Yester California Adventure at Yesterland

Man Hat n’ Beach

at the Midway Shops
of Paradise Pier
Man Hat n’ Beach

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2006

In Paradise Pier’s row of Midway Shops, one store stands out—Man Hat n’ Beach. On its exterior, an oversized clown has popped out of a proportionately undersized box. It’s a cartoony take on the classic jack-in-the-box toy.


The name “Man Hat n’ Beach” is a play on Manhattan Beach, a Los Angeles suburb several miles south of the city’s big airport. Manhattan Beach is known for its classic ocean pier, trendy restaurants, and affluent residents.

Man Hat n’ Beach

Photo by Tony “WisebearAZ” Moore, 2001

Man Hat n’ Beach

Man Hat n’ Beach is known for selling hats and beach items. The connection between a jack-in-the-box and a hat and beach shop is a bit puzzling. Perhaps it’s because this jack-in-the-box clown is wearing a small cap. Most other jack-in-the-box clowns also wear some sort of clown hat or jester cap.

Man Hat n’ Beach

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2009

Shiny face

The smooth, shiny jack-in-the box looks as if the whole thing might be made of opaque plexiglass illuminated from behind.

Man Hat n’ Beach

Photo by Allen Huffman, 2002

After dark

But at night, only the letters and the neon tubes light up.

Man Hat n’ Beach

Photo by Allen Huffman, 2003

Near Games of The Boardwalk

Compared to the other facades of the Midway Shops and Games of the Boardwalk—with their signs above striped awnings—the big jack-in-the-box front of Man Hat n’ Beach stands out as the odd man out.

Man Hat n’ Beach

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2006

With its next-door neighbors

Man Hat n’ Beach

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2007

Warning

Let’s wander around inside the store…

Man Hat n’ Beach

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2007

Jumbo hat decor

Man Hat n’ Beach

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2009

Colorful fixtures

Man Hat n’ Beach

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2010

Mouse ears are hats too

Man Hat n’ Beach

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2010

Gotta have plush

Man Hat n’ Beach

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2010

Pink octopus “mirror holder”

Maybe you now associate a jack-in-box with hats.

Jack in the Box restaurant on Lincoln Avenue in Anaheim, 1974

Photo by Werner Weiss, 1974

Lincoln Avenue in Anaheim, 1974

Or maybe you still just associate a jack-in-box with hamburgers.


Man Hat n’ Beach was part of Disney’s California Adventure when the park opened in February 2001. The official Disneyland Resort website described the store this way in 2001:

Man, Hat n’ Beach

Inside this giant, oversized jack-in-the-box you’ll find a huge selection of hats, from the absolutely nutty to the positively chic. And for fun, be sure to model your chapeaux in front of one of the shop’s wacky, warped mirrors.

In 2006, the official Disneyland Resort website had this:

Man Hat ’n’ Beach

Reflect on a carnival sideshow’s hypnotic hall of mirrors in this hip and cool headgear and surfwear shop.

  • Caps, hats and visors
  • Cool surf and swimwear
  • Plush, thirsty beach towels
  • Surfing fashion and sport accessories

The jumbo jack-in-the-box remained in front of the shop for almost 11 years—until early 2012—when a placemaking project gave the shop a new facade and new name.

Man Hat n’ Beach

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2014

Boardwalk Bazaar at the Midway Shops of Paradise Pier

Its neighbors kept their old signs and names, but also benefitted from siding and other period details. Apparently, the signs for Point Magu Tattoo and Sideshow Shirts were good enough for DCA 2.0, but the Man Hat n’ Beach jack-in-the box violated the theme of an early 20th-century amusement pier too egregiously.

Man Hat n’ Beach

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2014

The new look

The architectural details of Boardwalk Bazaar echo the style of Toy Story Midway Mania and the updated Games of the Boardwalk. But sitting between its immediate neighbors, this shop is again the odd man out.

You might expect a new interior to match the new exterior. But you would be wrong.

Man Hat n’ Beach

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2014

Inside Boardwalk Bazaar

Man Hat n’ Beach

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2014

2001 or 2014?

Point Magu Tattoo, Sideshow Shirts, and Man Hat n’ Beach all connect inside. The merchandise has been updated, but the decor and fixtures are a blast from the past—Disney’s California Adventure as it was in 2001. Placemaking has yet to reach this retail space.

Man Hat n’ Beach

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2014

Neon in the back Boardwalk Bazaar

In fact, Man Hat n’ Beach hasn’t really gone to Yesterland. The outside has changed, but a neon sign in the back of the store leaves no doubt that this is still Man Hat n’ Beach.


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Updated October 10, 2014.