The Restaurant That Can’t Decide What It Wants To Be Called

And this is the part where Shelby takes a deep, cleansing breath and finally gets to post! As some of you know, I’m pursuing an MFA in creative writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts and my final “packet” (big old bunch of stuff–creative work, critical essays, annotated bibliography, letter, list of reasons why I’m not lame, etc.) of the semester is due on Wednesday, which is also my birthday. In addition to wrapping everything up, my computer decided to totally die on me. I’ve been eyeing new computers anyway, so when I saw that one I wanted also had a $100 off coupon from Costco, Kevin went out and bought it that day. However, transferring everything from one computer to the other turned out to be pretty much a 24-hour process, during which I was working off my thumb drive on Kevin’s Macbook and NOT doing anything relating to MYWTM. Obviously. But anyway, I am mostly back in action, so thanks for sticking around!

If you didn’t die of boredom from that last paragraph, that is.

So today’s entry is about the restaurant that can’t decide what it wants to be called. It’s at the end of Main Street on the left (facing the castle) and the part that faces the hub identifies the restaurant as the creatively-named “Refreshment Corner,” which is pretty much the lamest name of anything in the entire park. I mean, refreshment corner? That’s just one step away from “Place Where You Buy Food.”

This Place Where You Buy Food is brought to you by Coca-Cola!

And seriously, how weird is it to see “Coca-Cola” typed out like that? I had to check and make sure it wasn’t “Coco-Cola.” It’s brought to you by Coke, okay?

Anyway, the Disneyland website also refers to this eatery as the Refreshment Corner. But then, on the side that faces Main Street, you get this:

Corner Cafe? Wut?

Yes, it says Corner Cafe. Now isn’t that a MUCH better name than Refreshment Corner? Yes, it is. However, the Disneyland site doesn’t make any reference to the Corner Cafe. I suppose they don’t want it to be confused with the Carnation Cafe which is a few stores back down Main Street, but still. I mean, did they just spend all that money on the cute little Corner Cafe sign so they left it up and hoped nobody would notice? I don’t know.

The best part of the Corner Cafe other than walking along its edge is sort of a shortcut to Adventureland, is the Ragtime pianist.

I'm trying to think of a recognizable ragtime song, but I'm coming up blank

Let’s take a closer look at our natty friend.

I just think these costumes are adorable.

The Ragtime Pianist plays at more or less regularly-scheduled time slots. It also has the piano player’s name in case you wanted to chat with him or something, or like on the bus where it says “your driver is…”

Apparently Alan has to play every single performance of the day, or something

The menu of the day–well, every day–calls for hot dogs.

Hot dog, chili dog, chili cheese dog, chili without the dog

They do offer turkey dogs, but only on the children’s menu. Weird. If a hot dog and/or chili isn’t quite your liking, you can also get a Mickey shaped pretzel. And shockingly, a variety of Coke products.

Except not root beer! This is my real pet peeve about Disneyland. I don’t drink caffeine and I’m not a huge Sprite person. Is it too much to ask for root beer? Barq’s is Coke’s brand (and yes, I know it has a very small amount of caffeine, but I can tolerate that). Yet only a handful of places actually carry the root beer. Why not? Do that many people really buy Fanta, that we need to replace the root beer with Fanta? WHO BUYS FANTA??? Other than my husband, that is.

The Corner Cafe also features some cute detail above the registers.

If those were Mickey cutouts, that would be really cool

So, the Refreshment Corner or the Corner Cafe–whatever you want to call it, there it is.

29 responses to “The Restaurant That Can’t Decide What It Wants To Be Called

  1. Melinda June 13, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    “Alexander’s Ragtime Band”
    “Maple Leaf Rag”
    “The Entertainer”
    I believe that I have depleted my repository of “off the top of my head” ragtime songs.

  2. Kevin Hogan June 13, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    Warum hassen Sie Fanta? Arme Fanta …

  3. Linus V June 14, 2011 at 1:10 am

    Coca Cola is an almost “universal” brand in the United states, primarily due to the ubiquitous branding, marketing and product placement. Have you noticed that almost every movie theater sells Coke products? It is because the Coca Cola company practically gives it away to movie theaters in exchange for agreements to be the exclusive soft drink vendor at that location. In countries that are Not USA, The Coca Cola company relies on the Fanta brand, to create a “This is not America” perception. When you visit any foreign country, you will likely notice that the many varieties of Fanta have a more prominent product placement than Coca Cola, but they are the same company. I believe that Fanta is offered as an “option” at Disneyland to appease foreign guests. I expect that you will have more success in launching a ‘please offer Birch Beer campaign’ than you will with a ‘please offer root beer’ petition or campaign Have you stopped by City Hall and asked where at Disneyland can you get root beer? I guess they offer root beer at at least one location, Does Disneyland sell unlimited refill souvenir soda cups? I know they are sold at Walt Disney World.

    And regarding the ragtime pianist. When I was growing up in the 70’s and 80’s a visit to Disneyland was not complete unless I was able to enjoy Rod Miller the Piano player. Rod played at Coke Corner (or whatever it is called) for over 30 years before he retired. Rumor has it that Rod is not actually employed by Knott’s Berry Farm, but he does sit Calico Saloon there on many weekends playing his ragtime, as a volunteer stint, to keep his playing in shape.

    • Shelby June 14, 2011 at 9:28 am

      I know for a fact that Coke gives its products away to Disneyland for free, that’s for sure. Perhaps the Fanta is there to appeal to European guests, but they will be sorely disappointed if they order it. Fanta in the US is NOTHING like Fanta in Europe! European Fanta has actual orange juice, for example, and sugar. I don’t think that Fanta is popular in Europe because Coke is trying to distance its American brand. When we lived in Germany and throughout our travels through Europe, I’ve never seen any shortage of advertising for Coke (and Pepsi). Fanta was invented by the Germans in WWII when America stopped sending Germany syrup for Coke. Fanta then rose to the top of the soda market because, well, it was the only one. By the time Coke came back in, Germans and other Europeans had already developed a love of and fondness for Fanta that has never gone away. Because in Germany, Fanta is actually good.

      And I do think a Root Beer Rally could be on the horizon. I know it’s available at the Mexican restaurant, though I don’t know about others (I don’t really check that often). I don’t drink enough soda at Disneyland to want a refillable cup, but a few years ago you couldn’t get root beer at all, so the times, they are a changin’, particularly given Disneyland’s recent emphasis on offering a variety and higher quality of food. ¡Viva la Root Beer Revolución! 😀

  4. Linus V June 14, 2011 at 4:07 am

    Shelby, I am pretty sure that they do not verify ID at the cashier. Any grown-up can order a kids turkey dog if he or she wants.

  5. Stephanie O June 14, 2011 at 8:41 am

    I always called it Coke Corner, too – and never checked the signs until this post. Weird. This blog rocks my world!

    • Shelby June 14, 2011 at 9:12 am

      I am only here to challenge everything you thought you knew about Disneyland. Or to point out that sometimes the signs don’t match up ;).

  6. Lyn Miller-Lachmann June 14, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    No root beer? And root beer is so wonderfully retro!

  7. Kat June 14, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    I love the ragtime piano players! I once sat and listened to this older-ish man play for a long time (mainly because I was tired but also because I do like the playing!). I went up to him and thanked him and we got to talking. I told him I played piano but was more classically trained. Then he went into this whole thing about how I had a “showbiz” face and could make it in the ragtime industry. I’m pretty sure that kind of thing doesn’t exist outside of Disneyland.

  8. j.ash June 14, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    You forgot to mention the “musical chairs” game they play with Alice, the mad hatter & the rest of the wonderland characters @ 2:30PM. Loads of fun if you are interested in characters and comedy. And autograph/photo-op after the game.

    • Shelby June 14, 2011 at 4:12 pm

      Entertainment is separate! Plus Theo naps at 2:00 so I have to find some time to get to the park by myself when someone can stay with him at home. But I can’t wait to see Alice, et al.!

  9. holly June 14, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    Another name could be The Vegetarian Gets a Pretzel Cafe corner. Are they taking suggestions? I think it has a nice ring to it.

    • Shelby June 14, 2011 at 9:46 pm

      I like your thinking, Holly. I’ll make that suggestion next time I’m there. Isn’t it about time that vegetarians got an entire restaurant or quick service window? At least they have more options than a Gardenburger now.

  10. Max June 15, 2011 at 7:59 am

    one of my very best disney memories is from here! I had just played Mary in “Mary Poppins” and I was in disney with the man who played Bert, and we were walking by this cafe when the pianist began to play let’s go fly a kite. Naturally, since Bert is a world champion ballroom dancer, we stopped and waltzed. the man did a whole MP medley and we danced and waltzed. it was the epitome of disney magic.

  11. rachel June 16, 2011 at 5:42 am

    I buy fanta. I also live in Vt. There you go my delurking comment of the day.

  12. Pam July 9, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    I was just cleaning out reciepts from out DL trip and there was one from “Coke Corner” that we got at this place…clearly the IT/finance dept. didn’t coordinate with the merchandising dept. It’s actually kinda nice to think Disney isn’t so nailed down about everything.

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  15. CM August 19, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    Those of us who work there basically just refer to it as Coke Corner… “Refreshment Corner” is sometimes used when giving guests directions, but that’s about it! From what I understand, “Corner Cafe” mainly refers to the large seating area outside, not the restaurant itself. Confusing much?

    You are always welcome to get a turkey dog on its own or as part of a hot dog basket. You can also get a kid’s meal with a regular beef hot dog 🙂

    • Shelby August 19, 2011 at 9:04 pm

      Good to know!! I figured as much about the hot dogs–I’ve found you can ask for just about anything and if they have it, no problem :lol:. It just struck me as funny that it was on the menu like that. I guess they have to keep the menus short and readable. I do love that I can see it from the end of the line so when I get up there I already know what I want!

  16. BassBone March 31, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Fanta is very popular with the Southern California Hispanic population. I wish they had more than the regular orange Fanta, because peach Fanta Zero is amazing.

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  19. kayleighmk June 8, 2012 at 11:23 pm

    Fanta must not be a Canadian thing! I remember going to Poland in 2005 and seeing it for the first time… and only in the last couple of years do I see it from time to time in stores, but never in restaurants. I can assure you if DL were in Vancouver, they would serve root beer instead of Fanta. Of course, it would be raining all the time so that’s the price you would pay. 😉

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