Walt Disney World has announced another dining addition at BoardWalk Inn as part of its reimagining, with the new Carousel Coffee Shop coming this holiday season or in early 2023. This post shares details about what’ll be on the menu there, plus an update on Cake Bake Shop Restaurant and photos of the construction around Crescent Lake.
This follows this fall’s earlier move by Walt Disney World to “reimagine” BoardWalk Bakery into a deli “inspired” by those of the American Northeast. As covered in our BoardWalk Deli Review, that wasn’t much of a material change to the venue (hence the air quotes around reimagine) and the reader comments from New Jerseyans suggested that the menu bore little resemblance to a deli in the Northeast (hence the air quotes around inspired).
Fortunately, there’s a lot more to come and it’s likely that the half-hearted effort with that reimagining had more to do with changing the name of BoardWalk Bakery so as to draw a clear distinction between that and the upcoming Cake Bake Shop Restaurant. Having two “bakeries” right next to each other–that both serve actual food and not just dessert–probably would’ve been a source of consumer confusion.
As for the full scope of the reimagining, not a lot is known. At the start of this year, Walt Disney World announced that they’d be making “a seaside splash at Disney’s BoardWalk!” Over the next few years, Disney plans to add and reimagine elements of the beloved turn-of-the-century promenade and inside the Deluxe Resort, including a charming new lobby design, nearby coffee bar, delectable dining options, refreshed guest rooms, and other special touches.
The new Carousel Coffee shop will be opening soon at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn!
This new location will be guests’ new go-to spot for their favorite coffee beverages, tea options, and mouth-watering pastries to indulge in. This location will feature Artisan Roasted Joffrey’s Coffee in its beverages.
Here’s a sneak peek at some items that’ll be served on the Carousel Coffee menu…
Carousel Coffee will be serving a Dark Cherry Mocha Frozen Blended Coffee and Whipped Cream. Cool down with the iconic cherry flavor known in seaside getaways like this and a staple of coffee shops, family-owned delis, and ice cream parlors along the shores.
There will be a seasonal rotation of coffees too. You’ll soon be able to enjoy the Cinnamon Bun Frozen Blended Coffee with Whipped Cream. (This seems to suggest that Carousel Coffee will open before Christmas 2022…unless January’s new thing as “Cinnamon Bun SZN” and I just didn’t get the memo.) This delicious frozen drink, dusted with cinnamon spice, lets you take in the sweet smell that will make you reminisce about the days of old as you venture down the BoardWalk.
The Nitro Cold Brew Coffee is a freshly batched, extra smooth, dark-roasted cold brew coffee infused with nitro. According to Disney, his coffee beverage “takes the rich history of coffee and combines it with the ever-popular nitro cold brews of today.”
For those tea lovers out there, Carousel Coffee has options for you too.
The Pomegranate-Green Tea Lemonade features fresh-squeezed lemon juice thoroughly blended with pomegranate green tea and a touch of agave. This drink is naturally sweetened and served over ice for a cool and refreshing sip.
There are also new sweet treats coming to Carousel Coffee Shop. The Crunchy Raspberry Danish features crispy sugar dough layers with hibiscus fondant and raspberry. It should be similar to a croissant and muffin combined.
There are also plenty of classic treats, like the Vintage Mickey & Minnie Sugar Cookie, Mickey Brownies, Banana Bread, Croissant, Blueberry Muffin, Chocolate Muffin, NJ Crumb Cake, and bagels.
UPDATE/CORRECTION: The new Carousel Coffee shop will be located around the corner from the main lobby of Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, replacing a gift shop. There should be a new seating area inside the space, with to-go coffee also available. I previously expected this to replace Belle Vue Lounge, but that is not the case.
Another addition that Walt Disney World fans who also love sweet treats are sure to be excited about is The Cake Bake Shop at Disney’s BoardWalk. This restaurant is owned by Gwendolyn Rogers, a self-taught baker with a love for Disney and cakes. This new location recently began construction to bring the new spot to life formerly home to ESPN Club and is slated to open in 2023.
Upon opening, the Cake Bake Shop will feature both savory and sweet items on its menu, and of course showcase the incredible cakes that Gwendolyn and her team have created, for brunch, lunch, and dinner. In addition to the regular menu, you’ll also be able to enjoy an elegant afternoon tea service – how lovely! And the offerings don’t stop there. Not only, will there be table-service offerings, but also a quick-service bakery for you to pick up these delicious delights on-the-go.
Although its name might suggest otherwise, there aren’t just cakes at the Cake Bake Shop. The restaurant and bakery will serve cookies, French macarons, brownies, dessert bars, pies, and cheesecakes in addition to the handmade cakes. These treats aren’t just beautiful but delicious too. The whimsical atmosphere of The Cake Bake Shop and its goodies are sure to be a charming addition to the BoardWalk.
In terms of commentary, not really anything to add here. Replacing a gift shop is a low-risk change, and few fans are likely to shed any tears over the loss of that, even if Carousel Coffee ends up being mediocre. My hope is that it’ll be a pleasant surprise–if it ends up being as good as Le Petit Cafe, inside Disney’s Riviera Resort, it’ll be a really strong addition. But I’m not holding my breath on that.
Aside from that, the most noteworthy thing about the Carousel Coffee menu, in my opinion, is that Walt Disney World is still trying to spin this as authentic or important, albeit with more careful language. This time, there are no references to the Northeastern United States, New Jersey, or any other specific states.
Instead, we get a reference to the “history of coffee” and another drink that’s a “staple of coffee shops, family-owned delis, and ice cream parlors along the shores.” (Which shores, Disney?!?) I don’t really care one way or the other how authentic a shop is that serves novelty “coffee” drinks–it just cracks me up that Disney deems this important. Continuing to do this even after the backlash from Northeasterners in response to BoardWalk Deli is certainly a choice. Why not just let this be an inconsequential caffeine stop? No need to overthink it.
Are you looking forward to Carousel Coffee shop? Think this will be an excellent destination for shore-inspired drinks and sweets, or an inconsequential caffeine stop? What do you think of the other upcoming additions and changes coming to Disney’s BoardWalk Resort? Excited for the Cake Bake Shop by Gwendolyn Rogers or will you miss ESPN Club? Think this reimagining will work with the hotel theme, or is it unnecessary? Have you stayed at the BoardWalk Inn or Villas in the last few years? Do you think the resort is dated and tired, or still has a good look? Think the lobby, guest rooms, or both need an overhaul? Do you agree or disagree with our assessment? Other thoughts or concerns? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!