Coffee with Kurtti: Memories of Disneyland

Written by Keith Gluck. Posted in Coffee With Kurtti, Disney, Disney Parks, Disneyland Resort, Keith Gluck, Podcasts

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Published on February 19, 2013 at 4:02 am with 6 Comments

Episode 4 of Coffee with Kurtti features two lifelong Disneyland enthusiasts reminiscing about their earliest memories of the park. Jeff and I also touch upon the nature of change, and share our respective views on the Starbucks invasion. While I don’t feel particularly strongly about it, I was forced to confess one specific Disneyland invasion that really chapped my hide. Below is a paraphrased excerpt from our conversation.

Jeff: People kind of want their Disneyland to stay the way it is. Which is funny because the whole notion of Disneyland in Walt’s mind was that it was fluid.

Keith: Yeah.

Jeff: What do you remember from your childhood trips?

Keith: Being able to get an “orange-flavored Dole Whip” on Main Street.

Jeff: I remember they had a sherbet, a soft-serve sherbet at the Sunkist place.

Keith: Adventures Thru Inner Space. Magnification. I remember when you had to take an escalator to ride Space Mountain. Mission to Mars. I remember when Critter Country was Bear Country.

Jeff: And that’s part of that whole idea. The whole “Disneyland will never be completed.”

We go on to discuss how there’s been more than one “corporate coffee house” on Main Street in the past, and of course, the one invasion that resulted in me initiating a boycott – Listen to the podcast below for the rest of this fun conversation:

Listen to the episode on iTunes, or via the window below!

About Keith Gluck

Keith Gluck writes for and volunteers at the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco. He also runs a Disney blog called, and travels to Disney Parks as often as he can. A fan of many facets of The Disney Company, Keith's main interest is the life and legacy of Walt Disney. For questions/comments, or to request a certain topic be covered, please send an email to: [email protected] Twitter: @DisneyProject Facebook:

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  1. Can’t wait for the Tomorrowland episode. It’s a collection of abandoned underutilized spaces like the top and sides(ie Starcade.) of a dated 3D theater that needs to be bulldozed and gutted to make room for a well thought out area. The idea of aliens from Star Wars, avatar and marvel would help with it going out of date too fast. Hope they bulldoze pizza port, innovations, the skyway terminal and move autopia behind luigi’s tires where it belongs.

  2. I found this bit interesting since I didn’t go to the park much back then. But to me, early Disneyland days means the Western era, the stagecoach ride, the burro ride, the boat ride, the Indian village, the Indians attacking the fort days, with Davey Crockett parading down Main Street. Don’t get me wrong, I love the new Disneyland, but the old days had its own unique tone.

  3. Listened to you guys on my iPod today. Really great memories of Disneyland. You are so right about Disneyland needing to be a living, breathing, ever-changing thing. However, the caveat to that is that the new thing should match or enhance the theme of the land and improve upon what was there before.

    I have no problems with Starbucks on Main Street, so long as the space is well themed to a turn of the century shop (which I’m sure it will be). Innoventions, however, never made sense to me as it didn’t really fit the theme of Tomorrowland and was too much like a commercial.

    Really enjoy your chats and look forward to the next one!

  4. I couldn’t agree more with your McDonald’s discussion. Why couldn’t they have made some effort? Why didn’t they have a burger that you could ONLY get at Disney? And I was so offended to smell that familiar McDonald’s smell. It totally removed me from the theme park experience. And seeing those red boxes…and it was FAR worse at DCA where there was a barely disguised McDonalds. I like McDonalds, but I don’t go to a Disney park to eat more expensive versions of food I can eat any day of the week.

    And I remember the handwich. There was a good BBQ chicken one and a horrible beef with cheese version. It was like a cone shape, kinda like what they’ve got over in Carsland at DCA now.

  5. What I remember about the Sunkist Citrus House is that there were chutes full of oranges everywhere… My earliest memory is of not wanting to ride the Rocket Jets (1960?) and the next one would be of the display from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Thanks for mentioning the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship, where I had a tuna sandwich! I’ve always missed the Skyway, which I loved for the fabulous view. And the Carousel of Progress aka Innoventions? There’s never been anything in that space that appealed to me!

    As to McDonalds, the food at Disneyland was so awful for so many years that McDonalds gave me hope for improvement.

  6. I liked this episode a lot!

    I do have to say that I don’t like Starbucks in any of the Disney Parks. It’s like McDonalds being the parks… you can get that food outside of the park without even trying. Dole Whip? Even though it’s a brand that’s available out of the parks, that’s near impossible to find. Yes, I skip the Dreyer’s Ice Cream as well. I only eat and drink what I can’t find easily out of Disney Parks. Disney’s popcorn and churros aren’t unique, but they have a better version of said foods than most restaurants or movie theaters, etc.

    My POV is why should I eat something that can be found outside of the parks on any regular day?