January 9, 2011

Royal Street revisited

Working as an Outdoor Vending Cast Member on Disneyland's west side during the 1980s meant that you had to move fast on breaks and lunches. The only cafeteria on the Frontierland side of the Park is the Pit, located in the somewhat dank underground beneath Pirates of the Caribbean (hence the name). Getting there in time to order, eat, and make it back to an ice cream wagon near, say, Big Thunder wasn't easy.

There's a lot of onstage to traverse. All the while, you're visible to guests and subject to time-consuming questions. Even silent guests are still obstacles when the clock is ticking. You develop a Disney way of walking through a large group of people toward your objective. Even so, time passed all too quickly on those periods of temporary relief.

That's why the classic Royal Street Bachelors were so amazing.

Their music never failed to slow the pace. Even though I knew that if I didn't move it, I'd be limited to whatever daily special the Pit had ready to go, I always walked a little slower past those three players. Jack McVea, Herb Gordy, and Harold Grant graced New Orleans Square for around 25 years. This early video dates from 1985.

Watching these guys play and hearing their sounds again makes me feel like I know I've got to get back to my work location--but also that I'm risking being a couple of minutes late. Maybe you've got to get back to work, too. Right now, though, you're a guest of this blog.

So "set awhile" at the Royal Street Veranda. Let the Bachelors carry you back. And enjoy the rest of your revisit to Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom.


Connie Moreno said...

Shoot, for some reason I can't access the video. Guess I'll try again when I get home.

Connie Moreno said...

Got to see the video...nice!

Huck Caton said...

The westside employee cafeteria was originally (officially) called the DEC (Disney Employee Cafeteria—genius, huh?) until there was a contest to rename it in the early '70s. The winning entry was the "Pit Stop" and the place was repainted with race car theming (checkered flags, etc.).

Now, *nobody* ever referred to the place as the "Pit Stop" (just the Pit) but some folks were still calling it the DEC when I quit in late '80. In their defense, I should point out that they were humoring the original "deck"/pirates conceit—and found the race cars painted on the walls painfully lame (which they were).

There, now you know more than you ever could have possibly wanted to know about the naming of that place!

Yellows said...

Glad you got the video working! It's great!

Welcome to the blog! I do remember hearing "DEC" used to refer to that cafeteria. Makes sense with things like the DEFCU, DRC, etc. I'll always remember it as the Pit, though!

Anonymous said...

Roger here. Always called 'The Pit' during my day on the canoes.... And THAT was quite a jaunt to and from for lunch periods. Worked those calories off too.

JG said...

Thank you for this. really brings back memories.