You may love Doritos chips, but do you know where they were actually invented? That is right! Disneyland Park! Here is the story of Casa de Fritos Doritos.

Frontierland in Disneyland Park was once home to a Mexican-style restaurant called Casa de Fritos. Casa de Fritos sat in the same location where Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante is today. It was apparently one of the food locations available on Opening Day in 1955. The funniest part about that, though, was the fact that Mexican food was not as well-known in the United States back then as it is today. In fact, it was considered so exotic that each menu item had an in-depth explanation of the ingredients and how it was cooked and the park maps described what Mexican food was like to its readers. It is crazy to think about Californians not knowing what “tacos” and “burritos” were.

Casa de Fritos was owned by a company you may have heard of these days, called Frito-Lay. Today, the company is famous for its delicious corn or potato chips. However, back in 1955, they had not quite made their breakthrough in the salty snack business yet. While they did have Fritos chips on the market at this point, it was not their main claim to fame like it is today. Instead, they ran some Mexican food locations, the most famous of which is probably Casa de Fritos at Disneyland.

Alex Foods was the name of the factory where Casa de Fritos purchased their tortillas for the restaurant. One day while visiting the park, an employee from Alex Foods noticed that the unused tortillas were being thrown away. He suggested that the chefs at Casa de Fritos instead break the tortillas into smaller pieces, cook them a little bit, and then add some taco seasoning to them. That way, guests could eat them as a side and the tortillas will no longer be wasted. The chefs did just that, and called their product “Doritos.” The term “Doritos” comes from the Spanish word “doradito.” “Doradito” is Spanish for “little golden thing.”

Obviously, these chips became a massive hit. Frito-Lay started officially manufacturing them until they became about as famous as the theme park they were born in. Doritos are actually still sold at several snack locations around Disney Parks today. However, most guests most likely have no knowledge of the connection between the two histories.

Frito-Lay had an official mascot, which was a young, animated cowboy named Frito-Kid. So, of course, the Frito-Kid could be found at Disneyland. He was not a character you could necessarily “meet” in the traditional Disney Park sense, nor was he an animatronic. Frito-Kid was more of a large statue with an audio track that played around him of him talking to guests. He stood in the location where guests could grab a small bag of Fritos.