Swift’s Chicken Plantation House was one of the original Disneyland restaurants when the park opened in 1955. It stood on the banks on the Rivers of America, just west of where the entrance to the Pirates of Carribean attraction is now.
Walt Disney, like many people, was a big fan of Knott’s Berry Farm’s chicken restaurant and thought something similar would be a great addition to Disneyland. Like all restaurants in the early days of the park, the Plantation House was operated by a lessee. Swift & Company, a large Chicago-based meat processing company, operated both the Plantation House and the Red Wagon Inn restaurant on Main Street.
As you can see by comparing both pictures, the restaurants exterior design featured two different architecture themes. On the side of the building facing the Rivers of America the restaurant has the look of an antebellum mansion from the South. The other side, which faced the train station, has the style of a Spanish colonial home. Notice the similarities of the Blue Bayou restaurant’s interior, on the last image, with the mansion styling of the Plantation House.
On January 7, 1962, the restaurant was closed to make room for the New Orleans Square addition.
NEWS -- Eudora's Chic Boutique featuring Tiana's Gourmet Secrets is NOW OPEN adjacent to the Blue Bayou in New Orleans Square.
New Orleans Square is exclusive to Disneyland, based on 19th century New Orleans. At the opening, Walt Disney made then-mayor of the real New Orleans, Victor H. Schiro, the mayor of New Orleans Square.
Before New Orleans Square was built, Holidayland stood in its place. When it was designed, New Orleans Square was meant to be a perfect square, although now it is difficult to determine where New Orleans Square ends and Frontierland begins (Frontierland’s original New Orleans section is where the River Belle Terrace building is currently located). This area contains two of the most popular Disneyland attractions: Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean. The exterior of the Haunted Mansion was actually constructed in 1962, but Imagineers took several years to develop the attraction. The completed ride opened on August 9, 1969. Pirates of the Caribbean opened March 18, 1967.
Morse code can be heard from the telegraph at the train station in New Orleans Square. The transmission is the first two sentences from Walt’s opening day speech on July 17, 1955: “To all who come to this happy place, welcome. Here age relives fond memories of the past, and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future.”
This area has featured live jazz music since its inception, including The Royal Street Bachelors and Delta Ramblers. The Side Street Strutters have performed weekly since 1985. Teddy Buckner and His Jazz All-Stars were regulars in the ’80s. Teddy was often mistaken for Louis Armstrong and even played him once in a film. His famous band was busy entertaining the generals and VIP’s in WW2.
In 2006, the French Market restaurant featured the Jambalaya Jazz Band, including a live singer “Queenie,” who also performs outside the Disney Gallery several times a day. The Bootleggers pirate band also performs nearby.
Splash Mountain is set to receive an update to incorporate the Princess and the Frog. Not many people are happy about this. They feel Splash Mountain should remain as is and that Tiana needs a separate ride of her own.
There will also be a re-imagined restaurant in New Orleans Square with a Tiana Palace theme and a store Eudora's Chic Boutique that will sell her gourmet sauces and spices. Coming 2024
Its address is 21 Royal Street, but it is also known as the Royal Court at Disneyland. Fortune Red is a beloved arcade machine also located within this hidden spot in New Orleans Square. After a lengthy refurbishment, Red was returned to the park in October 2012.
Fortune Red first appeared in the Pirates Arcade back in 1967. That pipe is an original and he always had it in his mouth up through the 70's, but in later years it sat at the bottom of his case amidst the coins, most likely after simply falling out, or else as a result of the Disney folks not wanting to send a pro-smoking message.
Growing up in Los Angeles in the 70s/80s we visited Disneyland on a regular basis and often after school, before "Annual Passes".