Yesterland


Blue Ribbon Bakery

Hosted by Nestlé Toll House

“Whether you’re stopping by early
for muffins and fruit, at lunchtime
for a delicious deli sandwich, or
later in the day for a gourmet
coffee drink, the Blue Ribbon Bakery
is a guaranteed palate pleaser.”
Blue Ribbon Bakery at Disneyland

Photo by Werner Weiss, 1998

Blue Ribbon Bakery for “delicious coffee and world famous fresh baked goods”

When it’s morning at Yesterland and you want coffee and a buttery pastry or melt-in-your-mouth muffin, just head halfway up Yester Main Street, U.S.A. to the Blue Ribbon Bakery.

Later, come back for lunch and try a Smoked Ham Sandwich, Turkey Sandwich, or Three Cheese Vegetable Medley Sandwich. Then, any time is good for a Matterhorn Macaroon and your favorite hot or cold beverage.

Blue Ribbon Bakery at Disneyland

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2007

Signs on the Blue Ribbon Bakery

Here’s the story of how the Blue Ribbon Bakery got its name:

In the late 1800s, a talented baker and his wife left their small European town to pursue a new life in America. In no time, his tasty treats became well-known throughout the town, and his friends convinced him to enter the 1901 State Fair. He was awarded first prize—a blue ribbon—in three of the four categories (the judge’s mother-in-law won first place in the fourth category). He also won enough prize money to realize his lifelong dream—his own bakery: The Blue Ribbon Bakery.

Remember, here on Yester Main Street, it’s just past the turn of the 20th century, so these events happened in the recent past. Well, to tell the truth, it’s a fictitious story—but now the bakery’s name makes sense.

Blue Ribbon Bakery at Disneyland

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2010

Carnation Café to the left of the Blue Ribbon Bakery

Maybe you think the outdoor Carnation Café next door is named after the Carnation Company, a major dairy company for much of the 20th century. Nope. The Carnation Café is named after the flower, and it’s not a coincidence that it’s adjacent to the Blue Ribbon Bakery:

As the Blue Ribbon grew in popularity, the enterprising baker added another European tradition to his shop—a small European-style café, with comfortable tables and chairs. The name for the café was provided by his wife whose love for the sweet fragrant carnations was legendary: To help create a pleasant European atmosphere, she planted carnations in the window boxes surrounding the outdoor dining area.

If you want a restaurant named after the Carnation Company dairy, you’ll have to go to Yesterland’s original Carnation Ice Cream Parlor and Restaurant.

Let’s go inside the Blue Ribbon Bakery.

Blue Ribbon Bakery at Disneyland

Photo by Allen Huffman, 2004

Inside the Blue Ribbon Bakery

It’s the beginning of the 20th century here on Yester Main Street, but the Blue Ribbon Bakery caters to the end-of-the-20th-century Starbucks generation.

Blue Ribbon Bakery at Disneyland

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2010

Order queue

It’s one of those places where you don’t just ask for a cup of coffee. You have choices: Espresso, Cappuccino, Cafe Latte, Cafe Mocha, Blended Mocha, Caramel Machiatto, White Chocolate Mocha, Orange Frappe... and traditional Fresh Brewed Coffee.

Then, there are more decisions to make. Do you want a single or double shot of espresso? Regular or decaf? Hot or cold? Tall or grande? Added flavor, such as almond, caramel, cinnamon, hazelnut, Irish cream, raspberry, or vanilla?

Blue Ribbon Bakery at Disneyland

Photo by Allen Huffman, 2004

Ornate woodwork

The interior is dark wood and polished brass. It’s quite different from some of the Victorian interiors nearby, but it’s also appropriate for the era.

Blue Ribbon Bakery at Disneyland

Photo by Allen Huffman, 2004

Baked treats

Large bakers’ display cases tempt you with cookies, sticky buns, pecan rolls, and other calorie-laden indulgences. Hey, it’s okay. You’re on vacation.

Blue Ribbon Bakery at Disneyland

Photo by Allen Huffman, 2004

Exhibition area where you might see treats being made
 

Blue Ribbon Bakery at Disneyland

Photo by Allen Huffman, 2004

Self-service milk and cream for your coffee, with a view of the Carnation Café
 

Blue Ribbon Bakery at Disneyland

Photo by Allen Huffman, 2007

Christmas decorations

If you’re at the Blue Ribbon Bakery during the Christmas season, go in for a seasonal treat. How about a Pumpkin Muffin or a Gingerbread Cookie? Want something with red and green sprinkles? Then have a Holiday Biscotti, Holiday Shortbread Cookie, Holiday Cupcake, or Holiday Brownie. If you want to take home a souvenir, splurge on a Holiday Demitasse Dessert Cup—a ceramic Mickey Mouse cup with chocolate mint mousse, whipped cream, and a shortbread cookie.

Blue Ribbon Bakery at Disneyland

Photo by Allen Huffman, 2008

From the other side of Main Street, U.S.A.

During the Holidays, there are even more beverage choices. Choose from Pumpkin Spice Latte, Peppermint Mocha, Hot Spiced Apple Cider, Eggnog Latte, and Eggnog.

Blue Ribbon Bakery at Disneyland

Photo by Allen Huffman, 2005

Lights at dusk

Now aren’t you glad that the talented baker and his wife immigrated to the United States and opened the Blue Ribbon Bakery?


The Blue Ribbon Bakery at the corner of Disneyland’s Main Street and West Center Street opened in mid-1997, taking over the space that had been the Carnation Ice Cream Parlor and Restaurant. There had been an earlier Blue Ribbon Bakery next door.

Blue Ribbon Bakery at Disneyland

Photo by Werner Weiss, 1996

Original Blue Ribbon Bakery

The first Blue Ribbon Bakery had opened in 1990, replacing the Sunkist Citrus House. This location became Gibson Girl Ice Cream in 1997.

Carnation Cafe at Disneyland

Photo by Chris Bales, 2012

After the departure of the Blue Ribbon Bakery

The bakery moved again in early 2012—or, more accurately, a new bakery replaced it. The Jolly Holiday Bakery Café opened in the location that had been the Plaza Pavilion annual passport processing center. In mid-2012, the second Blue Ribbon Bakery space became the new Carnation Café, adding indoor seating to the previously outdoor-only café and returning the Carnation name to the outside of the building.

Carnation Cafe at Disneyland

Photo by Chris Bales, 2012

Not the Carnation Company logoscript

Only now it was no longer the familiar logoscript of the Carnation Company. Nestlé, the owner of Carnation since 1985, had retired the Carnation name as a brand for ice cream and other fresh dairy products around the time that the second Blue Ribbon Bakery and the outdoor-only Carnation Café opened.

Author and blogger Sam Gennawey found the backstories about the award-winning baker and his carnation-loving wife in an issue of the cast member periodical Disneyland Line, published March 14, 1997, before the opening of the new Blue Ribbon Bakery and Carnation Café. These were good stories. Disneyland could keep using the Carnation name, a tradition that went back to the 1955 opening of the park. But it would no longer refer to Carnation brand ice cream.

Nestlé still uses the Carnation brand for drinkable breakfasts, evaporated and dry milk products, and malted milk powders. But who would want a table service meal at a restaurant named after an instant breakfast powder?


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Updated November 14, 2014.