Successful fast food franchises are defined by their "money" items. For Burger King, it's the Whopper. For Taco Bell, it's diarrhea. Just kidding, Taco Bell is amazing and I love everything on their menu.
And although McDonald's might be a great spot for coffee, and they're trying to revamp their burgers for hungry customers all over the globe, there's one menu item that's undeniably been their tried-and-true profit machine since the beginning.
For Mickey D's, it's their fries. I mean, they're so good, even '90s basketball stars, who were in no way paid to proclaim their love for them, did just that.
The fast food giants are giving away free french fries every Friday for the rest of 2018 as part of its "Fryday" promotion.
All you've got to do is spend $1 or more at the store and you'll get yourself some deep-friend, shredded potatoes to enjoy with a dollar menu item of your choice. It's a pretty sweet, I'm sorry, salty deal, hyuk hyuk.
Just download and install the McDonald's mobile app to redeem the free fries coupon every "fryday." Mickey D's is offering other perks as well, like dollar McDoubles, $1 for any size coffee, and other specialty sandwiches for just a buck.
So if you want to get your McDonald's fix, or are just jonesing for some french fries and ice cream (if the darn machine will ever work), whip out your phone and head to a golden arch near you.
As awesome as free fries are, however, nothing can really match the magic of going to McDonald's when you were a kid, for a variety of reasons. Like the Happy Meal.
Come on now, there was nothing better than getting a cardboard box with your own personalized meal, and obviously, toys. Although there are tons of awesome kids' meal toys to celebrate, the Mario Bros. 3 release had to be the most coveted of toy prizes. In fact, they were so popular that McDonald's offered up several iterations of the NES toy lineup.
Remember these amazing Halloween buckets?
Trick-or-treating was taken to a whole other stratosphere when you were walking around the block with these bad boys. The ghost one even glowed in the dark—I know, I know. Now they didn't hold much candy, but that's fine. That's why you have an old pillowcase tucked in your pocket. These pails were more Halloween fashion accessories than anything, and man they were cool.
The "Play Place" was every poor kid's trip to the carnival.
I have distinct childhood memories of being taken to McDonald's just to play in the Play Place with its twisty-twirly slides, ball pit, and general awesomeness. My mom and aunts would round my cousins and me up, and probably order one drink and one large french fries that we'd occasionally munch and sip on between bouts of acting like lunatics. A trip to McDonald's was pretty much a trip to Disneyland as a kid. Man, it was so awesome.
Sitting on these burger stools made your fast food taste so much better.
Kids are extremely picky — and that's because they know what they want. Even when they're eating a meal, they want to feel great while it's happening. So why not sit on a whimsical cheeseburger-shaped stool while scarfing down the $1.99 Happy Meal your parents caved in to buy you?
The N64 stations.
Videogames were pricey and vilified in my family, and we weren't one of those households with multiple, current-generation consoles under one roof. We were lucky to even have one, which meant that we missed out on a lot of games growing up. My only chance to play N64 was when I visited my cousin's house and actually got the chance to hold a controller, or when I went to a toy store that had the games set up. So imagine my delight when I stepped inside a McDonald's and saw these bad boys set up in the corner. Junk food and video games? Heaven.
Some spots had the epic outdoor playgrounds, too.
We're talking cheeseburger-shaped seesaws, and Grimace and Mayor McCheese prisons — these outdoor playgrounds had just enough variety to differentiate themselves from their indoor counterparts. When the weather was amazing, there was nothing better than hanging out at the outdoor playground. Especially when you were captured and sent to "jail."
McDonaldland cookies may have just been glorified animal crackers, but I swear their shapes made them taste better.
Sure, they may have just been regular old butter cookies, but they were incredible nonetheless. Bonus points if you spoke as the character you were about eat, making them beg for their life.
Man, I'm going to be chomping down on some pure nostalgia when I pick up my free french fries this summer.