Featured Attractions

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

DISNEYLAND Sponsors: The Swift Company

When DISNEYLAND was being built, Walt Disney desperately looked for every penny he could scrape up to finish the park. Many people doubted the park would succeed, so money was hard to come by. Walt sent his staff members out to shake the bushes for potential sponsors and one of the first companies to sign up was the Swift Meat Packing Company. Swift sponsored three locations at the Magic Kingdom- The Swift Market House, The Red Wagon Inn and the Chicken Plantation Restaurant.

The Chicken Plantation, located in Frontierland, sold fried chicken dinners made with Swift Brand chicken. The restaurant was DISNEYLAND's answer to Mrs. Knott's Fried Chicken, though it never became as successful as Knott's Berry Farm's legendary restaurant. The Chicken Plantation was eventually replaced by the New Orleans Square expansion in 1966.

The Red Wagon Inn was a restaurant located at the end of Main Street right outside Tomorrowland. It served various dishes which made use of Swift's products. The Red Wagon Inn was replaced by the Plaza Inn, also in 1966. Coincidentally, the Plaza Inn now serves great fried chicken dinners.

The Swift Market House was located on Main Street, but what it actually sold remains in dispute. While some Disney historians believe it operated as a regular butcher shop, selling uncooked Swift meats, others believe it just sold coffee and housewares, much like it does today. The building is now called just The Market House and was recently renovated to sell Starbucks Coffee.