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Entries in Disneyland (50)


Frito Kid Mysteries Continue

Last year we posted a look at the mysterious Frito Kid at Disneyland. Since then we have set out to answer a few questions about him– specifically “Where exactly was he located??” and “What still exists today?” Here's what we've found.

Location 1– 1955-1957

We knew his first location was next to Aunt Jemima's Pancake House (River Belle Terrace today) just inside the front door. But which door? We searched high and low for a photo showing the Frito Kid taken from a distance.

After no success I decided to adjust this old Casa de Fritos photo from Daveland. A simple curves adjustment in Photoshop and bam! There he is. Just inside the front left door.

Zoom in and compare.

UPDATED. Dave from Daveland has provided a lightened version of the original photo. Notice the detail!

Now to visit the location to see what remains.

Hmm. Door slightly ajar. Let’s open and have a peek. Sadly there is a wall right behind the door.

According to the cast member bussing tables, “there is nothing behind that door”. Also according to the cast member, “the Frito Kid was never anywhere near this building nor was Casa de Fritos”. That’s ok, they don’t teach this stuff in orientation. I was happy to hear that he had at least heard of the Frito Kid/Casa de Fritos. Kudos also to the girl at the River Belle cash register for knowing that the restaurant was once Aunt Jemima’s.

In 1957 this part of the building became home to Don DeFore's Silver Banjo Barbecue. So the odds are slim that anything from the Fritos setup still exists today. But maybe there's a utility box with a "Frito Kid" label on it? Or something? Someone let me know if this is the case.

Location 2– 1957-1967?

The Frito Kid and Casa de Fritos stayed in their first location just shy of two years. Though Casa de Fritos stayed in its second location for over 25 years (Rancho del Zocalo today), the Frito Kid was removed much sooner. I'm guessing his removal took place in the late 60s when Fritos corn chips stopped using Frito Kid as a mascot.

So where exactly was the Kid in this second location? This fantastic photo (thank you to whoever posted this online) shows where he stood. The architecture on the left still stands today. The wooden log structure around the figure no longer exists.

Now to determine more exactly where he stood. At first I believed be backed up right against the Frontierland Shooting Gallery (Frontierland Shooting Exposition today). Side note: The Shooting Gallery was not an Opening Day attraction like some official Disney history publications claim. The Miniature Horse Corral preceded it. Ok...

Looking at old photos and blueprints (blueprints that don’t happen to mention the Frito Kid) I noticed a hallway running behind the Frito Kid, between him and the Shooting Gallery. So he had to have been located a few feet away from the Gallery wall (with the mural), right about here:

So now we know. Now we know a little more about something extremely obscure and quite insignificant. But isn't that what makes it great? Now you can go to Disneyland with your friends and whip out this bit knowledge and be the nerdiest one in the group. If you read this blog, there's a good chance you are already the nerdiest. We see that as a good thing.

If you happen to have Frito Kid photos not currently on the internet, send 'em to us! I've never seen a video so send those too.

For some more Frito Kid history, visit Kevin Kidney


Related posts:

Frito Kid and Deeee-licious Fritos!
 AND NOWDisneyland [Part 1]
Frontierland Shootin' Arcade Like You've Never Seen It
Diana Lai: An Original Enchanted Tiki Room VIP Hostess
The Wonders of Nature's Wonderland
Swiss Family Treehouse Model
Marc Davis and Disneyland's Rivers of America Rehab


THEN AND NOW: Disneyland [Part 1]


New Orleans Square


Main Street, U.S.A.

I do love Disneyland. The Disneyland of today and the Disneyland of "then". All of us here at the blog frequented Disneyland as children more than any other park. I really feel that pretty much everything built at Disneyland up through the end of the 80s was fantastic. Things like this and this weren't added until the early 90s. Tomorrowland '67 was more or less still in tact. And even when they tinkered with the greatest Tomorrowland ever, the changes (like Americas Sings) and the additions (like Space Mountain) were great. Though there have been oh so many changes, there still can be found so much old architecture and other elements of the early years.


Related post:

Decades in Review [Part 2]
The Wonders of Nature's Wonderland [Part 1]
AND NOW: Epcot World Showcase [Part 1]
THEN AND NOW: Epcot Future World [Part 1]
THEN AND NOW: Liberty Square [Part 1]
THEN AND NOW: MK Fantasyland [Part 1]
THEN AND NOW: MK Tomorrowland [Part 1]
THEN AND NOW: MK Adventureland [Part 1]
The Wonders of Nature's Wonderland [Part 1]



Trip Report- Disneyland/Disney Cruise 10-2011

We’ve never done a trip report before. But recently all of us have visited multiple properties and thought it would be fun to share a few things.

My wife and I enjoyed the Disney Cruise with another couple. Before boarding The Wonder out of Los Angeles we hung out at Disneyland for a couple days. My wife had just finished working and playing for a week at Walt Disney World. I was so proud of her ability to compare all six domestic parks so well. How attractive is that.

California Adventure was all-walls, as I mentioned in the previous post. Ok not all walls but there were plenty of walls, each adorned with those great attraction posters. What better way to enjoy a plywood maze than with great stylized artwork. Really, these posters are fantastic.

Both ladies in the group were/are pregnant (that’s right, my wife and I are expecting our first). The other guy and myself are artists/designers so the geeky art talk was great.

The Little Mermaid ride was a deeeelight. Really. We all agreed it was the highlight of the day. And the highlight of the ride for me was those dang cute animatronics. Especially the two Scuttle figures. I love the classic nature of the ride and feel it’s a win for everyone– perhaps especially for us fans of traditional disney rides. Later in the week I had a great conversation with a famous Little Mermaid animator who had some great comments about the ride. Look for that conversation in the next post.

Grizzly River Run. I realized how much I love the Grizzly River Run which I had not been on for over ten years. I do wish there were some fun animal animatronics though. Hint hint to Disney. Maybe some fun Nature’s Wonderland gags goin’ on around the rapids?

Cars Land. Of all park real estate this could have been built on, they chose the least offensive. They didn’t violate sacred ground. In other words, it didn’t go in Disneyland, Magic Kingdom, or Epcot. Although I’m sure management can picture its duplicate right on top of the Tomorrowland Grand Prix, Magic Kingdom. Quick grumble: Just because something is well crafted... doesn’t mean it is well designed. The rock work and other construction is very well crafted. But it seems they are not getting far enough away from that carnival-ish ride style that already plagues DCA...? We’ll see.

Buena Vista Street. I am digging this. See the previous post. ‘Twill be a wonderful little place. Just the charm this park entrance needs. Sorry to all those lovers of the “oversized postcard” look. That is long gone already. Side note: Complaints are floating around that the Monorail doesn’t fit the 1920s setting. True. But somehow I think it will all work out nicely. Remember, the track was there long before BVS. And remember, the futuristic Monorail has been passing by the turn-of-the-century main entrance of Disneyland for decades. Good enough reason? Anyway, just keep thinking of the charm of the Red Car Trolley.

Hooray for the usuals. Jungle Cruise, Tiki Room, Matterhorn, Splash Mountain, Storybook, etc. Pirates was closed and Mansion was holiday-ized. I do like that Jack Skellington animatronic, I must say.

The Colors of Mary Blair. I’m lovin’ the Mary Blair exhibit at the old Bank on Main Street. What a charming charming collection that is. No wonder Walt’s favorite artist was Mary Blair. Also, I’ve found in recent times that the Cast Members there and at the Opera House next door are quite helpful and knowledgeable. Hooray for that.

A bit of Epcot at Disneyland! This is a treat for anyone waiting to see Mr. Lincoln (who is also a treat). You might recognize these if you've visited The American Adventure at Epcot's World Showcase. These are miniature versions of the life-size statues on the East coast.

The moral of this part of the post: There are great things for us lovers of the old-school to enjoy and  to look forward to. Alllllthough at the same time we must continue to ignore some of the cluttery crap that has found a home in our beloved park.

Star Tours (not the cluttery crap I was referring to). Ok this enhancement is better than many fanboys might give it credit. According to this fanboy at least. Do I love the loose timelines and Jar Jars? No. But the place looks great. And how can a screen look so bright and crisp? I'm super happy that the ride pilot is a great C-3PO animtronic and not "ACE". And really, Star Tours 2.0 is the least of Tomorrowland’s problems. I didn’t see a single Rocket Rod go by the whole time I was there. Hee hee.

West Side. This is where the group decides to leave me for a couple hours. And why they don't want to watch me photograph the architectural remains of things that have been gone for forty years... your guess is as good as mine.

Spoiler alert for upcoming posts: I did some mystery solvin' for things like Frito Kid, the various extinct shooting arcades, and other former attractions and areas. Ahh the joys of finding things I have never before been able to find. Not to mention the joys of people cleaning tables telling me I'm wrong about the building I'm looking at. For the record... I was right about those buildings.


For fun. Walt in the driver seat of the old milk truck with some Boy Scouts and some girls.

More walls. Club 33 was not blocked but the exit of Pirates was. I found it interesting to see a temporary Club 33 sign on the temporary wall. For the record... Walls are not always a bad thing.

Spotted. Reese Witherspoon, her ex-husband Ryan Phillippe, their daughter, and another girl were climbing out of a Splash Mountain log as we were climbing in the same log. Shortly after we saw them buying their ride photo. Then we saw them buying bottled water. Oh those fancy Hollywood celebrities.

Trip Report Part 2 (Disney Cruise) coming next. 


Related posts:

The Era of Big and Tacky
Buena Vista Street Model
Disneyland Meets EPCOT Center
America Sings