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Sunday Brunch

Sunday Brunch: Popcorn Cart Avatars

by Reuben Gutierrez

10 March 2013

Wreck-it Ralph was released to DVD/Blu-Ray last week and is this week's headlining theme of From Screen to Theme's Days of the Week. On my way home from Disneyland, I was lucky enough to watch Wreck-It Ralph on the plane ride home. My favorite part of the film is when Ralph finds himself in the car racing game Sugar Rush where everything is made from candy, cakes, and sweets, including the character racers! With colorful names and personalities such as Crumblelina Di Carmello and Swizzle Malarkey, the Sugar Racers make up quite the eclectic bunch. The petite little residents of sugar rush reminded me of another cast of little characters found in Disneyland, specifically in their snack carts!

Disney Theme Parks are serious about snacking, and none is more serious than the original, Disneyland itself. Perhaps because of the strong and frequent local guest population visiting the parks, snacking is all the more popular. Part of the joys of snacking in Disneyland is visiting one of dozens of land-specific themed snack carts. Popcorn needs no gimmick, no introduction, no draw, the smell alone is enough to attract guests to come by for a snack. Though in Disneyland, even the snack stands deserve a creative decorative treatment to fit within its whimsical surroundings.

Each popcorn cart in Disneyland Park features some sort of visible mechanical contraption in which a tiny little character appears to be cranking a rolling drum of popcorn to power the whole cart. These 'Roastie-Toasties' are themed to whatever land they reside in. The cast changes throughout the years and the seasons, but the majority have remained the same. There are seven popcorn carts in Disneyland, and I managed to track down all of them during my last visit!

Dapper Dan Popcorn Cart Disneyland
The Red Dapper Dan (sometimes Blue) stops singing for snacking in the Castle Hub

Davy Crocket Popcorn Cart Disneyland
Davy Crocket and the popcorn of the wild Frontier in Frontierland

Undertaker Popcorn Cart Disneyland
The Undertaker departs from the Haunted Mansion for popcorn in New Orleans Square

Jolly Trolly Conductor Popcorn Cart Disneyland
The Conductor of the Jolly Trolley tinkers away near Mickey's House in Toontown

Yeti Popcorn Cart Disneyland
The Abominable Snowman escaped from the Matterhorn to serve popcorn in Fantasyland

Clown Popcorn Cart Disneyland
Creepy Clown cranks corn near 'it's a small world' also in Fantasyland

Rocketeer Popcorn Cart
The Rocketeer jets away to pack some power into popcorn in Tomorrowland

While the cast of Sugar Rush appropriately feature saccharine designs sweet enough to give you a toothache, the Roastie-Toasties are cute in regards to size, but a bit eerie and creepy in design. They evoke thoughts of horrific inanimate mechanical toys coming to life and terrorizing mankind in horror films. The Roastie-Toasties have been in Disneyland Popcorn carts since 1955 and were modeled after the original 'Rosty Tosty Man' figures in popcorn wagons from the Cretor Co. made in the late 19th century. While intended to be fun and amusing, the little characters are a bit terrifying. Still, I think that is a part of their charm and appeal. While working hard to give you one of the best snacks in Disneyland, one can't help think they have mischief up their sleeves, much like the devious little racers of Sugar Rush.

Rocketeer Disneyland Popcorn Cart

Roastie Toastie Resources

Check out this video from Disneyland of the recent years' cast of Roastie-Toasties.

Debra Peterson of the Examiner writes about the Roastie Toasties




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