Thursday, September 11, 2008

Disneyland - The Inn Between - Casual Dining For Hungry Cast Members

No story of 1980s Disneyland employment is complete without a visit to the Inn Between, the Cast Member restaurant located on the back side of the Plaza Inn (it is "in between" the Plaza Inn and the backstage area, get it?). You can see the cast member entrance if you stand by the First Aid/Baby Center on Main Street and peek.

Better yet, here's an insider's view (on a cloudy day) showing the back stage area behind Main Street and Tomorrowland. In the background on the left side of the photograph you can see the back porch of the Inn Between. It kinda wraps around the base of the tree with the light green leaves.
Below is a modern-day photograph of some cast members seated at one of the tables in this area (with the new, improved BROWN Space Mountain in the background---love that new Tomorrowland paint scheme!).Anyway, as a Cast Member, you realize that there is truly something special about your place of employment when you sit down for you lunch and Snow White is at the next table with a few (headless) dwarves, or you bump into the Wicked Queen grabbing a cigarette on a break.

The Inn Between was moderately affordable on a Disney wage and the food was better than the vending machines behind Bear Country. I always favored the open-faced hot turkey sandwich. It came with a yellow gravy. I mean a really yellow gravy. Like a yellow that you don't see in nature. I think the food dye responsible for that "yellow" was later banned by the FDA. Nevertheless, it was good tasting!

The Inn Between had TVs that were always tuned to the then "brand new" Disney Channel. I remember Dumbo's Circus would be on the background as a group of my friends and I gathered together for lunch and a few laughs before heading back out "into the area" or "on stage."

I'll close with another shot of the Main Street back area---showing the rear of the Lincoln theater and the lane where the parade would line up (Main Street Electrical Parade or whatever daytime parade was running) before heading out onto Town Square at the gate near the Mad Hatter.
I hope you enjoyed this brief trip "back stage." I gotta get going. I have to bump back into my rotation over at Jungle.

4 comments:

Yellows said...

I do remember that yellow gravy! Not quite as yellow as the vending costume. I would describe it as looking like a yellow MM balloon after a couple of hours. Kind of a faded, light lemon.

- C - said...

I have not been to Disneyland, but I truly do believe that Disneyworld is the happiest place on earth!

Mike said...

This is a long-standing (and perhaps never ending) feud between Disneyland fans and Walt Disney World fans as to which park "wins." I am a fan of both parks and for vastly different reasons.

Disneyland is Walt's original. To those who knew it from its opening in the 1950s to just prior to the 1990s, there was a personal feeling that it evoked. You could truly sense the love and attention to detail that made it unique.

Walt Disney World, on the other hand, is a grander vision and, of course, much, much larger. It is beautiful in its own right.

Without Disneyland, however, there would never have been a Walt Disney World (or any other Disney theme park for that matter). This fact alone makes Disneyland a pretty important place---the place that FIRST coined the term: "The Happiest Place on Earth!"

--Mike

danascullymdfbi said...

WOW again...I was a server and greeter at the Plaza Inn and Plaza Pavillion in 1988-1989, a position which included the occasional emergency duty behind the line at the Inn Between...I love my cast member alums, but they were not quite as cheerful off stage, let's say...Nonetheless, I loved the mashed potatoes and gravy for $0.50, and so enjoyed the ranch dressing from the 55 gallon canister in the cooler, that I could have eaten at the Inn Between every day I worked in the "tragic" kingdom...wait...I miss it always.