Sunday, February 12, 2006

Disneyland's monumental fast food innovation

As far as we can tell, Disneyland has introduced the greatest innovation in fast food history since bottled water was added to the menu board. And no one's noticed.

We encountered it today in Frontierland. It came with the French fries, attached to the French fries box: a tiny plastic dipping trough!

Ketchup, barbecue sauce or Ranch dressing can be poured in, and fries can be dipped individually. No more squirting messy ketchup packets onto makeshift napkin trays or, even messier, directly into the middle of the box.

The plastic attachment, which looks like a tiny bulldozer scoop or office “in basket,” clips to the side of the cardboard box the way serving trays were hooked onto driver’s side windows in the early days of drive thrus and car hops. Even when the last fry is gone, it doesn't make the box tip over.

One catch: fast food outlets would need to emulate Disneyland and create fries containers that stand up, rather than fall over and spill fries all over the table.

So who’s noticed this? Has this been around awhile? This is the first time we’ve noticed the device anywhere. It's a technological marvel, a highlight of Disneyland’s 18-month 50th anniversary celebration.

An invention of this magnitude brings to mind an advertising agency in a Frank Tashlin movie: “Schmendrick, you’re a genius! You get a giant bonus and the corner office!”

Did we miss the hoopla? Because this deserves some hoopla. Who knows the story behind this or the identity of the inventor?

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