In the late 1990s, Disneyland seemed to be closing long-term establishments left and right. Carnation Ice Cream Parlor, Carnation Plaza Gardens, Captain EO, Rocket Jets, Circle-Vision, Submarine Voyage, Swiss Family Treehouse, Tomorrowland Autopia... I was there for the last day of many of those. I had an evening meal at the Ice Cream Parlor with others from the alt.disney.disneyland newsgroup. I was there Captain EO's final night. I saw the final public showing of "America the Beautiful." I went on the Submarine Voyage and Tomorrowland Autopia multiple times on their final days of operation. I believe this is a photo of the Tomorrowland Autopia Cast Members shutting down the line on September 6, 1999:
All of the above mentions were really Disneyland classics. While I helped to open Disney's California Adventure, it wasn't, let's say, my favorite. There were some attractions I never got on or still haven't been on. Two of these are the Mission Tortilla Factory and The Boudin Bakery. On Memorial Day, as you know, I took the Welcome to Disneyland tour. While walking along the Performance Corridor nearby my friend told me that it was the Tortilla Factory's final day. Given my recent obsession with Disneyland signs, I felt I needed to visit this attraction to document all signs and artwork.
Anyway, I learned this bit of information fairly early in the tour and we also walked around Disneyland. At the end of the tour I was given several FASTPASSes, one of which was for the recently reopened Splash Mountain. By the time I got off that attraction I had totally forgotten about the Tortilla Factory and was ready to walk back home. I was home for about forty-five minutes when I realized what I had forgotten. I weighed driving back to the Park, but I was pretty tired from the walking. I considered walking back, but that was even less appealing.
Then another friend, who had been promising to get an annual pass since April 2009 and who finally came through by getting one with her husband the day before, sent me a text asking where I was. There were several things going through my mind at this point and a plan began to form. I ended up committing to walk back to the Park so the three of us could go through the Tortilla Factory and then head to Trader Sam's (my first visit!); they would drive me home. The lure of Sam's was too much, so I raced back to the Park (my fastest time ever, door-to-door).
I got to the Tortilla Factory and found out they were next in line for California Screamin'. Perfect. I could document the exterior and be ready to head inside when they were finished. When I arrived there was a small line outside. As I don't frequent the area, I didn't know if this was normal or not, but thought it possible that a few people may have found out about the attraction's closing and came to experience it one last time:
The Cast Member at the entrance periodically checked to see if inside they were ready for the next group:
I snapped a photo of these Guests waiting in line (more for the exterior than for the Guests themselves):
Of course, I took photos of exterior signage, including the "TOUR ENTRANCE" with the open door visible in the background:
And the proclamation of genuine Maseca Corn Flour:
And then I grew a tad disturbed... As Guests now came up to the exterior Cast Member, they were informed that the attraction was closed:
It turned out that the Mission Tortilla Factory had a hard closing time of 4:30 p.m. and I missed my date with destiny. Those Guests in line four photos above were the last ones in the attraction. My friends showed up about two minutes after it closed. No tortillas for me; I left only with the story of how I had walked to Disneyland a second time in one day to miss the attraction's closing by a couple of minutes.
I came back the next day (with Vintage Disneyland Tickets) just to confirm that the attraction had closed. We were greeted with a rather generic Tortilla Factory sign indicating it was closed (but not that it was actually closed forever):
And this is how the exit doors looked:
Mildly tempting, but if I'm ever arrested for trespass at Disneyland it will not be at Disney California Adventure! (For the record, I have never trespassed at Disneyland and have no intentions of doing so.) A few days later the interiors of the doors and windows were covered in black, the final curtain on the tortilla story.