by: guide4wdw – Collin
There are many aspects of the Disney parks that have come and gone over the years. Of course, change is often for the better, but it’s easy to let the past slip away from us and many of the details get lost through generations of new ideas. So, as an attempt to share some of the little aspects that developed Walt Disney World into what it has become today, a new series of articles is coming your way!
As a bit of a Disney history nut myself, I truly enjoy sharing the little known aspects of the parks or even a few things that have simply fallen away over the years. While a few of these stories you may know or may have even experienced first hand, there’s something special about looking back at many of these elements that have warmed the hearts of guests for generations. So, If you like this type of post and would like to read all of the ones in the series developing over the next few weeks, do me big favor and subscribe to our page over on the right and be sure to invite your friends to read these articles! Your shares truly help us grow this Disney community!
Today, the series begins with a location many of you may or may not remember, the Town Square Cafe! While that name may not ring a bell for most guests, a more recent development may in fact be quite recognizable, Tony’s Town Square Restaurant. While the menu is nothing like it used to be, it’s presence on Main Street has remained largely the same.
When the Town Square Cafe first debuted on October 1, 1971, it featured a prominent sponsorship with the Oscar Mayer brand. Key members of the cast, including “Little Oscar” himself, created a unique environment for guests of all ages and backgrounds. As guests dined on various menu items (including hotdogs, as the branding implies) a special gift was often passed out to guests, Oscar Mayer’s classic “Weiner Whistles.” While it wasn’t much, I can imagine a vast number of guests who had the opportunity to dine here left with a variety of wonderful memories and stories that stuck with them for generations.
While simply put, this was a unique dining experience, when you really think about it, some of the simplest experiences at Walt Disney World create the greatest memories with friends and family! We don’t always remember what we ate, or our favorite attraction, but rather the simple smile that crossed the face of the ones we care the most about. It’s these little details that help create the “Disney Difference.” An attraction may fade away over time, but a conversation with Little Oscar, a meal with family, or simply a story these experiences created can truly last a lifetime.
While in 1981 Disney decided to close the door on the Town Square Cafe chapter of this location, a new idea replaced this short lived classic, Tony’s Town Square Restaurant. With a new theme (Lady and the Tramp) the location breathed new life and has remained virtually unchanged as it continues on today. The menu has varied quite a bit over time, and often faces scrutiny from certain guests, but the location has always held enormous potential. Who really knows what’s next, but with Disney, there’s always something on the horizon.
The park are always changing and developing as Walt intended from the very beginning, but sometimes it’s great to appreciate how it has all developed. We can never truly improve the future without recognizing our past and finding new ways to grow. The Town Square Cafe has certainly been missed, but as Walt once said, “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
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