Tuesday, August 19, 2014

#Disneyland60.....Today In Disneyland History........August 19, 1955

Case de Fritos Opens
August 19, 1955

On August 19, 1955 Casa de Fritos, located next door to Aunt Jemima's Pancake Restaurant invited its first hungry guest in month   after Disneyland’s opening. In addition to great food, the Mexican eatery featured a unique Frito Kid chip-dispensing machine that gave you a bag of Fritos Corn Chips for only a nickel. The Frito Kid stood just inside the door as you walked to the counter. Guests would put a nickel in the cash box on the fence and the Frito Kid came to life. While rolling his eyes, licking his lips, and turning his head, his recorded voice would holler back to his unseen partner Klondike inside the mountain to send down some more of those “golden chips of corn,” and then a wax-paper bag of Fritos Corn Chips would slide down the chute.  Park visitors loved this Mexican restaurant that served favorites such as the Frito Chile Pie - a bag of corn chips sliced open and topped with chile and melted cheese as well as the popular“Ta-cup” which was made up of ground beef, cheese, lettuce, and sauce in a fried corn dough cup.

Originally located in the corridor known as “New Orleans Street” this restaurant favorite soon outgrew its space, and was replaced by Don DeFore’s Silver Banjo BBQ. When the Casa de Fritos moved next to the Mine Train Through Nature’s Wonderland attraction on July 1, 1957 the Frito Kid also went to the new location, but was moved from the right to the left of the chute, minus the booth with the racks of potato chips, etc. The mountain mine set was also redesigned to accommodate the different angle of the chute.

Photo Credit Imagineering Disney

Today in the original location of the Casa de Fritos is the ever-popular Rancho del Zocalo Mexican Restaurant. A few architectural remnants still remain and the archway with broken adobe and exposed brick that was once the main Casa de Fritos entrance, now serves as an entrance to a dining area of Rancho del Zocalo.  In addition, the adobe/brick oven is still there today but with tables and chairs in front.  The days of the Casa de Fritos and the Frito Kid may be a distant memory, put the tradition of top notch Mexican food for reasonable prices still lives on today at the Rancho del Zocalo.  And that’s what happened today in Disneyland history.

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