Friday, January 24, 2020

Carnation Ice Cream Parlor, September 1966

I was happy to find this first scan, from a slide featuring a very rare view inside the Carnation Ice Cream Parlor, as it appeared much as it did in the 1950's. Guests sit at the genuine marble counter and enjoy their sundaes and milkshakes. The magnificent antique soda fountain lent an aura of veracity to the place, though the mid-century hanging light fixtures are a a little anachronistic, perhaps. Not a big deal though! 

I don't know what you call the striped decoration that encircles the parlor, but this early postcard has concept art (presumably printed before there was anything to photograph) showing a similar look.

Here's a photo that I shared years ago (taken by my pal Mr. X in the 1990's). Maybe the pink wallpaper and decorative border are accurate to the turn of the century, but they remind me of my grandmother's house after she had it decorated in the 1980's. SO MUCH PINK. Anyway, I'm not crazy about it, but at least they still had the soda fountain!

Just to pad out this post, how about a lovely view of Main Street USA, on a delightfully slow day! 


Nanook said...


Oh man - I've [undoubtedly] sat in one or more of those very stools myself - back then and earlier. And I had (what I swear) was referred to as 'The Fantasia Special' - an item not appearing on the menu - but I can't verify it.

Thanks, Major.

Chuck said...

I have a vague memory of reading somewhere that the soda fountain was a non-functioning prop made by the Disney Studio/WED. I have a stronger memory of reading somewhere that Walt himself insisted on having an old-fashioned soda fountain when the bean counters suggested it was an unnecessary, extravagant waste. I just wish I could remember where I think I read that.

Great photos today. I know I probably saw that original interior, but I have no recollection of it. All I can remember is sitting on the curb (or maybe it was in my stroller) out front, drinking a Carnation milk out of one of those red cartons you could stick a straw through a perforated hole in the top of, while watching the Disneyland Band march by in red uniforms. That and a frozen Welch's grape juice are my only specific childhood Disneyland food memories (although I remember eating in several places, I can't remember what I ate).

JC Shannon said...

So many memories, all good ones. Who doesn't love ice cream in all it's forms? My special food memories include Carnation dairy delights as well. I love the flower logo and the delivery truck livery as well. To this day, my favorite flower is the pink and white Carnation. Banana split anyone? Thanks Major.

Andrew said...

Wow, I can't say that I had ever seen a picture of the interior of the original Carnation Ice Cream Parlor before. Cool stuff! The decorations certainly do scream 50s; it seems like you could see that red-and-white striped bunting everywhere back then - at least from old photos that I've seen.

stu29573 said...

I can't remember eating anything at Disneyland, although we must have. I guess a 9 year old views food as just an interruption to the rides!

TokyoMagic! said...

"Hey Hazel, give me a double chocolate malted!"

DrGoat said...

Now you've done it Tokyo...make mine a double chocolate shake.
Like I said in the previous post, the only food item I have even a vague recollection of is the chocolate shakes way back then.
Thanks Major!

DrGoat said...

PS Andrew,
Checked out the Wayback Archive site. Thanks for that link.
You're the man.

Stu29573 said...

Now that I'm thinking about it, the only food I remember eating on that particular trip was a blueberry sundae in a tall glass on the Queen Mary. Lots of whipped cream. Wonderful. No rides on the Queen Mary, so I guess my priorities were different. Now I remember tons of great food from my many adult trips to WDW... But again, age brings different priorities, I guess.

"Lou and Sue" said...

To all of you who have made comments over the last several days regarding no memory of childhood meals at Disneyland:
Maybe our folks just didn’t feed us while at Disneyland, to save money. ;)


zach said...

Now I'm hungry.

My favorite place to eat since the 70's is the Hungry Bear. It's out of the way and a respite with the view of the river although I haven't seen first hand the change now with a path to Star Wars land. Probably not as peaceful.

We had hamburgers as a kid, with fries. And frozen juice bars. My chin is sticky just thinking about them.

Even as a kid I enjoyed Main Street, watching glass blowers and listening to the party line phones.

Good memories, Major and all. Thanks,


"Lou and Sue" said...

Dzacher, I enjoyed Main Street, too, as a child . . . but Main Street of the 60’s and 70’s had more to see, back then, and the Park was less crowded, so there was no pressure to rush to the other attractions (as the lines were usually much shorter than now). Those were great times, weren’t they?

Dzacher, continued: Your parents must’ve loved you - because, at least, they fed you while at Disneyland.

Stu, boy are you right . . . I, too, can give explicit details of delicious meals I’ve eaten over the past 20 years at Disney. Yes, I love and appreciate good food! Especially if its combined with a great or unique atmosphere.


"Lou and Sue" said...

Dzacher, btw I meant to add a smiling winky-face after my last comment to you regarding your parents feeding you. ;)

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, The Fantasia Special rings a bell, but I looked at my four different Carnation menus and such a thing isn’t listed there. Maybe you mentioned it before and that’s why it sounds familiar?

Chuck, somehow I’d always thought (or maybe even read) that the soda fountain was a genuine antique from some old drugstore that had closed, but that doesn’t mean that it actually worked. In fact I’d be surprised if it really did. Still, it’s an impressive prop that adds an authentic touch to this “turn of the century” parlor. When I think back to the many Disneyland trips my family took, it amazes me at how few of the classic eateries we tried. I wish I knew why! For “Navy Nights”, I don’t remember eating at all, even though we must have been at the park for a good seven hours or more. I really wonder if we just did hamburgers because my folks knew that we would eat them, and because it was fast? I’d ask my mom, but she’s say “I have no idea!”.

Jonathan, it is true, it’s hard to dislike ice cream! The other day I passed a Dairy Queen that I didn’t know about - I feel like we didn’t have DQ restaurants around here until fairly recently - and was extremely tempted to go and get a big soft serve cone. Dipped or undipped? Such a hard decision.

Andrew, I’ve only seen a few vintage photos of this interior, and was sure happy to find this example. Of course those 50’s decorations are vintage to us in 2020, so they work.

stu29573, yes, exactly, I was not looking for gourmet experiences when I was a kid. Just as long as my tummy was full, I was happy.

TokyoMagic!, more “MeTV”??

DrGoat, on rare occasions I’ll get a milkshake at a fast food restaurant, but they are garbage when you get a real milkshake at an ice cream place (Baskin Robbins for instance). The best thing ever.

DrGoat, maybe I’m doing something wrong, even with the Wayback Machine I could only access a small fraction of my old posts. Still, better than nothing!

Stu29573, say, a blueberry sundae sounds pretty great! Never had one of those. Does anybody remember Farrell’s? I only went once or twice when I was a kid, it was a big deal though. I just read that the last Farrell’s closed last year.

Lou and Sue, that is for darn sure, my Navy parents had to feed four kids (three boys and one girl), I’m sure money was a real issue.

dzacher, I with you, I would always make the long walk to the Hungry Bear, get my food, and then get a table on the upper level overlooking the river. Even on busy days we were always able to get a good seat. It was the best, watching the river traffic go by, and waving at the folks on the Mark Twain. Mr. X said that they “ruined” it when they expanded it for “Galaxy’s Edge”, and that it was for nothing because nobody used that particular walkway. Of course I’m only hearing that second hand, but if it’s true it is a real shame. I love all your memories of things like the glass blowers and frozen juice bars!

Lou and Sue, I can only assume that the kids who go to Disneyland in 2020 will have their own great memories, totally different than yours and mine of course. My niece just went, and in spite of the after-Christmas crowds, she said she had a lot of fun. She didn’t mind the crowds, though she did complain a little about the lines for some attractions. I do think the annual passes have affected the park for the worse, but I guess I can’t blame Disney for making millions of dollars off of those things.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Major, yes, I remember Ferrell's! There was one near us - at Woodfield Mall (the biggest indoor shopping center in the U.S., at the time). I recall that when someone ordered one of their big ice cream "specials" (don't remember what it was called), the workers set off an alarm and ran around the restaurant with it on a "stretcher-like board" - before serving it to the guest. On one of my most memorable visits there, as a teenager with my friend, we were unable to eat our sundaes - as the guy sitting in the booth next to us had the goofiest laugh we had ever heard. When that guy started laughing (which he did, A LOT), we couldn't contain our laughter, and then we couldn't keep the ice cream in our mouths. I love those "belly laugh" moments!

Thanks, Major, for today's fun post!


Anonymous said...

Wow, Major. What a rare photo, and the rendering is maybe even more rare.

Thank you for posting these.

I do remember the Carnation Soda Fountain, the stone countertop amazed me because I had never seen anything that fancy before. Also the black marble inserts in the front of the counter. Years ago, there was an old drug store soda fountain in Aetna, CA with a similar counter and back bar dating to the same era, still in business. I took the kids there while camping.

There was a Carnation menu posted some time back, maybe on GDB. I can't remember what I had, but I recalled some of the names. These were pretty conventional ice cream treats, but each one had a Disneyland-based name.

There was a Farrell's near my home and it was a treat to go there, but in retrospect, it was a pretty 70's versions of the Gay 90's and a little over-the-top. Daveland had a nice post about Farrell's several years ago, and posted one of their "newspaper" menus. For a while, there was a Farrell's wanna-be called Leatherby's in northern California, but these are all gone now also.

I remember several favorite Disney foods, the tuna sandwiches are pretty high on the list, but the Monte Cristo from the Blue Bayou is a close second. We almost always had dinner at the French Market, but I can't clearly recall any particular food item there. The Space Bar had a pretty good ham sandwich too.

I've stopped at the Hungry Bear a few times on my own, but the family doesn't seem to like the menu there, they prefer Bengal Barbecue. It was a great place to sit quietly and enjoy the view, but that all seems to be wrecked now.

Thanks Major. Fun Friday post.

Nanook said...

I probably have mentioned the Fantasia Special before. You wouldn’t have found it on any of the menus, whether it was a mere figment of my imagination or not, as “you had to know about it - and ask for it”. [And I’m not confusing it with the Mighty Matterhorn Mountain Sundae].

@ Sue-
I suspect you’re thinking about “The Zoo” at Farrell’s. I believe part of the ‘ritual’ was standing up and proclaiming aloud to fellow diners: “I’m a dirty rotten pig”. One time I had the dubious distinction of finishing a Trough all by myself, ‘allowing’ me to recite the same proclamation to all within earshot. Now I’m not so certain if “the dirty rotten pig” line wasn’t reserved for just those individuals who finished a Trough - and there was some other “event of embarrassment” reserved for those who polished-off an entire Zoo. for the longest time I had a blue ribbon memorializing the ‘affair’-!

The place always struck me as if it were conceived by the same folks who thought-up Chuck-E-Cheese... just perfect for the ‘under 12 set’, and annoying to all others. (But, something must be said for creating a few memories - good or bad...)

Stu29573 said...

Yep, I remember Farrell's! The "Hot Tin Roof" was my favorite!

Anonymous said...


YES! Hot Tin Roof, hot fudge with peanuts...!

@Nanook, @Sue, I had forgotten those giant sundaes. Too much!

So much fun to remember.


Omnispace said...

Major, you could probably call the red and white striped features in the early soda fountain "canopies" - not to be confused with canap├ęs which might have been on the menu.

My early Disneyland meals usually went as followed... Breakfast at the motel with a Svenhard's danish, Corn Pops cereal from a variety pack, and Tang. Lunch at the Blue Bayou: spaghetti & milk. Afternoon snack from a bag of candied peanuts my dad bought in New Orleans Square. Dinner at the Carnation Gardens: plain hamburger & fries, mustard. Now you know my entire culinary choices growing up.

Oh, Farrell's favorite - Hot Fudge Sundae.

DrGoat said...

Lou & Sue, that may account for the fact I never could gain any weight later in life.
Major, you're right. Never get a milkshake from a fast food place. Actually, don't get the food either. In-N-Out if you have to.
dzacher, The Hungry Bear was good. I usually ended up eating more than one Safari Skewer at the Bengal grill on the way there, which gave me the energy to go all the way to the Bear.
Later in the 80s-90s, we would eat at the Big Thunder BBQ. Not bad ribs and beans. Messy but satisfying.
Farrells was pretty decent. Had one here in Tucson. Hot fudge sundae.
Thanks Major and all.

Major Pepperidge said...

Lou and Sue, for some reason the thing that made the biggest impression on me was something they called “The Trough”, and it was a huge thing with lots of scoops of ice cream. Not to be mean, but my best friends sister had several ribbons that she’d won for eating some of those troughs - not an award she needed to win! My dad had one of those goofy laughs that made other people laugh, we always thought he sounded like a giant Woody Woodpecker.

Anon, the rendering is from a somewhat hard to find postcard, a series that was released when the park opened. People I know call them “concept cards”, though I don’t know if that’s really what they are called, but they all have artist’s renderings instead of photos. Kind of like the first guidebook. I posted a scan of one of Nanook’s Carnation menus, though I do have a few variations of my own - not sure if there is enough interest for the average person! There is still a pharmacy in South Pasadena (“Fair Oaks Pharmacy”) that is famous for its old-fashioned soda fountain and ice cream desserts. I still need to go there! “Leatherby’s”, what an odd name for an ice cream parlor! I’ve never had the Monte Cristo, but it sounds good. The powdered sugar sounds a little weird, but it probably works with the salty ham. I need to go to the Bengal Barbecue, I hear nothing but good things about it!

Nanook, I was so sure I’d see the Fantasia Special on a menu, but I’m probably misremembering it as usual. I am almost positive that people who ate one of those “troughs” were called pigs, which is pretty awful really. I always wondered why my friend’s sister displayed her blue ribbons (akin to what a hog might win at a county fair), she was a big girl.

Stu and JG, ice cream with hot fudge and peanuts? Yes please!

Omnispace, “canopies” sounds good to me. I though “valance” might apply, but those are just over windows I guess. Man, how do you guys remember your meals so vividly?!? I’m jealous! Spaghetti and milk, that’s an interesting combo! “Plain hamburger and fries”, were you a picky eater who did not want anything - even a pickle - on your burger?

DrGoat, I wish I had the problem of not gaining any weight! You’re right, In-N-Out shakes are pretty good, though I rarely get those. I did like the Big Thunder BBQ, but yes, it was messy. Don’t take a first date there, unless you know the girl is really cool!

Chuck said...

Major, the Wayback Machine takes periodic "snapshots" of what your site looked like at a certain point in time - but it's the entire site.

For example, if you click on, say, the Wayback Machine link for 12 Oct, 2019 (the last time the GDB was crawled by the Wayback Machine), you can then look at any of your previous posts - with pictures - all the way back to 2006 by using the links within the archived version of the page. It's doesn't respond as fast as Blogspot does, but at least you've got a record of what photo went with which text.

All your hard work is not lost!

"Lou and Sue" said...

PHOTOBUCKET'S WORKING AGAIN ON GDB! Seriously! It's up and running!

TokyoMagic! said...

We went to Farrell's quite a bit, when I was younger. I kept thinking that I would try out one of the new locations when they were making a comeback a few years ago, but I never did and now I guess I missed out on the chance.

I remember ordering the "Black & White Sundae" at Farrell's. It was a hot fudge sundae, but with one scoop of chocolate and one scoop of vanilla. I think my family ordered the "Zoo" once, for all of us to share. Didn't they have something else that was quite large called the Mt. Whitney? Or Pike's Peak? Or both? I remember the "Pig's Trough," but I never ordered one. I'm not sure how many scoops went into that, but I know it was a lot more than two! I remember those ribbons that they gave to the people who finished the "Pig's Trough." I seem to remember the ribbons having, "I Made A Pig Of Myself At Farrell's!" printed on them. Also, the dish that the ice cream came in, was placed into a wooden "trough-shaped" frame, which made it look exactly like what it was called.

Major, that "Hey Hazel, give me another double chocolate malted!" line isn't from MeTV, but it is from a classic TV show. You guessed it, it's from I Love Lucy. William Frawley says it to an off-screen waitress, while sitting at the food counter of a local drug store.

Unknown said...


I think you'd call the red and white striped overhead structures, "awnings."

Do people also fondly remember Swenson's Ice Cream Parlors?


Unknown said...

Here's your Fantasia flavored ice cream, only at Disneyland.

Disneyland Resort President Josh D’Amaro announced via Instagram that the fan favorite frozen treat known as Fantasia ice cream was on its way back.
Starting on Friday, August 2, guests at Disneyland Park can purchase a scoop of the cherry, pistachio, and banana swirled dessert at the Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor.