Aunt Jemima Pancake House

 Source: Shorpy

August 1955 – July 1970

LOCATION

Frontierland – Aunt Jemima Pancake House made its home in the center of Frontierland, overlooking the Rivers of America. Guests could reach the restaurant from Adventureland or Main Street, and would find the welcoming patio at the edge of Frontierland’s main block of stores. Today, this space is re-themed as the River Belle Terrace.

EXPERIENCE

Details:

  • Service Type – quick service
  • Seating – indoor dining room & outdoor patio
  • Entertainment – visits from Aunt Jemima throughout the day

For guests with a sugary breakfast craving, Aunt Jemima Pancake House was heaven on earth. This casual restaurant served famously huge waffles, pancakes, and breakfast platters, each themed to fit Frontierland (like the Davy Crockett’s Delight or Golden Horseshoe Special). As diners enjoyed their hearty breakfasts, Aunt Jemima herself stopped by to sing and talk with restaurant patrons. For almost a decade, the Pancake House was one of the most famous restaurants in the park.

CLOSURE

Aunt Jemima Pancake House, like many other Disneyland restaurants, didn’t close so much as change theming. Quaker Oats ended their sponsorship with Disneyland in 1970, at which time Disney wanted to take over operations. As part of that process, Disney removed Aunt Jemima as the spokeswoman (the character belongs to Quaker Oats), and instead changed the restaurant’s name to Magnolia Tree Terrace. Not much in the way of menu or decor changed, but the restaurant would never again be operated by an outside company, even during future sponsorships.

TRIVIA

Actress Aylene Lewis portrayed Aunt Jemima in Disneyland.

This restaurant was fully operated & controlled by Quaker Oats. Disney took over operation in 1967, long after Aunt Jemima’s had closed its doors.

From 1962 – 1967, the Pancake House became “Aunt Jemima’s Kitchen”, expanding its menu beyond breakfast items.

For a few years, the Pancake House celebrated National Pancake Day with a “pancake race”, sending participating guests on a race down Main Street USA, pancake skillet in hand.

 Source: Disney Food Blog

2 comments on Aunt Jemima Pancake House

  1. Joaquin
    May 6, 2017 at 8:08 pm (5 months ago)

    It’s an interesting idea to have a mascot/character unique to a restaurant. But I can see why having a different company’s character and licensing wasn’t ideal for Disney. Cool article!

    Reply
    • Duchess of Disneyland
      May 7, 2017 at 9:06 am (5 months ago)

      Thanks, Joaquin! I agree with your thought about an external company license. I still think they should turn the French Market into Tiana’s Place. That way a restaurant has a character tie, and there’s no licensing issue. PLUS – they could put Ray and Louis and her friends in the garden around the patio, like they do at the back entrance to A Bug’s Land!

      Reply

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