Magic Kingdom Starbucks Main Street Bakery Opens Today

Written by Kandace Sparkles. Posted in Features, Magic Kingdom, Mice Munchies

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Published on June 18, 2013 at 1:00 am with 33 Comments

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Tuesday, June 18th marks the official re-opening of the iconic Main Street Bakery at the Magic Kingdom.  This classic Magic Kingdom location for sweet treats and drinks has been closed for the last few months (January 13-June 16, 2013) for a major renovation.

Check out the MiceMunchies article on the closing of the Main Street Bakery in January.

Not only did the menu get a complete facelift, but the entire location has been re-structured in the overall setup, flow, and kitchen space. Of course, the biggest and most important change is that this will now be the featured place at Walt Disney World to get your signature, premium-priced, Starbucks drinks and pastries!

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As the generations change, so do the demands and expectations of park guests. Slowly fading is the Folgers generation as younger coffee shop lovers have long demanded a better cup of coffee in the parks.  After the highly successful addition of Starbucks at the Fiddler, Fifer, and Practical Cafe on Buena Vista Street in  the “new” Disney California Adventure, it only made sense to attempt to duplicate that success in the Florida parks as well. First up, Magic Kingdom, with the addition of Starbucks at the Main Street Bakery, soon to be followed by the Fountain View at Epcot.

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Outside window display

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Windows showcase a variety of coffee and tea, and are Main Street appropriate in style and theme.

 

The bakery transformation was originally slated to re-open in May of this year; however, that didn’t happen.  Only a month behind schedule, Starbucks has officially taken over the bakery. In the transition, Disney re-created this location and hand-pick their opening team of Cast Members just as they did for the new Be Our Guest Restaurant in New Fantasyland. Sadly, even with a bump in pay, many of the long-term bakery Cast Members didn’t wish to stay. In fact, rumor has it that it was quite difficult to staff this location.  Regardless, they found an opening team for an intense multi-day, coffee training, plus the regular Disney training for the rest of the bakery.

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BEFORE: “Fresh Baked and Ready to eat” is now gone…

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Signage has been repainted with prominent “Bakery” lettering, with a new “Coffee” sign hanging off of the brick facade.

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The Starbucks references are limited to a few tasteful signs and the menu.

 

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There’s a great selection of breakfast items.

The Main Street Bakery hosted previews the past few days.  Lucky for MiceChat, we had some adoring fans who insisted on taking us along for an early look inside. They asked only that we wait until after the park closed yesterday to post these photos.

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As you walk into the new Main Street Bakery, a Cast Member directs your party to either the right or left side (Unlike Space Mountain, both experiences are exactly the same and arguably move at the same rate).  You are given a hand-held menu to hopefully speed the decision making process and be ready to order as soon as you reach the register. The art of ordering coffee is truly that: an art. You now have the full suite of coffee options that you would find in any Starbucks, so take advantage of them.

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As you reach the end of the queue, there’s a Cast Member wearing a hands-free device to take your order.  This Cast Member will take your order, write it down, read it over the radio (to Cast Members making drinks) and then direct you to a register to pay with the written order. This allows them to start making your drink before you even pay. There’s a big focus on efficiency. They know the lines are going to be epic.

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Magic Kingdom’s bakery case seems to be filled more with Starbucks treats than Disney treats (especially compared to Disney California Adventure’s Fiddler, Fifer and Practical Cafe). In fact, it really seems to lack anything Disney.

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The Cast Members sure had each type of drink and its modification down to a science while calling them out.

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Frappuccino – Creme [Coffee-Free] Double Chocolaty Chip TALL – $4.29 (DDP)

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Starbucks Refreshers – Very Berry Hibiscus TALL $3.29 (DDP)

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The “new” Main Street Bakery has retained it’s Victorian charm and has plenty of detail to keep fans happy.

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Same raised ceiling with dark brown instead of cream colors

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Wonderful detail to the new chandeliers, but gone are the ceiling fans

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Walls are still lined with small kitchen themed items. But if you look closely, you can see a Starbucks mermaid on one of them.

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The bakery is filled with various photos from around the world of different people form different cultures enjoying coffees and teas. This one caught my fancy.

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More kitchen trinkets decorate the walls behind the Cast Members making the drinks

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Portraits along the wall

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Why yes, he does look familiar!

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Original Bakery Grand Opening photo ;-)

Overall I really like the changes to the Main Street Bakery.  The color scheme has changed only slightly to include more browns than pinks, with green to more closely align with the corporate Starbucks colors.  At the same time, those colors match up well with the rest of traditional Main Street U.S.A.

The bakery has lost a lot of it’s original functionality, as it has been tweaked into a glorified coffee shop.  Indoor seating is no longer an option.  The focus now is on the efficiency of getting you in and out with your items as quickly as possible.  Hurry up, get your drink, and get on with your Disney day!  While I will be one of the first to appreciate this gesture in a large theme park environment… it’s still located in Florida.  I would prefer indoor seating to get out of the heat and rain.  I understand that Main Street is tight on space to begin with, but what little they had is now long gone.  I can only imagine how this will impact the crowds around Casey’s Corner.  Another prime areas for seating near Main Street U.S.A. is currently across from The Plaza Restaurant and doubles as a designated smoking area.  Disney has been reducing and re-locating a lot of those locations recently, so perhaps that will happen to this one as well?  Only time will tell.

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BEFORE: So long air conditioned seating

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BEFORE: So long pink colors and creative use of seating long the walls

Apparently, the signature cinnamon roll is now only to be found inside New Fantasyland. However, the handheld menu shows a breakfast pastry that looks very similar.  It was not visible during the preview. We can only hope it will return to it’s rightful home.

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Signature cinnamon roll

We’d like to hear your thoughts on the new Starbucks Main Street Bakery in the comments below.  And when you visit the location yourself, you are very likely to be stopped by a Disney Cast Member who will email you a survey.

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One cinnamon roll, please!

After all of this Starbucks excitement at Magic Kingdom, you might wonder what’s next for the rest of Walt Disney World.  Epcot’s Fountain View is next to be transformed.  Fountain View was most recently the primary location for hand-scooped ice cream and treats in the park.  If you’re still looking for hand-scooped ice cream, you can get some over in the France pavilion (with liquor, too, if you want!)  Fountain View is expected to re-open in July of this year, but given the delay of Magic Kingdom’s location, I would plan to wait a bit longer for Epcot’s Starbucks to officially arrive.

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Fountain View at Epcot (former home of Pasta Piazza)

Both the Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Starbucks locations are expected to remain constantly busy.  One thing the Disneyland Resort doesn’t really have to factor into its operations is the Disney Dining Plan impact.  What impact, you might ask?  Well, it’s a funny question, but yes, everything counts as a snack on the Disney Dining Plan, regardless of the size.  This is a great offering for those utilizing the plan. But during “free dining” or other peak Disney Dining Plan promotional times when reservations are difficult to get, no-show rates decrease, wait times for tables increase, and lines at quick-service locations grow…I can only imagine the sort of impact this will have on the Main Street Bakery.

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After much discussion over the past few years, it’s finally here – Walt Disney World’s first Starbucks location, deep in the heart of the Magic Kingdom.  What do you think about this transformation?  Do you think this is a good move for Disney in the long-run?  Do these changes attract you to the Main Street Bakery more than before? Or do you miss the old Bakery?

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About Kandace Sparkles

Kandace "Kandy" Sparkles is more than just a Disney World fan, she's an expert and an insider. She also has a great love for the food and beverage of the resort and authors the Mice Munchies column on MiceChat.

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33 Comments

Comments for Magic Kingdom Starbucks Main Street Bakery Opens Today are now closed.

  1. I’ve written at some length in the comments section of the Disney Food Blog about how disappointed I am in the execution of theme at what was once the Main Street Bakery and is now very much the Main Street Starbucks.

    I like Starbucks coffee just fine and have never opposed Disney selling it; I understand the desire for good coffee in the parks; I understand the role corporate sponsorships have always played in the parks; and I understand the need for Disney to experiment with new ways of doing things. None of that is at issue. The issue for me is summed up nicely on Starbuck’s own website, where a PR article touting Starbucks’ inclusion in the Disney parks is titled “The Starbucks Experience Comes to Disney Theme Parks.” That says it all. The new space tips the balance too far away from the “Disney experience” and too much into the “Starbucks experience” to make me comfortable.

    Yes, there is a thin veneer of Victoriana (very thin), but it’s not much (by comparison, see the Disneyland Paris bakery for a period interior that will blow you away: http://www.photosmagiques.com/gallery/disneyland-park/main-street-usa/cable-car-bake-shop/). The Main Street Starbucks does not inspire great admiration or awe at its artistry (and there was a time, dear friends, when everything in the Disney parks did that), and it’s certainly no match for the previous interior architecture and theming of the Main Street Bakery.

    This is definitely the Starbucks experience. It looks like a Starbucks in an upscale mall where someone has decided a little “old-timey” theming would be nice. Period detail is very perfunctory and was obviously not high on the list of anyone’s concerns. Though there are some Victorian fixtures and a few artifacts sprinkled around, this space retains first and foremost its identity as a Starbucks. The display cases, the menu boards, the overall set-up, the condiment area, and almost all of the baked goods, could have come from the Starbucks down the street (except the Starbucks down the street actually has places for people to sit down).

    Compare this with the Fiddler, Fifer, and Practical Cafe in Disney’s California Adventure. It also is a Starbucks venue, but it is beautifully themed. You don’t see the usual Starbucks style in evidence, the usual Starbucks menu boards, display cases, layout, etc. The Starbucks experience is subsumed to the Buena Vista Street experience. That’s the way it should be. The Starbucks design elements are absorbed completely by the Disney-themed elements. Surely even people who want to consume Starbucks products do not, while on Main Street, U.S.A., want to do so in a store that constantly reminds them they are in a Starbucks and not in a turn-of-the-last-century American town.

    I like the idea of getting a good cup of coffee while in the Magic Kingdom, and I don’t mind if it is Starbucks. But I had hoped the Main Street Bakery would be a beautiful Main Street space that happened to sell Starbucks coffee, not a Starbucks space that someone happened to plunk down on Main Street. What a disappointment, and how very, very sad. It makes me wonder and worry about what’s going on behind closed doors at the Disneyland Market House, even as I write these words.

    • Thank you for your comments! While the space doesn’t really look out of place to me, it does seem that they have decorated by just putting things on the walls, instead of using real set pieces. It’s certainly the minimum amount of theme they could get away with. Overall, I’m not particularly impressed. But I’m not upset either. I never get a sense of rich theme from the interior spaces on Main Street at Magic Kingdom.

      Though, I’ve got to say that this makes me at least a bit concerned for Disneyland’s Markethouse, where this minimal level of set building simply won’t suffice.

      • Indeed, I’ve tried (and failed) to get myself to think about it in terms of “it could have been worse,” and there is some wisdom in doing so. I cannot help, however, thinking that it’s part of a long erosion of quality and theming of the Magic Kingdom’s Main Street, U.S.A.

        I suppose I’ll come across as an old codger if I say that thirty years ago, Main Street was a much different and much richer experience than it is today. The original imagineers had pulled out all the stops both inside and outside the varied shops. And the shops were truly varied. There was a real, working bank that had the feel of a miniature version of the bank in Mary Poppins. There was an old-time clock shop and a book and card shop. The cinema was all decked out in Victorian theater finery and showed silent films. The tobacco shop (regardless of how we might now view smoking) was a sweet smelling little piece of verisimilitude. The Penny Arcade was filled with working antique games, and the Magic Shop was as good as many of the A- and B-ticket attractions. The flower market on West Center Street always seemed to catch you unawares as you walked up the street and always took your breath away. Now all of those things are gone, replaced, in my opinion, by things that are not as good or as well-themed.

        It’s from this context of what used to be and from the context of the most common current criticism of the Magic Kingdom’s Main Street, namely that it is now just a fancy shopping mall, that my disappointment comes. I was never bothered by the inclusion of Starbuck’s coffee (and am still not), but I always felt they really needed to hit the ball out of the park with the theming of the new bakery. It’s adequate, I will admit, and many people will not be bothered by it in the least (thrilled as they will be to get a good cup of coffee and their favorite Starbucks baked goods), but for me it’s part of a larger picture that makes me long nostalgically for those good old days on Main Street, U.S.A.

    • Can’t say I disagree with most of what you said, but I am surprised that you are so surprised.

      Magic Kingdom Park at WDW has always seemed blandly corporate and a tad sterile compared to the far more charming and detail-infused Disneyland. Magic Kingdom Park was a 1970′s corporate theme park designed and run by executive committee, rather than a 1950′s magic kingdom designed and run by a brilliant man. The feel between the two parks has always been very different because of that. And WDW is definitely not Tony Baxter’s Disneyland Paris.

      This Starbucks remake at Magic Kingdom Park continues that long trend. The feel of the Bakery is still 1970′s corporate theme park, but now with 2010′s corporate sponsor overlay on top. I’m not surprised.

      • If I understand correctly, your point is that WDW’s Main Street is not very good now and never was (compared to its older sibling Disneyland), and so there’s no reason to be surprised. I get your point, though this takes us into a somewhat different discussion and a bit away from my point, which is that the erosion of quality, whatever the starting point and however the park compared to Disneyland in 1972, has been palpable and disappointing. I believe, for reasons presented here in my various comments, that the transformation of the Main Street Bakery into the Main Street Starbucks exemplifies this depressing trend. I do admit, however, that I am not really surprised, merely disappointed . . . though my Disney-loving heart tries to hold such cynicism at bay.

      • I do wonder why there is such a disconnect between how The Disneyland Resort does “Disney” and how WDW does it.
        Fiddler, Fifer and Practical on Buena Vista Street at Disney California Adventure is a charming place…with or without a Starbucks inside. It’s definitely more FFnP than Starbucks. In fact, many guests standing nearby have to ask, “Where can I find the Starbucks?”
        So Orlando, go ahead and continue to “not get it”. Out here in Anaheim, Walt’s spirit lives on.

    • I too am now concerned about what will emerge at the Starbucks on Main Street Disneyland. I know that Corporate Disney is more sensitive to detail and quality at Disneyland than at any other Disney park. The resulting outcry from devoted Disney fans(more fanatic at Disneyland than any other Disney park)that would ensue a cheap, out-of-theme redo of the Market House would be deafening-and Corporate Disney knows that. As for the Magic Kingdom’s Main Street Bakery, I say take a hint from Disneyland fans: Be vocal-communicate your dissatisfaction to Corporate Disney, electronically, at Guest Services, and via the U.S. Postal Service. If enough dissatisfaction is voiced, then corrective action might be taken. I guarantee if no one complains, NOTHING will change.

      • I agree, and your observation about the differences in the way the two fan bases react is an apt one. Disneyland patrons tend to take their park more seriously and to guard its treasures more carefully. If the refurbished Market House reopens with superficial theming, huge, standard Starbucks display cases, all-Starbucks food products, and a connotation that screams the “Starbucks experience” rather than the “Main Street” or “Disneyland experience,” then I guarantee the message boards, including this one, will light up with indignation. After all, California Adventure didn’t get fixed because everyone who was horrified by it just sat back and said, “Thank God, at least we now have a second-gate park,” or “Well, it could have been worse.” Magic Kingdom fans need to pay better attention to the playbook that Disneyland fans follow. The result of not being vigilant and vocal is the creeping diminishment of quality that we all know all too well.

  2. This really just hit it. It’s no longer themed. It’s a MODERN Starbucks dropped into MS. The old bakery was light on the 1890s theming already but this new iteration has NONE. It’s merely decoration. Modern lights, modern registers not hidden, CMs wearing earpieces, No Disney food, NO SEATING. There is nothing “Walt’s Era” about this at all. I can only imagine this is due to WDI’s lack of talent in The Swamp. MKs MS has truly become “Disney Walmart Street”

    • If they can use the automated machines to now embroider hats on Main Street, I guess this isn’t too much of a departure.

    • Apart from the presence of anachronistic elements, such as the standard Starbucks display cases and menu boards, the theming of the new space is baffling to me.

      As light as the previous theming was, it did still give the impression that you had walked into the retail area of a somewhat fancy small-town bakery, circa 1900. I’m not sure what the new theming is meant to connote. I know costumes are tricky because they have to take into account comfort and other modern standards, but these costumes strike me as rather odd. They are essentially Victorian factory-worker uniforms, perhaps something that the employees of a large commercial bakery might have worn behind the scenes while they were turning out assembly-line bread. Is this meant to imply that we are in the back-room/factory/production area of a Victorian commercial bakery? That would explain the somewhat repetitive rows pots and pans hanging on the walls. It might also explain the exposed brick, which might serve as a factory wall but would be highly unlikely in the front area of a Victorian-era retail establishment. If that’s the case, then how to explain the fancy lighting fixtures and pressed-tin ceiling, which have a touch of front-room elegance?

      My point here is that the theming seems to be a hodge-podge of contradictory elements, supporting my sense that this is first and foremost the “Starbucks experience.” Yes, they threw a handful of Victorian elements into the mix, but they did so in a way that to my eyes seems confusing and superficial. For me, at least, it has a “let’s decorate this Starbucks to make it seem old-timey” feel to it, and has little depth or coherence.

      • I’m familiar with Merchandising getting the first 8 feet of wall space to sell from, so all the prop shelves are set above that, which story wise an employee of the store could never reach, in case he wanted one of the 5 like repetitive coffee bean grinders in a row just in this photo. I was faced with that problem once, so I added a second story for my show. Merchandising asked me, well how do we get up there and change that. I replied you don’t as that’s part of the show story and themeing, but you do get the first 8 feet. I don’t know how many coffee grinders are actually in the store? I would love to see at least 1 Vintage Enterprise No.9 Coffee grinder on an accessible counter top, or at best a floor space given to an Original well pinstriped Enterprise Floor standing Coffee Mill which would suggest a high volume of business. I love the old Victorian metal round bean holders that had built in scoops in the side and a viewing window to see when they are getting low and need to be refilled, more than iron skillets. I also agree that a Victorian Clock is needed. Perhaps a very large Seth Thomas Oak or Mahohany cased round faced Gallery Clock which can run for 30 days between winding’s by employees. Sometimes they would be ordered with a merchandising graphic, like the old Starbucks logo on the sign outside which I like and would fit the round clock face. But as it has been said, you have to go there and experience it. I love the turn of the century Paris Cafe’s for a good espresso like Walt liked in Disneylands New Orleans Square, and the warm relaxing feeling of their interiors which I have studied and get from Paris Disneyland’s Walt’s on Mainstreet.

  3. Yay!! Welcome to the Disney Starbucks family, WDW! It looks great and it really is wonderful to be able to get your favorite coffee beverage in your favorite place on earth. ;D

  4. This is the saddest thing I’ve seen happen at he park. In keeping with SB strategies, I suppose we can expect another SB across the street in the near future.

  5. Interestingly, Disney has not yet updated their website to reflect this. I’m sure Starbucks wants the Nestle monicker removed :-)

  6. I have been to the Starbucks at the Fiddler, Fifer, and Practical Cafe and while there is seating there the big problem is long lines. I suspect that this influenced the design of the MS Bakery to try to reduce this. Of course, as has been stated, are you sacrificing good theming for efficiency (and profit)? I will be at WDW the end of August and will be interested in seeing how things are going during the busy summer period.

    • You make a very good point here at the end of your comment, which is that none of us can give a definitive opinion of this space until we see it in person. My own analysis is based entirely on the numerous photos that have shown up on various blogs over the past three days. It could be that I might walk into the new store and find that, as incongruous and superficial as the theming seems in pictures, it all works very nicely. I’m open to being impressed and always willing to be proven wrong if the facts support it. If this does happen, it will give me something to think about while I stand on the sidewalk drinking my Starbucks coffee from my Starbucks cup, eating my Starbucks cake while wiping my mouth on my Starbucks napkin.

  7. I love Starbucks. I am a west coast-er so naturally I like the idea of Starbucks in the parks lol; but this looks awful! It’s like they didn’t even try to theme to equipment and fixtures. It’s a shame, a real shame!

  8. THANK GOD! I will FINALLY be able to get a decent cup of coffee next time I go to Walt Disney World. I’m just very concerned that this isn’t going to be big enough for the demand and that there will be an hour wait just to get my grande peppermint mocha no whip. Why wouldn’t Disney just sign a deal with Starbucks and sell Starbucks coffee exclusively in every restaurant or snack bar that currently sells instead of whatever crap Disney uses now? There are companies that already have that deal in place (Westin hotels, and one of the airlines, United I think), so it doesn’t seem like Starbucks would be opposed to it. I don’t care about the pastries because I always thought that Disney had good pastries too, so I’m fine either way with those. As for the theming, looking at the pictures, it looks like every other store on Main Street to me. The best theming that I’ve ever seen in person was the Blue Ribbon Bakery on MS at Disneyland. They had some cool vintage coffee machines (don’t know if they were just for decor or if they actually worked), some great decor on the walls, and the display cases looked like they were a hundred years old even though they were lighted. In the photos, this shop looks like a cross to me of the Carnation Cafe and the French Market here at DL.

    • Yes the Blue Ribbon Bakery had great themed wood working and a great back bar of used brick with shelving in front at guests eye view. Great WED like story on it and the adjoining Carnation Cafe, witch had plenty of of room to sit, enjoy your coffee,and people watch as in Paris or the European country of its owners. The old 1955 original sign with illuminated real GE pear shaped advertising bulbs had it’s graphics updated several time over the years, and is still retained today for that 1920′s charm. Long live the real bulbs!

    • If you want a decent cup of coffee, come to the Seattle area and I’ll introduce you to something better than Charbucks.

      The reason why Disney doesn’t just sell Charbucks coffee is because that’s not how it works with them. While I don’t care for what they call coffee, they do have strict standards to ensure that their swill is consistent in flavor.

  9. As a non-coffee drinker I’m really excited about this! While all the coffee addicts are lining up in droves to get their fix, maybe now I won’t have to wait 60 minutes to ride Voyage of the Little Mermaid. As long as they don’t put in a Starbucks Fastpass, things are looking good!

  10. This is exactly what Disney customers deserve, an old and tired “coffee” chain selling the same coffee-for-kids crap they sell everywhere for even a more expensive price. What is next, a kiddy coaster with a ton of rock work? How predictable. Can’t wait to see the new Best Buy store at Disney Spring.
    Please Disney, when are you going to try to excite your guests again, you were so good at is, once.

    • I can understand complaining about the look, the loss of seating, etc, but I don’t see how anyone can object to the change from NesCafe. Starbucks may not be the best coffee in the world, but an upgrade is an upgrade, and Starbucks is LEAPS better than NesCafe.

  11. I presume that the next step in the ‘Bastardization’ of Walt’s Main Street will be the
    Emporium closing down and being replaced by Walmart !!!

    • Walt was the main one allowing outside vendors to sell their modern items on Main Street. Wizard of Bras anyone?

  12. I haven’t been to the Magic Kingdom’s Starbucks but I LOVE the one in California Adventure. The drinks are always good and I don’t think that not having “Disney-food” is a bad thing. Most of the quick service food options in the Disney parks are overprices and down a step in quality from what you would get outside the parks. Starbucks isn’t my favorite coffee but it’s sure is an improvement over what was offered previously.

  13. Hopefully when I’m at Disneyland I can still get a mocha at the Carnation Cafe. I’ve never been a fan of the burnt coffee that Charbucks sells. Seattle’s Best was definitely a superior coffee, but unfortunately Charbucks bought them. I have no problem with Charbucks moving into Disney Parks. After all, corporate sponsorship has always been a part of the parks, and for Disney to have a popular corporation move into the parks is part of what has built the parks since Disneyland first opened. I’m just hoping that they don’t do away with the choice I prefer.

  14. Seriously, I’m NOT surprised at all. So many things have been going wrong with the Magic Kingdom lately, the Haunted Mansion “additions” and queue being one of the biggest mistakes, that nothing they do at WDW shocks me anymore. It will never be the same. That said, it’s still a nice place to visit, but I feel sad for the new generation that never got to experience the true magic that many of us did back in the 70′s and 80′s.

  15. I will make this plain and simple. The reason why I go to Disneyland is to escape from everyday life. How can one “escape” at the park when something you see everyday, everywhere is right in front of your face. Forget the “you don’t have to get your coffee there or go there chatter. I don’t even want to see it there. PLAIN AND SIMPLE. How much is overpriced Starbucks going to cost at overpriced Disney?????????? What’s next to go? How much of corporate America are we eventually going to see at Disney? Is the Blue Bayou Restaurant going to become Tony Roma’s? When will it all end. The illusion and escapism will slowly erode. This Starbucks is a slippery slope my fellow Disney fans.

    • I think your issue is with corporate america. Not Disneyland.