Fountain View is a Starbucks coffee shop and bakery in Epcot at Walt Disney World. Near the front entrance to the park just behind Spaceship Earth, it features some typical Disney desserts like cupcakes, along with the standard (lengthy) Starbucks menu with a view of Fountain of Nations (hence the name).
Given the ubiquity of Starbucks, you’re probably familiar with the concept of Fountain View. Even North Dakota has 13 Starbucks locations, which means there’s approximately one Starbucks for every 60,838 bison, or one Starbucks for every 19 people. The point is that Starbucks is inescapable, and irrespective of your opinion on it, you probably already have an opinion on it. You don’t need a review of it.
About the only useful thing to know about this Starbucks is that it’s the best quick service location in Epcot for coffee (unless you prefer Joffrey’s–we don’t), it has a few unique Disney desserts that you can’t find elsewhere in Future World, and the drink prices are not too bad by Disney standards.
With that out of the way, the rest of this post is basically just an excuse to share photos of some of the desserts and really cool mugs we spotted there on our last trip…
We’ll start with our reason for stopping at the Fountain View Starbucks in the first place: for the Spaceship Earth cupcake. For a novelty cupcake, it was pretty good. We were pleasantly surprised that the exterior was a fondant, and the yellow cake inside was moist, rounded out with a cream filling.
We don’t normally stop at this Starbucks, so I was surprised to see some really cool mugs inside. This is likely old news to hardcore Starbucks mug collectors, but it was new to us. Christmas ones, regular Epcot ones, EPCOT35 ones, etc.
While I really like the design of the mug above, I’m not into the Starbucks co-branding. I have nothing against Starbucks–I like their coffee–I just am good without my stuff being emblazoned with their logo.
Even though I’m not one of those people who has jumped on the “it’s hip to hate Starbucks because it’s popular” train, I’ve got to admit, I really miss the old Fountain View Ice Cream shop. The rational person in me says, “oh come on, this was just a generic spot with a dated 1990s design serving the same Edy’s you can get from the grocery store.”
(That same rational person remembers the days of nothing but Nescafe at Walt Disney World, and is ecstatic to see Joffrey’s and Starbucks in the parks.)
Then there’s the sentimentalist in me, who can still remember stepping into Fountain View and feeling that first gust of air conditioning along with the sweet smell of ice cream. I can still instantly transport myself back to times some 8 years ago to moments when we stopped at Fountain View to enjoy ice cream sandwiches. No joke.
Since I don’t know what else to say about the Fountain View Starbucks at Epcot and I don’t think these photos need captions, I’m just going to share a random anecdote about the Fountain View of yore to prove that I’m not joking. The photos are (obviously) unrelated.
I recall a night during our Christmas 2010 trip, when we were at Epcot for Evening Extra Magic Hours. After a long day during the D23 Magic & Merriment event, we happened to stop at Fountain View to share some ice cream.
The Fountain View seating area was almost empty, and it was nice to just slow down and sit there for a bit to collect ourselves and soak up the atmosphere while watching the Fountain of Nations.
Part of why I remember this experience so vividly might be because I took a photo of our ice cream. After that trip, I would email Sarah at work with an IMPORTANT subject line, and body text reminding her that it was of the utmost importance that we go to Fountain View on our next trip for ice cream, with that photo attached to the email.
…If ever the emails we used to exchange were intercepted by Wikileaks and disseminated, the world would know just how dorky we really are!
For the next couple of years after that, going to the Fountain View at least once per trip by ourselves and splitting an ice cream treat became a tradition.
This was especially true around Christmas-time, when we’d order the Sugar Cookie Peppermint Ice Cream Sandwiches. I’m not ashamed to admit that we had one of those every single day we went to Epcot during our holiday trips.
Often, we’d go at night and sit for a while, basking in the neon glow of Future World, listening to the background music, and watching Fountain of Nations dance while being cooled by the mist.
While this tradition didn’t last very long, it feels like something we did for decades. Funny how the memory can distort things like that. (Or perhaps it’s because we ate two-dozen Sugar Cookie Peppermint Ice Cream Sandwiches over the course of two years.)
I know this is a really cheesy story and probably not interesting to anyone who isn’t us, but I think it underscores the nostalgic and sentimental power of Walt Disney World. I also know that there are probably people reading this who have their own random nostalgia for Fountain View, perhaps when it was an ice cream shop, or maybe even fond memories of when it was Sunrise Terrace Restaurant back in the CommuniCore days.
Oh, and for those of you who randomly do have the same nostalgia for that glorious Sugar Cookie Peppermint Ice Cream Sandwich, here’s a throwback photo of it:
It’s highly unlikely that Fountain View’s ice cream in itself was anything special, but I have enduring memories of it. I would give anything to step into the Fountain View, order another Sugar Cookie Peppermint Ice Cream Sandwich, and sit outside watching the Fountain of Nations, reminiscing about our day at Epcot.
Like so many aspects of our Walt Disney World trips, it’s less about the thing itself and almost entirely about the happiness of a certain moment in time, the memories we made with one another, and the euphoric feeling at the end of a fun day. I’m sure it’s possible to further dissect our happy memories of Fountain View from a rational perspective, but in this case, it’s probably better to just let those happy memories stand on their own for what they are…happiness.
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Any favorite drinks at the Fountain View Starbucks? Do you miss the ice cream or one of the other previous incarnations of Fountain View at Epcot? Other thoughts? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing feedback about your experiences is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!