Monday, March 31, 2014

Souvenir Time - Disneyland Hotel Menu

It's been a while since I've shared any Disneyland souvenirs here on GDB (not counting those Donruss bubblegum cards, that is). Much to my amazement, I have not seen today's item on any other blog or website.

So, what is it? It's a wonderful (and apparently rare) children's menu from the Disneyland Hotel! It is undated, though I suspect that it is pretty early… 1950's anyway. If anybody has any additional info, I would love to hear it. I like the fact that it uses the Disneyland Railroad as its theme, with a nice photo of the C.K. Holliday. 

Here's how the menu looked in its entirety (front and back); it unfolds to about 33 inches in length, which is unwieldy for an adult, much less for a small child. It's amazing that any of these survived, considering that the train is perforated so that it can be punched out. I had to scan this thing in six or seven sections and join them as seamlessly as I could in Photoshop; unfortunately, I popped some of the perforations in the process, which is kind of a bummer. Oh well.

What, no chicken strips, no mac and cheese? Not even a hot dog?? I appreciate the fancy offerings (by children's menu standards). A lamb chop, grilled filet of sole, very nice.

If you are toting an infant around, no problem! They had you covered. I would order "Junior Beef" just for the pleasure of saying it.

There's a nice little picture of the old Hotel, and by golly, you could even mail this menu to your pals back home to make them jealous.

And finally the back of the third panel, with a minuscule diagram of SoCal freeways. It reminds me of the kind of simple maps that appeared on very early printed materials, which is why I think that this menu is so old.

I've only seen a few of these for sale over the years, including one with Walt Disney's autograph. I wish I had that one, but I'm still pretty happy with my plain, unsigned version!


K. Martinez said...

WOW!!! What an incredibly awesome find! I've never seen one of these. Thanks for posting images of it.

Nanook said...

Yes-! That's quite the souvenir. Not only has the nature of menus changed, so have the offerings geared towards the 'wee set'.

Thanks, Major.

Melissa said...

Oh, wow, how absolutely charming! Knowing what a big kid Walt turned into around trains, what a perfect fit for a children’s menu! I can see the little rugrats now, playing choo-choo around the table while Dad in his Panama hat and Mom in her cotton print dress buried themselves in a couple of icy cocktails.

*in best Wednesday Addams voice*
Are your Strained Infant Specialties made from real strained infants?

Melissa said...

What, no chicken strips, no mac and cheese? Not even a hot dog??

Gah! I was planning a trip and haunting trip-planning forums around the same time the Be Our Guest restaurant at the Magic Kingdom was opening, and there was a huge ruckus among parents because the children’s menu was comprised of things like a turkey sandwich, meatloaf, pasta with marinara, roasted pork, or grilled chicken or fish.

Every other post on the restaurant forums was along the lines of “WHY is Disney trying to STARVE CHILDREN? My children will eat ABSOLUTELY NOTHING but chicken nuggets or pizza. What kind of an idiot opens a restaurant in a place for children and then puts nothing but adventurous, exotic* food on the menu and not staples like pizza and chicken nuggets? Now I’m going to have to go to another restaurant, order chicken nuggets, and bring them in with us. NICE MOVE, DISNEY.”

When I was a kid, pizza was an occasional treat, not a "staple." I don't think I even knew what a chicken nugget WAS until I was eight years old.

*I am not exaggerating. “Exotic” is literally the word that was used more than a few times to describe MEATLOAF.

Melissa said...

Apparently "eating at one of the fifty other restaurants in the park that serve the exact same nugget-and-pizza menu" didn;t occur to them.

MRaymond said...

One of the few times we got hot dogs were a family BBQ, Dodger games and Disneyland. Pizza was a treat unless it was dads day to cook (also another excuse for hot dogs). My Mom was an awesome cook so dogs or pizza was a cop out according to her.

Chuck said...

Major - This is absolutely supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! I love it!

Melissa - Never thought I'd live to see a day when the bland meatloaf/jello/casserole diet of my youth would be considered "exotic." Maybe that's a possible menu combination for a revamped Tahitian Lanai - serve up a little adventure for the kiddies of the 21st Century.

Nanook said...

@ Melissa-

"Pay now, or pay later". American parents often seem averse to 'helping' their youngsters enjoy what we in this country consider "adult fare", and as a consequence have created a group of fussy diners long into adulthood.

I find it amusing that in keeping with the French theming of Be Our Guest restaurant, there are several French words used in the (rather extensive) menu descriptions: Niçoise; Provençal; Croque Monsieur; Pommes Frites; Coq Au Vin; Dijon & Quiche. With the possible exception of 'Quiche', the others may also prove challenging to the typical Disney guest.

It's nice to see Disney attempting to raise the bar in their menu choices.

Tom said...

It is indeed a sad world where children are subjected entirely to the bland and over-processed; where meatloaf and roasted pork are considered 'exotic'.

Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, I really like this menu!

Nanook, I sure wish I could find out when this was used, and for how long….

Melissa, I really wonder if this menu was Walt's idea. It makes sense!

Melissa again, unfortunately the park has to please guests, even when they are crazy - as some parents are. I'm sure a kid who is hungry enough will eat spaghetti, or a plain hamburger. By the way, I have had an "exotic" version of meatloaf. I didn't like it. Give me my mom's classic meatloaf any day.

Melissa 3, that's the thing, you KNOW there were plenty of places to get nuggets or mac and cheese.

MRaymond, though my mom is a good cook, my dad got plenty of nights to do 'dogs and burgers. We loved it!

Chuck, it sounds like you didn't put enough ketchup on your meatloaf.

Nanook, I agree, at least Disney is trying to offer a better variety. Even at Disneyland, we were in Frontierland, and my girlfriend wanted a hamburger. We finally had to go all the way over to the Hungry Bear, because the other eateries offered other stuff! I couldn't believe it.

Tom, my expectations for amusement park food are pretty low, though I've had some good meals at Disneyland on occasion.