As a devotee of Disneyland I had long heard of Chef Oscar Martinez, the longest-tenured Cast Member at Disneyland. On a trip in 2005 I finally met him one morning during breakfast at Carnation Cafe. Since most of my party that day were "earning their ears" (on their first visit), I am sure they were perplexed by my idolization. By the end of his discussion with our table all were enamored with him. A couple of years later I would have the the privilege of getting to know Oscar while I was part of the Disneyland Resort Dream Squad.
Last week Oscar took to Facebook and told the world he is retiring from Disney Parks and Resorts. Oscar spent every morning greeting customers at the Carnation Cafe on Main Street U.S.A., where he spent most of his career. On the restaurant's breakfast menu Oscar's Choice is named for the lovable chef, and comes with a side of my favorite breakfast potatoes based on his own recipe.
Chef Oscar was a Cast Member at Disneyland for 61 years. The company had to create a 60th anniversary service award to mark the occasion. He received many honors during his 6 decades, including one of the first recipients of The Walt Disney Company's Legacy Award, the highest honor a current employee can receive!
Don't run out and queue up to eat breakfast and visit with Oscar one last time, he announced his retirement to the public on his last day. His post stated, "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."
As a past Cast Member, there are a few folks at the resort that are for me the best examples of what a Disneylander can be. Oscar is one of those shining stars. On a personal level, I want to thank him for being an inspiration, a bright light for millions of guests, and simply the best of the magic!