Monday, August 17, 2015

Helms Bakery Lives On at California Adventure

On a recent visit to DCA, something caught my eye. In between Buena Vista Street and the Grizzly Peak Airfield, there's a Churro cart called Willie's Churros (evidently a tribute to the first Mickey Mouse cartoon). As I've been spending a lot of time in Culver City lately for work, I immediately recognized this as a replica of the famous Helms Bakery trucks that once puttered around Los Angeles.

All the iconic details are there, from the shield crest logo on the side, to the "W" in a familiar font on the back. The cart's slogan, "Delivered Daily!" is even reminiscent of Helms' "Daily at Your Door".

Helms Bakery had a relatively brief, but memorable existence in Culver City. From 1931 to 1969, the iconic blue and yellow trucks delivered all sorts of baked goods to homes around Los Angeles. The company's founder, Paul Helms, went to great lengths to promote his enterprise--including supplying bread to the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics, thus coining Helms' catchphrases, "Helms Olympic Bread", and "Olympic Games Bakers - Choice of Olympic Champions". Helms Bakery continued to provide bread for the Olympics for years to come.

Helms even supplied bread for the crew of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing, in a last-ditch publicity effort to save his company--and to become the first bread on the moon. But sadly, Helms could not compete with the rise of supermarkets, and his once-convenient delivery trucks were out of style.

Thankfully, you can still visit the sprawling bakery--or what once was the bakery--today. It's mostly just furniture shops and some pretty good restaurants, but it's a neatly preserved look back on an important part of LA's past.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Star Wars Land Announced

What we all pretty much knew has been confirmed. Yesterday at D23, Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger announced that both Disneyland and Walt Disney World will get their own Star Wars-themed lands. This is really exciting news!

So far, it's anyone's guess as to where this new land will be located. I'm hoping that the only thing that gets demolished and replaced is storage space, like the area behind Frontierland/Toontown. Unlike Disney World, Disneyland is very spacially limited.

In other Star Wars Disneyland news, more rumors were confirmed when Disney Parks Chairman Bob Chapek announced that the Star Wars Launch Bay, a Star Wars-themed attraction and activity zone, would be coming to the Disney Parks as well. This had already been heavily speculated, due to the recent closure of Innoventions, and the Star Wars Launch Bay coming to the new Shanghai Disney Resort.

It looks like some awesome changes are coming to the Disneyland Resort. I mean, nothing like Disney World's upcoming Avatar and Toy Story Lands, but Star Wars is good enough for me. Disney is bringing this franchise to life in ways that Lucas never could have done on his own.

I just got my Annual Pass renewed so expect more updates--I will definitely be keeping up with the Star Wars news. Is it too optimistic to hope for 2016? Yes, probably.