Restaurantosaurus, nestled in DinoLand U.S.A. in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, is always good for a laughosaurus and some foodosaurus.
The story goes that DinoLand has a history that dates back to 1947 and the discovery of dinosaur bones by an amateur fossil-hunter. Realizing the importance of the find, the bone-hunter contacted some scientist friends who banded together to purchase the site, which included an old fishing lodge.
The fossil-rich site has since been inhabited by scientists, volunteers and grad students who have left a paper trail around the site of notes, theories, questions and answers about the lives of the vanished creatures.
The old fishing lodge became the dorm and commissary for paleontology students. As you can see in my photos above, the “students” have left their humor around the building, which includes deeming the eatery Restaurantosaurus.
And that’s the story! (Are you disappointed I didn’t say storyosaurus?)
At Restaurantosaurus you can enjoy food such as hamburgers, hot dogs and chicken nuggets, and because Disney’s not living in the stone age, they are offering more healthy options like the spicy black bean burgers and grilled-chicken sandwiches.
The Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World takes you back to the fabulous 1950s! Drive-In movie theaters were all the rage. You could drive your car in, park, hook a speaker on your car window, and for those that weren’t necking in the back seat, you could enjoy a movie in front of you on the big screen.
From the moment you walk in to the Sci-Fi Dine-In, you’ll remarkably feel like you’ve stepped back in time, under the starry night sky (whether daytime or nighttime!), for some silver screen entertainment of the day.
As you hop in your ‘50s convertible, you’ll be seeing actual 1950s science-fiction-themed footage, with sound coming out of the authentic drive-in portable speakers.
Once you’ve ordered your classic American cuisine, you’ll SHRIEK at the “Attack of the 50 Foot Woman,” BEWARE as “Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster,” and be TERRIFIED by “Robot Monster.”
It was always fun to get a cartoon short accompanying the movie back in the day, and you’ll be treated to classics such as Tex Avery’s “The Cat Who Hated People,” and Tom and Jerry in “Mouse into Space.”
Intermission reminds you to visit the snack bar, with classic animated dancing hot dog, popcorn and beverage cups!
Of course, this is a Disney version of the ol’ drive-in, so you’ll see a few Disney treasures in the mix. Watch for Walt Disney and robot Garco, as Walt discusses the possibility of life on other planets in an introduction from the 1957 “Disneyland” television show, and the zany animated short from that episode in which a scholarly man tries to determine if there is “life on Mars.”
Incidentally, Garco, was not just a prop for this TV show. Walt Disney was a man of vision and strove for authenticity. So for his robot sidekick for the television episode, he utilized an actual 5’8” 235 pound robot that was built by Harvey Chapman in 1953. He was built out of used aircraft parts and christened “Garco,” for the “Garrett Manufacturing Company” for which he was built. He had vacuum fingers to pick things up, a steel claw to grip, and he could telescope his legs to reach things on higher shelves.
Besides Garco, you might also spot 1967 Disneyland Ambassador Marcia Miner with Mickey Mouse in outer space apparel within the movie clips. This is footage from the grand opening of the new Tomorrowland in Disneyland which debuted the PeopleMover, Adventure Thru Inner Space and the General Electric Carousel of Progress amongst other things. You can listen to my conversation with Marcia here!
So the next time you’re in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, consider eating at a blast to the past, the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater and Restaurant. It’s out of this world!
If you received a press release 60 years ago from Disneyland about their tenth anniversary celebration, the above is the letterhead you would see. The “tencennial” celebration saw the premiere of “Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln,” which was still enjoying great success at the New York World’s Fair, the opening of the beautiful Plaza Inn restaurant at the end of Main Street, and at Christmastime, the debut of “Fantasy on Parade.” This was also the year Disneyland’s 50 millionth Guest passed through the gates!
Walt Disney’s biggest frustration that year were costs going up because he didn’t want park admission to be raised, and the fact that he didn’t buy more land surrounding Disneyland. He paid $4,500 an acre, but by 1965, the land was now selling for $8,500 an acre.
Music was in abundance at Disneyland in 1965, with the big name big bands performing led by the legendary leaders including Tommy Dorsey, Harry James and Duke Ellington among others. The park also held their folk music Hootenannies, the annual Dixieland at Disneyland, and the Humdingers shows featured popular rock ‘n’ roll of the day.
During our recent trip to Yosemite, with Half Dome in the background, the Wolf brothers recreated a scene out of the inspiring Epcot attraction, The American Adventure, when John Muir convinces Teddy Roosevelt to save this land as part of Yosemite National Park.
30 years ago, I took this parade photo during Disneyland’s 30th anniversary! 30 years! I thought Disneyland was so old! That year, 1985, was such an exciting time at the park. One of the features of the year was the Gift Giver, the brainchild of Disneyland’s marketing guru (and future president) Jack Lindquist. The Gift Giver machine gave away gifts to every guest. Every day people were winning prizes such as popcorn, a pin, a Disney Home Video cassette, an RCA color television (yes, color!), a PSA roundtrip airline ticket, and every 3,000th Guest won a 1986 Pontiac Firebird! Just about this day, on August 24, 1985, Disneyland welcomed it’s 250 millionth Guest, and won a bunch of prizes including 30,000 (in keeping with the “30” theme) free air miles, a trip to the two year old Tokyo Disneyland and a new Cadillac. That guest, Brooks Charles Arthur Burr, was three years old! He was being carried by his father, but it was Brooks who was holding the ticket!
I just posted my interview with Academy Award winning composer Alan Menken on my Mouse Clubhouse website. In this conversation, Alan discusses his work on The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and Tangled, amongst others. CLICK HERE for the interview
The Horizons attraction at Epcot resided at the current location of Mission: SPACE. In it, Guests would glide by scenes of Audio Animatronics characters depicting scenes of future possibilities. In this scene of an underground schoolroom, the teacher instructs her students about diving safety, and to never horse around. She adds, “Don’t even sea horse around!”
It was in this attraction, that Guests first heard the saying, “If we can dream it, we can do it.” This phrase has often been attributed to Walt Disney, as one of his quotes, however Walt never said it. It’s origin is this 1983 attraction, where it was heard in both dialogue and song.
This unique lamppost found just outside Pizzafari, restaurant in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, gives Guests an idea of the stylings found inside the restaurant’s six themed rooms.
If you eat at Pizzafari, while dining on pizza or other related fare, be sure to listen closely to what sounds like African-styled music. Each song is animal-related and you’ll hear familiar melodies such as “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” “Black Bird,” “Octopus’s Garden” and the theme to the TV series “Mister Ed.”
This is NOT a black and white photograph. It’s a full color photo of the ultra-creative way the classic One Man’s Dream stage show began in Disneyland. The music would build and almost instantly the set and characters appeared in full color. The 30 minute show, which was only at Disneyland in 1990, was truly magical, and featured dancers and Disney characters in a revue of brilliant song and dance numbers from Disney’s classic animated features.
One’s Man Dream culminated with a truly grand finale of all the dancers and Disney characters coming together in song, donning their traditional costumes but in sparkling gold!
One Man’s Dream was performed at the Videopolis stage in Disneyland, which today is known as the Fantasyland Theatre. The show was also a big hit in Tokyo Disneyland, and a newer version, One Man’s Dream II: The Magic Lives On, delights audiences daily.
28 years ago this week, on July 11, 1987 to be exact, the Disney Gallery opened in Disneyland above the Pirates of the Caribbean entrance. The space was originally being designed as a space for Walt Disney to entertain guests and dignitaries, however all worked ceased after Walt passed away in 1966. When the Disney Gallery opened, it gave Guests the chance to visit this previous inaccessible area, and to see unique Disneyland artwork and artifacts, with new exhibits regularly. I remember the gallery as a wonderful relaxing escape from the hustle and bustle downstair, with multiple rooms, a quiet outdoor seating patio, and the friendliest of Disneyland Cast Members. I thought you’d enjoy some of my old Gallery photos. While the Gallery no longer resides in that area, there is still a Disney Gallery by the lobby of Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.