Why You Can't Find McDonald's Fries At Disney Parks Anymore

This may be a reminder to some and news to others, but the Happiest Place on Earth used to sell McDonald's very own french fries. Thinly cut and perfectly salted, practically everyone can agree that McDonald's french fries are delicious — in fact, they're the fast food chain's best-selling item. Thanks to a Disney-McDonald's partnership, this hot-and-crispy snack was once sought after in Disney's theme parks, but unfortunately, the Golden Arches' fries at Disney parks are now a memory of the distant past.

Guests who strolled through Disneyland (or Disney World) enjoying fresh McDonald's french fries haven't been able to do so since 2008. In 1998, the companies' business partnership formed, and they developed a contract in which McDonald's would promote Disney content and, in exchange, the restaurant chain could open locations inside and around Disney parks. In accordance with these terms, McDonald's french fry stands began popping up all over the parks, kicking off a solid 10-year run. In 2007, however, Disney chose not to renew the contract, and much to the sadness of french fry fans, all traces of McDonald's disappeared from the parks in 2008.

Chain food isn't common inside Disney parks

Prior to 2008, the U.S. Disney parks featured many locations where guests could enjoy fries and other McDonald's food. Disneyland in Anaheim, California had the "Westward Ho!" covered wagon in Frontierland, which sold "Potato Food," aka french fries. California Adventure, the park across from Disneyland, had a full-fledged restaurant called "Burger Invasion," which offered a small burger menu in addition to McDonald's fries. Inside Disney World's much more expansive Florida parks were six locations where guests could find McDonald's fries and food (via Yesterland). Today, you can find a solar-powered McDonald's at Disney World, and although it's outside the actual parks, it holds the impressive title of the first net-zero McDonald's.

Since the removal of McDonald's from the parks, only one other food chain has operated inside Disney's walls: Starbucks. However, like the old McDonald's food stands, Disney doesn't make its Starbucks locations outwardly obvious, giving the storefronts themed names and blending them seamlessly into each park's environment. The first Disney Starbucks, called "Fiddler, Fifer, and Practical Cafe," opened in California Adventure in 2012, and the second, dubbed "Market House," popped up on Disneyland's Main Street one year later. These locations are different from regular Starbucks in that they don't allow mobile ordering via the Starbucks app and customers can't use their Starbucks Rewards. Regardless, these locations offer the same spread of drinks as any other Starbucks.