This week in “A Taste of Disney,” we will explore a new feature that I like to call Yester-Restaurant. Personally, I love learning about old Disney locations and attractions and seeing the progression of the parks over the years. After some research, I stumbled upon the Soundstage Restaurant.
The Soundstage Restaurant was a full-service dining experience when Disney MGM Studios originally opened. It was located in the same building that is now home to Playhouse Disney-Live on Stage! The restaurant was themed to look like a live set of some featured Disney films, with scattered props and set pieces throughout. The cast members even wore catering costumes to give off the idea that guests were experiencing a “wrap-party” for the “film.” Soundstage Restaurant was a buffet setup and served breakfast and lunch. Characters from classic Disney animated movies joined guests, too!
The restaurant transformed over the years into a quick-service format. At different points in time, it was a storybook village food court with a Beauty and the Beast theme, Aladdin-themed, and Pochahantas-themed. Have you ever seen the large, golden, water squirting camels in Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland®? Well, these very same camels once stood outside of the entrance of Soundstage Restaurant.
Another interesting tidbit is that the restaurant had a bar located above it called The Catwalk Bar. It served light fare and allowed guests to watch sporting events on TV. Rumor has it that the space is now just being used for storage, but that the sign for The Catwalk Bar still shines.
Soundstage Restaurant finally shut its doors back in 1998. I, for one, wish I had gotten the chance to experience this piece of Disney history! (Thanks to http://www.studioscentral.com/column/remember-when/soundstage-restaurants for the information.)
This week’s recipe is for a soup that was apparently served at Soundstage Restaurant back in its prime. Recipe provided by http://www.cdkitchen.com/recipes/recs/513/Disney_Great_Northern_Bean_Soup35126.shtml
Disney’s Great Northern Bean Soup
1/2 pound dried great northern beans 10 cups water 4 chicken bouillon cubes 3/4 cup celery, minced 1 cup onion, minced 1 cup carrot, minced 1 cup smoked ham, minced 3/4 cup tomato, minced 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon white pepper 1/4 teaspoon ground thyme 1/4 cup cornstarch dissolved in 2/3 cup water
Soak beans, in enough water to cover, overnight. Drain; rinse and place in large soup pot with 10 cups fresh water and bouillon cubes. Bring to boil; reduce heat to simmer. Cook 1 hr until beans are tender but firm on the inside.
Add celery, onions, and carrots; cook 30 minutes until vegetables are tender. Add ham, tomato, salt, pepper, and thyme; mix well. Cook 10 minutes. Add cornstarch and water; simmer 5-10 minutes until mixture thickens. Remove from heat, cool 10-15 minutes. Mix well and serve.
Did any of you ever get to dine at Soundstage Restaurant?
Kristin Casagrand is a student currently studying physical therapy at Bellarmine University. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Kristin has taken many a family vacations as a child driving 24 hrs, cramped in the back of the car and fighting with her sister to get to Disney (definitely worth it though). She looks forward to sharing “A taste of Disney” with everyone each week.