Monday, April 15, 2019

Carnation Ice Cream Parlor, 1996-ish

Here are three recent-ish (but still over 20 years old) photos of Disneyland from our mutual friend, Mr. X, who was a particular fan of the old Carnation Ice Cream Parlor, which had been there since opening day in 1955. He took quite a lot of photos of it at this time, I forgot to ask him if he did it "just because", or if he was aware that changes were afoot. Notice the vertical sign, which is now at the Carnation Farm near Seattle.

To our left is an outdoor dining area, formerly the home of the Flower Market and the Carnation Milk Truck. The dining area was added in 1977, while the truck stuck around backstage for years until going to the Carnation Farm along with that sign.

I zoomed in on the windows, and can make out the name "Royal Clark" on the leftmost panes. I didn't know who he was, and the Disney History website says that "...Royal Clark was among the most trusted life-long friends and business associates of the Walt Disney family.

He served as Executive Vice President of WED Enterprises, retiring in 1984. In addition, he served as Treasurer and as Vice President of Walt Disney's privately held company, RETLAW Enterprises".

The interior was beyond your typical amusement park eatery, with its gorgeous, genuine antique soda fountain, and the beautifully crafted wood and marble counter. Mr. X got there first thing in the morning, before anybody else was even thinking about ice cream. The Carnation Ice Cream Parlor closed in January of 1997.

Thanks to Mr. X for so generously sharing these wonderful pictures!


TokyoMagic! said...

I'm looking at the buildings in between the Carnation Ice Cream Parlor and the Penny Arcade and noticing the multicolored bricks. This must have been about the time that they started messing with the color scheme of Main St.

In that third pic, you can see the interior opening in the Ice Cream Parlor, which led to "Sunkist House." I guess at this time, that space was already the Blue Ribbon Bakery. And I believe it's now, the Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor....but somebody please correct me if I'm wrong!

Once again, thank you for sharing with us, Major and Mr. X!


MAJOR: after the Carnation Delivery Truck was displaced in 1977, it was often parked along the side street between The Plaza Inn and the Plaza facing Main Street buildings along the Carefree Corner and the Baby Center. This had to have been done at least until 1985/86 has I have various photos of it from that time. DISNEYLAND NITPICKERS: the Carnation truck featured incorrect headlamps -when built brass dashboard side lights were incorrectly used as headlamps ( sorry Bob Gurr) at some point in the 80’s the truck was given correct period brass headlights and they remain on it today.
TOKYOMAGIC: yes: those multicolored plastic like brick pattern Main Street building next to Carnation was the beginning of the Kim Irvine’s Main Street Color Carnage! In the mid 1980’s it was decided to give Disneyland’s original Main Street a change ( while many of the 1950’s Main Street building colors were authentic - many were popular 1950’s colors ) so new color schemes were created - some were actually very nice - others were kinda drab. Anyway Imagineer Kim Irvine ( who is responsible for the new sleeping beauty castle colors currently underway) developed the horrid plastic toy-town crap paint fest of what has become to a Main Street USA. And I’m sure Walt would would crap his pants when he sees Kim’s Barbie-Metalic Miniature Golf Course Castle she is creating!!
Oh well!

JC Shannon said...

What I wanna know, is when Major and Mr X are getting their windows? How about Major P's Photo Fun Zone or Major Pepperidge Lonely Hearts Club Band. Mr. X Scanorama or Pepperidge Perfect Picture Palace. Salt and Pepperidge Spice Company? Anyhow, you get the idea. Thank heaven we have all these trips back in time to remember the way it was. Mr Major's Mickeymart. I like it.

Chuck said...

I have a vague recollection reading somewhere that the antique soda fountain was built by WED and non-functional. No idea where I read that or even if I did; perhaps it was all just a the one I had featuring Leonard Nimoy the other night.

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, good eye, I didn’t notice the variegated brick patterns on those adjacent buildings. UGH! I didn’t know the Blue Ribbon Bakery had been around that long, though I was pretty sure than Sunkist had left the park.

Mike Cozart, Bob must have had a reason to use those brass dashboard side lights… I mean, the guy knows cars. Maybe he just liked the way they looked? I’ll have to look at some “before” and “after” photos to see the difference. I have one or two photos of the Carnation truck parked near the Carefree Corner. The multicolored bricks are a mystery to me. I’ve been to plenty of small midwestern towns, and the main streets look like rundown versions of Disneyland’s Main Street in many ways. But you sure don’t see multicolored bricks on the buildings! It’s as if they just gave up on the idea that the park’s street was modeled on reality, and just went ahead to make it look like a Six Flags park. I’m sure Kim Irvine is a nice person, but based on what I’ve seen, I am not crazy about her aesthetic choices when it comes to colors. It feels very “we’ve got leftover blue, let’s paint that building blue”, whereas in the past the street looked colorful but tasteful and “vintage”. And the castle! Aye-yi-yi. Purple and blue “stones”. I’m sure the rationale is that it will look like a cartoon, but it really looks awful.

Jonathan, I would want a window in Tomorrowland! Only those buildings don’t have traditional windows. So instead, they can place my window near bathrooms, it won’t bother me a bit. Is there still a photo shop of some kind on Main Street? That would be good too. I’m starting to hold my breath…. NOW!

Chuck, I thought I’d read that the soda fountain was an antique rescued from an old pharmacy, but I am not certain of that fact. Leonard Nimoy has been popping up a lot (in my life) lately, I was just listening to a podcast talking about his role in the 1978 version of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”.

K. Martinez said...

The last image makes me want to step right in and order a Sundae. Thank you Mr. X and Major for sharing these nice images.

zach said...

One chocolate malt, please! On my way out I grabbed a place mat and matchbook. I hear people will collect these someday, go figure! I'm gonna go see if they invented penny presses yet.

Vintage Main Street was fun, even for a kid with the party line phones and the guy making chrystal swans and stuff.

Thanks, Major and 'X'


Nanook said...


Coincidentally-enough, the person I'm about to describe just happens to be working for Imagineering, but wasn't there when the bastardization of Main Street began. And as talented as he was (is), he would often propose odd color palettes. And when challenged on them as fairly awful-looking, would dismiss the reactions with "Oh, I know that", or something akin to that. I don't know if it was his was of stifling any sort of discussion about the choice, or if he really felt that way. You know, sometimes you've just gotta "be out there" to make a statement - although those often turn out to be very, very wrong.

It's hard for me [at least] to escape the horror of the long-standing Disney philosophy of the 'Less Is More' concept, which clearly includes the "make-over" for the Sleeping Beauty Castle 'color scheme'.

Also, it's too bad The Bathroom of Tomorrow is long-gone, as that would be the perfect place for "your window"-!

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I wasn't sure the Blue Ribbon Bakery went back that far either, but I was just barely able to make out the name on the sign in that first pic.

Mike, now I know who to blame for the ruination of Main Street! And actually, I should have been able to guess who it was! I agree with Major...that color scheme and pattern definitely looks more like something you would see at a Six Flags Park.

Chuck and Major, I believe the wooden soda fountain from the Carnation Ice Cream Parlor, found it's way into the Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor, or at least a part of it did. Maybe Mike Cozart will chime in and confirm that and hopefully tell us where it came from originally.

Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, then again, is there a time when I don’t want a Sundae? Never!

dzacher, I wish I’d had your foresight and kept random things like a placemat and a matchbook! (Well, I did keep one matchbook). And I always loved to watch the people who made lampwork glass animals - even now I know I’d enjoy it.

Nanook, it seems like an odd strategy to purposely (?) create ugly color palettes just to get noticed. How about doing something outstandingly good? I wouldn’t want to get pinned with “He’s the guy that always does awful colors”. Don’t you think that the Disney philosophy for the parks (at least in some instances) is, “Too much is never enough”? That sure seems to be the way with the poor castle. And I would be thrilled to be near the Bathroom of Tomorrow!

TokyoMagic!, I’ve read stories of Kim Irvine studying under John Hench, and yet so many parts of Main Street (in particular) look so garish or just wrong. I’m sure she has to work under strict budgetary limitations, and can’t just do whatever she wants, but still…. As for the soda fountain, I seem to remember Mr. X saying that it had been cut down for the Gibson Girl parlor, it was as if they had cut off his arm.

Nanook said...


Once again - my self-editing skills were on-hold in my previous comment. Clearly, I meant to say More is never enough, as that philosophy can find no happier home than at the Walt Disney Company, and has done so for several decades, now. (I was expressing my own philosophy regarding the 'Less is more' thing).

Anonymous said...

I've been on more than one project where the design architect's color decisions were overruled and overpainted by an irate owner who wasn't consulted on a mockup.

In one case, the client demanded that the architect pay to have a whole cluster of classrooms re-painted.

Too bad there isn't some kind of good taste in charge to rein in the designers.