As you have undoubtedly read in 75,000.00 other places, Main Street Bakery reopened on Tuesday June 18th in what may be the most played out Disney story of the year. The big news is, of course, that the Bakery will serve Starbucks coffee and baked goods rather than Nescafe products. After a good amount of soul searching, including three semi-conscious nights spent in the woods of Ft. Wilderness with the help of a “spirit guide,” I wrote how I felt about the change in: “Starbucks Coming to Main Street Bakery. MY LIFE IS OFFICIALLY OVER.” What I think probably doesn’t matter. But because I only care about controversy, I’ll shove my opinions down your throat anyway. And Duffy beats me when pageviews go down.
On the corporate front, I don’t really understand the anti-Starbucks sentiment. Starbucks takes over for Nestle, a multinational Switz corporation that’s worth over 200 billion dollars. That’s five times more than Starbucks and nearly twice as much as Walt Disney Company itself. Starbucks, on the other hand, is an American company created and built up by one man with a dream. So I have no problem with the change in sponsorship. And let’s be real here. The Walt Disney Company is the biggest money grubbing media conglomerate of all time and they want nothing more than for you to part with as much of your money as possible once you enter one of their theme parks. Starbucks fits in well with this model.
Prior to the refurbishment, this was the Bakery’s drink list. There’s no indication of sizing, no information on customization, and few options. You’ll also notice the Coca Cola and Nestle brand names next to certain items – others use Nestle Nescafe.
The new beverage menu is diverse and clearly lays out options on size and customization. Starbucks pricing is also less expensive straight up and per ounce than Nestle pricing.
And they offer completely unhealthy, extremely Disney specialty beverages themed to the season.
This is what an Iced Coffee made with Nescafe looks like. Coming in at $4.49, it’s maybe 16 ounces at most. For a full dollar less, I can now order an Iced Coffee that’s twice as large and customize it to my tastes.
On the drink front, I don’t think there’s an argument that could be made that Nestle did things better. There’s a reason you don’t find Nescafe anywhere. It’s garbage reconstituted from a powder. I’ve read that there are people that don’t like Starbucks coffee, but I would be surprised if even these people preferred Nescafe. And Starbucks offers 36 beverages before you even start adding flavors, espresso shots, etc. If their drip coffees aren’t for you, you might try a Cinnamon Dolce Latte or White Chocolate Mocha.
This was the menu originally leaked to this website. I’m happy to report that it is indeed fake.
From there, we move on to branding. Also watch out for that goon taking pictures of your kids.
External branding is unobtrusive – it says Starbucks as pictured on the window. To the right of the tree, there’s a small circular sign hanging down that reads Starbucks.
It’s similar to other signs on Main Street. Whether it be Town Square Theater presented by Kodak or Casey’s Corner brought to you by Coca Cola.
Or the Confectionery with Smuckers in the window or Plaza Ice Cream Parlor sponsored by Edy’s.
I did not spend a lot of time in the last iteration of the Bakery. I thought it was drab, cramped, crowded (even with only a dozen people in the single line), and ultimately depressing.
I thought the new interior was roomy, open, and pleasant looking with wood paneling and brick looking details. The lighting fixtures remain bizarrely Victorian. I’ve been in about three Starbucks in my life so I could not tell you how the interior compares to a Chicago or Miami coffee shop. For me, Starbucks is kind of like heroin. I know it’s good, but I also know it’s expensive, bad for me, and there’s really no such thing as a casual user. So I’ve avoided it almost entirely. The only Starbucks logos I noticed were under the menu. I don’t think the Starbucks logo or name is mounted anywhere else inside.
Looking on from inside later in the afternoon, it’s obvious that there is no seating. In an effort to serve as many people as efficiently as possible, Disney decided that there wasn’t room for tables. The only other options would be to halve capacity or expand the footprint by eliminating one of the stores next door. So to have a dozen tables and a counter that requires guests to stare at blank walls, you’d be waiting at least twice as long for your beverage.
And there are a lot of seating options around, particularly in the morning. Instead of staring at a wall in a crowded room, you can take your coffee down here outside Plaza Restaurant with a view of Cinderella Castle. Or you could sit on the opposite side at Casey’s Corner. When these seats are occupied in the afternoon, continue walking up to Tomorrowland Terrace where there are plenty of tables. Or you can stand and sip your drink inside the Bakery – there’s a similar counter – there just aren’t any chairs.
Otherwise, I like how it looks. I’m not sure it’s “magical.” I’m not sure if any part of Main Street is “magical” these days. There is no magic shop. No penny arcade. No tobacco store. No bank. No clock shop. It isn’t the arrival of Starbucks coffee at Main Street Bakery that changed the complexion of Main Street USA. That’s a shift that happened long before June 18th 2013.
First world problems. Your life would have to be pretty charmed if the change in a pastry glaze caused you more than a moment’s lament.
The $1.79 Cake Pop I tried was good – ooier and gooier than I was expecting. About two bites, it was sweet and satisfying without weighing my precious little body down. Or it was overpriced, I’m not real sure.
Larger: http://www.easywdw.com/reports8/hardboiledeggs.jpg. Fruit (YEAH RIGHT WHERE ARE THE CINNAMON ROLLS), beverages, and other items are available in the grab-and-go case. $2.59 Hard Boiled Eggs.
Starbucks coffee and Via packets are also available should you wish to purchase for some reason.
Breakfast sandwiches are served all day. It seems kind of rude that they would have a picture of the cinnamon roll that isn’t available. Somebody somewhere is either laughing hysterically or fired. On the Dining Plan front, you’ll notice that every single drink is a snack credit, including the larger venti/trenta size. That includes many drinks in the $5.00 – $5.49 range, which is an above average value for a snack credit. Out-of-pocket pricing is comparable to about 50 cents more than you might pay at your neighborhood Starbucks. I would not stop here for breakfast myself. My brain would just be counting the number of people that will be in front of me at Space Mountain or Peter Pan’s Flight. If you like Disney breakfasts, your resort food court will offer something similar.
Never fear, the Bakery still offers the same non-branded brown napkins as before. The cardboard drink wrap things are Starbucks branded though. You can probably turn them inside out or something if you don’t want to display the brand name while you walk around the Walt Disney World Resort™.
The sugar shaker isn’t even properly themed. You can tell the budget really got cut at the last minute.
Add nutmeg, vanilla, chocolate, cinnamon, or sugar in the raw. Half & Half, Whole Milk, and Non-Fat Milk are also available. I’m disgusted.
I visited Starbucks three times throughout the day on the first day they were open. You can see how busy it is with nobody in line at 12:37pm.
It still took about five minutes to prepare my Trenta Very Berry Hibiscus Starbucks Refresher – 31 ounces for $4.79. I would guess they’ll get quicker with practice. I was expecting the drink to be a little sweeter – it didn’t seem like there was a lot of flavor.
And there was a lot of ice.
I returned later in the afternoon. Staffing shouldn’t be a problem moving forward with six registers going and 23 front-of-house cast members working. You first place your order and then move down toward the end of the counter to wait for your name to be called. They’re also equipped to take orders before you arrive at the register to get a head start on making your drink if lines are longer.
A $5.69 Venti Iced Caramel Macchiato on the recommendation of the nice woman behind me in line that recommended it. This time it took about two minutes to place my order and closer to ten to receive it. It was delicious – much better than any Disney-brewed concoction and significantly larger than any of their iced coffees. Even if you “don’t like Starbucks coffee,” I can’t imagine you wouldn’t like one of these suckers.
On the coffee front, they at least offer the 3 Region Blend and Pike Place Roast. Maybe some kind of Blonde Roast on the right? I can’t really make it out.
So that’s your new Main Street Bakery. Everybody has an opinion and the argument for/against has been going on across the Internet for months. You’re welcome to rehash it here (again) if you wish. I’ll let you know when Wal-Mart is moving into The Emporium after I finish eating my Arby’s Roast Beef Sandwich from Pecos Bill. Don’t want to get the keyboard dirty.