Most of you have probably heard by now, perhaps from the Disney Parks Blog, that there are very firm and definite plans to put a Starbucks in Disneyland. Not much is known about what the location will look like. The only thing that is known for now is that it will be where The Market House exists today. I personally have very strong opinions about Starbucks in Disneyland.
Meanwhile, guest writer and friend of Fresh Baked Sara Romey, has very strong feelings about Starbucks and Disneyland coffee. In other words, she hates Disney coffee and loves Starbucks. She especially loves the idea of Starbucks in Disneyland. And thus the best debate ever over coffee in a theme park was born.
We’re going to talk about Quality, Space (Location), Tradition, and Commercialization. Let’s light this candle!
David - I don’t understand the fuss over the quality of the coffee at Disneyland. I drink a lot of coffee. A lot. So I’m no stranger to a bad cup. And while I would agree that the coffee at Disneyland isn’t going to be winning any awards, it’s not offensive. I rather enjoy the seasonal coffees actually. The pumpkin spice and the Christmas blend were both good in my opinion. So why are we in a hurry to replace them with what amounts to the Big Mac of coffees?
Sara - I enjoy seasonal coffees just as much as the next coffee connoisseur, however I LOVE Starbucks seasonal coffees. I’ve grown up drinking them, and I already know that what I’m paying for is worth it. The last Disneyland coffee I purchased, I remember paying just as much as I would for a Starbucks, and I was not that pleased. Bland in taste and small in size. I would imagine Disneyland pays very close attention to their comments & suggestions, and I can only guess enough people have complained or been less than satisfied with what the Market House has to offer. Something had to have been broken for Disneyland to step in and fix it.
Sara - So if the Market House is out, and Starbucks is in, then we already know we are dealing with limited space. However, I don’t think the amount of space in a location is going to affect the quality of the product, given the baristas have enough room to do their thing. We as coffee drinkers should be mature enough to stand in a structured line, get our fuel, and get out. As long as they are offering the main menu from Starbucks, then I’m sure I won’t be that concerned with standing a bit close to my fellow Disney family & friends.
David – I agree that the actual machines required to run Starbucks in Disneyland are not going to be grand in scale, nor do I think a larger machine makes better coffee. It’s the lines and the crowds that I’m worried about. People love Starbucks, no doubt. But the Market House isn’t equipped to manage a large line. Or if it were converted to do as much, I’m afraid the interiors would lose much of their appeal. I might be persuaded to think this is okay provided they at least keep the stove and checkerboard, and work a queue around it.
This is what Disneyland, and especially Main Street, are all about. The idea of trying to mix this with a billion dollar multi-national just doesn’t jive with me.
David – Main Street has long been considered by many the face of Disneyland. It is a representation of what Walt wanted to present to us, and what we in turn have agreed to over time. Our love of Disneyland, and the enduring popularity of a park that has in the large view of things been unchanged for over 50 years, is testament to the fact that what we want is in fact corny, old timey, authentic Disney. I want Disney’s take on food and candy and coffee too. I don’t really even care if it’s not the best. Does it have to be? I show up at Disneyland for Disneyland…everything! I don’t need or want the best necessarily. I just want Disney. Starbucks is NOT Disney.
David - The fact that Disneyland has always been heavily sponsored is understood. But let’s not forget that those opening day sponsors were there to finance the construction of the park. Walt really had no money of his own, as he was constantly putting profits earned right back in to the business. Walt in fact cashed in a personal life insurance policy to pay for planning and research of Disneyland. But this is not the case today.
Today Disney and Disneyland are the boss!! They make plenty of money, so I’m not sure why it’s necessary to have these corporate sponsors anywhere in the park at all. Like most other businesses, Disney is concerned with branding. What better way to promote your own brand than to keep other brands OUT of the park (except for Coke. Don’t touch Coke. I have to give you that one). Putting in a Starbucks on Main Street is just one more nail in the coffin of what is becoming a much less unique experience.
Starbucks in Disneyland – Conclusion
David – Starbucks is alright. It’s probably better than Disneyland coffee, if that’s your thing (I personally prefer 7-11 myself). But I just don’t think it’s necessary. Or even wanted! I love Disneyland just like it is. The less change the better when it comes to Main Street. You can NextGen the heck out of Tomorrowland if you want, but stay out of Main Street. <<drops the mic>>
Sara - Okay Vanilla Mice, calm down. I’d rebut that, but I’m pretty sure I hear some Dole Whips calling my name right now. That’s right, I said Dole Whips. Not Disney Whips. PEACE!
So what are your thoughts? Do you want Starbucks in Disneyland? Would you rather get rid of Coke or bring Starbucks in? Do you think I kicked Sara’s butt in this debate?