Did you hear that? It was the resounding cry of joy from hot and sweaty Main Street USA guests! Why? Disneyland has finally unveiled the re-imagined Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor! Since their bakery neighbor moved down the street and became the Jolly Holiday Bakery, they decided to do a bit of renovation to serve guests better. I was lucky enough to peek in before it opened for business so I’d like to take you in and show you the changes!
One of the biggest problems with the old Gibson Girl was the traffic flow. The queue was long, winding, and simulated the famous Los Angeles traffic jams. The ice cream kitchen was the length of the counter and there were only a couple cast members taking orders around the end of the counter. In addition, the black and white tiled floors and white wood carried a dated, yet nostalgic feel.
The entire look and feel of the Gibson Girl has changed. Ornate woodwork and the warmer pastels of pink and seafoam give the parlor such a quiet elegance and sophistication that you almost forget what the original version looked like. The queue arrangement has been replaced with a beautifully ornate and more direct path to the most necessary improvement: an increased amount of registers!
A short wall keeps the queue from getting out of control and flooding into the adjacent Candy Palace and Penny Arcade, as well as defining the newer seating area behind it.
The back seating area with its large, green glass/Lucite, Art Nouveau elephant with a romantic back-story are now gone. You can see her if you look through the register area in the old photo above. Hopefully the elephant (that was originally meant for Disneyland Paris) will find a home somewhere else in the park and not into John Stamos’ backyard or a D23 auction.
Now, the only seating area left is the front section and to the right of the permanent divider wall.
A wall has gone up, where the old seating section ended and that back area has now become an exhibition waffle kitchen where you can actually see those friendly cast members make those fresh, fragrant bowls of crunchy goodness for you throughout the day!
Now guests of all ages can go up to the window to watch the cast members make waffle bowls and cones fresh daily while someone waits in line to get them ice cream!
Guest will find that the restyled menu boards host the usual favorites, but now also feature three different kinds of ice cream floats!
One thing to remember though: The Gibson Girl doesn’t open until 11:30am, as the signs at every register told us. I guess we won’t be having ice cream for breakfast at the park any time soon!
As we exited the park in the afternoon, we noticed that while the line was long, the Gibson Girl didn’t seem quite as overstuffed as the old configuration seemed to make it. I’m sure it will remain as popular of a counter service venue as it has been throughout the years. If only I could have one of those ice cream floats now…..
Photos by N. Johnson and T. Bell.