Imagineering Awesome: Carolwood Pacific Diner

This post is part of the Imagineering Awesome series

Welcome to the 2015 Imagineering Awesome series on Mouse on the Mind! You can access all of the posts by clicking on the link at right.

Today’s post was written by the lovely and talented Emma. who lives life with A Pinch of Pixie Dust. She’s going full steam ahead on a very clever eatery that incorporates Disney history into the Parks. Dig in: 

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Walt Disney absolutely loved trains. When you read about his life, you can see his passion for steam everywhere–from watching the trains go by in Marceline, Missouri, during his childhood to his first job working on the railroad selling candy and newspapers to the Lionel toy layout he had in his office at his studio as an adult. The Carolwood Pacific Railroad he built in his backyard would partly inspire him to build Disneyland. Today, the Walt Disney World Railroad and the Disneyland Railroad pay homage to Walt’s love of trains, but I think it’d be fun to take it a step further, which is why I’m dreaming of a railroad restaurant for the Disney Parks.

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I’m not sure it’d be practical to add a dining car to the steam trains running in the parks (though that would be pretty cool…), but a stationery dining car would definitely have to be part of the new railroad restaurant. Eating here would feel like dining on a train in the most elegant days of steam. I want the interior decked out in Victorian splendor–white tablecloths, silver cutlery, waiters in black tie, shining wood paneling, plush red seats. It could look like the Lilly Belle presidential car on the Disneyland Railroad.

My family stopped by a touristy restaurant on a road trip once where there was a railroad layout running all around the dining room, and some of your plates were actually delivered to you by the little locomotive. That might be a little kitschy for our classy eatery, but Disney does have a way of adding smart details and transforming what could be tacky into something entirely tasteful, so maybe we could make it work. There would, of course, be plenty of room for mementos from and nods to Walt’s railroading history in the décor and on the menu.

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Speaking of the menu, it could feature dishes inspired by the lands the Disney trains pass through – Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, Frontierland. I’m not sure if any historic train lines with dining cars had certain meals or foods they were known for, but it’d be fun to do some research and tie in any famous railroad food. Every restaurant is better with Mickey waffles, so I also think our dining car establishment should serve breakfast–French toast, bacon, coffee…yum! And if we want to make it a character meal, Conductor Mickey could come around to check your tickets while you eat. All aboard!

I’m going to get my ticket ASAP … are you on board for this unique dining experience? Let us know in the comments!

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