From its inception, Disneyland has claimed to be "the happiest place on Earth," where dreams come true for thousands of Finding Nemo-loving children. For Dick Cook, a Walt Disney Studio chairman, the corporation has helped him realize his own dreams.

The Disney Soda Fountain and Studio Store opened June 22 on Hollywood Boulevard, right next to the Disney-owned El Capitan Theatre, selling old-fashioned ice cream and novelties to the public. For Cook, a vision he has had for years has finally become a reality.

Lylle Breier, senior vice president, worldwide special events, of Buena Vista Pictures Distribution, recalls the soda fountain’s inspiration. "Dick Cook’s childhood memories of Dewar’s Candy Shop in Bakersfield led us to the perfect source for the very best ice cream, and we know Los Angeles ice cream lovers are in for a special treat."

Cook sought to bring the treats he enjoyed as a child at Dewar’s Ice Cream and Candy Shop from his hometown in Bakersfield, Calif., to Los Angeles, combining the homemade goods with Disney’s offerings at its soda fountain and studio store. Half of the property, originally merely another Disney Store chain, was converted into a palatial, ’50s-style soda fountain, while the other half remains a mecca of Disney knick-knacks.

Dewar’s, which the Dewar family has been running for four generations, brought all their special recipes to Disney to ensure that patrons would be treated to the same delicious sweets Cook indulged in as a child. In fact, employees of Dewar’s in Bakersfield were brought out to Los Angeles specifically to show the soda fountain employees exactly how to make each and every dish.

The soda fountain offers an array of sundaes, shakes, cones and floats, plus the taffy (or "chews") for which Dewar’s is famous. The menu also features lunch items such as sandwiches and hot dogs. A highly coveted dessert is Mickey’s Masterpiece, which is served in an enormous plastic "Sorcerer’s" hat and boasts an amazing eight scoops of ice cream. But for the slightly less adventurous, a Mickey Mouse-shaped peanut butter and jelly sandwich or a scoop of chocolate ice cream does the trick, too.

Visitors to the soda fountain can expect not only some great desserts, but all the Disney Store favorites, too. The store houses an extensive selection of DVD titles as well as costumes, toys and clothing that are but a step away from the soda fountain counter.

"Guests are going to love shopping at the studio store, where they’ll discover original and exclusive merchandise and enjoy finding a favorite Disney DVD or video title," says Brier. "Disney’s Soda Fountain and Studio Store is a great addition to the boulevard for families, out-of-town visitors and anyone who loves great ice cream and entertainment."

Disney’s Soda Fountain and Studio Store is open daily 9:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Prices: Ice cream cones $2.95-$4.25; sundaes $4.75-$8.50; shakes, malts and floats $4.25-$7.95. For more information and to view additional menu selections, visit