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These Epic Photos Of McDonald’s In The 1980s And ’90s Will Take You Back To A Golden Time


Today, McDonald’s looks nothing like it did just two decades ago. There was a time when the fast-food chain placed its focus on children. When they revamped their entire concept and released their line of McCafe products, kids were put on the back burner. The heads of McDonald’s wanted to turn the iconic restaurant into more of a coffee shop than a place that kids loved. Many think that this was a mistake. We all feel nostalgic about the McDonald’s of the past. These epic photos of McDonald’s in the 1980s and ’90s will take you back to a golden time that many people miss.

Gift Certificates Of McDonald’s

Kids who grew up in the ’80s and ’90s woke up on Christmas morning and immediately went to their stockings. Inside, millions of kids found McDonald’s gift certificates. These were a standard Christmas gift because McDonald’s was geared toward children. Today, getting a McCafe gift certificate isn’t what kids want, and getting gift certificates in your stocking is a thing of the past.


When the fast-food chain was geared toward children, they offered cookies in the Happy Meals. The boxes contained all of your favorite McDonald’s characters, including Ronald McDonald, Grimace, the Hamburgler, and Birdie the Earlybird. Kids loved these cookies, but thanks to the new McCafe promotions, these cookies are long gone.

The Decor

Back in the ’80s and 90s, McDonald’s wanted kids to beg their parents to bring them to McDonald’s. To do this, they designed the interior, specifically for children. This is a photo of the chairs of the past when the stools were designed to look like cute hamburgers with faces. Things like this made the restaurant fun for kids, making it the perfect family spot.

Ronald McDonald and the Gang

Any successful children’s establishment has characters that the kids love. Back in the ’80s and ’90s, Ronald McDonald and his gang were very present in the restaurants. Kids loved them, and they kept the kids coming in. After the restaurant changed their entire concept to McCafe, Ronald and the gang disappeared. There are still a few signs left in very few restaurants, but for the most part, Ronald and the gang have disappeared. It’s unfortunate that the new generation will never know what McDonald’s was like when it was still a fun place for kids. Changing the concept is one of the biggest mistakes in the history of fast food.

Rides For Kids

When McDonald’s was geared toward children, they had rides inside and outside the restaurants that kids could ride. The could spin around and around on character themed rides and had a great time doing so. Sadly, all of these rides have been removed from the restaurants. Where they are today is unknown. They are either in storage so that one day they can make a comeback, or they were destroyed. We may never know.


When McDonald’s was geared toward children, the toys in the Happy Meals were much better than they are today. When Transformers were popular in the ’80s, the restaurant chain took advantage of that, and they created their own line of Transformers. They were introduced in 1987, and there were six of them in the first set. When they proved to be popular, more were released. Kids all over the country begged their parents to take them to McDonald’s to get a McRobot. Today, there aren’t too many kids begging their parents for a McCafe latte or one of the disappointing toys they put in Happy Meals.

Collectible Glasses

Ever since the ’70s, fast food restaurants offered collectible glassware. McDonald’s was one of them. In 1995, they reprised their collectible glasses in the form of Batman Forever collectible glasses.


Back in the ’80s, many of McDonald’s restaurants had large playgrounds. Kids could get a Happy Meal and then play in the playground. This made it a favorite place for kids. After the whole McCafe concept took over, many of the restaurants removed their playgrounds for good. Those who didn’t have removed all signs of Ronald McDonald and the gang. Many people disagree with this move.

Birthday Parties

When McDonald’s was geared toward children, it was the place where every kid wanted to have their birthday party. Kids would beg their parents to have their party is the dedicated party rooms, complete with McDonald’s character hats, Happy Meals, and the child-friendly décor. Since the McCafe concept rolled out, the birthday party rooms were taken out for good, and made part of the “cafe.” This is an example of yet another colossal mistake that McDonald’s has made. Today, the last place where a kid would want to have a birthday party would be in the adult-geared McDonald’s. Kids don’t want to drink a latte while reading a book at their parties.

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