July 1955 – January 1997
Main Street USA – Carnation Ice Cream Parlor occupied prime real estate on Main Street, at the corner intersection where the road opens up into two alleyways. Today, this space is used by the Carnation Café.
- Service Type – table service
- Seating – indoor tables and adjacent patio
- Entertainment – none
If you were craving ice cream at Disneyland, Carnation would have been your #1 destination. This opening day original had all the charm you’d expect from a Main Street shop, plus an unbeatable selection of ice creams and sandwiches. Diners were seated on the patio to enjoy their ice cream, people-watch, and enjoy the sunshine.
Carnation Company was a real ice cream brand, owned by Nestle. In the 90s, Nestle phased out the brand, but allowed Disney to keep the name. Without the original ice cream supply, Disney decided to close the shop in favor of a bakery (the Blue Ribbon Bakery). But the name ended up surviving – the outdoor dining section became a new restaurant: the Carnation Café.
An antique delivery truck would periodically drive down Main Street and into the alley, to deliver products to the shop.
Carnation’s menu featured a few sundaes named after Disneyland attractions and characters, including the Matterhorn, Big Thunder Mountain, and Snow White.
Before closing, the Carnation Ice Cream Parlor actually expanded. Before 1977, there was no outdoor dining area, just indoor tables. But popular demand led to a large outdoor patio in the alley.