Monday, September 11, 2006

In Disneyland, Mi Casa Es Su Casa!

Casa de Fritos was a pretty neat themed food house in Frontierland.

Sponsored by Frito Lay, the restaurant opened shortly after opening day in August 1955. Fritos continued sponsorship until 1982, when control was shifted to Lawry's (owners of the Disney favorite, Tam 'O Shanter).

Casa De Fritos was a Mexican themed restaurant planned and operated by fairly bland white people. Like much of Southern California fantasy fast-foods including Taco Bell, menu items that just didn't exist in Mexico were offered.

Here is the Frito Seniorita greeter from 1957. Que Buenita!

The neatest contraption being the "Ta-Cup"...get it? A taco shell shaped like a cup...THE TA-CUP! Man, why don't we get cool fantasy food like that any more at Disneyland?

This is a mail gift box available to Casa De Frito guests for sharing the bounty back home in 1955

The neat thing is that Casa De Fritos came from an era when corporate sponsorship was logically placed at the park. It does make sense that Frito Lay would feature their famous corn-chips at a Mexican themed restaurant in Frontierland. They knew that their product would receive the best exposure if they absolutely took advantage of the environmental theme.

This great looking party recepie book was available free to guests who purchased Golden Chips of Corn from the automated in-store vendor, The Frito Kid!

Today, Disneyland has so many stores and sponsors that have little to no relation to the themed environment. It's amazing how small the corporate intrusion is when the sponsorship is well themed. In many ways, I think it helps sell the fantasy. The first "Back to the Future" movie took advantage of corporate presence to sell the idea of a relatable future. I think that's why the idea of much needed corporate sponsorship at the park was palatable to Walt. If it helps sell the theme, why not? It makes sense that McDonnell-Douglas would sponsor the Rocket to the Moon ride and not the Jungle Cruise.

Well, there's Casa De Fritos! Another fine marriage of theme environment and corporate sponsorship brought to you by Walt Disney!


Blogger Sharon Spotbottom said...

One Ta-Ta cup please...and can you super size that to go!

12:23 PM  
Blogger Chris Merritt said...

Bloody brilliant sir.

I have a new "E" Ticket fresh off the presses for you!

12:34 PM  
Blogger Major Pepperidge said...

Fantastic post, amazing photos. To quote Shakespeare, "Zowie!".

3:05 PM  
Blogger andrew said...

I love that frito kid - I assume the frito bandito was barred from the park? (especially cuz he hung w/ that nasty ol' tex avery...)

11:10 PM  
Blogger Matterhorn1959 said...

Great stuff Jordan.

6:08 AM  
Blogger Waffle Whiffer [Brandon] said...

Nice post.

The Frito Kid is back on Frito packages right now, in celebration of their 75th anniversary.

9:25 PM  

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