by Chris Lucas
February 1, 2024
Did you know that Doritos were born in Disneyland?
There was a restaurant called Casa de Fritos in Frontierland that existed until the 1980s. They included Fritos corn chips with every meal. They also had a machine where you’d put in a coin and a robotic Frito the Kid would give a shout to have his unseen miner assistant, Klondike, send a bag of Fritos down a chute. Kids loved it.
In the early 1960s, the restaurant used to have a lot of leftover corn tortillas, their main culinary product. Instead of wasting them, their cooks turned them into something resembling the Mexican snack known as totopo.
They would slice them into triangles, fry them, and add basic seasoning that tasted like Mexican chilaquiles. They called them “Doritos,” a contraction of the Spanish word “doradito” (little fried golden thing.)
Customers at Disneyland couldn’t get enough.
In 1966, Frito Lay started selling these “Doritos” in stores, with the original Disneyland flavoring. Taco flavored Doritos were introduced in 1967. Nacho cheese Doritos came along in 1972. And 1986 saw the advent of Cool Ranch Doritos.
The original Doritos logo was modeled on the staggered squares and font of the original Disneyland entrance sign. Both were later changed.
Thanks largely to their annual Super Bowl commercials, Doritos are now the best-selling brand of tortilla chips in the United States.
Did you ever visit Casa de Fritos in Disneyland? What’s your favorite Doritos flavor?
Chris Lucas is the author of Top Disney: 100 Top Ten Lists of the Best of Disney, from the Man to the Mouse and Beyond.
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