Have you ever seen the famous red and white light bulb at Coke Corner in Disneyland, California? Why is it there? Read on to learn the quick story, and hint-hint, it involves a decision Walt Disney made himself!
Refreshment Corner (or Coke Corner) has about a bazillion red and white flashing light bulbs that look absolutely fantastic and authentic on this turn-of-the-century themed, quick service restaurant. As they flash on and off, it gives the building a kaleidoscope look, especially at night.
The restaurant opened on July 17, 1955 and was built right next to the Candy Palace at the north end of Main Street. Coca-Cola was there on Day 1, and it’s one of the few remaining opening day sponsors still in Disneyland today.
Besides tasty snacks like hot dogs, mac & cheese, chili, and Mickey Mouse pretzels, there is often a piano player entertaining guests by tapping out lively-ragtime tunes on the nearby piano.
Of all the bulbs on display, there is one that is quite unusual. If you walk through the main entrance and look up, you might see a bulb that is half white and half red.
The story goes back to the construction of Disneyland in the 1950’s. It’s said that the electricians installed light bulb fixtures for alternating red and white light bulbs and found that they had an odd number of fixtures above the front door. So that meant two bulbs of the same color would have to be right next to each other. The Disney legend goes on to say that Walt solved the problem himself by suggesting that they paint a bulb half white and half red, so that the alternating sequence could be maintained.
Below is a one minute video showing the famous red and white bulb in action!
The red and white striped light bulb is still there today! Next time you visit Disneyland, on Main Street, stop by Coke Corner and watch it flash on and off.