Starbucks has released its new “Been There” series of mugs for Walt Disney World, with designs for Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom. In this post, we visit each of the coffee shops selling the cups, share photos, and offer thoughts as compared to the previous “You Are Here” series of Disney Starbucks mugs.
I’ve been slowly warming to the whole Starbucks mug trend. In our Fountain View Starbucks Review from a couple of years ago, I remarked that while I like the mug designs, I’m not into the Starbucks co-branding. I have nothing against Starbucks and am certainly not one of those people jumping aboard the “it’s hip to hate Starbucks because it’s popular” I just don’t really want the logo on my mugs.
My issue is more about the idea of traveling to cool places and bringing back a Starbucks souvenir, of all things, rather than bringing back something unique and original. Whether true or not, that sends a message about how you experienced that place, within the comfort zone of the ubiquitous Starbucks chain.
With Walt Disney World, this is obviously less of an issue. It’s simply a matter of merchandise from one corporate behemoth or the other…or both. However, when we’ve traveled elsewhere in the past, I’ve found myself eyeing these Starbucks mugs but often passing because I’m preoccupied with the impression.
More recently, we’ve bought them anyway. In a lot of places, souvenir mugs are not exactly the pinnacle of graphic design. Many are downright hideous. By contrast, the Starbucks mugs generally have clean, attractive, and clever styles. So, while I may not want to send the ‘message’ to people that I visited Starbucks instead of a local coffee shop in Japan via my mug, the alternatives are often kitschy and hideous.
As someone who enjoys collecting things, there’s also that element at play. Now that we’ve purchased a few due to lack of better options, we suddenly want more of the Starbucks mugs…from everywhere we go. Naturally, this led me down an online rabbit hole “researching” these mugs and trying to find past designs.
To my surprise, Starbucks has done various lines of mugs since 1994, with several series and tons of designs before the popular “You Are Here” mugs debuted a few years ago. I’ll spare you a full essay on what I learned, but here’s the ‘jumping off’ point that led me to several other places…and eBay. (Sarah, if you’re reading this…just kidding!)
Anyway, the new “Been There” Starbucks line debuted last June and has slowly been replacing the “You Are Here” mugs in cities and places throughout the world. In April 2019, these debuted at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Here’s a park by park look at the new designs…
First up is Magic Kingdom, which replaces the previous Tomorrowland-centric You Are Here mug. As you can see, the approach here is more broad, with every land in the park represented instead of a single land. Details include a Hitchhiking Ghost, Dumbo, Astro Orbiter, it’s a small world, Cinderella Castle, Dole Whip, Premium Mickey Ice Cream Bars, and more.
Personally, I appreciate the ‘deep cuts’ like Sammy, the raccoon who lives in Henry’s hat from Country Bear Jamboree. It’s nice to see things like this from a third party, especially when Disney’s own merchandise team doesn’t seem to know whether Expedition Everest is in California or Florida.
Next up, Epcot. There have been several good Starbucks and Disney collaborations for Epcot, and we featured a few of them in the aforementioned Fountain View post. Still, it seems like the most talked about and coveted Epcot mug is the initial blunder featuring monorail purple.
This new mug highlights iconic EPCOT attractions such as the original Journey into Imagination, Spaceship Earth, Kitchen Kabaret, and the “21st Century Begins Today” tagline. The color choices evoking Figment are also a nice touch. We haven’t purchased any of these mugs yet, but this will be the one we get, if we buy any.
While Star Tour is present (twice), conspicuously absent from the Disney’s Hollywood Studios mug is Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. It’ll be interesting to see how quickly a follow-up to this mug is released.
As with the You Are Here collection, the new Been There mugs come with a sturdy Pin Drop Collection box that’s cobranded with the Disney Parks logo and the line’s slogan: “Take your favorite places and spaces with you.”
Finally, we have Animal Kingdom’s mug, with imagery representative of that park’s attractions and entertainment, with the exception of Pandora – World of Avatar.
Note that the new Been There mugs are $19.99, as compared to $16.99 for the You Are Here Starbucks mugs at Walt Disney World. It’s also worth noting that, at least for the time being, you can still purchase the You Are Here mugs on ShopDisney–we assume that won’t be the case for long, so move quickly if you want the previous You Are Here WDW designs!
Overall, the new Been There Starbucks mugs are generally nice. I’m not totally sold on the art style yet as compared to the You Are Here mugs, but that could just be a matter of familiarity. I do really like the new Epcot mug, and love that Starbucks continues to harken back to the EPCOT Center incarnation of the park. Either there’s a fan on the Starbucks design team, or they know what sells among fans.
What do you think of the new Starbucks Been There mugs? Do you prefer these or the You Are Here mugs? Have a favorite amongst the bunch? 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!