Thursday, February 06, 2020

The Plaza Inn, May 1985

Here's a trio from Lou and Sue, featuring the Plaza Inn, circa 1985. They have turned a yellowish-orange, and my attempts at color-correction didn't turn out so great, but they are still nice pictures from over 30 years ago.

The Plaza Inn began life as the Red Wagon Inn (seen in yesterday's post!), sponsored by Swift. It had a private club in the back (sort of a pre-Club 33) where alcohol was served. In 1965, the restaurant was remodeled with crystal chandeliers, just like the kind I have in my grand dining room (the table seats 40). 

Stroller parking! And so it begins. I'm looking at the shield on the awning and trying to discern what the design is, but... no can do. Do you guys eat at the Plaza Inn? I only remember eating there once, and the food was pretty good - not sure why I haven't gone back.

And here's one final look... I've always liked the yellow and white striped umbrellas. And look at all those empty tables!

As always, many thanks to Lou and Sue!!


Nanook said...

Yes, L��K at those empty tables-! And so few strollers, one can count them with the fingers of merely one hand. (Not quite like 'the sound of one hand clapping'; but close-enough.

Thanks again to Lou & Sue.

TokyoMagic! said...

I believe that shield has a very skinny "P" and "I" on it. I'm not sure what is surrounding the letters. Dots? Squiggles?

How can 1985 be over 30 years ago? Scary!

Thank you, Lou, Sue and the Major, too!

K. Martinez said...

1985 was 35 years ago. The 80's started 40 years ago. It's mind blowing.

This was such a beautiful restaurant back in the day. I never failed to eat dinner here when visiting Disneyland. I've dined there countless times and always enjoyed it.

Thanks Lou and Sue. These really ignite wonderful memories for me. Thank you too, Major.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Something very fishy is going on, here, I see. I didn't notice it when I first scanned and emailed these pictures to the Major, but I see it now . . .

In the 1st photo, that mom is putting her child in the stroller. Everything seems normal . . . but . . .

In the 2nd photo, that mom and child proceeded to exit going backwards - while a strange man carrying dark sunglasses and a bag (briefcase?) enters the restaurant.

In the 3rd photo, everyone's missing. ???



TOKYOMAGIC is correct- the shield at the top of the awning is a “P” and “I” ..... it is the same insignia that is replicated in gold in the terrazzo floor of the restaurant’s entry foyer - mostly ignored by guests rushing in to grab trays. The Walt Disney World Main Street Emporium once had a similar foyer insignia in its floor - both very beautiful details .

Andrew said...

I really like the monstrous tree in the last pic. Looking at Google Earth, it appears that it's gone today, likely because it grew so big it blocked the Inn. Thanks Major, Lou, and Sue.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

I always liked this place. A little noisy when busy but what "self serve" restaurant in the park isn't? It's been several years since we ate there but I do recall the Cobb Salad was pretty darn good.

I love the fact that Walt and the imagineers took the time to re-invent a restaurant down to showing the renovation model on the Sunday night TV program.

Thanks again to Major, Lou and Sue for sharing.

DrGoat said...

Like K, the Plaza Inn was our go to place to dine a lot of the time back then. Either that, or a giant chocolate milk shake from the Carnation Cafe. Takes me back in the best way possible!
Andrew, there might be a way to find out what variety of tree that was. It was a beauty. I'll see what I can find. Is there a guide to Disneyland flora out there?
Turned 30 in 1980. And 30 years before that it was the 50s, decade of my arrival. Good golly, how time has flown! Been getting extremely sentimental in my older age.
Thanks Lou and Sue for these great pics.
Thank you Major.
Alonzo, the hard boiled eggs in Cobb salad turned me off. They are good on their own but in a salad, no thanks.

JC Shannon said...

Sue, that is obviously one of the men in black. In the eighties they switched to blue blazers and grey slacks. You can go anywhere dressed like that. Children can spot 'em though. The kid in the stroller made him right away. Major's table will just about fit all of us. What's for dinner? Thanks to Lou and Sue and Major. P.S. I am pretty sure that guy is one of the lizard men as well. I gotta stop watching You Tube videos.

Chuck said...

Not up for doing any research today (stupid flu), but there"s usually a lot of good info at Plant of Disneyland.

Melissa said...

Only three people observing White Shirt Khaki Trousers Day.

Anonymous said...

Plaza Inn is wonderful.

When I was a kid, I had the spaghetti and meat sauce.
I recall two visits for sure as a kid. Once outside and watched the fireworks, once inside where the violinist serenaded my Mom. Might have been more.

Pretty sure we dined here with our kids at least once when they were young. Don't recall what we had.

As an adult on one of my solo trips, fried chicken and mashed potatoes.

Great restoration on the photos, dogs can sense the lizard people, but no dogs in Disneyland, :-(


Nanook said...

@ Andrew-
According to my sources, I'm fairly certain the object of your desire is an olive tree.

@ Chuck-
Thanks for that link. A wonderful companion to "Disneyland World of Flowers".

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, how did Disneyland guests manage for 40 years without giant strollers? It really is a strange change in how people think and live these days. “I can’t be expected to experience a day at the park without my six foot-long five foot-high SUV stroller!”.

TokyoMagic!, those dots and squiggles are symbols just for the Illuminati. Don’t ask too many questions!

K. Martinez, meanwhile, young folks think of the 80’s the way we thought about the 50’s! Look at that hair! Check out those songs! And those goofy movies! I’ll bet the 80’s were the best time to live in history!

Lou and Sue, hey, all I know is I posted them in the order in which they were given to me! Any Twilight Zone freakiness will require an explanation from Lou.

Mike Cozart, I love that Walt and his Imagineers went to the trouble (and expense) of putting that “PI” insignia into the floor of the restaurant. You know that THEY knew that most people would never notice it, but they did it anyway.

Andrew, maybe that tree was removed recently, like when they widened all the walkways and removed benches for “Galaxy’s Edge” crowds?

Alonzo, I don’t remember the Plaza Inn being noisy, but then again, it was evening, maybe the crowds had dispersed a little bit. I think I got fetuccini alfredo with chicken, and that it was pretty decent! I remember that footage of Walt showing the model of the Plaza Inn to Julie Reihm.

DrGoat, I think I only ate there one time! Doing this blog, I truly realize how much I missed out, as far as dining went. We were always in so much of a hurry; I’ve still never eaten at the French Market or Blue Bayou, or the River Belle Terrace or (the long gone) Tahitian Terrace. Such a bummer! I wish I had those kinds of memories that so many GDB readers have.

Jonathan, dinner will be boiled hot dogs, Gino’s Pizza Rolls, Ore-Ida french fries, and all the Coke or Mountain Dew you can drink! May I pencil you in for Saturday?

Chuck, aw, I’m sorry you have the flu. Drink lots of fluids (but not Mountain Dew) and get plenty of rest. Thank you for the link to that website!

Melissa, in those days before social media it was hard to get the word out!

JG, oh, I always like spaghetti and meat sauce! With plenty of parmesan. And garlic bread. Yum. Wow they had a violinist?? Fried chicken and mashed potatoes, another winner.

Nanook, ha ha, not so sure the “monstrous” tree was the object of Andrew’s desire! ;-)

Chuck said...

Don't worry, Major - I don't even drink Mountain Dew when I'm well.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Major, a strolling violinist was a feature of the Plaza Inn on at least one visit.

My Dad called him over to our table and tipped him to play "My Little Alice Blue Gown" for my Mom.

Everyone in the restaurant was gawking at us. I was so embarrassed, but now, what a great memory.


Nanook said...

@ Chuck-
Perhaps that’s why you have the flu...? Just one more of Mountain Dew’s ‘curative’ qualities - ‘cause it sure ain’t good taste-!!

Major Pepperidge said...

Chuck, not even “Code Red” Mountain Dew? It’s full of the sugar and artificial cherry colors that every growing boy needs.

JG, it’s funny how memories like the one with the violinist playing for your mom seem so uncomfortable at the time, and as you say, looking back it’s something you are so glad to have witnessed.

Nanook, the funny thing is that I had Mountain Dew sometimes when I was a kid. Remember the commercials with the hillbilly? “Ya-HOO, Mountain Dew!”. I loved it! And then decades passed before I tried it again. After a few sips I thought, “Is THIS what it tasted like back then?”. I was so unimpressed that I genuinely wondered if the drink they sell now is very different from the earlier stuff?

"Lou and Sue" said...

Speaking of Mountain Dew - does anyone remember how much better it tasted right out of the glass bottles from the vending machines in the 60's? It had more "zing" to it - much tastier, from what I remember.

Major, please pencil us in for the dinner at your place! What's the attire? Black tie? 40 of us together would be endless fun and laughs - can you imagine?! (Can you please add tater tots to the menu, too?)

I love the fact that, though he is down with the flu, Chuck is still faithfully checking in with us. Take care of yourself, Chuck, and I hope you get better quick! (I hope you didn't share it with your wife. Only once, my husband and I were both sick with the flu at the same time - it wasn't pretty.)

DrGoat, I'm getting very sentimental now, too, as I'm getting older. It can be bittersweet, but I've found that sharing those memories here, on GDB, is heart-warming (because we're all sharing together).

I LOVE that all of you folks always have interesting facts, funny observations and wonderful personal experiences to share - no matter what pictures the Major posts. Thanks for today's comments and the Major's hard work!


"Lou and Sue" said...

Major, I didn't see your last message until after I just posted. The earlier Mountain Dew was much better and tastier!
"Ya-HOO, it's Mountain Dew -- it's GOOOO-OOOOD!"!

Melissa said...

What's the attire?

Best babushka.

Major Pepperidge said...

Lou and Sue, I don’t really remember how Mountain Dew tasted, just that I really thought it was great when I was a kid. Glass bottles though, they’re preferable if you can get ‘em. And no, black tie is not required. Pajamas (like at the Playboy Mansion) are preferred. Endless laughs, hoo boy! I worry that you would be horribly disappointed. “Wait a second, I’m bored!”.

Lou and Sue 2, I actually did a little research, and found a mention of the formula being revamped, but not in the time period where I would have actually tasted it. So who knows.

Melissa, YES!

"Lou and Sue" said...

Major, yeah, it must've been the glass bottles that made Mountain Dew taste better, back then. I remember loving it around 1966-1968 (in glass bottles), and then having it as a teenager (1970's) and already noticing that it wasn't as good (it was in plastic bottles).

Pajamas and our best babushkas! This is 'gonna make' for some great GDB pictures! Can't wait!

Melissa said...

Yeah, I definitely remember the glass-to-plastic transition making sodas taste different. My family said I was crazy. VINDICATION!!