Friday, August 29, 2014

#DIsneyland60.....Today in Disneyland History...........August 29, 1955

Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship & Restaurant Opens
August 29, 1955

On August 29, 1955, the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship and Restaurant made its debut in Fantasyland in Disneyland.  Sponsored by Van Camp Seafood Company’s Chicken of the Sea tuna, this iconic restaurant was the home of the only takeout tuna sandwiches at Disneyland Park.  Built of wood in the middle of concrete with a small amount of water surrounding it. Tuna sandwiches, tuna salad (served in mini boats), tuna burgers, and hot tuna pies were all served at the Pirate Ship Restaurant at the counter below the deck. The ship featured a blonde mermaid figure-the mermaid was the sponsor’s trademark.

In 1961, The Skull Rock Lagoon was added and served as a scenic backdrop and seating area for patrons of the restaurant. Based on Skull Rock from “Peter Pan,” you could enjoy your food while listening to music & the cascading waterfall. Kids were often chased by Captain Hook behind the waterfalls and through the small caves. At night, the eyes of the Skull glowed green. Skull Rock & the Pirate Ship were both demolished in 1982 to make way for the “new” Fantasyland. The original intent was to move the Pirate Ship near the Storybook Land entrance and recreate Skull Cove, however, the ship (which had either been replaced by a concrete version which was more stable or reinforced with concrete) could not be moved in one piece without damaging it. There was no money in the budget to rebuild her, so she was taken apart instead. The mermaid figurehead was to be removed and saved, but fell out of the sling and broke into many pieces from an Imagineer’s truck when it went over a speed bump. In 1969, the restaurant’s name was changed to Captain Hook’s Galley, when Disneyland Park took over its operation. The ship remained until 1982, when it was demolished for the remodeling of the Fantasyland Area.  When the “new” Fantasyland reopened in 1983, the classic pirate ship was replaced by the new, updated version of Dumbo.  

Luckily, the Pirate ship and Skull Rock are more than just a memory as Imagineers created an incredible new version in Disneyland Paris.  And that’s what happened today in Disneyland history.  

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