Everyone’s favorite Disneyland Cast Member, Chef Oscar Martinez, retired this week. Oscar first began his Disneyland career on Dec. 29, 1956. He is not only the most beloved Cast Member at the Disneyland Resort, but he is the longest-tenured, and the only one to reach 60 years of employment at Disneyland.
Oscar began working at Disneyland just one year after the park opened. He walked on Main Street U.S.A. beside Walt Disney himself. “I did everything. Anything they asked me to do… cleaning tables, maintenance, cooking. I loved it all,” Oscar said.
Eventually, Oscar would go from cleaning tables to becoming the Chef of Carnation Cafe. His recipe for breakfast potatoes is legendary.
On Oscar’s retirement day, September 27, the “Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln” Theater on Main Street U.S.A. filled up with Cast Members who adored him. On stage he waved to all his friends. Mickey Mouse came on stage, and the drawing for a beautiful window on Main Street was unveiled and presented to him.
Inside the theater, the line to take pictures with Oscar grew longer and longer. These were his fellow Cast Members, anxious to take a photo with Oscar, who is like Disney royalty.
Before leaving the park, Oscar and his wife June took one final stroll through Disneyland, as Chef Oscar, the Cast Member. He stopped at his “home,” the Carnation Cafe, and suddenly there was a line of park Guests who also wanted a picture with him and his autograph, just like a rock star. And finally, Oscar and June, along with a few family and friends, rode his favorite Disneyland attraction, “It’s a Small World.”
We at Theme Parks Today want to wish Chef Oscar Martinez the very best, and we want to thank him for his 60-plus years of service at the Disneyland Resort. We will miss seeing him at Disneyland, but we know he will come back to visit. After all, Disneyland has been like home to him for over 60 years.
Here’s a retirement note from Oscar’s own Facebook page:
“It is with greatest honor, to announce I will be retiring from Disneyland, Wednesday, September 27th. It has been a great journey these 60 1/2 years. But it has come to an end. May everyone follow there dreams as how I have followed mine. Best wishes for all my Friends Cast Members at the Happiest place on earth.” —Oscar Martinez
(PHOTOS ©2017 by A Story in Time Photography: Jessie Cadenas and Stephanie Arellanes. http://storyintime.com/)