I remember first hearing that every domestic Disney Park was getting a Starbucks and being over-joyed. There had been countless mornings spent opening a dozen tiny creamer packets (and even more sugars) in an attempt to make cheap Nescafe drinkable. Every one of these mornings I remember asking out loud, “Why isn’t there Starbucks at Disney?” No, Starbucks isn’t the best coffee, nor is it my favorite. But it’s accessible and drinkable and no coffee drinker is ever going to tell you that it is worse than Nescafe.
Slowly I started to hear and read comments from people who weren’t happy about the change. Those opposed to Starbucks taking over Main Street bakery have been especially vocal the last few days during the soft (and now official) opening of the location. There are many reasons: they don’t want to see corporate logos on Main Street, they miss the old Main Street Bakery, the Bakery was a family tradition, they miss the seating area, and they just don’t like Starbucks. All of those are absolutely valid reasons to dislike something. I totally get it. But many commenters (not all, but a lot we’ve seen) are incredibly angry…even threatening to not come back to Disney. I just want to offer a counter-argument to those opposed to the new bakery.
At first I too was put off a bit about Starbucks being on Main Street. It seemed to not quite fit. But then I really thought about it. Looking around Main Street there are several corporate logos. Edy’s at Plaza Ice Cream, Kodak at Town Square Theatre, Coca-Cola…everywhere. Suddenly that mermaid didn’t seem so out of place. Corporate logos have always been a part of Disney, even when Walt was around. Even one of the most iconic Disney treats, Dole Whip, actually has the sponsor’s name right there in the name. I remember being a kid and actually being able to get entire McDonald’s meals in McDonald’s packaging in Disneyland. Those locations would probably still be serving McDonald’s today were it not for the backlash against McDonald’s for serving unhealthy food.
Missing the Old Bakery
I’ve seen several comments the last few days about how Starbucks isn’t a real bakery and therefore Main Street Bakery is no longer a real bakery. Honestly…I don’t think the old Bakery was really a bakery either. There weren’t bakers in the back making fresh croissants and muffins. To my knowledge all of those were brought in from an outside location and heated up. Yes, even the Cinnamon Rolls.
One of the biggest complaints I’ve heard is about the Cinnamon Rolls being gone from the bakery. Trust me, I understand the hearbreak of a favorite menu item being taken away. The thing is…they are still available in the park…they’re served at Gaston’s Tavern in New Fantasyland. Is it weird to get a favorite food item at a different location? Sure. But when I think of the Sunday Roast from Rose & Crown at Epcot or the Prime Rib French Dip from Turf Club at Saratoga Springs or any other beloved meal that has been taken away…I would give anything for someone to say, “We don’t serve that here anymore, but here is a location where you can get it.” The Cinnamon Rolls aren’t gone, and they could have been. I would think fans would be happy that they are still available and didn’t go the way of Figaro Fries.
Also a quick touring tip…if you really want a Cinnamon Roll for breakfast they are now in a perfect location. At rope drop you can run and hit the extremely popular New Fantasyland attractions and then eat all without backtracking or wasting precious early morning moments on Main Street.
Every time someone tells me about their family tradition I get a bit choked up. Seriously. Growing up I had so many traditions with my parents, many that I have passed on to my kids. Unfortunately, some traditions were taken away from us. As a kid we always rode Submarine Voyage (at Disneyland) as the last ride of the night. I have so many happy memories with my parents, often as the only family in the last sub of the night, reciting the narration and giggling at the ridiculous sea serpent. I have never cried harder in a theme park than I did when a Cast Member told me the ride was closed permanently. It was devastating. Like they had taken all those wonderful memories away from me. Except they didn’t. I still had those memories. And my parents and I made a new last ride tradition.
There are many things I have lost over the years…making scary faces while going through the Matterhorn on the Skyway, singing along to California Bears in Country Bear Vacation Hoedown, eating a hot dog in a pretzel bun while waiting for the parade…they were all traditions Disney took away. But I love all the new traditions, too. If they hadn’t closed Submarine Voyage I may never have realized the beauty of riding Mad Tea Party at night while fireworks burst overhead. I would never have seen my mom pretend to blow away every time we go through the Blustery Day scene on Winnie the Pooh. It is absolutely awful when Disney takes traditions away…but it is also wonderful to try different things and create new traditions.
In the new Main Street Bakery the seating area has been removed to create space for a second queue to double capacity to meet demand. A lot of people are upset that there is no place for them to sit now. Honestly, I don’t think I ever found a place to sit in the old bakery. There weren’t that many tables, and it was always crowded. I often sat outside with a gorgeous castle view or went over to the Casey’s Corner indoor seating area (which is open even when the restaurant isn’t and not crowded at all in the morning) to watch cartoons while I ate. The seating area in addition to being crowded was noisy and not very comfortable. I had no problem today getting my drink and heading off to my next Magic Kingdom destination. I didn’t notice the seating area was gone at all except that I got my beverage twice as fast as I would have otherwise.
Just Don’t Like It
Again, I completely understand that people may not care for Starbucks. However, I don’t think that’s enough of a reason for a lot of the hate I have seen from people on the internet for the new bakery. There are plenty of things at Disney that I don’t like. I’m a regular iced tea drinker…but I hate Gold Peak. When I’m in the parks I either settle for it and drink it anyway, or I have something else. No one is forced to go to Main Street Bakery. If you don’t like it, don’t go. Is that disappointing if you loved the old bakery but hate Starbucks? Absolutely. But that’s no reason to start a petition against Starbucks or comment on blog posts saying the world is going to end. There will still be locations in Magic Kingdom serving other coffee and it’s only a short monorail ride to resorts offering coffee, pastries, and other breakfast options.
In conclusion, change is always tough. Sometimes it’s for the better, sometimes it’s not, but it’s inevitable. There are always multiple sides to everything and there will always be someone who likes the changes (I guarantee there is someone out there who says Stitch’s Great Escape is his favorite ride). To everyone who hates the new Starbucks, I feel for you, I’ve been there. But, please, don’t let it ruin your day or your vacation. Create a new tradition, find a new seat, visit a new breakfast location…it’s not the end of the world.