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