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  1. #1

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    June 25, 2010: McDonald’s in Yesterland

    The only food on menu is McDonald’s French Fries. But if you want more fat and salt in your diet, who needs any other choices?


    Please discuss it here.
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

  2. #2

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    Re: June 25, 2010: McDonald’s in Yesterland

    I have read that Walt tried desperately to court McDonald's to join with him while Disneyland was being built but they shunned him.

    I for one am glad they're gone.

  3. #3

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    Re: June 25, 2010: McDonald’s in Yesterland

    A few weeks before the Frontierland wagon was removed, I overheard a trio of Imagineres at the spot discussing a new building they were planning for the spot. Now the River has been rebuilt, but no new buildiing has appeared, and all the plumbing and connection points have been paved over. I am assuming nothing will be built there now, and yet that is still a fairly wide swath of empty real estate at the site. Maybe in the future...
    First Visit at the age of 12, July 17, 1968.
    First Ride, The Disneyland and Santa Fe Railroad.
    BRING BACK THE PEOPLE MOVER!

  4. #4

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    Re: June 25, 2010: McDonald’s in Yesterland

    I, for one, liked McDonalds. Disneyland food was about the same in quality anyway. And Walt always wanted outside sponsors and vendors.
    It's easy enough to be pleasant
    when life hums along like a song.
    But the man worth while
    is the man who can smile
    when everything goes dead wrong.

  5. #5

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    Re: June 25, 2010: McDonald’s in Yesterland

    Quote Originally Posted by jaxbistro View Post
    I have read that Walt tried desperately to court McDonald's to join with him while Disneyland was being built but they shunned him.
    I've never heard that story.

    I've heard it the other way around. Supposedly, Walt Disney turned down Ray Kroc. Here's what it says at the Ray Kroc Biography at the Basic Famous People website:

    Kroc's enthusiasm for the company was strong, and in his first year with McDonald's he unsuccessfully attempted to convince Walt Disney, a fellow WWI ambulance driver with whom he had been acquainted, to let him open a restaurant in the forthcoming Disneyland.

    Keep in in mind that in 1954 and 1955, the time of the final planning and construction of Disneyland, McDonald's was nothing like the company it is today.

    The chain that the McDonald brothers founded has grown to handful of restaurants by 1954 — 8 or 11 locations, depending on which account you want to believe.

    Ray Kroc hoped to replicate the McDonald brothers's success at additional locations. He opened his first McDonald's franchise in Des Plaines, Illinois, on April 15, 1955, just three months before Disneyland opened. In 1961, Kroc bought out the McDonald brothers, who had to rename their restaurant. Kroc then drove them out of business in 1964.

    Kroc's company grew into the McDonald's Corporation of today.

    In 1997, when the Disney-McDonalds's marketing alliance was announced, I recall stories circulating that Ray Kroc and Walt Disney served together in France during World War I in the same ambulance unit. The suggestion was that they were old friends and that the presence of McDonald's at Disneyland was somehow preordained.

    I also recall that someone looked into it at the time and determined that although both young men volunteered for ambulance service, the timing was such that their paths did not cross. Apparently, Kroc was never even sent to France.

    Regarding the efforts to have a McDonald's presence in Disneyland in 1955, one account from a reliable Disney historian says that Ray Kroc wrote to Walt Disney in 1954. Walt responded that he had forwarded the letter to his executive in charge of concessions. There was no follow-up. And that was the end of it.

    No real courting — no real shunning — from either side.
    Last edited by Werner Weiss; 06-25-2010 at 06:24 PM.
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

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    Re: June 25, 2010: McDonald’s in Yesterland

    Ha Ha! Werner, your back story is better than Disney's! Conestoga Fries I can take, but I always shook my head in sadness at the feeble attempt to fool us into thinking that McDonald's fries were somehow tied to seafood. Tuna fish sandwiches and seafood brochettes sound much better, even better than the menu they offer today.
    Last edited by Disneykin Kid; 06-25-2010 at 06:28 PM.

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    Re: June 25, 2010: McDonald’s in Yesterland

    I've always liked McDonald's fries, and I used to stop at the Harbour Galley whenever I was in the mood.

    But my favorite at Harbour Galley was the Cajun Popcorn Shrimp from the earlier menu.

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    Re: June 25, 2010: McDonald’s in Yesterland

    I was never bothered by the idea of Mc Donalds in the park. I was bothered by the asking price. Simply because a product lands itself in the happiest place on earth I don't feel it justifies getting happy with the profit margin.

    It is a bit dissapointing though when you consider that you're dealing with a company that prides it self on being creative. Are we really to believe that offering Mc Donalds as a food choice was a creative stroke of genius to enhance the guest experience? Or more a creative way of fullfilling an obligation and ducking out of developing a more inspired food option.

  9. #9

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    Re: June 25, 2010: McDonald’s in Yesterland

    Quote Originally Posted by Werner Weiss View Post
    Regarding the efforts to have a McDonald's presence in Disneyland in 1955, one account from a reliable Disney historian says that Ray Kroc wrote to Walt Disney in 1954. Walt responded that he had forwarded the letter to his executive in charge of concessions. There was no follow-up. And that was the end of it.

    No real courting — no real shunning — from either side.
    If this is the account you mean, Werner, I agree with you completely. There was no reason for Walt to get involved with a company at a time when it had yet to become what we know it's like now.

    Jim Hill : Walt Disney hated McDonald's?! What a Kroc ... er ... crock.

  10. #10

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    Re: June 25, 2010: McDonald’s in Yesterland

    Quote Originally Posted by Werner Weiss View Post
    I've never heard that story.

    I've heard it the other way around. Supposedly, Walt Disney turned down Ray Kroc.

    OK, I looked it up again. It is in the book "Fast Food Nation" by Eric Schlosser, (pages 33-37 in the paperback) and you're right, it was the other way around. Supposedly Kroc asked Disney to be part of Disneyland and Walt asked him to raise the fries price from 10 cents to 15 cents. Disneyland would pocket the extra 5 cents. Kroc said no. But Schlosser is quick to point out that this probably never happened.

    This is what happens when boobs like me are allowed to just throw crap out into the blogosphere.

    Sorry to waste everyone's time.

  11. #11

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    Re: June 25, 2010: McDonald’s in Yesterland

    Quote Originally Posted by epaddon View Post
    If this is the account you mean, Werner, I agree with you completely. There was no reason for Walt to get involved with a company at a time when it had yet to become what we know it's like now.

    Jim Hill : Walt Disney hated McDonald's?! What a Kroc ... er ... crock.
    It appears that someone gave Jim Hill some misinformation in this case. For example, according to Hill's article, Walt Disney and Ray Kroc were both sent overseas to France after their ambulance training, where "these two boys from the Midwest strike up ... well, not exactly a friendship. But at least an acquaintance-ship."

    I just looked at Ray Kroc's autobiography, Grinding It Out: The Making Of McDonald's. According to Kroc, he was never sent to France. Kroc mentions Walt Disney's reputation as an "odd duck," but Kroc does not mention any "acquaintance-ship."

    Keep in mind that Disney was born in 1901 and Kroc in 1902. Both young men lied about their age to volunteer for American Ambulance Corps. It seems that Walt Disney was part of an earlier training class. Although the Armistice was signed, his services were still needed in France. But Ray Kroc's services were not needed, and he returned to Chicago.

    I also question the accuracy of the story that McDonald's was not part of Disneyland in 1955 only because of lack agreement about on price of a single order of McDonald's French Fries. It makes a good story. Jim Hill also points out, "Mind you, Ray Kroc was not the sort of guy who'd let the truth stand in the way of a good story."

    I have much more confidence in the explanation of what happened to Ray Kroc's initiative to get McDonald's into Disneyland in the following article. The explanation is more mundane, but also more believable:


    In his 1955 letter, Kroc references a group photo (taken at the training facility in Connecticut) that includes Disney and Kroc. All this suggests is that both young men were at some stage of their training when everyone was called together for a group photo.
    Last edited by Werner Weiss; 06-26-2010 at 09:49 PM.
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

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