling nature of Los Angeles, getting to and from LAX can be a nightmare. Even in the 50's and 60's, Angelinos complained that it took longer to get to the airport than to your final destination. To help alleviate this problem, Los Angeles Airways joined with other companies to examine a possible solution.

The idea was to create a central meeting point somewhere within the LA area, possibly Union Station downtown. Passengers would be transported to this location in a "Skylounge," a bus-type vehicle that would be pulled by a large truck. Once at the central meeting point, the Skylounge would be detached from the tractor and reconnected to the belly of a Los Angeles Airways' helicopter. From there, the passengers would be carried above traffic to LAX.



The plan also called for the creation of a V/STOL runway (vertical/short takeoff and landing). This would serve shuttle flights scheduled to fly between LAX and this central meeting point.

A V/STOL was part of the initial construction of Walt Disney World and was positioned adjacent to the Magic Kingdom parking lot. It was hoped that air-shuttle service between Orlando International Airport and Disney World would become a regular event. Although this never happened, the runway was used on several occasions. The Disney World V/STOL still exists today and is used as a staging area for construction projects.


A "Skyrail" was also considered to transport guests between the airport and this satellite station. Does this sketch look somewhat familiar?


Nothing ever came of these ideas, and even if the plans had gained acceptance, Los Angeles Airways would not have been a part of it.

On May 22, 1968, a Los Angeles Airways helicopter leaving Disneyland for LAX crashed near the community of Paramount. All 20 passengers and 3 crew members were killed. Three months later on August 14, 1968, a second Los Angeles Airways helicopter crashed while on route from LAX to Disneyland. All 18 passengers and 3 crew were killed.

Helicopter Crash

All service to Disneyland was eliminated after the second crash. Los Angeles Airways struggled to remain in operation, but closed their doors in 1971 after it failed to reach a contract in which it would have been purchased by Golden West Airlines.


I have been writing for AllEars for almost eight years. During that time, I have received almost 11,000 comments from you, my readers. I would like to tell you how much I appreciate the kind words and praise you have showered on me. It is greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

Just so you know, I personally read every comment before it is posted. First and foremost, I am interested in what you have to say. I learn a lot from you. And occasionally you point out an error in my information (or my spelling). But I also have to make sure that no one says anything inappropriate before the comment goes "live." I probably post 99.9% of what I received.

Overall, I never edit a comment. So if you send me an observation with misspelled words and bad grammar, so be it. That's the way it's going to be posted for all the world to see. I don't have time to correct these. However, on occasion, I will pull out a slightly naughty word before I upload the comment, but this is extremely rare.

That point-one-percent of comments that I don't publish is because it contains views of a controversial or political nature. I'm never going to publish these, no matter how well they are written. AllEars is supposed to be a fun place to escape, not a place to get bogged down in non-topic opinions.

Occasionally I receive a comment that has one or two offending passages. In these cases I will edit the comment before I post it. But if I do, I respond to the sender and inform them of what I have done. Then I give them the choice of leaving the edited comment published, or I will remove it entirely if they wish.

I know that some of my readers make it a point to read the comments on a regular basis. But most of you probably skip them entirely. After all, it can get pretty boring reading posting after posting of "Jack is wonderful." LOL

However, I would like to suggest that each week when you read my new blog, to at least scan the comments from the previous week. Many times, the comments I receive contain great information that I forgot to mention. Or they offer an opposing opinion from mine, which is great. My opinions should never be taken as the "last word."

If you don't want to read all of the comments, just skim the paragraphs for a single line that says: "Jack's Answer" or "Jack's Comment." Quite often a reader will ask me a question and I will answer it here. And lots of times these are fantastic questions with fantastic answers containing information you might not find elsewhere in my columns.

Now that I've told you this, please don't inundate me with questions. Although I'm more than happy to answer the ones I receive, it's all I can do to keep up with my blogs.  But seriously, I am willing to answer the occasional question and the answers can be interesting. But please, try the AllEars "Search" feature for those basic questions like, "How does the Disney Dining Plan work?" I don't know and I don't care. The questions I like best are the ones that relate to park history and details.

So there you have it in a nutshell of how I handle comments.

Shula Burger

I recently received a coupon in the mail for new hamburger joint located on Highway 192. Since I'm always interested in saving a buck, I decided to give the place a try. And I'm very glad I did. It was outstanding!

I usually don't promote non-Disney establishments in my blogs, but in this case the eatery does have a quasi-Disney connection. You see, the hamburger joint is called Shula Burger and it is owned by football coach Don Shula, the same gentleman who runs Shula's Steak House found in the Dolphin Resort.

Shula's Steak House

Shula Burger is located in a relatively new strip mall at 8124 West Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy, Kissimmee, FL 34747 (Highway 192).

Shula Burger

The burger features a 1/3 lb. patty made from a blend of premium Black Angus beef, short rib, and brisket. Although the restaurant does offer several "gourmet" burgers such as the Wine Country, Southwest, French Onion, and The House of Blue, a basic burger is also available. The basic burger comes with standard toppings (lettuce, tomato, pickles, and such) but these can be upgraded with premium toppings like roasted tomatoes, goat cheese, gruyere cheese, blue cheese, roasted red peppers, red onion jam, double cut peppered bacon, and avocados. Beer and wine are also available.

Shula Burger Ordering Station

After you place your order, you're given a table-tent number and asked to find a seat. Your meal is then cooked to order in a show kitchen and brought to your table when complete. And unlike other burger joints, your food is served on pewter plates. This is a nice change from paper.

Shula Burger Show Kitchen

The dining room is basic with some football references on the wall. It's nothing to write home about but the restaurant isn't about the décor, it's about the food. Also found in the dining room are two sinks for washing up before (and after) your meal. Now you don't have to visit the restroom for this basic task. Outdoor seating is also available.

Shula Burger Dining Room

Shula Burger Outdoor Seating

Here is a picture of the standard burger.

Shula Burger Basic Hamburger

Here is a picture of an order of fries and onion rings. Either of these is large enough to be shared by two.

Shula Burger Fries and Onion Rings

Shula Burger is not cheap, but it's worth the extra cost to eat here rather than a big chain fast-food establishment. The burgers were outstanding as were the onion rings and fries. I couldn't be more pleased and I certainly plan on returning soon. I highly recommend this establishment.

Having said that, would I recommend Shula Burger if you're staying at Walt Disney World? No. Disney World has too many great dining opportunities. There is no need to leave property to find someplace else to eat. But if you're staying somewhere along West Highway 192, then I would recommend finding this spot for a satisfying meal. To visit their webpage and check out their menu, click here.

By the way, I have eaten at Shula's Steak House at the Dolphin Resort on one occasion and it was an outstanding experience. Expensive, but outstanding.

Mr. Guder

This next piece was originally published on August 23, 2009. Since many of you had not yet discovered my blogs at that time, I'm hoping this will be new reading for many of you. For those of you who have been with me for this long, well, maybe you've forgotten this bit of Disney history and you need a refresher course.

A handful of famous people have worked at Disneyland. John Lasseter (founder of Pixar) was a Jungle Cruise skipper. Steve Martin worked as a magician in the Main Street Magic Shop. Michelle Pfeiffer portrayed Alice in Wonderland. Teri Garr was a parade dancer. And Bob Cummings, Art Linkletter, and Ronald Reagan were members of Club 55 since they worked at Disneyland on opening day (July 17, 1955) as guest personalities. But there is one other famous celebrity who had a more notorious stint as a cast member.

During the summer of 1967, Richard Carpenter performed at Disneyland with John Bettis as a banjo and piano duo. They played at Coke Corner on Main Street.

Disneyland Coke Corner

Being a time-specific land, they were instructed to play certain pieces from the early 1900's. However, they were frequently asked by guests to perform more contemporary songs like "Somewhere My Love," "Yesterday," and "Light My Fire." Being young and cocky, they ignored their directive and honored the guest's requests. Talent supervisor Vic Guder spoke to them numerous times about straying from the approved song list, but his words had little effect on the duo. Eventually, they were fired.

Being young and not completely understanding how the supervisor-subordinate relationship works, they thought they had received a raw deal. To vent their frustration and outrage they collaborated on an "anti-establishment" song titled, Mr. Guder in honor of their Disneyland boss. The song was later recorded by Richard and his sister Karen and was released on the "Close to You" album in 1970.

Close to You Record Album

In later years, Richard admits that perhaps he should have been satisfied with having a job and not behaving as he did.

Here are the words to the song. Something to keep in mind when reading them, the 1960's represented a time of change. Non-conformity was rampant, except at Disneyland where cast members were expected to maintain the Disney look and attitude. Grooming standards were extremely strict then, more so than they are today.

Mr. Guder.
Say! Mr. Guder.
May I have a moment with you?
Because there is something I've got to say.
And please don't let it scare you away.

Mr. Guder.
Say! Mr. Guder.
I have seen you go through a day.
You're everything a robot lives for,
Walk in at nine and roll out the door at five.

(*) You reflect the company image.
You maintain their rules to live by,
Shine your shoes let's keep a neat haircut,
Now that you're wearing a coat and tie.

Mr. Guder.
Say! Mr. Guder.
Someday soon may realize,
You spend your life just playing a game,
Where no one wins but everyone stays the same.

Repeat (*)

Mr. Guder.
Say! Mr. Guder.
Someday soon may realize,
You spend your life just playing a game,
Where no one wins but everyone stays the same.
The sa-a-a-me.

Play your game!
Stay the same.

April 7, 2014

Disney Hodgepodge Four

Jack Spence Masthead

Pacific Electric Pictures

Today I'm going to discuss one of the stores found on Hollywood Boulevard at Disney's Hollywood Studios, L.A. Cinema Storage. Inside this building shoppers can find children's clothing, plush toys, character hats, and princess merchandise.

L.A. Cinema Storage

L.A. Cinema Storage

L.A. Cinema Storage

As you may know, many of the buildings on both Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards were modeled after real structures found in the Los Angeles area. L.A. Cinema Storage is one of these and its inspiration can be found at 9070 Venice Boulevard, Culver City, CA.


Years before Los Angeles was famous for its freeways, it boasted the largest mass transit system in the world, the Pacific Electric Railway. LA locals affectionately called the trolleys either the P.E. or the Red Car. The system spanned southern California with over 1,100 miles of track that ran between Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange, and Los Angeles Counties. The system was begun by Henry Huntington as a way of opening up new land to developers. As freeways grew in popularity during the 1950's, P.E. ridership declined. The last Red Car ran in April, 1961.

The above building in Culver City was designed in the Mission Revival style of architecture and was used as a substation for the Red Car. Inside this structure, rectifiers converted AC power into DC power to run the Pacific Electric Railway. This substation was renovated in 1992 and today is used as a theater for live performances.

The backstory for the building at Disney's Hollywood Studios also suggests that this structure was used in connection with the Pacific Electric Railway. If you look near the building's peak you can see the P.E. logo. In addition, if you examine the side of this structure (before the addition of the large awning) you can see oversized doors. These doors suggests that this building was a car barn for the Red Cars. To further this backstory, the Imagineers placed a Red Car station directly across the street.

P.E. Building

P.E. Building

P.E. Station

You might also notice the address of this building 1928. This is the year Mickey Mouse made his debut in Steamboat Willie.

1928 Address

When the Studio first opened, this structure had a far more interesting function than "just another place to buy souvenirs." This stop along Hollywood Boulevard was called Pacific Electric Pictures. Although I have no still photos of this location, I did take a few videos using one of those gigantic on-the-shoulder cameras. What you see next are freeze-frame photos I captured from my cinematographic efforts.

A banner was draped above the doors facing Hollywood Boulevard, beckoning guests to come in for an audition and screen test.

Pacific Electric Pictures

Pacific Electric Pictures

Once inside, guests found themselves on a mini-sound stage. Several cameras and some sound equipment were positioned around the room and a number of backdrops were available. Also on hand were racks of costumes in various sizes.

Those who wandered in for a looksee were encouraged to participate, but when budding stars were scarce, cast members would recruit would-be actors from the street. Once a group was assembled, they would then be instructed how to play a particular scene by a comical director. After a short rehearsal, the scene was played out again, but this time it was videotaped. And guess what, guests could actually buy a copy of their Hollywood debut on video tape for a mere $24.95.

Pacific Electric Pictures

Researching Pacific Electric Pictures turns up almost no information. It is mentioned in the 1990 and 1991 "Steve Birmbaums' Guide to Walt Disney World," but it is not mentioned in the 1992 version. So obviously, this attraction did not garner enough attention (and money) to become a long-lived, must-do event.

A similar and also short-lived attraction could be found across the street in what is now the Keystone Building. At Sights and Sounds, guests could record their own music videos. But once again, lack of interest forced the closing of this attraction within its second year.

AMC Fork & Screen

In the late 1940's and 1950's, the owners of movie theaters were worried that the relatively new invention of television would cut into their business. They believed if folks opted to stay home and watch free TV, it would hurt profits. But for the most part, their fears were unwarranted. Going to the movies remained a special treat and people enjoyed the sound and picture quality that home entertainment could not offer.

However, things changed in the 2000's. Now it is possible to get the "theater" experience at home. Big screen high-definition televisions, surround sound, Blu-ray, Netflix, 3D, cable and satellite offer the film enthusiasts a real alternative to a night out at the movies.

To combat this new competition, theater chains have had to come up with creative ways to lure customers back into their establishments. One idea is to offer more than the traditional concession fare to their patrons. Hot dogs, nachos, and popcorn are good, but they don't really take the place of a real meal. So several theater chains have converted some of their multiplexes into combination dining room/movie houses. Now, patrons can enjoy a real meal in comfort while watching the latest blockbuster. The AMC Theater at Downtown Disney West side is one of these establishments. They call this new service Fork & Screen.

Fork & Screen Logo

Although you can enter the Downtown Disney AMC Theater at two locations, the main entrance for Fork & Screen is located across from Planet Hollywood.

Fork & Screen Entrance

You can purchase tickets at the theater, but I suggest buying them online for the best seat selection. Once you pay for your admission, a chart will appear that allows you to select the seats you want.

The theaters have two seating configurations, 4-4-4 and 2-4-2. Since the theater is relatively small, all of the seats are good. However, I would avoid the seats against the wall in the 4-4-4 configuration.

Seating Chart

Seating Chart

(Charts not to scale.)

The system does have intelligence built into it. For example, a party of two cannot pick the two middle seats in a row of four, leaving a single seat on either side. The system does this to avoid "stray" seats. However, this isn't a problem. The seats are so large and roomy that it really isn't an annoyance to have someone sitting next to you.

When you arrive at the theater, you present the box office personnel with the credit card you used to pay with online. You will then be given your tickets with your seat numbers printed on them.

The theater opens 30 minutes before the stated show time (when previews begin). Although you can arrive one minute before the movie, I would suggest at least 20 minutes before the previews start. This gives you time to get settled and read the menu with overhead lights. Shortly after getting seated, your waiter will arrive and take your drink order. When he returns, it's hoped that you'll be ready to place your meal order. Note, the food is charged separately from your admission ticket. About halfway through the movie, your waiter will bring you the bill. In addition, each set of seats has a "call button" to summon your waiter if you need refills, extra catsup, or whatever.

Here are a few pictures of the seats and tables.

Fork & Screen

Fork & Screen

Fork & Screen

For those of you who have eaten at the Sci Fi Dine In at Disney's Hollywood Studios, you might notice a similarity in table/chair configuration. However, at the Fork & Screen, the table is significantly further away from your chair - especially if you lean back. Because of this, most meals are served in large, square bowls. This allows you to lean back, hold the bowl in your lap, and forgo the table. If you opt for this style of eating, I have two suggestions. First, order finger food. It's easier to eat. For instance, their juicy hamburgers are good, but they are also messy. And with the overhead lights out, navigating a burger in the dark can be difficult. Second, tuck the provided cloth napkin into your shirt.

There is no minimum order. And in addition to full meals and desserts, your waiter can also bring you traditional snacks from the concession stand and cocktails from the bar.

The price of a seat is more at Fork and Screen than at the traditional theaters next door, but it's worth it. They're very comfortable and roomy. I don't even mind a stranger sitting directly next to me here as the seats are so big.

Fork & Screen is available to those 18 and over. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Mickey Transmission Tower

I'm sure many of you have viewed pictures of this Disney World oddity, but I'm guessing that most of you have never seen it in person - a high voltage transmission tower in the shape of Mickey Mouse. Located in Celebration just off of Interstate 4, this tower receives power from an adjacent substation.

Mickey Mouse Transmission Tower

I really can't tell you much about this tower other than it exists. After scouring the internet, I came up with nothing I could substantiate. One excerpt I found says the creation of this icon was a collaboration between Tampa Electric and Reedy Creek. Another says that the same company that created this tower also made the Olympic Rings for the Atlanta Olympics. I also read that normally a "Y" tower is called for in situations like this but the designers were able to use Mickey to get the job done. (I don't even know what a "Y" tower is.) I also read the tower is 80 feet tall. However, I can't corroborate any of this. So this Hodgepodge entry is here only to tell you a Mickey Mouse transmission tower exists. Shocking!

That's it for this week. Check back next Monday when I revisit Coronado Springs.

March 3, 2014

Hodgepodge 3

Jack Spence Masthead

Occasionally, I have a topic I wish to discuss, but it's not long enough to make up an entire article. To remedy this, I've created my Hodgepodge series. In these, I will discuss, two, three, or four unrelated subjects. Today I'll be writing about Highway 429, Disney World Aromas, and Restaurant Cards.

Highway 429

The following is a driving tip for those of you who travel to Walt Disney World by car and motor down Florida's Turnpike (Highway 91). This suggestion has been shared in the AllEars newsletter in the past, but it bears repeating.

Since I've moved to the far west side of metropolitan Orlando, I now frequently use Highway 429. This relatively new stretch of toll road runs from Orange Blossom Trail down to Interstate 4. Also known as the Daniel Webster Western Beltway, Highway 429 is never busy. Even during rush hour, this four lane stretch of road is practically deserted. It was constructed prior to the Great Recession in anticipation of the housing boom that is only now beginning in this area in earnest.

Highway 429

Most people traveling to Disney World via Florida's Turnpike stay on the turnpike until they come to Interstate 4 (heading west toward Tampa). Although traffic on Interstate 4 ebbs and flows during the day, it is always busy and often stressful to drive. However, you can avoid this hectic stretch of road by exiting the turnpike onto Highway 429 (south) about 9 miles north of Interstate 4.

Once on Highway 429, it's about a 14 mile drive to the Western Way Disney World exit. Here you'll encounter the quintessential Disney sign as you enter Western Way. This road travels behind Disney's Animal Kingdom and deposits you near Disney's Coronado Springs Resort.

Disney World off-ramp

Disney World off-ramp

Disney World off-ramp

Disney World Arch

I would definitely consider this route next time you're driving to Walt Disney World from the north. It can possibly save you time and it will definitely save you driving frustration.

Here is an interesting side note" In the months just prior to the Great Recession, Disney announced a major development for the land surrounding the Western Way off-ramp. The project was called Flamingo Crossings and was to feature a value-oriented, themed tourist district. Here guests would find lodging, restaurants, timeshares, and shopping opportunities. Most of these businesses would be non-Disney enterprises.

Flamingo Crossings

Land preparation and roadways were completed for Flamingo Crossings, but unfortunately, when the economy turned south, this project took a backseat to other, more pressing ventures. Today, all you can see of this development are beautifully landscaped streets, painted fences, and vacant land. Since the website for this endeavor still exists, let's hope that someday this project will be resurrected.

Flamingo Crossings

Flamingo Crossings

Disney World Aromas

When I worked at Disneyland (1971 - 1980), the Imagineers employed a sneaky trick to entice guests into their Main Street Candy Palace. They placed bowls of vanilla (or other fragrant aromas) near air vents and had fans blow the smell out into the passing throngs. If you look at this next picture, you can see the vents below the windows.

Main Street Candy Shop

As we know, smells can evoke memories and produce strong emotions. The Imagineers know this and use aromas in ways other than selling candy. For example, when designing Spaceship Earth, the Imagineers wanted guests to instantly know they were going to experience the "ages of time." To do this, they created a musty odor that greets time travelers the moment they enter the loading area. It's subtle, but if you pay attention, there is no mistaking this smell.

Spaceship Earth Loading Area

A not so subtle odor can also be experienced later in this same attraction. When we travel through the burning of Rome tableau, the smell of smoke is very strong.

Burning of Rome

Of course, we all remember smelling oranges as we passed by the desert farm in Horizons.

Horizons Farm

This same scent can be experienced today on Soarin' as we fly over a California citrus grove. This attraction also produces the smells of a pine forest as we glide over a mountain river and the aroma of the raging surf as we wing over the Pacific Ocean.




It's interesting to note, these scenes were each placed well over a minute apart so the fans and air conditioning could remove one aroma before introducing the next. In addition, the air conditioner needs to be able to entirely remove all odors before the next group of hang gliders arrive.

The same is true over at the Imagination pavilion. When Figment introduces the foul smell in the Journey into Imagination with Figment attraction, the air conditioner must suck out all of the offending aroma before the next group enters the room.


By the way, this foul smell is actually a modified coffee aroma. Disney couldn't really use a truly obnoxious smell or guests would complain. In this case, Disney tricks us into thinking the smell is actually bad. First we see Figment as a skunk, then Dr. Nigel Channing says, "That really stinks."

Disney uses another unpleasant aroma in an attraction at the Magic Kingdom. In Tomorrowland we find Stitch's Great Escape. Here, Stitch burps and we're subjected to his chilidog breath. I don't know what this smell actually is, but most guests find it unpleasant and groan when it is released.


Over at Mickey's Philharmagic in Fantasyland, audiences are treated to more pleasant aromas. On this attraction we experience the smell of champagne and pie. At one time, the scent of jasmine (the flower, not Aladdin's girlfriend) was used during the magic carpet sequence. However, it was discovered that many people are allergic to this smell so Disney discontinued its use.

Mickey's Philharmagic

Disney also uses the sense of smell in It's Tough to be a Bug at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Here, a stink bug bombards the audience with his potent defense mechanism. Later in the show, an insecticide scent is sprayed into the air.

It's Tough to be a Bug

It's Tough to be a Bug

Distinctive smells are not just limited to the theme parks. The hotels also have their individual odors. For years, I've noticed that the Grand Canyon Concourse of the Contemporary has a distinctive odor. I always assumed it came from the various building materials used during constructions. But of course, over 40 years later, these smells would have dissipated. So when I learned that Disney also manufactures aromas for their various hotels, I wasn't surprised. So the next time you walk into the Polynesian, Grand Floridian, or other Disney hotel, take a deep breath. You'll notice a pleasing smell that is unique to that establishment.

Contemporary Resort

As we know, Fantasia was a ground breaking film with the use of Fantasound in some theaters, a sound system that eventually evolved into stereo. But this wasn't the only innovative idea Walt had for the movie. He also wanted to release aromas into the theater during different segments of the film. For example, the smell of incense was suggested for the Ave Maria piece. He proposed having ushers walk up and down the aisles with spray bottles to release the appropriate scent at the appropriate time. But this method of distribution was impractical and it wasn't feasible to install mechanisms to do this automatically.


There are also the unintentional aromas that captivate us. Who doesn't get a craving when walking by the popcorn machine? Or the smell of burgers can be alluring over by Pecos Bill Tall Tale Cafe.

Popcorn Wagon

Pecos Bill Tall Tale Cafe

And thankfully, Disney restrooms are kept clean enough as to not offend us with obnoxious odors. LOL

Restaurant Cards

Whenever I visit a Disney resort, I always pick up the free paper goodies that are available to guests. These include resort maps, theme park guide books, brochures, and anything else I can lay my hands on. While rummaging through my Disney paper goods recently, I came across a short-lived handout that was available at any of the concierge desks located around Walt Disney World - restaurant cards.

The front of each card featured the name of the restaurant, its logo, and the phone number for Priority Seating. Inside, guests could find an abbreviated menu with no prices. The back cover offered a brief description of the restaurant or its offerings. These cards were small and could easily fit into a pocket, wallet, or purse. Closed they measured 3½" x 2". When open, they measured 3½" x 4".

Below is an example of a Brown Derby card:

Brown Derby

Brown Derby.jpg

These cards were displayed in a special rack and were available to anyone walking by -- just like the Theme Park Guides are today. They offered guests a way to learn more about Disney World restaurants without having to wait in line to speak to a concierge.

I thought it might be fun today to take a look at some of the restaurants that no longer exist. This is a great way to learn a little about Disney World's past and perhaps stir up a few memories.

Flagler's - Citricos replaced Flagler's in 1997 at the Grand Floridian. Flagler's was named after Henry Flagler, the man who brought the railroad and resort hotels to the east coast of Florida.



Concourse Steakhouse - This moderate-to-fine dining restaurant was located on the fourth floor of the Contemporary on the Grand Canyon Concourse. It was replaced by a quick-service eatery called Contempo Café. A new restaurant, The Wave, opened on the first floor of the resort to fill the void left by Concourse Steakhouse.

Concourse Steakhouse

Concourse Steakhouse

Coral Isle Café - This casual dining room was located on the second floor of the Great Ceremonial House at the Polynesian. In 1998, this space was remodeled and reopened as the Kona Café.

Coral Isle Café

Coral Isle Café

Tangaroa Terrace - This other casual dining spot at the Polynesian was open until sometime in 1996 when it closed permanently and was not replaced. Today this space is used for special functions.

Tangaroa Terrace

Tangaroa Terrace

BonFamille's Café - Located at Port Orleans (now Port Orleans French Quarter), this lovely restaurant was open for breakfast and dinner. It closed permanently in 2000.

Bonfamille's Café

Bonfamille's Café

Fireworks Factory - The Fireworks Factory was located on Pleasure Island when the original backstory was in place. As the story goes, this was an industrial wharf began by a man named Merriweather Pleasure. The Fireworks Factory was one of the businesses that had taken up occupancy here. This restaurant closed in 1997 and was replaced by Wildhorse Saloon in 1998. Today this building has been completely razed in preparation for Disney Springs.

Fireworks Factory

Fireworks Factory

Ariel's - When the Yacht and Beach Club Resort first opened, the Yacht had a steakhouse restaurant (Yachtsman Steakhouse) and the Beach had a seafood restaurant (Ariel's). In 1996, the Boardwalk opened nearby with the Flying Fish Café. Soon after, it was determined that there just wasn't a need for two seafood restaurants in the area and Ariel's close in 1997.



Captain's Tavern - The Caribbean Beach Resort was the first moderately priced hotel to open at Walt Disney World. The Imagineers did not think a full-service restaurant was needed and opted to create only a counter-service eatery. Unfortunately, they misjudged their audience and hastily converted a nearby lounge into the Captain's Tavern. In 2002, this establishment was closed and completely remodel. It reopened as Shutters at Old Port Royal.

Captain's Tavern

Captain's Tavern

That's it for Hodgepodge Three. Check back next week when I discuss the Shootin' Galleries.

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About Hodgepodge

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to The “World” According to Jack in the Hodgepodge category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

General Blog Information is the previous category.

Hong Kong Disneyland is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.