What does Orange County and Disneyland have to do with the history of oranges grown in California? The search by Stanford Research Institute for the best spot for the new Disney Park finally ended in the rural Anaheim, California with a purchase of a 160-acre orange grove near the junction of the Santa Ana Freeway (I-5) and Harbor Boulevard. Some 160-acres of citrus trees had been cleared and 15 houses moved to make room for the park. The area was in semi-rural Orange County, near a freeway that would eventually stretch from San Diego to Vancouver.
You may wonder what they did with the oranges when Disneyland had orange groves, what did they do with the oranges?
The oranges were sold to Sunkist by the grower -- not by Disney. I imagine that after Disney bought the land, the grower paid a lease to Disney in the intervening period between the purchase of the land and construction of the park to allow them to continue distributing their produce. But Disney never directly owned the oranges (or few walnut trees) that was on the property.
And the orange juice in the park was supplied by Sunkist, fresh squeezed at Disneyland. Not only was this served at the Citrus House, and at Sunkist House, but it was fresh squeezed every morning and distributed to all of the restaurants in the park.
After Disney and Sunkist broke ties in the late 80s to early 90s, they used Minute Maid, which is a Coca-Cola product. It is vastly inferior in that it is orange juice from concentrate. I also notice that they are selling Simply Orange, and while it is not from concentrate, the grade of oranges used in the juice is not as high as the grade used by Sunkist back when it was around.
They do have some orange trees in Disneyland, but they should definitely have more orange trees in California Adventure. Imagine how famous the new park addition could be if they made fresh orange juice from their trees each day. Well at least famous for fresh food. That could add a really great feel to California Adventure.
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