In June 2012, the first of six Starbucks locations in Disneyland Walt Disney World will open in Disney California Adventure in Fidler, Fifer & Practical Cafe. Other locations are subsequently planned to open in each theme park, including Disneyland and Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Only the exact location of the Disney California Adventure Starbucks is presently known. Disney states that the Starbucks locations in the parks will be themed to seamlessly blend in with their surroundings: “At Disney California Adventure park, Starbucks will be located in the Fiddler, Fifer and Practical Café on Buena Vista Street…The store’s location plays off the Spanish/Mexican architecture of the period, and baristas will wear 1920s-inspired attire.”
As of October 2012, the locations in Magic Kingdom and Epcot are speculated to be Plaza Restaurant and The FountainView, respectively.
These Starbucks locations will serve coffee–including espresso beverages and Frappuccino blended beverages–and signature breakfast sandwiches and pastries. The locations will also serve non-Starbucks items, leading us to surmise that Starbucks will merely be integrated into ‘normal’ Disney locations, and not as stand-alone park shops.
What we think of this depends largely upon execution. I’m not a big fan of Rainforest Cafe and other “real world” restaurants in and around the parks, but their existence doesn’t necessarily bother me because they don’t break the theme of their surroundings. Even the old McDonald’s fries stands were fine because they were well-themed.
If Disney opened stand-alone Starbucks shops with the typical Starbucks architecture and signage, this would be very troubling. However, based upon the announcement, I see the likelihood of that happening as being very small. If it does, we won’t be fans. We do know that Starbucks is very particular with its intellectual property and training requirements (which is why this long-running rumor is just now coming to fruition, apparently), but we hope they have the sense to allow Disney to blend their offerings into the parks, rather than presenting the coffee shops in an ostentatious manner.
We’re not big coffee drinkers (I’ve had Starbucks only a handful of times in my life), but we see this as being a huge victory for those who do like coffee. Nescafe is disgusting, so this should be a substantial improvement over that.
Now, I wonder what will happen when Disney prices and Starbucks prices intersect. Will Walt Disney World and Disneyland have their first $25 cups of coffee?!
What do you think of this news? Let us know in the comments!