August 1955 – July 1970
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.
- 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.
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.
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