On Saturday, February 13th, I was able to go to Downtown Disney and eat at the Jazz Kitchen as a late birthday present from a friend. Even though it comes with a troubling past, I have always loved visiting Disneyland and walking around the Downtown Disney area. The food, in particular, is something that I always look forward to.
I figured since this was something that we partially discussed in class, that it would be a perfect opportunity to look a bit deeper into the past of these places.
Disneyland & Downtown Disney
Construction for Disneyland began on July 21, 1954. Around 160-acres of citrus trees and 15 houses had to be cleared to make room for the park, which officially opened its gates on July 17, 1955. The complex that is known as Downtown Disney was constructed during the late 1990’s in an expansion that also included the construction of Disney California Adventure. Downtown officially opened on January 12, 2001, and CA Adventures opened on February 8, 2001.
The Downtown Disney complex is home to numerous stores and restaurants that are accessible to the public without buying entrance into the park. It gives normal people who aren’t able to buy a Disneyland ticket the feeling of being in a Disney environment.
Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen
With fantastic food and a swinging jazz beat that can’t be missed, the Jazz Kitchen brings the heart of New Orleans at Mardi Gras to Disney. A bar and dining room with live music gives the night life vibe, where the more formal dining areas and outdoor patio give a slightly more quiet setting to enjoy the evening.
The entire scene brings forward the idea of ‘fantasy’. While not as extreme as some of the others in the park like Fronteirland or Adventureland, for as long as you are there, you do not have to worry about the normal struggles of life; you are completely absorbed by the bubbly atmosphere.
While the experience was one I will likely never forget, it’s always good to remember the truth behind every fantasy.