In The Parks: Starbucks on Main Street at Disneyland

Written by Norman Gidney. Posted in Disney, Disney Parks, Disneyland Resort, Features, In the Parks

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Published on September 27, 2013 at 3:00 am with 51 Comments

This Wednesday Starbucks finally opened on Main Street U.S.A. after years of rumors and speculation.  Many are happy with the change and many others are not. We’ll take you on a tour and let you decide for yourself if the execution of the new coffee shop fits in. We also explore the idea of Thor coming to . . . Tomorrowland. We also round things out by showing you what is behind the first door on the Haunted Mansion Holiday gingerbread advent calendar.  And finally we share our thoughts on the permanent refurbishment of yet another Tom Sawyer Island icon.  We start with news about a free MiceChat Eye Spy game on October 6th that we invite you to join in on . . .

The Fabulous Gumshoe Gallop is a free Disney California Adventure eye spy game brought to you by MiceChat.com and the Hidden Mickey’s Adventures books. Full details at the bottom of today’s update, but you can Sign Up For FREE HERE Now!

Starbucks on Main Street

Wednesday morning Starbucks finally made its debut on Disneyland Park’s Main Street U.S.A. It was argued by some that the arrival of the coffee giant was was sure to kill any feeling of home town charm in favor of the mighty dollar. Is this true? Does the space feel more like a Walt Disney World shop than something that is more at home in Walt Disney’s original park? Let’s take a look and you let us know what you think.

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INSIDE
As we enter the corner door, we are immediately confronted with a confusing configuration of queue lines. Of course, a smiling cast member was there to direct customers, but still it gave me a bit of pause. Basically, the counters have been constructed at the far corner, directly opposite the entry. You can choose to go the left or right of the cooling case that shelves the bottle water and fresh fruit as you make your way to the counter.

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Some of the little touches remain. Although the seem shoved to the far periphery in favor of making more room for the massive crowds that are certain to descend on this location.

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This is the only indoor bit of seating in the main Market House floor.

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The good news: there were plenty of outlets for guest to use, situated at key places near tables.

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The several party lines along the walls were not working the day of opening.

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The checkerboard sits at a wall to the right of the entrance.

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The cast uniforms are cute and period appropriate.

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The Book Rest
The old Disneyana entry room is now indoor dining for Starbucks. You can no longer enter from the street. You must enter through the Market House. Festooned with old books stacked on shelves of dark stained wood, it is certainly a cozy spot. Dark and intimate, it seems like it will be the perfect place to people watch while sipping a latte.

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The walls feature references to Peter Pan and other sources of material that Disney has mined for inspiration. It is here that the potbelly stove was relocated, serving as an anchor to those little touches from the previous market house.

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Oliver Twist must have been on sale, because there are lots of copies of it on the shelves.

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Here’s a little video we took of the new space:

So, what do you think of the new Starbucks on Main Street? We’d like to know what you think works and what doesn’t in the new Market House and Book Rest.

Feelin’ Thor

November 1st will mark the first time a Marvel character will be meeting and greeting with guests at Disneyland.  That’s right, Thor will be setting up shop inside Innoventions and hammering guests with salutations.  The exhibit and character spot will be located next to the successful Iron Man interactive display.

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Disney offers a convoluted storyline to excuse the fact that the character is suddenly in the land of Tomorrow…

Astrophysicist Jane Foster, who established a special relationship with Thor, has been studying the “Bifrost,” a cosmic bridge that allows Thor to travel between the Nine Realms, including Earth. She has determined that the Bifrost is set to open again in Southern California and pinpointed the precise location as Innoventions at Disneyland park.

Inside Innoventions, Foster and her team are preparing for the opening of the Bifrost with the installation of Thor: Treasures of Asgard, a collection of objects brought to Earth straight from Asgard. After viewing the exhibit, you’ll be invited to enter a chamber where the Bifrost will transport you to Asgard for an audience with Thor himself!

Got that? Ready to enter the “Bifrost”? The exhibit precedes the new film, Thor: The Dark World, which is scheduled to be released on November 8th.

Haunted Mansion Holiday

The Advent calendar gingerbread house featured in the ballroom scene of Haunted Mansion Holiday has revealed what is behind its first door.  A new surprise will be revealed every week until Christmas.

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Notice the Jack Skellington in the bottom right of the gingerbread house.

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Big Thunder Refurb

The train is moving along, slowly, but surely to the final destination.  Yes Big Thunder is still under refurbishment and is not set to return until February of next year (with the possibility that the date may slip even further).  Here are current pictures from the construction site.

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Treehouse of Horrors

Set in a perpetual state of “refurbishment,” the Treehouse on Tom Sawyer Island has been walled off for months now under the guise of improvement. In reality, the fall and fence scenario that has been playing out across the resort has hit this classic spot on the island and Disney’s still trying to figure out what to do about the situation.

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The march of time and safety continues throughout the park.  But it is a shame to see classic elements like the tree house tangled up in this mess. Will it be boarded up?  One wonders what else on the island may disappear soon.

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Safetyland

The safety railing project along the rooftops of Fantasyland is still going on.  Thankfully they are trying to blend the railings and safety walls into the existing surroundings.

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Snow White Grotto

The small corner of the park with Snow White’s wishing well and Seven Dwarfs statues is receiving an overhaul.  We love seeing these little touches being maintained.  Especially when so many of the other intimate areas of the park are being removed in favor of the greater good.

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UPCOMING MICECHAT EVENTS:

Meet Chris Wakefield – September 29th – MiceChat Noon Meet

The talking head behind the popular Wakefield Report, Chris Wakefield, will be at the MiceChat noon meet this Sunday (September 29th). Meet us at the Walt and Mickey statue in Disneyland’s central hub. We’ll meet for half an hour and then head to Riverbelle Terrace for lunch. Then we’ll ride a couple of attractions and visit Disney super artist Dave Avanzino.

MiceChat Gay Days Meet – Saturday Oct 5th at Disneyland

  • Noon - MiceChat Noon Meet at the Walt and Mickey statue in Disneyland
  • 12:30 – Group Picture
  • 12:45 – Lunch at Hungry Bear Restaurant
  • 2 pm – We’d do a fabulous tour of Disneyland stopping at over the top Disneyland attractions Pirates of the Caribbean, Enchanted Tiki Room, Captain EO, and Small World.

MiceChat EYE SPY and Sunday Meet at California Adventure – Oct 6th

  • Noon – MiceChat Noon Meet in the little park between Flo’s V8 Cafe and Sarge’s Surplus Hut at Disney California Adventure’s Car’s Land.
  • 12:30 – Lunch at Flo’s V8 Cafe
  • 2pm – FREE Eye Spy Game – Golden Vine Winery (near Blue Sky Cellar entry)
The Fabulous Gumshoe Gallop is a free Disney California Adventure eye spy game brought to you by MiceChat.com and the Hidden Mickey’s Adventures books. Fun Hidden Mickey inspired prizes will be awarded to the top teams.
  • Where: Meet on the Mendocino Terrace of the Golden Vine Winery (between the wine bar and the Blue Sky Cellar) – See map below
  • When: Sunday, October 6th at 2pm
  • Team Size: You may compete alone or in teams of 2, 3 or 4. Please note that prizes are awarded to the team regardless of size
  • Sign Up For FREE HERE (while you can just show up, it helps us tremendously if you’ll sign up in advance so we know how many packets to prepare.

 


(Learn More About The Hidden Mickey Books HERE)

This adventure will last approximately an hour and a half, with awards scheduled to be given out at 3:30pm.

The eye spy is a fun for all ages event. You don’t need to be a Disney expert to play. You’ll have a great time exploring some of the details of Disney California Adventure.

Hope to see all you FABULOUS super sleuths in the park on October 6th!

* Please note that while the game is free to play, you will need to purchase your own theme park admission.

Please help us spread the word about these great events. Share this thread with your friends and family! See ya real soon!

And now, for your listening pleasure:

Need a feel good Disney experience? The last MiceChat Podcast delivers on that promise. In fact, some of you may even experience tears of joy, as our own Dusty Sage did during the recording of this episode. And the broadcast seems to have touched a nerve, delivering record downloads for the last week.

Direct Link | iTunes Link

And so we close another chapter in the ever changing story that is the Disneyland Resort.  What are your thoughts on the brand new Starbucks on Main Street U.S.A.  Are you upset that the old Market house is no more or are you happy with our new coffee bean overlords?  What should be done with the tree house on Tom Sawyer Island.

About Norman Gidney

Norman Gidney, also known as Fishbulb, produces and edits many of the articles on MiceChat. Tune in every Tuesday for the Orlando Parkhopper and every Friday for In The Parks. But you'll also find his photos in the Weekly Round Up, SAMLAND, and numerous other columns on the site.

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51 Comments

Comments for In The Parks: Starbucks on Main Street at Disneyland are now closed.

  1. Thor is a comic book character and belongs in Toon Town, along with Nemo and Buzz Lightyear. They should restore the old Subs and move Nemo to Toon Town, with subs that don’t go anywhere and have projections out the windows, since all Nemo is is going underwater to watch a bad cartoon, and the little kids won’t know the difference. Tomorrowland is supposed to be the world of tomorrow, not some kind of Pixar cartoonland. I used to enjoy feeling like I was walking into the future. It doesn’t feel like that anymore. Tomorrowland doesn’t look good, and it doesn’t feel good. It used to be my favorite place.

    • I don’t like to be negative, but I totally agree with Algernon. I’ve been coming to Disneyland pretty much since I was born in 1958. It was such a magical place to grow up in, and when Tomorrowland was redone in 1967, it was fantastic. I know many readers of Miceage have commented on this, but Tomorrowland is a shadow of its former glory. When the Peoplemovers, Rocket Jets on the elevated platform, Skyway, Carousel of Progress were all moving together, the kinetic energy was incredibly exciting. Just to stand in the middle of Tomorrowland was a real trip. I was lucky enough to get to ride the Flying Saucers before they were taken out, and even the original Tomorrowland with FSs, Skyway,(or swinging buckets, as we called ‘em), Flight to the Moon and the flying spacemen and model airplanes were genuinely more exciting than what is there now. Don’t get me wrong. I love Space Mountain, (it’s probably my favorite roller coaster of all time) and enjoy the rebuilt Autopia well enough. Buzz Lightyear is great fun, but in the end Tomorrowland is just not anything like what was there before, in terms of showcasing the world of the future, and in terms of creating a sense of wonder, something Walt Disney was the master of orchestrating. Disney, the company has, and can do better. And when I think of all the money I’ve spent over the years at Disneyland, I feel like I deserve better. Don’t you?

      • I was born in ’55; I share your experiences and have quite similar feelings about the Tomorrowland I remember.

        When I was at Disneyland last Space Mountain was down for a Halloween overlay and the only real ride in Tomorrowland that was at all tomorrow-ish was Space Tours which, as someone pointed out, is actually a fairy tale from “long ago.”

      • I was born in 1977.

  2. It looks pretty nice to me, although the queue looks quite daunting. I have to say I like the old Market House primarily because it was, well, the old Market House. But the reality is that it was like every other shop in the parks, carrying the same merchandise but with a checkerboard and stove. I think I like the idea that this location is now about a specific thing – a coffee house – rather than another outlet for the same range of gift items you can find elsewhere. Hurrah for specialization, even if it is Starbucks!
    Now, let’s get the rest of Main Street to be more like a real main street. Something different in every shop, please!

  3. From the video and pictures, I’m disappointed. I’ll reserve full judgment until I get to actually step a foot inside, but so far I’m not impressed.

  4. Well, *since* folks were invited to weigh in…..I have to say that I am not a fan of the new Starbucks space. The photos bear out my initial fears. It’s become a large, cavernous hall–yet again removing one of the more intimate spots in Disneyland. Is it tasteful? Mostly, yes. But, it’s not charming. The details are nice, but not all that different from many chain restaurants.

    Does it completely destroy the theme of Main Street? Definitely no. It mostly continues the aesthetic that is on the other side of the street with the Emporium and Ice Cream Parlor. I always appreciated, however, that we had one side that was more “designed for the masses” and one that was smaller in scale and designed to explore. Losing these more intimate spaces, in my opinion, is no different than the loss of the Court of Angels–it takes something away. Moreover, it just doesn’t really help convey the story of Main Street.

    On balance I know that this will make lots of folks happy while also making Disney lots of money. I can’t really argue that–but what I’m seeing doesn’t hold the charm and interest that the former space conveyed. And, yes, I am a curmudgeon who actually preferred the flavored coffee (with refills!) over anything Starbucks serves. This new location doesn’t appeal to me or my other half, but, then, it’s clear we weren’t the intended audience.

    I will wait to reserve *final* judgement until I see it in person, but so far, it leaves me a little sad. That said, I know others are happy–so I can’t be upset about it, just disappointed.

    • You use the word “cavernous.” As guests and strollers get larger and use more mobility devices, spaces that worked well fifty years ago no longer do.

      It’s as if average-sized adults tried to crowd into Toontown attractions…even the spaces people queue in have to be made larger…

  5. Oh, I thought the random numbers on the gingerbread castle were odd. I didn’t realize at all that it was meant to represent an advent calendar. That’s actually very clever.

    By the way that reminded me, did anyone else notice just how much it smelled like gingerbread in that room? I went a few days after it opened and I was overwhelmed with the smell. I don’t know if I’ve just never gone that early before and it goes away after a few weeks, or if maybe Disney is doing something to emphasize the scent as you go past that scene.

    • Every year, the gingerbread house is a creative masterpiece and HUGE! The smell of gingerbread in that part of the ride is the genuine article — not like the fresh air/water or orange enhancements on Soarin’ Over California. I loved the Halloween-ish take on the “12 Days of Christmas,” too: 13 instead of a dozen.

  6. Great update. The Starbucks looks great.

  7. They sell overpriced coffee milkshakes and mundane pastries…so what? So glad the millenials will be jamming the place so those who really get the park (sans plushies, churros and “fall fences”) will still be able to point out the really cool things that were once there.

  8. I agree that the Market House is less intimate (and homegrown) than it used to be, but given the realities of the modern world, the Starbucks location is as good as it could be. It looks like it has been designed to handle crowds very well. I can say without question that people will much prefer the new coffee over the old one. Nestle will forever be Nasty in my mind when it comes to coffee at Disney parks. Though not a huge coffee addict, I enjoyed and appreciated the new location in DCA and I’m certain this location will receive a positive rating as well (overall).

  9. It looks just like FF&P…and looks way too modern. I’m actually disappointed at this one.

    On a Big Thunder note: Where are the confirmations of closure coming from? I can’t seem to find anywhere online that it will re-open in February.

  10. I guess it looks fine. Ironically it seems FF&P Cafe is never that busy, and having just returned from WDW I found that the MK Main Street AND Epcot FW locations never had any lines – just tons of CMs with menus eagerly looking for customers. I’m sure part of it is that they’re all new, but perhaps another part is…the public isn’t expecting something that’s found on any corner, USA in a theme park they paid $92 to get into?

  11. The theming of Starbucks seems alright. The only thing that doesn’t fit is the logo. Something about it just doesn’t seem to blend in with the theme. Personally I don’t like Starbucks (many in the Seattle area refer to it as Charbucks), but I certainly don’t have any issues with them being on Main Street.

    It’s sad that people have passed the buck on their responsibilities and in turn resort to suing places like Disneyland because of their irresponsibility or stupidity. Because of that, things like the treehouse get closed and safety rails that were never needed are put into place and usually detract from the theming.

    Thor in Tomorrowland? I know that Thor is part of the Avengers, but Thor on his own is more suited to Fantasyland. Even with the Stark Enterprises display he seems out of place without another of the techy Avengers by his side. It also seems insincere and hastily thrown out there. I would expect better of Disneyland, example being Star Wars Academy. That’s an awsome interactive show for kids, and for this big kid to watch.

    I would love to be in Disneyland, viewing the gingerbread house first hand. Out of the handful of times that I’ve been to Disneyland, only once have I had the opportunity to see the Haunted Mansion Make-over. It was great!

  12. Did anyone else notice, the book Moby Dick in the picture. It’s great that Disney is playing to Starbucks heritage, as Starbucks is named for the character in Moby Dick.

  13. Thanks for the coverage, particularly of the HM Holiday update! Excited to see the gingerbread advent calendar evolve over the weeks. :)

    I’m personally a fan of what they did for the Market House and especially of the Book Rest. I understand the complaints about the menu, but I think the giant lines/queues, while unfortunate, are completely necessary. I remember what a pain it is to even find the line at times in the old Market House so I can appreciate them trying to help alleviate that issue.