by Eric Anderson
Disney has a lot of restaurants. We all know this, right? And a lot of them are places you might like to actually eat, which is nice for a place that, often, has you trapped inside its cozy environs. Disney being Disney, a lot of the restaurants have specific themes, and the names reflect the themes. Often, too, they are whimsical. And, sometimes, in their whimsy, those names do not intersect in a clean manner with our expectations for spelling, pronunciation, and even where the dang apostrophe goes. Places like “Boma,” ironically enough, are pretty easy, but, without looking, which Grand Floridian restaurants have names that are possessives, and which ones do not?
So, for the sake of being a complete dork about the spelling of Disney restaurant names, I’m going to run down some of the names that seem to cause the most arguments on various message boards, in the hopes that we can avoid any more senseless bloodshed over this divisive and emotional issue. Also, I might get them right in the future.
10. Citricos — Sounds kind of like it’s a possessive, and should have an apostrophe before the “s,” but, as it turns out, the restaurant does not belong to a dude named Citrico.
9. Tangierine Café — The one was my nemesis for years, because, doggone it, I know full well how tangerine is spelled, and so does my computer. However, in trying to capture the spirit of Morocco in that country’s pavilion in Epcot, the city of Tangier (also spelled Tangiers, because it is not just restaurant names that cause spelling arguments) gets name-checked at this (very good) quick-service dining location.
8. Monsieur Paul – This is a new one, and, as it turns out, is just named after the dude, with no implication that the restaurant belongs to him.
7. Columbia Harbour House — Because, for some reason, we went with the British spelling, even though we won our Independence from those guys quite a while ago, and for the love of all that is good and holy, the place is right in LIBERTY Square. This one bugs me, and I think it is wrong, but I guess they are trying to capture the flavour of the times. (See what I did there?)
6. 1900 Park Fare – Spelled “fare” as in “food and drink,” rather than “fair” as in “the quality of the food in that particular restaurant.” This happens in other places, too. (I’m looking at you, Fairfax Fare in DHS, where you have the same phoneme spelled two different ways…)
5. Narcoossee’s — Yup, it is a possessive. Yup, it is the other word you’ll see, besides “bookkeeper,” that has three sets of double letters in a row. And, yup, it just has too many danged letters in it. Apparently, it is named after a town in Florida, Narcoossee, that apparently has some claim over it, judging by the name.
4. Artist Point — No possessive here. Not an apostrophe to be seen at all. Now, Artist’s Palette at Saratoga Springs is a different story. Nor is it plural, which is another point of contention at times in the great Internet Spelling Debate Cycle. And, once you look it, it doesn’t make a lot of sense, as is, I don’t think. I guess that one Artist just had a Point. I also heard a rumor that it was going to get changed to a Minnesota-themed restaurant back in the 1990s and renamed “Artist Formerly Known As Prince Point.” No? Okay, maybe not.
3. Hoop Dee Doo Revue – The “Hoop” seems to be spelled consistently, but the rest of it… can get a little out of control. The old-timey spelling of “Revue” can trip people up, but it is quite thematic.
2. Akershus — This one is more pronunciation than anything else, and according to the Norwegian waiter in this YouTube clip, it rhymes with “pock-hr-schuss”. I’m willing to take his word for it, because I wasn’t sure if I should be treating the s and the h separately, or not.
1. Drumroll please… It means “family” but your family probably disagrees on how to spell it… it’s ‘Ohana! That’s right. The apostrophe goes right up there in front, not snuck in after the “O” in Irish fashion. If it had, it might be the first “Hawaiirish” restaurant, and you’d be drinking Guinness out of a frickin’ pineapple, or something. Nor is the family possessive, so there’s no apostrophe “s” at the end.
This was mostly a pointless exercise for me, which grew out of research for the Munch Madness series of podcasts for the DisDads Podcast this summer. But remember, only you can prevent apostrophe abuse…