Starbucks opens on Disneyland’s Main Street, U.S.A. as Club 33 gets ready for expansion

Written by Andy Castro. Posted in Dateline Disneyland, Disney Parks, Disneyland Resort, Features

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Published on September 30, 2013 at 5:05 am with 72 Comments

About Andy Castro

Andy is a Southern California native, raised with Disneyland and a life-long fan of Disney theme parks and animation. Andy writes the weekly Dateline Disneyland column, which can be found every Monday on MiceChat.

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  • Tinkbelle

    The antique stove looks awkward in its new location.

  • Dr. G

    I don’t post much on these Updates but figured I would this time. First, let me say a HUGE THANK YOU for these updates each week. They help me feel connected to the Park since I get there once per year, if lucky (twice this year though!). So, hope you don’t mind some comments here that disagree with the author.

    The Market House looks great to me! I must say I’m not a coffee drinker, but we’ve been in there several times looking for Mickey-Themed kitchenware. With a stroller, as when our kids were younger, it was tough to navigate. With a wheelchair the past 3 times, it has been a nightmare to navigate. Way too cramped and crowded. This looks much better! The “Open Feeling” doesn’t bother me one bit–much better than being cramped. Isn’t Main Street basically one big store anyway with different signs out in front? :) I would think those after their cup of Starbucks will be very pleased with the quality of the coffee and the comparative speed at which they’ll get it.

    Court of Angels: This is a beautiful place. But, truthfully, we don’t sit in there and soak up the ambiance. Rather, we’re on our way to the bathroom, Pirates, the Train, or food or shopping. It won’t be missed by people like me. I understand why the “locals” will miss it, as they have time to just wander, enjoy, and soak up the atmosphere (yes, I’m jealous) in places like this. But, if you have (just throwing out a number) 50,000 going through the Park in a day, how many really will even notice? To me, the atmosphere is extremely important, but I will still enjoy NOS and won’t miss it. I respect that others disagree–this is just my own perspective as a Disney/Disneyland-Fanatic without constant access to the Parks.

    Again, THANKS for these updates. This one just seemed to be more of an Op-Ed instead. :) Love this site!

    • Dr. G,

      Thanks very much for your feedback and thoughts on the news!
      Thanks for reading and I hope to see you comment more in the future!

      • Dr. G

        Thanks Andy for taking my comments in the spirit in which they were intended! :) LOVE the updates–thanks for taking the time to do them! I get to go in November! Very excited.

  • martinjbell1986

    Are we going to be seeing any big Disney announcements since tomorrows October and their fiscal year about to begin?

  • sixalex

    So…”Show Your Disney Side” kicks off with a (Very entertaining) commercial that has nothing to do with Disney except for the fact that they now own this property. No Mickey? No Goofy? No Princess? No Castle? This looks more like “Show Your Dark Side” to me.

    We are supposed to show our Disney side how exactly? By being a Klutz in the hardware store? Pretty Vague. I await further details before I cast further abuse. ;)

    Court of Angels is one of my fave spots. Yes it is never crowded. That is WHY it is one of my fave spots. No, I do not spend a lot of time there, but I can’t think of a visit (nearly 200 in the last seven years) to Disneyland that I have not at least walked through and taken a beautiful breath. As an AP I have that luxury.

    Are the majority of visitors to the park AP’s? I don’t know and don’t think so. Do the majority of the AP’s visit Court of Angels? Again, probably not. I believe the die is cast. I vote to keep it open to the public, but believe that it will soon vanish from sight to all but a select, and definitely a minority, of visitors. Would I love to be a Club 33 Member? YOU BETCHA! But as a member I would still vote to keep Court of Angels public access.

    It looks like the Book Rest might be the next quiet spot for me. See ya at Starbucks!

    And, as always, Thanks for the Way Cool Update!

    • LoveStallion

      Actually, I think the majority at the Disneyland resort ARE AP holders, a longstanding fact that management has been quick to remedy with jarring price hikes on passes each year. The Anaheim property is unique among Disney resorts in the number of locals it attracts.

      I believe the passholders are the ones who care most about the minutiae around the park. Actual tourists will blow through everything and want to check out attractions, not use their precious time to drink in the atmosphere of an ostensibly overlooked corner of the park.

      • Marko50

        Actually, the Premium pass just went up $20 last year. Not really that jarring. And I believe the “adjustments” were pretty much in line with WDW, where the majority are NOT AP holders. Or Passholes, as I’ve heard them…well, us…called.

        But I do agree totally with your second paragraph.

  • Tiny Mermaid

    Just wanted to add my voice to the din:

    1. I am sorry to see the disappearance of the Court of Angels in NOS.
    2. I am sorry to see the appearance of Starbucks on Main Street.
    3. I don’t think either of these topics is worth going to war over on Twitter.
    4. I appreciate every DD update Andy does. I may not always agree with his opinions, but I am pleased to read them every Monday. Keep up the good work, sir.

  • AvidTurtleTalker

    I can’t wait to get my inaugural Starbucks frappucino on Main Street next time I go to Disneyland. As for it being all queue, what about Gibson Girl across the way. I miss eating at the counter right next to the glass elephant. Though I do miss it, that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop eating at Gibson Girl. I think the theming in Starbucks is fine and much better than your typical airport/corner Starbucks.

  • Rongo

    A great anecdote from Rolly Crump, as relayed in “It’s Kind Of A Cute Story,” with Jeff Heimbuch. It says a lot about how leadership at Disneyland has changed:
    I remember being in a meeting with Walt and one of the directors of Merchandise at Disneyland. This guy wanted to put t-shirt shops all over Disneyland, but Walt didn’t want any part of that. But he kept bringing it up throughout the meeting.
    “Walt, we have got to put a t-shirt shop in Bear Country.”
    “No, I don’t like that so much.”
    “You know, they make a lot of money, Walt.”
    “We’re not going to do that.”
    The third time he said it, though… Walt let him know for sure it wasn’t going to happen. Walt usually never called anybody by anything other than their first name. So he turned to this guy and said, “Mr. Becker, the tail does not wag the dog.”
    That was the end of that conversation.
    Well, you can find plenty of t-shirts today. All over Disneyland.

    • Rongo,
      That’s a great story and perfect for what’s going on right now. Thanks for sharing!

      Thanks for reading!

    • Marko50

      So we have Mr Becker to blame for all of this? ;-)

  • Mousecat

    Why is the courtyard important?

    I will quote from The Disneyland Story:

    “Another addition to Frontierland was not so obvious. One of the things Walt loved to do was to add little surprises throughout the park that guests could stumble upon. They were known as interstitials, events between the major events. One example was the petrified tree in Frontierland.
    In July 1956, Walt and Lillian had driven through Colorado, near Pike’s Peak, just outside of Colorado Springs. Walt saw a “Petrified Trees for Sale” at Pike’s Petrified Forest. He pulled in and told Lillian to wait in the car. She was not happy with the detour and was starting to get agitated. When her husband returned, he proudly proclaimed that he had just bought her anniversary present; a petrified tree stump. The 5-ton stump was still in Colorado on their 31st anniversary on July 13, 1956. When she said that it was too big for the mantle, Walt brought it down to Disneyland. On Walt and Lillian’s 32nd anniversary, July 13, 1957, the 10-foot tree stump was installed next to the Rivers of America.”

    The courtyard was one of those deliberate decisions. Just like the Market House, function is triumphing over form or tradition.

    Quality, Variety, Surprise.

    The three elements of urban design that keep bring us back.


    • Thanks for sharing that, Sam. I think a lot of folks take that “Quality, Variety, Surprise” that you mention for granted and underestimate parts of the park that contribute to that bigger picture but aren’t especially significant on their own. It’s a shame – everything adds up.


  • whamo

    If the Dream Suite was so important to Walt Disney then why didn’t he have it finished while he was alive or shortly after? The truth is that Walt must have been attached to his apartment over the fire station (which was built by a friend of mine, Frank Dennison). And Roy Disney had a house on beach road in Capistrano Beach, so why would he want to stay at the park?
    I am curious about who stays at the Disney Suite. Is it the top suits? As for Club 33, The Cathay Theater is good enough for me, but I hope people enjoy the Angels area as much as I did.
    Since I feel sorry for people missing this spot I’ll give them another nice one. Check out the hidden rest area to the right of the Frontierland gate, back in the corner.

    • Whamo –

      Walt Disney’s “Royal Suite” likely wasn’t finished before he died because the focus was on getting New Orleans Square finished first for the public (opened July 1966) and then he died less than six months afterward in December 1966. It was obviously important to Mr. Disney, just like Pirates of the Caribbean (1967), Haunted Mansion (1969) and Club 33 (1967) were important, but unfortunately, he died before those projects were finished as well. Does that make them less important because Walt Disney didn’t live long enough to see them finished?

      Thanks for reading,

  • disneylike

    Too bad the article on the new Starbucks on Main Street is so negatively slanted. I’m 56 years old and I can list a slew of corporate sponsors from Disneyland’s so called “good old days”, nothing new there. A long queue in Disneyland, unheard-of!!. $10 for wall decor, I don’t care if WDI paid 50 cents at a second hand store, what difference does that make? By the way if you put a fish-eyed lens on any camera it will distort and make a place look cavernous. It looks great, especially the Book Rest.

    Here are some positives; A better product! Two years ago on a cold New Years evening I went into the then Blue Ribbon Bakery for an extra large hot tea (I can’t drink coffee), I was handed an extra large cup of hot water and ONE tea bag, if I wanted another tea bag I was told that I would have to purchase an additional hot tea. After talking to the Manager and asking her “If you don’t water down your extra large coffee then why would you water down your hot tea?”, I was then reluctantly handed an additional tea bag. Starbucks has always automatically put two tea bags in their larger cups of hot tea. Finally I can get a decent cup of tea, hot or cold, at Disneyland. Additionally, I am glad to see the bin after bin and rack after rack of candy gone. Unfortunately this is something that we guests are constantly confronted with no mater what so called “themed” store you go into at Disneyland.

    • disneylike,

      You wrote: “Too bad the article on the new Starbucks on Main Street is so negatively slanted. I’m 56 years old and I can list a slew of corporate sponsors from Disneyland’s so called “good old days”, nothing new there.”

      To clarify, I have no issue with corporate sponsors at Disneyland and I have no problem with the idea of Starbucks on Main Street and I have supported the addition since it was announced. The point was that the execution of the project is disappointing — from the budget “vintage” art on the walls, to the out-of-scale interior design.

      Thanks for reading,

  • QPerth

    Thanks for another great update. Some really great photos, as always. These new safety walls are fitting in better than I expected, almost looks like the Castle now seems bigger than what it is.

    Thanks for all your great coverage of the Court of Angels closure decision and impending loss. Seeing the varied reactions on Twitter was a surprise actually. Especially some of the negative reactions, including from certain people whose blog I used to enjoy a lot. That was a real shock. I thought Datelines use of these Public Tweets, both positive and not so much was fair and valid touch to this article. Well done.

    It wasn’t, and never has been about the loss of a staircase to nowhere. It is about losing something that is unique to a Disney Park, a small hidden detail that in isolation is perhaps to some, ‘just a staircase’, but on a whole, it is part of what separates a Disney Park from an amusement park. It is a detail, a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered. It’s texture, it’s life, it’s theming. It’s details, it’s a feeling, it’s a PLACE. How many more of these small places and details will Disneyland take away before it’s too late? What is stopping Disneyland making Main Street DLRR Station an exclusive experience only available to a few in the future? I am ALL FOR a Club33 expansion if that is what is required, but NOT at the cost of a piece of Disneyland. Go ahead, expand Club33, but surely there must be a way to keep the Court of Angels OPEN and freely available to Paying Park Guests.

  • danielz6

    Wow so charming sections of a theme park where few people go to, is a reason to close those areas? Do you really want to visit a theme park where every nook and cranny is packed with commotion like adventurelands main corridor? That’s foolish. If that’s your opinion and your basing it on money making potential not on guest experience then perhaps your on the wrong website. I thought this website is for Disney fans and theme park enthusiasts? Perhaps you’d have more fun visiting Disney’s corporate website instead.

    I remember visiting Tokyo Disney sea and its full of quiet spots like court of angels. The deck of the SS Columbia is nearly empty and offers great views of the park. Close it or put retail there? Foolish. Details like that keep guests coming back and guess what? That’s what makes the Parks so successful.

    • danielz,

      Great points about Tokyo Disney Sea’s thematic design work. Too often seemingly superfluous thematic elements like this are seen as expendable by Disney and fans alike but both often fail to realize the importance of this sort of thing on the larger guest experience.

      Thanks for reading and for commenting,

  • timbabbcomedian

    Woah! Why did my Twitter post get lumped in with people who were “annoyed…that fans were upset that the Court of Angels was closing?” When viewed in that context, I sound like a jerk.

    As one of the 7 people who was sad to see Golden Dreams go, I’m hardly one to tell people what they can and can’t be angry about.

    However, what I was responding to was the aftermath of a post on the Disneyland Today twitter feed:

    “Hey folks – it’s a beautiful day today! Where is your favorite place to relax in the park?”

    After I scrolled through a ton of angry responses saying “Court of Angels,” I had the thought, “if this many people love to hang out there, why is it almost always empty when I go by?”

    Hence my tweet, “With the amount of angry people posting about it, you would think that Disneyland’s Court of Angels was always jam packed with people #NotSo”

    See? When viewed in context, my tweet was not an attack on the fans. I’m not a jerk.

    Please love me.

  • ADM

    Quite the underlying “tone” in this update. Can’t say I’ve ever noticed it before. I’m more worried about that then a courtyard no one uses. But, thanks for the update. Much appreciated.

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