Monday, February 13, 2006

Update: Disneyland’s Fast Food Breakthrough

Interest has been high in our posting about a fascinating, innovative and revolutionary fast food device we encountered for the first time in Disneyland yesterday—a tiny plastic dipping trough, attached to the French fries container.

We wonder why this simple yet extraordinary creation has not been picked up by every fast food giant in the country, why no one’s noticed this breakthrough, if competing container companies have quashed it, and whether its inventor is Bill Gates-wealthy.

Investigative sources including the L.A. Times and Hollywood Thoughts have followed our lead and have begun looking into the story.

Meanwhile, we’ve gotten immediate response and some valuable answers and insight from the rockin’ website, MousePlanet.com, “your resource for detailed park guides and daily news and stories from all over the Disney kingdom.”

Alex Stroup, Mouseplanet’s CEO and editor, emails:

It is pretty clever, but it has been at Disneyland for quite a while.

The first time I recall seeing it at DCA's Strips, Chips, and Dips when that park opened in 2001.

I agree that it is an innovation that should be more widespread in "walk around while eating" venues like theme parks and county fairs.

“DCA” is Disney’s California Adventure, that big park where the Disneyland parking lot used to be. The possibly exclusive presence of the dipping trough there could explain why it’s been around for five years without anyone knowing about it.

On our visit to Disneyland yesterday, we were given California Resident 2fer Parkhopper passes, which allows us to return to California Adventure for free in the next thirty days. We don’t think we’d return without paying to visit Disneyland as well. California Adventure has not yet captured the imagination-- though we’ll admit the little one’s birthday party at the park’s Ariel’s Grotto restaurant (originally a Wolfgang Puck cafĂ© until poor sales led him to remove his name and sponsorship) was a memorable blast.

Meanwhile, whither the dipping trough? What do you know about this fast food innovation? Why isn’t it everywhere?

We will follow up.

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