Saturday, November 10, 2012

Starbucks Locations Announced For the Magic Kingdom and Epcot

Earlier in the year, Disney announced that they would be partnering with Starbucks and bringing Starbucks branded drinks and pastries to the US theme parks.  This was brought with quite a bit of jubilation from many who think that Disney coffee (which was Nescafe) is swill.  Many people appreciate a real cup of coffee and need it to start their day or for the extra kick midday.  (Touring those parks is not easy work, people!)

Since the announcement, it has been speculated where Disney would be placing Starbucks in both Epcot and the Magic Kingdom.   The rumors were clear from the beginning of where it was going to go in Epcot, The Fountain View and that is indeed where it was announced that Starbucks would be located in that park. The dining establishment will close in March and be down until mid-summer.

Over at the Magic Kingdom though, the rumors have been a bit more ambiguous.  Lately, I had seen a rumor that The Plaza was in danger. The small cafe/ice cream joint that is located just off the side of the Main Street Ice Cream Parlor. Instead, the location of this new Starbucks is going into the Main Street Bakery.  The Bakery will close in January and be out of commission until early summer.

This is the one I have seen met with the most resentment.  It seems that people think that the Bakery is just going to be converted into a Starbucks and everything else will be lost.  However, I honestly don't think that's what's going to take place. First off all, I see this more as a sponsorship. 

When McDonald's was a sponsor, yes they did serve McDonald's fries in certain locations and such, but in the parks, there was NEVER a full on McDonalds with the sign and everything, like other theme parks have. (Six Flags, I'm looking at you with your Johnny Rockets and Panda Expresses!) This is going to be like any other sponsorship that can be found in the parks currently. 

Another example I have that is probably the best example are Dole Whips.  I mean, it's in the name...Dole.  It's obvious, Dole sponsors Aloha Isle.  But it still has the name, Aloha Isle, not Dole Plantation or something silly like that. Yet people are still enamored with those delicious pineapple treats. To me, Starbucks will be no different.  The Bakery will will retain it's name. Starbucks will just be more of a sponsorship, while offering up the wonderful drinks and treats that they have to offer. 

My second point is to look at the Fiddler, Fifer, and Practical Cafe in California Adventure.  This location already sells Starbucks products.  I went there on my trip to DCA in July and honestly, if you didn't know they sold Starbucks, at first, it would be hard to tell. Only once you get inside and see the menu board with Frapuccinos listed and see the pastries that look familiar, do you realize that this location is a Starbucks. 

Plus, this store has kept on selling items that are unique to it! I can only imagine the same will happen at both the Main Street Bakery and potentially also at the Fountain View.  So, I highly doubt we will lose things like the famous Cinnamon Roll.  (And by the way, if they do happen to get rid of them at the Main Street Bakery, if you really want a Cinnamon Roll, they are going to sell them at Gaston's Tavern. Same goes with the Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich, which is also available at Sleepy Hollow.)

As far as the decor, I really don't think that's going to change.  The store in DCA looked fabulous.  It fit right in with the 1920s look they were going with, with Buena Vista Street.  Honestly, I think the only thing that will be a sign that Starbucks is actually in the parks is you will see the specially designed for Disney, Starbucks cups. 

So, I think that a lot of people are panicking a little too soon.  We don't know what Disney is going to do, but for this instance, I actually do have faith that they'll do things right.  They have proven to me, at least over at DCA that they can do this without being ridiculous intrusive. So I for one, am excited to see what Disney comes up with.

Now I want to know what you think.  Am I way off base here?  Is there reason to panic?  Or do you agree and think this isn't going to be such a bad thing after all?  Let me know in the comments section, or on  Facebook.

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Dennis said...

Bring it on! Real coffee please!

New Stuff at Disney said...

Interesting post. Yeah, I think you could be right on. I can definitely see their coffee being sold alongside pastries at say the Main Street Bakery or available in the Main Street Ice Cream Parlor. That would make sense. While they're at it, bring on Dunkin' Donuts too!

prttynpnk said...

Thank you. You have totally reasured me. Visions of surly hipster teens in aprons had replaced the quaint Disney landscape in my head. I was worried the Dapper Dans would soon be replaced with a Phillip Glass cover group if we kept down this road.