Thursday, February 22, 2024

Carnation Ice Cream Parlor Menu

Hooray for vintage Disneyland ephemera, my most-favoratest thing in the world. Yes, even more than My Little Pony. Today I have a nice menu from the Carnation Ice Cream Parlor, on the corner of West Center Street and Main Street. This is an actual, full-sized menu. "What else would it be?", I hear you say. Well, for years, Carnation gave out small souvenir menus, tri-fold paper items that could be mailed, postcard-style, to friends and family, and these are fairly plentiful. This was clearly an attempt to reduce the theft of these full-sized menus, and it probably worked. Nevertheless, whoever took this one did a great job! It's in very good condition; it has a tiny 1955 copyright in the lower left - sorry that my watermark obscures much of it - though I believe that they updated the menus (mostly the prices) for years and did not change that date every time.

Oh boy, let's see what treats we can get! Not just ice cream, but sandwiches and salads, burgers, soup, chili and beans, pies and cakes - something for everyone. I like that they made ice cream treats themed to each of the five lands. The Santa Fe Express sounds pretty great! Or a Castle Special - FIVE scoops of ice cream, ye gods. As a kid I might have ordered a T.W.A. Rocket Ship Special just because of the cool name. Or maybe a Martian Sundae. What can I say, there isn't a loser in the bunch. Which one would YOU choose?

Post-1959 menus added a Mammoth Matterhorn Mountain  ("One of the world's largest sundaes"), so we know that this is at least pre-1959. 

On the back is a history of the Carnation Company, including a mention of Elbridge Amos Stuart, and a description of the wholesome products that they made, along with a few details about their corporate operations.

I have at least three additional variations of Carnation menus, but I'm not sure they are different enough to interest the average fan. Or even readers of this blog.


Nanook said...

I like how the menu depicts the Sleeping Beauty Castle on one side, and on the opposite side, the Carnation headquarters (and restaurant) on Wilshire Blvd. in the Miracle Mile. Seems fair.

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said... Corn Dog Split? Okay, give me the "Hot Dog with Tasty Pickle Relish" and the "Tandem Dish of Ice Cream," and I'll just make my own!

I like the Castle depiction on the cover. It should have been built to look just like that. That way, when the Princess Fantasy Faire Meet And Greet-o-palooza was eventually built, there would have been enough room to make it three times larger.

Thanks for sharing this very cool item, Major!

JB said...

OK, so Disney ephemera is better than My Little Pony. But what about Hello Kitty? Surely it isn't better than Hello Kitty!!!

Oh my, look how tall and slim the Castle looks on the cover of this menu. Nowadays, the Castle has put on quite a few pounds and is more squat in appearance... old age does that.
In the sketch, the little girl, closest to us, is trying mightily to avoid vomiting. An unfortunate bit of subject matter to display on the menu. (I know she's just drinking or eating something.)
I love the "Menu" font. I suppose it's a variation of the "Bracelet" font. At least, that's what it's called in one of the (Dover Publication) font books I have.

Well, now we know where Walt got his chili beans from, that he loved to flick out of his Fire House window.
Some of the themed foods fit their respective themes quite well... others, not so much. I mean, they sound tasty and all, but I'm scratching my head trying to figure out why, for example, the Peter Pan Sundae and the Tahitian Sundae are what they are.
"(Please do not ask for substitutions)" What happens if you do? Do you get sent to the churro mines below the Castle?

Looking at that history, I'm in awe that Carnation's cows knew how to produce butter in addition to milk! And I know that Carnation malted milk powder is still available at supermarkets; I bought some a couple of years ago.

Looks like we're all enthralled with the depiction of the Castle!

Lots of goodies on this menu! But I'm not too keen on the pretzel-stick log cabin atop the Log Cabin Sundae. Oh well. Thanks, Major.

JG said...

Ephemera is great, but it can’t be better than The Care Bears.

The menu cover is really nice, and the little castle on the inside is crying out to become a social media avatar.

Can we get chili with ice cream on top? That would be better than a pretzel log cabin.!

I’m pretty sure we had ice cream here when I was a kid, I think I had a version of the Mad Hatter Sundae, but it was called something else, it was small which was all I could eat. The menu I recall looked like this one graphically but fewer crazy ice cream items.

I think I’ve related how Carnation Dairy was big in my home neighborhood. Lots of our dairy neighbors sold to them. Foremost was the other big one. I did NOT know that Albers was part of Carnation however! News to me. We still buy Albers cornmeal today, I probably have some in the cupboard right now.

JB, if you ask for substitutions, you are whisked backstage and enslaved to make pretzel log cabins for a year, THEN you go to the churro mines.

Thanks Major for this attractive and informative post, I learned a lot and the pictures were pretty.


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I wonder how many people knew that the building to the left was the Carnation headquarters? WE know, but otherwise it seems kind of out of place.

TokyoMagic!, I admire your ability to improvise and make your own corn dog split. The tall skinny castle drawing looks very much like some fairy tale castles at some of the little amusement parks around the country. And I agree, MORE FANTASY FAIRE! The most fun thing at Disneyland!

JB, I LOVE “My Little Pony”! He’s a pony! He’s little! And he’s MINE! What could be better? Sometimes I dream that I am a purple pony with a magnificent mane and tail. I’M NOT CRAZY! On the top illustration (on the cover), it looks like the woman with the red top and blue skirt has a nice Amish beard. I don’t judge! I was wondering if anybody would mention the flicked chili beans, and here we are! TokyoMagic! would be so proud. I’m OK with the names that make no sense, in fact it’s kind of charming. I guess the “Carnation in Disneyland” sundae was the one they eventually renamed the “Mammoth Matterhorn Mountain”. So I guess they did not come up with a unique recipe just for the Matterhorn. I still don’t really know what “malted milk powder” is, but I’m sure it is healthful and delicious.

JG, long ago I dated a girl who loved Care Bears. One of the first presents I ever gave her was a stuffed Care Bear, and boy was I embarrassed when I bought it at Toys R Us. “It’s not for me, heh heh, it’s for this girl, see?”. All this talk about ice cream has me craving a nice sundae, and it’s not even noon. I wish I lived in a pretzel log cabin, every once in a while I’d lick the walls.


It’s interesting because you cannot even get a banana split at Disneyland or the Disneyland hotel today . Nor a malt … a milkshake is even difficult. And if it’s not on the menu … a cast member cannot make a rootbeer float …. Lack of imagination and laziness. Also cultural changes … many employees don’t know what a “malt” , “malted” or “rootbeer float” is. Part of this is because disbeylsvd’s food offerings are so pre-prepared and pre-portioned so very little food creating is happening … gone are he days “oh the chef can just make that for you” ….. but again it’s also cultural … the current employees and audiences are exclipsing the people who consumed the things you see in this Carnation menu.

I had a discussion recently with a group friends regarding this very thing .. even banana splits came up .. they are disappearing from restaurant menus all over … very few places offer them anymore . Malts too . I have a crazy story of some friends and I searching all over Orange County and Los Angeles a few years ago trying to find a BOSTON CREAM PIE …… not only could we not find any for sale … it was like the twilight zone : nobody new what we were even talking about!!!! Even old school bakery’s!!! And then we sounded nuts trying to explain that a Boston Cream Pie is technically a cake and not a pie !! Lol.

Luckily VONS/PAVILIONS makes an excellent authentic BOSTON CREAM PIE !!

Melissa said...


1/3 of a quart of milk? What kind of weirdo drinks a third of a quart of buttermilk? 10.66 ounces? Is this menu sponsored by the Battle of Hastings? How do they even measure that? Is Sir Albert Carnation out in the back with a scale and a highball glass?

I accept that you can garnish a sandwich with cottage cheese, but "delightfully?" Have they got some kind of whimsically-shaped scoop?

Why would you waste the opportunity to put cinnamon on your Cimarron Sundae? That's a surprising lack of alliteration from the people who brought you "Cottage Cheese with Choice of Pineapple, Pears, or Peaches." You know they had to give the waitstaff free diction lessons just to get that one out. "Moses supposes his toeses are cottage cheese with pineapple, pears, or peaches. The cinnamon in the Cimarron stays mainly on the Cimarron cinnamon Sundae, sir."

Is the Western Flotilla a float of pineapple freeze on pineapple juice like the Dole Whip Float? And if not, what makes it a "flotilla?" Golden West Float - SAME QUESTION. Is this a bold new frontier of LIES?

Why is it called "Surprises from Tomorrowland?" Is the detailed description of the menu items not accurate? Where does the element of surprise come in?

Is the "mad" part of the Mad Hatter Sundae the fact that it's exactly the same as the Tahitian Sundae?

Melissa said...

"In the sketch, the little girl, closest to us, is trying mightily to avoid vomiting."

Once when I was a kid, my Dad got transferred to a new plant in a different town. One of his new colleagues and his wife took my sister and me out for ice cream the day before we started out new school (in the middle of the year). They didn't know about my milkfat allergy, and I didn't know the restaurant made their own ice cream with fresh whole milk and heavy cream straight off the farm. I only had one scoop, which was usually fine, but apparently that was enough of the extra-rich stuff. The next morning at my new school, I had to run out of the classroom. I didn't know where I was going, so I just ran through the nearest door that said anything resembling a synonym for "bathroom." And that's how I ended up regurgitating all over the teachers' lounge.

Now that I think about it, I don't believe any of the schools I went to called the bathroom by the same name. There was "bathroom," "washroom," "girls'/boys' room" "restroom," "lavatory," and "W.C." I remember people giggling when I accidentally said "bathroom" once at the "washroom" school.

Honestly, those pretzel cabins sound pretty dope. I'm gonna have to see if I can find a picture somewhere. Dead men tell no tales, but they do ask for substitutions!

Melissa said...

And I'm sorry for not putting a gross-out warning on that last comment. I forgot this wasn't Gorillas Don't Hurl.

Anonymous said...

Melissa, I'm laughing till I (almost) hurl.

Thank you!


"Lou and Sue" said...

On the menu cover, that castle better resembles Cinderella's castle in Storybook Land (Storybookland?).

"Hot Dog with Tasty Pickle Relish....with cottage cheese."

"Fruit Bowl with Sherbet, Banana and Whipped Cream"
Any two of those together might be 'OK'...but there's something about mixing those four items. *cringe again*

Under "SPECIALTIES" - what is a "Cheeseburger Size"?

"2000 A.D. Special"
Boy, that year came and went fast, didn't it?!

Mike, it's funny you mentioned the root beer floats. I was at a fast-food restaurant recently and purchased a scoop of vanilla ice cream, to put in my root beer. A couple people looked at me and were a little freaked-out at the combination.
Also, I LOVE adding chocolate syrup to Coke (not Pepsi) - which is something people also did, years back.

Thank you, Major Pony, and everyone. Fun reading here, today!

JB said...

Thanks for the funnies, Melissa!

Sue, I often make a float using Pepsi (not Coke ;-)), vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup. I often have root beer floats as well (no chocolate syrup).

Nanook said...

@ Melissa-
I didn't think it would get any funnier than the 'Battle of Hastings/10.66' reference - how wrong was I-! "Have they got some kind of whimsically-shaped scoop?" You'd be surprised at the sort of 'whimsy' that went down in that kitchen-!

(And speaking of "loo's" - and we were...) I still have a lovely, stained wooden sign once placed above the 'loo' at sleep-away camp, routed-out with the words: J.P. Commode. It [proudly] sits atop the toilet tank in the master bathroom to this day.

Bu said...

Oddly, I hung out with a Stuart when I lived in LA, I had no idea of the family fortune or the Carnation connection. Seems kind of ironic that I went from selling Carnation Ice Cream Bars, to hanging out with a "Carnation" decades later...also an Old CEO of mine was a golf buddy of another Stuart and would talk about him with us as the Stuart would give the CEO tips on how to run his (Very) (gigantic) business...(this was an old school guy from Oklahoma who made it to the top in a true American fashion- He was awesome...): "that guy!, "the one who sells Ice Cream": giving me all kinds of advice on business! He's never worked a damed day in his damn life!" Why this CEO was telling me and my work partner this intel, I have no idea...we were just worker bees...Apparently, the Stuarts are still very active philathropists: they bought back the original research farm in Carnation Washington (formerly Tolt Washington) and made it a camp for kids, along with many many other contributions to society: : that's all I have about Carnation: other than they had the best Strawberry ice cream ever: I think I've told the story of one Summer at Disneyland where before the fireworks I would go to the Inn Between and buy a scoop of ice cream and stand in-between the Inn Between and Adventure Through Inner Space backstage and watch the fireworks every night: as you could hear the soundtrack so very clearly, and there was not a soul around. So very loud and peaceful all at the same time.