Good morning! This day in Disney history, August 19th, 1955: The first Casa De Fritos opens in Disneyland!
Just months after Disneyland opened in 1955, Frito-Lay founder Elmer Doolin convinced Walt Disney to let him open Casa de Fritos, a Mexican restaurant, in Frontierland. The food was straightforward Tex-Mex—a combo plate, tamales, chile, Frito pie, enchiladas and the "Ta-Cup," the standard fast-food taco about to colonize America but in a Fritos shell, the ancestor of the modern-day taco salad. Fritos came complimentary with every purchase.
It's first location was on New Orleans Street, near Aunt Jemima's Pancake House. The Casa de Fritos quickly outgrew this space and was replaced by Don DeFero's Silver Banjo Barbecue: http://tinyurl.com/kovgv77 . In 1957 it was relocated to a larger location, an adobe building built next to the Mine Train Through Natures Wonderland. in 1983 the space became Casa Mexicana Restaurant sponsored by Lawry's, the manufacturer of "the official seasonings and sauces of Disneyland". Today, this restaurant is known as Rancho Del Zocalo.
Did you know? “El Zocalo” means “the square” which, in the Southwest and Mexico as far back as the Aztecs, was the center of town or marketplace. I didn't ::shrug:: Thanks Daveland!
The neatest part of Casa de Fritios, in my opinion, was the Frito Kid! He was Fritos' mascot from 1952 through '67. His setup stood just inside the front door of the restaurant. Hungry for a salty snack? Insert 5 cents into the slot cash box on the fence and the Frito Kid came to life. While rolling his eyes, licking his lips, and turning his head, his recorded voice would holler back to his unseen partner Klondike inside the mountain to send down some more of those “golden chips of corn,” and then a wax-paper bag of delicious Fritos Corn Chips would slide down the chute. To see how it would have worked, click on this link then click on the "insert coin" on the bottom left. ::giggles::😄😋 http://angryjim.com/fritokid (this only works in the web version unfortunately, but be sure to refresh the page a few times, he says different things.) Man I wish I would have had the chance to see him in person, so cute!
Another tidbit I actually learned from Dave, you know that walkway from Zocalo to The Princess Fantasy Faire where the restrooms are now? It was previously backstage until they created a pathway for guests in the late 90s. I love that walkway!
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