Back in 1955, Disneyland’s Main Street was a lot more like a small town and a lot less like a highly themed shopping mall. In addition to the souvenir shops, there was a pharmacy, a piano store, an open-air flower market, a knacker, a glass blower, a book store, and — on the corner pictured here — a mortuary shop, where you could order a real, hand-made coffin or have your photo take in one of the floor models to “see what you’d look like dead.”
In 1956, Coroner’s Corner (as the shop was whimsically if inaccurately named) obtained Coca-Cola as a sponsor. Guests who didn’t have the money for a fancy funeral or felt that they were a good distance from death’s door could drop 15 cents for a cold bottle of Coke from the ice-filled coffin at the back of the shop.
Funeral-supply sales were slow on Main Street, but the soda business was booming, so in late 1956 Coroner’s Corner closed briefly, opening again in January of the next year as Coca-Cola Corner, a soda-themed hotdog eatery. The name was later changed to Refreshment Corner, reflecting Disney’s fear of having to change signs should they ever lose Coca-Cola’s sponsorship.
Cast members working at Refreshment Corner know that there is a secret room beneath the location that’s been permanently sealed, due to its been filled with disturbing and/or haunted funary leftovers.
Attentive guests visiting Refreshment Corner will notice that Imagineers left a subtle reminder of the location’s former occupant in its decoration. If you spot it, leave a note in the comments!
Coming up next: Refreshment Corner hyperactive pianist