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  • My father owned restaurant in Frontierland

    My father, actor Don DeFore, was the only person to own a concession and have his name displayed in Disneyland. Between 1956 to 1961 we owned Don DeFore's Silver Banjo barbecue restaurant in Frontierland. It was located where the original Frito Lays was in between Aunt Jemima's and the Malt Shop. (many of the vintage maps shows it as "Silver Banjo").

    One of the many wonderful memories I have was riding in the opening day parade. It was our family you see in the Autopia cars riding up Mainstreet.

    I would like to here from those interested in the many stories I have growing up in Disneyland and am particularly interested in those that may have photos, slides or film of the restaurant.

    A few web sites have more info and photos on the restaurant - my own: www.defore.net
    www.yesterland.com
    www.davelandweb.com/disneland

    Thanks for your interest,
    Ron
    Last edited by RD4; 04-08-2008, 06:37 PM.
    Don DeFore's Silver Banjo barbecue restaurant
    Frontierland 1957 - 1961

  • #2
    Re: My My father owned restaurant in Frontierland

    That's very interesting Ron! Thanks for sharing.

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    • #3
      Re: My My father owned restaurant in Frontierland

      What style of BBQ was it, or what So Cal BBQ restaurants most remind you of the taste? Was it table service, counter service, or both?

      I wish it were still there. I'm not terribly fond of the food choices in Frontierland anymore, and it would be nice to have little specialty food stands/restaurants in that area again (other than Stage Door Cafe) that would give other options. The big restaurants there have gotten too big. Shrink them down again, and squeeze in something like, oh, a little BBQ restaurant?

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      • #4
        Re: My My father owned restaurant in Frontierland

        Thanks for the post Ron!
        Good morning, son
        In twenty years from now
        Maybe we'll both sit down and have a few beers
        And I can tell you 'bout today
        And how I picked you up and everything changed
        It was pain
        Sunny days and rain
        I knew you'd feel the same things...


        sigpic

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        • #5
          Re: My My father owned restaurant in Frontierland

          Stories are always good! How fun would it have been to actually grow up in Disneyland!
          sigpic
          Will trade husband for Disneyland and DCA Pins!

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          • #6
            Re: My My father owned restaurant in Frontierland

            Have you ever thought of taking your dad's recipes and opening a new Silver Banjo outside of the Park? I'm always up for good BBQ!
            So full of Disney Magic, my eyes are blue.

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            • #7
              Re: My My father owned restaurant in Frontierland

              Or better yet, a cookbook???
              sigpic
              Will trade husband for Disneyland and DCA Pins!

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              • #8
                Re: My My father owned restaurant in Frontierland

                Fun info! Hope you will share more of your memories with us!


                It wasn't me, it was Lisa! :angel:

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                • #9
                  Re: My My father owned restaurant in Frontierland

                  Type of barbecue? Not sure how to describe it - but if you were familiar with Love's Pit Barbecue restaurants that used to be in S. Calif. the sauce was similar (our was better, of course :-)

                  It was cafeteria style with cashier at the end. We servied sandwiches, ribs, chicken, cole slaw and I think french fries. There were a few tables inside with jukebox and many more tables outside. Visit Davelandweb.com/silverbanjo to see a bunch of neat photos I loaned Dave.

                  One of my favorite stories was during a Christmas parade. In those days the park had a celebrity MC with microphone in each land narrating the parade as it went by. My Dad was the celebrity MC for Frontierland atop the Golden Horseshoe. One year just before the parade was to begin Walt called my Dad on the phone and asked if he had brought his kids. My Dad said, "sure I always bring them." Walt replied, "you've got to send a couple down to the front gate right away...my grandchildren have not shown up and I can't go through the parade without kids in my carriage."

                  The rest is history, as they say. Hanging on the wall in my office is a black and white photo of me and my sister waving to the crowd from a horse drawn carriage with Walt Disney!
                  Ron
                  Don DeFore's Silver Banjo barbecue restaurant
                  Frontierland 1957 - 1961

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                  • #10
                    Re: My My father owned restaurant in Frontierland

                    I loved Love's!

                    When's the picnic?
                    So full of Disney Magic, my eyes are blue.

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                    • #11
                      Re: My My father owned restaurant in Frontierland

                      Thanks for the post Ron. I hope you have stories you can share with us. I had the pleasure of meeting your brother David last weekend and he showed us where the restaurant had been and shared some of his stories. For those asking about the type of BBQ here's a linked pic of the menu.
                      Mike


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                      • #12
                        Re: My My father owned restaurant in Frontierland

                        Originally posted by RD4 View Post
                        The rest is history, as they say. Hanging on the wall in my office is a black and white photo of me and my sister waving to the crowd from a horse drawn carriage with Walt Disney!
                        Ron
                        We have true Disney royalty on our boards!

                        DH and I had our first date at a Love's. :love:

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                        • #13
                          Re: My My father owned restaurant in Frontierland

                          Well, I guess there is interest in some of the stories about growing up in Disneyland! As long as there are those that want to hear more I'll type away...

                          We had a second home in Anaheim (primary home was in Brentwood). We were at Disneyland almost every weekend. My brother and sisters are perhaps the only kids on the planet ever to utter the words, "gee, do we have to go to Disneyland again.

                          Such boredom resulted in figuring out alot of fun things to do well beyond the average kid. We were able to use my Dad's employee pass to get us not only at the front of the line for each ride but stay on the ride as long as we wanted...pretty cool way to impress friends :-)

                          We'd also be able to use all the behind-the-scenes employee entrances to things. One time me and a friend snuck behind the shrubery in the Jungle Cruise ride and waited for the next boat and then proceeded to act like monkeys! The guide tour even made some wise crack announcemnt to the riders about rare albino monkeys! We were smart enough though to know we need to hightail it quickly back to the safety of the restaurant.

                          Ron
                          Don DeFore's Silver Banjo barbecue restaurant
                          Frontierland 1957 - 1961

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                          • #14
                            Re: My My father owned restaurant in Frontierland

                            Originally posted by mcow1 View Post
                            Thanks for the post Ron. I hope you have stories you can share with us. I had the pleasure of meeting your brother David last weekend and he showed us where the restaurant had been and shared some of his stories.

                            Have to say the same as mcow1, It was great to meet you brother last Saturday and Sunday, and now it's nice to see more of the Defore family posting here!
                            Critter Country's a mess ev'r since the Country Bears were kicked out. Ya can't cover pooh with honey and 'spect people ta like it.
                            An Adventurers It's Time to Put the Spotlight Back on Bring Back the REAL Disney Gallery
                            Life for Me! ~ ~ ~ Melvin, Buff, and Max!!! ~~~~ Dump the Dream Suite!
                            Meese-ka Moose-ka Mice-Chatter!

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                            • #15
                              Re: My My father owned restaurant in Frontierland

                              Wow i wish sandwiches at DL were 85 cents! And drinks were 10 cents! Thanks for posting Ron. I've heard some of these stories already but I'd love to hear them from the source!


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                              Join in the Disney fun at MyVMK!

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