In Defense of Starbucks on Main Street

Disney California Adventure Starbucks

Disney California Adventure’s Starbucks. Sticks out like a sore thumb! ;)

We Disney fans like to complain. We like to make mountains out of molehills.


This is fine and understandable. I do it too. I think it’s in large part because we spend inordinate amounts of time thinking about and discussing theme parks, which, comparatively speaking, don’t involve the same type of contentious issues as many other topics. So at times we concoct issues.

Now, I’m not attempting to flippantly dismiss the counter-point to my argument before I have even made my actual point. There are unquestionably valid concerns about the addition of Starbucks to the Disney theme parks, and I respect anyone who offers impassioned constructive criticism of Disney that is well-reasoned and thoughtful. This criticism doesn’t (necessarily) make anyone a Debbie Downer (or “foamer” as has become the internet parlance). Actually, I think these folks help draw attention to ill-conceived decisions by management that are only aimed at increasing short-term revenue at any cost. I certainly prefer this type of rational and critical thought over the conflicting polarized groups that, on one side say, “I’ll love anything that Disney does because it’s Disney and Disney is magical” and on the other side reacts to every proposed change as, “ruining the Disney name; not something Walt would want or would have done.”

The hostility towards Starbucks in the Main Street Bakery is a bit surprising to me at this point. It made sense before June 2012, but now? To me, it comes across as the ranting and raving of people who are not basing their opinions on available information and past precedent. I suspect a lot of people who are saddened by this news have not been to Fidler, Fifer, & Practical Cafe in Disney California Adventure or haven’t read any reviews of it. It’s a great counter service location that offers a variety of unique Disney foods in addition to its Starbucks items. It’s actually one of the best counter service restaurants in the park, and is decidedly “Disney” despite having a small Starbucks sign and some assorted logos inside the restaurant.

Based upon several of the comments I’ve read on Twitter, on the Disney Food Blog (AJ’s article itself presents a neutral and rational take–I’m talking about reader comments), and on forums, you’d think they’re removing the Main Street Bakery and “replacing” it with a regular ‘ole Starbucks from Anytown, USA. Disney has made clear how it will approach these locations in the past, and Fidler, Fifer, & Practical Cafe is evidence-enough that the locations are not simply Starbucks shops inserted into the parks. After all, unless I’m mistaken, “Fidler, Fifer, & Practical” is not some sort of obscure name Starbucks uses for its shops. It’s a Disney name on a Disney restaurant that has a strong Starbucks presence on the menu and a small “Starbucks” sign outside. Buena Vista Street has been widely praised for its attention to detail and excellent theming, and I can’t recall ever once reading (from someone who has been there) that Starbucks kills that, or in any way negatively impacts it.

Based upon information actually available and past precedent at Disney California Adventure, rather than wild worst-case-scenario prognostication, I suspect that the Main Street Bakery will largely reopen as the same restaurant (with the same name), and will now serve Starbucks coffee and a variety of other Starbucks items while still serving Disney items (update: Disney has confirmed that the Bakery will continue serving Disney food). Sure, some Disney items will be cut, and we all hope our respective favorites aren’t cut. Unless there’s some operational reason for popular items like the cinnamon roll and ice cream cookie sandwiches to be cut, I can’t see those items removing. Even if they do, it isn’t the end of the world. Other locations in the Magic Kingdom have both items.

The other argument that I see being made is that Starbucks is fine in the parks, but not on Main Street, USA, which is sacred and should remain free of commercialism. Setting aside the sacred hyperbole, I can kind of sympathize with this position. Since this announcement, my biggest hang-up has been the idea that Starbucks and Main Street are diametrically opposed. Main Street represents the quaint, small town charm and uniqueness of small mom and pop shops. With the exception of a few big box retailers, Starbucks is probably one of the retail establishments that has led to the most closings of this type of mom and pop shop. Have you ever seen the South Park “Gnomes” episode? You should; it speaks to this exact issue (plus has awesome business-minded underpants gnomes). However, at this point, this strife between Starbucks and the idea of Main Street can simply be filled under “irony,” and shouldn’t be an actual concern.

Over the years, Disney itself has done a great deal to undo the small town look and feel of Main Street. The Emporium is a generic “mall.” A variety of unique shops on the other side of the street are gone. The logos of big-business sponsors can be found up and down the street. While Starbucks would be the most noticeable of these, others are present. Starbucks is hardly the straw that will break the camel’s back with regard to Main Street’s theming or encroachment of the outside world. If you haven’t already noticed what has happened to Main Street, your indignation is misplaced.

If you still think this is the most egregious example of commercialism on Main Street, look above. That photo was taken at Disneyland. Walt Disney’s original Magic Kingdom. The park that, by most accounts, is the most sacred of the sacred. This is the Refreshment Corner (or “Coke Corner” as it’s known amongst fans), which has been Coca-Cola’s restaurant presence in the park since the 1950s. Actually take a look at those photos on that page from the 1950s. The Coca-Cola brand on the signage is highly visible, and the light fixture says Coca-Cola, and even the color scheme is Coke’s. Coca-Cola, one of the largest corporations in America…and it has existed on the original Main Street since the 1950s without ushering in any of the four horsemen of the apocalypse.

Overall, my point is that Starbucks coming to Main Street, USA likely won’t change the parks for the worse. You are certainly welcome to disagree, but before doing so (and this type of due diligence should be performed before criticizing any decision), do some research and learn about how the first Starbucks was implemented and how sponsors and other outside businesses have had presences in the parks. Starbucks is hardly trailblazing in the latter regard, and its previous implementation was incredibly tasteful and well done.

…All of this said, what do you think about Starbucks on Main Street? Am I attempting to defend the indefensible, or do you agree with me? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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45 Responses to “In Defense of Starbucks on Main Street”

  1. Tom,
    You are right about how it was done at DCA (at least from what I’ve read). It would be one thing if the Bucks leased a spot and did their thing, but this is not the case. The key to this “partnership” is that Disney is in control of the look, feel, and overall guest experience. I’m looking forward to getting a decent cup of coffee in the parks. The few and far between places to order Jofferry’s was a band aid to the Nescafé epidemic. I’m no coffee snob, but that stuff makes me not want to drink coffee at all. The most convient Starbucks to visit when heading to WDW is the Target at exit 55 in I4.

  2. DoctorK says:

    You make a lot of great points, Tom. The DCA venue sounds like a great partnership, and I would expect nothing less at MK.

  3. Lin says:

    We have been to the Fidler, Fifer, & Practical Cafe in California Adventure and it was NOT good. It had mediocre ice cream (yes, we did buy it!) and the sandwiches were WEIRD…beef with saurkraut, etc…nothing mainstream. We thought that was just “the California thing”, but felt they would NEVER do it at our beloved Magic Kingdom…their pastries were the same nasty ones Starbucks has other than the $5 Mickey tart, which is ok, but not a fresh-baked chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich!! main Street Bakery has some so-so items that could be upgraded, but most are classics and beloved by people who plan their trips in large portion by their favorite places to eat and snack! I am all for Starbucks, but not at the expense of the best snack spot in Magic Kingdom.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      No offense, but I’ve dined at FF&P twice and read multiple reviews, and I have not had or read of an experience like you’re describing.

      I can understand not liking the food they serve, that’s fine; but there are numerous non-Starbucks items served at FF&P.

  4. Jayson says:

    In the begining the parks used to have so many more corporate partnerships so there is a history there.
    I work for Starbucks and there is a ton of pride in being in the Disney universe. Having been to Fidler, i can attest the magic is that the employees are Disney but recieved the highest level of training from Starbucks Coffee and they deliver. Disney has the worlds best coffee to go along with the worlds most magical experiences. I myself was quite excited to stand in the Cars Land Fast Pass line and drink my Venti iced coffee…
    Thanks for writting such a great article…

    • Tom Bricker says:

      Yep, corporate partnerships are hardly a new concept. From the opening of Disneyland (and the subsequent decision to create Club 33, which was originally intended to be a place for Walt to woe sponsors) to the sponsor-heavy EPCOT Center in 1982 to the current Kodak park maps, corporations have a strong presence in Disney parks is hardly anything new.

      People just tend to gloss over facts when convenient to their arguments.

  5. Larry says:

    Tom,
    I agree with all your points. Having been to “Fidler, Fifer, & Practical”, I can confirm that the introduction of Starbucks into DCA was done very well. Its presence on Buena Vista Street is hardly noticable; in fact, if you were not looking for it I doubt that you would ever realize that Starbucks was there. And if you ARE looking for it, you pretty much have to know where to go in order to get your coffee.

  6. AJ says:

    Tom – I agree. While you mention my blog as having several negative reader comments, I’m thinking that this is a lot like corporate sponsorship elsewhere in the park — think Dole at Aloha Isle, Coca Cola at Casey’s Corner, Werther’s in Epcot. Disney is not giving up creative license with this new addition. They’re simply refurbishing Main Street Bakery (which it has been sorely needing), adding Starbucks coffee, and a few food items.

    I doubt they’ll do away with the cinnamon rolls and the ice cream sandwiches, but if they do, you can get both items at other locations in Magic Kingdom.

    I’m really not looking at this as a takeover, but instead as a refurbishment of a spot that has needed sprucing up for a while now. It will still be Main Street. It will still be Disney. They won’t let you forget that.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      AJ,

      I should (and will) clarify above that while the reader comments on your post are overly negative, your post itself is rational and fair.

      Regardless of what you or I write, though, some people are going to believe what they want to believe.

  7. JG says:

    Starbucks belongs at Downtown Disney within the Marketplace, not on Main Street.

  8. mitch says:

    My main concern is actually not that starbucks will be on main-street. I love Starbucks so Disney including that in the mix just makes the happiest place on earth even happier. My main concern is the lines. There is no place in the park to get coffee that is any good, so this could create very long lines.

    Another quick question- do you think they will sell bags of starbucks coffee beans? That would be a big plus for a lot of people who forget to bring their own coffee from home and are stuck with the unholy disgrace that is nescafe.

    • Megan Dyan says:

      You make a good point! I can see lines being RIDICULOUS! Although, there is a Starbucks at Universal Studios (one in the older park, over by Disaster!) and one in CityWalk. The one in the older park had lines similar to any other random Starbucks, which surprised me. My biggest complaint was that you couldn’t use your starbucks card there.

  9. Scott says:

    Tom,
    Great post. I am hoping you are right and it will reopen as Main Street Bakery with a Starbucks inside. If that has been the plan all along by Disney then that probably should have been more clearly conveyed when the announcement was released. It would have saved 90% of all the negative comments posted all around.

  10. Mary says:

    Tom,

    I know some people go off half-cocked. I totally get that corporate sponsorship has been a part of the parks for ages and ages.

    What I’m hearing, reading (and to some extent, feeling) is that the Main Street Bakery menu itself will cease to exist and the menu will be solely Starbucks influenced.

    The Disney Parks blog published this verbiage:

    “The Starbucks locations at Magic Kingdom Park and Epcot will both offer the full complement of Starbucks® signature beverages, artisan breakfast sandwiches and a wide selection of baked goods, including muffins, scones and specialty treats.”

    Having been to Starbucks, I know that all of these types of things mentioned exist in their stores.

    What isn’t mentioned in this Disney Parks Blog post is anything about keeping items from the current Main Street Bakery menu once it re-opens. From my perspective, it is logical to assume that the Main Street Bakery menu items may disappear completely. Because Disney didn’t say they were saving it.

    I completely agree that having a more premium coffee experience for its guests is something that Disney has needed to do for a long time. I have no doubt that CMs will be in costume. But that’s only part of what the Main Street Bakery experience provides for the guests. And the loss of the existing experience is likely what’s fueling some of the hard feelings.

    If Disney came out and just said it would be adding Starbucks coffee as a corporate sponsor and serving their coffee property-wide, the overall response likely would have been more positive.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      Thanks for the well-reasoned response.

      Regarding the announcement, I wouldn’t read too deeply into the exact verbiage.

      It’s also important to remember that more than just Disney fans read these things. Starbucks has a big following, and mainstream news that a “Starbucks is coming to Disney World” is probably a lot more interesting to the general public than “Starbucks to offer products at Main Street Bakery.” It’s important to remember that even though Disney fans are awesome, our opinions on Disney-matters are not representative of the general public! :)

      Unless they do something differently than what was done at DCA, I suspect it’ll offer both Disney and Starbucks products. Unless space doesn’t allow (which might be the case–FF&P is huge).

      Now, assuming you’re right…I have more sympathy for those who are upset about this. I prefer Disney-run restaurants for that unique Disney experience, but having a few other corporations and restaurants in the parks doesn’t bother me.

      Is anything on the Main Street Bakery menu even unique to that location? Everything we buy there can be purchased at other locations, I’m pretty sure. I know that’s true with most (all?) of the popular items.

      In short, I can see your (potential) point. In any case, the “I’m canceling my trip” (I’ve seen 3 such comments) and sky is falling type comments are way, way overboard, though.

  11. Deb says:

    Admittedly, I pretty much fall in the “I’ll love anything that Disney does because it’s Disney and Disney is magical” camp. Disney IS my magical happy place, where I have such amazing wonderful memories with my family, that I don’t let the changes in the parks get to me. In looking at all the changes to attractions over the years, as well as the different stores and restaurants, inevitably some people get really upset that things are changing. I look at it as…things do need to change or things will get old. Looking at it through my kids’ eyes, they’ve loved the newer things that have come to Disney. I love the Main Street Bakery, and I’m hoping Disney will do a good job with incorporating Starbucks into the existing theme, which it sounds like they will do.

  12. AmyW says:

    Re: your comment – “I suspect a lot of people who are saddened by this news have not been to Fidler, Fifer, & Practical Cafe in Disney California Adventure or haven’t read any reviews of it.”

    Perhaps. For many of us who depend on sites like yours and AJ’s and the Disney blog itself, Disney is a trip of a lifetime, not something we have the luxury of going to as often as any of you do. We count on your sites to help us plan these trips to perfection. So no, I’d wager a lot of us who are upset haven’t been across the country and had the pleasure.

    You’ve had another commenter already make the point I’d make – that the verbiage of the Disney announcement gives the impression that the branding will be that of Starbucks, not of the Disney favorites. Many of us plan our Disney dining months in advance, and read the raves that the products the bakery currently have. So the promise of trying a famous cinnamon roll, that’s something we look forward to. We make that part of our plan. The promise of a cinnamon dolce latte? I can get that down the street.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      The point of that line you quoted was that people rush to judgment without reviewing very readily available information. Reviews and commentary about BVS and FF&P are out there. And they’re almost unanimously glowing.

      Yet, rather than reading those reviews and reacting with an informed opinion, people would rather just yell that the sky is falling.

  13. Lisa says:

    Perhaps folks have forgotten the atrocious Sara Lee Bakery that was on Main Street in the early 80′s.
    Even as a kid I knew it was wrong for a place to serve their Danish in plastic wrap just like everywhere else. As you pointed out large corporate sponsorships have been a part of Disney for a very long time. It will be a fine addition

  14. Guillermo says:

    Hi Tom! i’m a 16 years old guy from Spain and I just want to tell you that I LOVE YOUR BLOG. Your entries are highly useful for those who are planning a trip to WDW from Spain because here most of the people goes to Disneyland Paris (I don’t know if you’ve gone, but I cant tell you it’s a worth). I love the idea of incorporating Starbucks in the Disney Parks,I like them a lot, however here in Spain it’s quite difficult to visit one due to the fact that there are Starbucks just in 4 or 5 cities. People always says that american coffee is awful, although I haven’t tasted it, so I expect Starbucks to change that in the Disney parks.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      Thanks, glad you like the blog!

      A lot of people in the states love Starbucks. I think it’s okay, but I’m not a huge coffee fan. On the rare occasions I do go to Starbucks, I get some overpriced holiday concoction that serious coffee drinkers wouldn’t even consider coffee.

  15. jenel says:

    I think it will be interesting to see how it turns out. I’ve been taking my kids to Disney World for over 20 years now…for me I think it’ll be a good thing. My college age kids like Starbucks a much as Disney I think. Maybe with the promise of their favorite coffee they won’t grumble about getting up early to hit the parks.

  16. Thank you for being the voice of reason.

  17. Missy says:

    Your photo of the Coke Corner is incredible. In fact, it is so stunning that I think I may actually be able to crawl into my phone and walk right down that street. Haha. Fantastic. Oh, and excellent a points also.

  18. Jen says:

    As long as the Starbucks sign stays small and CM’s look and act like CM’s instead of typical Starbucks employees (I used to be one, I get to judge them) I think it’s fine. I love the idea of watching a Christmas parade on Main Street while drinking my beloved gingerbread latte.

  19. Sara says:

    using your argument about coke, I’d point out that coke appropriately fits the time period of Disneys Main Street. Took a quick look on google and coke was patented in the 1880′s which would put it in the era of Main Street early 1900′s theming. obviously, star bucks wouldn’t fall there.

    I personally think they could have done a lot more fun themes with a futuristic theming.
    And tying it in to tomorrow land. And I think you’ll see that come thru more in e Epcot, but understand the need to have it centrally located in the Magic Kingdom, certainly makes Main Street the optimal location from a $$$ standpoint, and lets not forget, Disney is a business.

    Now all that said, my main concern is menu. I love taking my kids to MainStreet bakery for a treat at the parks and Star Bucks mediocre pastries don’t compare to Disney cinnamon rolls. And yes,I can probably get that elsewhere, but not in the same atmosphere or tradition that we’ve established as a family. But if they do it tastefully and keep some favorites on the menu, it will work and if not, we’ll establish a new family tradition.

    We took our almost 9 year old on her 8th disney trip this last June. Each trip has had tradition, but no two trips have been the same. Things change, but the Disney Magic is always there and I’m certain a star bucks sign on Main Street won’t change that.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      My argument concerning Coke is with regard to commercialism, not theming. Coke is a larger corporation than Starbucks, and it has its own restaurant on Main Street.

      The fact that a number of non-turn of the century brands already inhabit Main Street defeats any argument against “period branding.” To me, the only concern about theme is whether the signage fits the time period. A blinking neon sign would not.

      The Parks Blog has already confirmed that Disney items will be on the menu. I highly doubt that Disney would take one of (if not the most) popular items off the menu.

  20. Alex says:

    The only issue I see with this is that DCA was able to integrate Starbucks in pretty well, but as a company Starbucks tends to have a stronger more loyal following on the west coast. Main Street in WDW is a little bit different environment. Many people look at it as the bubble to a magical world. I understand branding is important and would love a decent cup of coffee outside of going to Kona Cafe (which for me makes a phenomenal cup of coffee at the Polynesian). As long as I can remember Kodak has been a huge corporate presence from the maps all the way down to the interactive photo editing with Figment. So there is a seamless way of doing things, which I fear Disney may overlook on this one.

    On the flip side Main Street bakery is a staple for me. The one place I can remember spending time alone with my dad on every family trip to WDW. And getting that last stop down Main Street turned into another corporate branded location is another shot to the heart. At some point Disney needs to realize they are still a big enough brand to carry themselves and these other corporations are piggy backing their way to fat revenue streams

    • Tom Bricker says:

      I get looking at WDW as a bubble of sorts. I don’t think this in any way breaks the bubble. If it did, the bubble would have already been broken by the numerous other sponsors in the parks.

      I guess to each his own, though…

      • dr. john says:

        boy tom, this topic sure has stirred up a bee’s nest. to me, just as long as the parks are clean, the rides are entertaining, and the visuals are stunning, disney can serve what they want. sponsorship has been a main ingredient at the parks from the beginning. as long as disney incorporates brand names tastefully and within the themes being presented. dole whip anyone?

  21. Jocelyn Plue says:

    Starbucks, hurray!!! Finally a decent cup of coffee at the greatest place on Earth. How can this possibly be a problem? Great article.

  22. Jeanne says:

    I do not think Starbucks has a place on main street in WDW. I go there (and spend big bucks) to get away from it all. I do not want to be geeted by Starbucks as soon as I enter the park. I do agree there is a place for it but not on main street. It is completely wrong for the era that is being portrayed on main street. We are suppose to be taken back in time, and I don’t think we should seeing someone walk by with a starbucks fits in while you are listening to the barbershop quartet……….it is just wrong…….put it somewhere else…………what is next…..Wal Mart where the emporium is???????

  23. Jeanne says:

    PS we have grown up with coke since I was a kid……….Starbucks is something from the “new” generation.
    Coke has been around a very long time and fits in with the era and persona of main street. (and I am not a youngster, so coke is what i grew up with)

  24. Douglas says:

    I’ll start by saying that I think Disney has given us every indication that they would integrate Starbucks in an appropriate way – by past developments. And once complete, if they haven’t, guests will let them know and it will quickly evolve to a happy place.

    In regards to the discussion, though, I do see the concern about “inappropriate” commercialism. I guess I don’t really overtly notice many corporate logos on Main Street. The Coca Cola case is a great one. It’s a natural fit for the period, so I’ve never really seen it as a sign of commercialism. If all these signs were changed to Pepsi, I’m certain there would be a lot more outrage. I’m not sure which other corporate signs exist, and if I don’t notice them either because they “fit” or if it’s because I’ve just seen them there my whole life. Depending on the answer to this question, Starbucks will work just fine for new visitors and over time it will become comfortable to Disney veterans as well.

    And at least those who are not happy now will have a good cup of coffee to help with the transition.

  25. Prof. Brainard says:

    I’ve come late to this tempest in a teapot (or I should say “tempest in a coffee cup”) but, nonetheless, here are my thoughts: (1) corporate sponsors have always been on Main Street, for better or worse; some of these work well with the time period and theming (Coca-Cola, as many have pointed out) and others less so–I remember when Sarah Lee’s monicker was plastered around the Main Street Bakery, which wasn’t so great. (2) Disney has lagged in providing a high quality cup of coffee to its guests, and Starbucks–though not my personal first choice of coffees–will solve this problem. (3) The fuss is really, more than anything, the result of miscommunication by Disney (a sin not easily excused in this day and age): Disney’s announcement made it sound like a Starbucks was opening on Main Street, U.S.A., when, in fact, what is happening is an appropriately-themed, refurbished Main Street Bakery is opening and will be carrying Starbucks products. Everybody wins (as long as beloved bakery staples also remain, and what possible reason could there be for them not to). Main Street maintains its thematic integrity. The parks continue the tradition set by Walt himself (this should make the conservative fan base happy, if nothing else) of prominently including corporate sponsors in the parks. Coffee drinkers finally get a decent cup of joe. Those who are upset by this have produced not one bit of rational evidence to support their misplaced outrage and merely continue to reinforce the idea that Disney fans are unthinkingly conventional. Heavy sigh.

  26. Greg says:

    I’m curious to hear what other corporate sponsorship there is on Main St. I was there 2yrs ago and I don’t remember any sponsorship but Coke. Unless Disney did such a great job of blending it in I didn’t pick up on it :) But I feel that you can’t compare Coke as a sponsor to Starbucks. Coke was around in the early1900′s so it’s easy to blend them into the era. My concern is that Starbucks will pull me out of the fantasy that is the Main St set. I understand that WDW is a business and needs to make money, but it’s also providing an experience. I’m not sure it’s a good idea to mess with that for a coffee partnership.

    That being said, if Disney can blend Starbucks in without it standing out like a sore thumb then I don’t see the problem. Just have to wait and see I guess.

  27. Dave says:

    Somewhere in the distance I hear the crackle of the flames burning down It’s A Small World since they put those…dare I say it…Disney characters…in a Disney ride. ;-)

    I don’t have a dog in this fight because I’m not a coffee drinker and for good or bad, can’t remember ever getting something to eat in the bakery. It parallels the alcohol in the MK argument to some degree. It’s not like they put a Fat Tuesdays (or insert your favorite overindulgent adult beverage establishment here) in the middle of Fantasyland. What I’d prefer to see is Five Guys, Fuddrucker’s or even just wherever they get the burgers at Beaches and Cream take over the burger-making at the parks!

    So, anyway, I’ll be just as likely to pass by it and think “Mmm, that smells good.” after it has Starbucks as I would have been in the past. If they hadn’t just refurbished the exterior of the place so nicely, I’d say there might be a slight reason for panic that the fairy tale might get fractured, but there isn’t, so why the (seeming) hysteria, especially with the DCA example?

    Dave

  28. Greg Johnson says:

    Thank you Tom for breathing fresh and rational air into an highly emotional debate.

    I think the real issue is that Disney should be doing a better job with their own food and drink, instead of outsourcing it to other companies. With this case of coffee in the parks, Disney has a great opportunity to develop their own coffee brand into something real and interesting. Imagine great Disney service delivering their own great coffee and food. That would be a killer combination. Disney is a great brand which people associate with film, TV, theme parks, etc…why not food and drink as well?

    The real loss is that Disney does not spend more time and resources developing their own food into becoming a destination on its own for guests. I really like much of their food, but I think much of it could be improved. Outsourcing the food and drink misses a great opportunity for Disney.

  29. John B says:

    Any who opposes a Starbucks in MK obviously never drank Nescafe. I’ll take the extra branding for a decent cup of (overpriced) coffee in the parks!

  30. Joey says:

    I was skeptical when I first heard about it but once I heard the facts I was excited about the addition! I am also a huge fan of coffee so I think this is a great partnership because WDW isn’t known for their coffee….sorry Nestle (I think).

  31. Darlene says:

    I was at the FF&P last August and it was a great location. The Starbucks sign on the window was small, the cups feature both the Starbucks logo and the Disney logo (very cute), there was only a very small section that had some bags of coffee and the total amount of Starbucks pastries fit on the top row of the pastry counter. The rest of the counter is full of Disney pastries. The restaurant is Disney themed to the period of Buena Vista Street. It doesn’t scream Starbucks when you walk inside. And, the lines were no worse than any other counter service restaurant. I live in Seattle, so I’m a fan of Starbucks, but I’m a bigger fan of the Disney “magic” and I was not bothered by the partnership at all. Now if they started putting a Starbucks on every street corner like in Seattle, I might think differently :)
    Thanks, Tom, for being a great resource for all things Disney!

  32. Susan says:

    I’m thrilled. Finally, a decent cup of coffee in the Disney Parks. I don’t care who makes it. I just want a decent cup of coffee while I’m on vacation. It’s ridiculous to spend thousands of dollars on a vacation and not be able to get a single cup of decent coffee.

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