The Starbucks sponsored Main Street Bakery has opened at the Magic Kingdom. For some it’s a blessing to have ‘real’ coffee available in the parks, for others, its an intrusion of the outside world into the magic. The final execution is a very high capacity, smoothly run Starbucks with a few Disney touches added to make it just magical enough.
There is not as much merchandise as at a regular Starbucks, indeed hardly any beyond bags of coffee, but you’ll find all the coffee, tea, and other drinks you’ve come to love at your local Starbucks. Although we were led to believe that much of the old menu would transfer to the new location, the baked goods are mostly what you would find in a regular Starbucks. The egg and cheese croissant and super large cinnamon roll are both absent to name a few. Disney is apparently looking for new homes for the cinnamon roll, but in the meantime you can find it in Gaston’s in New Fantasyland.
The use of the Starbucks logo is tasteful – not overpowering, but not absent either. Disney has created a backstory complete with ‘grand opening’ photos and a collection of coffee paraphernalia from the owner’s trip around the world collecting photographs and unique items from different societies and their coffee habits. That backstory also includes the use of Starbucks original two-finned mermaid figure (modified slightly for Disney audiences) and there’s even a couple hidden mermaids scattered around the store.
There is no ‘seating,’ although there is a small section of counter space to congregate near. For those who want to enjoy their snack or drink sitting down, you can go left or right from the Starbucks location and find tables in either direction. They are outside however and don’t provide protection from the elements, so consider that.
The double sided queue system seemed to be very efficient, but with three registers going and only one barrista cranking out the coffee drinks, there was a bit longer wait than one is used to at Disney, but not really any longer than your typical Starbucks location. This obviously depends on what the parties in front of you ordered. We were able to make a change to our drink order by asking the barrista and they accommodated us with the usual Disney level of customer service.
All-in-all I’m satisfied with how this turned out. I would like for them to have kept some indoor seating and more of the breakfast foods that I sometimes sampled at the old bakery. The breakfast food can be shifted to other locations, but having real Starbucks available in the parks will make me very happy when I need my fix. Maybe we’ll get an east cost version of Disneyland’s popular Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe.
Next up for the Starbucks invasion at Walt Disney World is EPCOT in the former ice cream service in the Future World plaza. It too is getting an expansion into what was formerly the queue of the character meet and greet. After that the rumor is Starring Rolls at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is next, but it hasn’t officially been announced.