Updated for 2017!
I am one of those people who handles change pretty well, but when I heard my beloved Main Street Bakery in the Magic Kingdom was being over-run by Starbucks, I was quite skeptical. I don’t have anything against the Starbucks Corporation; I’m certainly not anti-corporation. I’m just not a coffee drinker, and even if I was the biggest Starbucks fan on the planet, the magic of Disney World’s original Main Street bakery was gone forever for me once they competed the make over. No more park-closing after-hours cinnamon roll. No more carrot cake while watching the glass blowers work their magic next door at Crystal Arts. No more, blah blah, gone forever…
So how ironic is it that the first place I go on every visit to Disney Springs is the Starbucks, located by the Characters in Flight balloon.
There are huge windows along the ordering and seating sections, so the store is light and airy, yet at the same time dark with the woods and metals. The Orlando Sentinel quoted senior designer at Starbucks, David Daniels, as saying “We wanted to create where you can see through the building and to keep highlighting the lake. You can see right through the building.” I believe they met their goal, as the windows are a tremendous asset to this coffee shop, playing up the stunning water view.
Daniels told the Orlando Sentinel that another unusual touch is Lemongrass growing on the roof, “All grown in a nursery here and it was fed by our coffee composts from our local Starbucks the whole time.”
This Starbucks was a real treat for my eyes. Maybe you big city coffee drinkers are accustomed to huge Starbucks locations with leather seating, but my family lives in a small town. Our hometown Starbucks has seating for about 15 people with no frills and a view of the outlet mall. We also have a Starbucks in Target, with plastic chairs for 20, and this one feels like a mini-school cafeteria.
At this Disney Springs location, there is a long table made of 300 to 400 year old heart pine. The material was salvaged from an Alabama cotton mill built during the mid-1800s.
They have a children’s section with an interactive electronic chalk board, where you draw designs with your finger. Adults found this fun as well, with many people snapping camera phone photos of their doodles.
Around the specialty coffee bar, there is ample seating. At the other Disney Springs Starbucks located by the World of Disney store, you have to stand in line and move on, because there is no seating at this quick-stop location. Here, I am totally enamored with all the seating. Check out the dark woods and the natural lighting.
This Disney Springs Starbucks is about 3,900 square feet, which is about twice the size of the average Starbucks. There is a fantastic patio outside, with lots more seating and a working glass-rock fireplace.
This is where I want to sit, parked right in front of the fire, summer or winter. This Starbucks location is open from 8 a.m. to midnight daily, so you won’t be crunched for time.
Now I need to find out if they offer this Cheapskate Princess a Buy Five Get One Free Muffin discount card.
Hope stopped by to tell us, “I doubt Starbucks will give you a ‘buy five get one free muffin discount card’ BUT if you buy a gift card and register it, you do get free stuff, starting with a reward (any food or drink item) for signing up. You also get a reward on your birthday and a reward for every 12 purchases made with your registered gift cards. Tip: if you’re getting more than one thing, see if they’ll ring the items up separately, since you get a ‘star’ for every purchase, not every item.”
By the way, if you are curious about how much your coffee habit is costing you, don’t miss this article. The numbers made me glad I am not a regular coffee drinker.
The covered patio has a fantastic view of the Characters in Flight balloon loading area, where you can watch without standing in direct sun. There was a nice breeze coming off the lake, which you can see in all directions, with Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort in the distance.
So I completely disliked the addition of Starbucks to Walt Disney World, until I walked into the Disney Springs sit-down location.
And suddenly I was a huge non-coffee drinking Starbucks fan.
Starbucks offers me a nice blueberry muffin, and my almost grown daughter loves the Caramel Frappuccinno. And I love a nice classy place to park myself and prop up my feet.
If you have visited a Starbucks lately, you know their prices will not trash the vacation budget like taking a family of five to a character meal could. Warm earthy tones, seating a plenty, with a lake view, a massive balloon, and an outdoor fireplace – it’s all in the same location with a $2.08 cake pop in case I need some chocolate.
The Disney Springs location is simply everything the Magic Kingdom Main Street Bakery renovation was not. So welcome to the Disney neighborhood, Starbucks; I’m really glad you’re here.
This location is now a Disney Springs Must Do. Be sure to pop in on your next vacation.
While you are so close, think about taking a ride at Characters in Flight. Here’s a guide to going 400 feet up in the air.
And here’s how to save money on your balloon ride!
Here’s the address in case you need it for your GPS.
Disney Springs West Side
1501 A East Buena Vista Dr., Downtown Di
LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL 32830
Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you on the patio overlooking the lake, some sort of iced coffee in hand…
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Amanda Major is the creator of cheapskateprincess.com. She remembers her first visit to Magic Kingdom like it was yesterday, because she had a ham sandwich tucked in her shorts pocket. The whole family snuck in their lunch; you can’t make that kinda stuff up. 40 years worth of trips to Orlando later, she is still trying to save money on vacations.
Amanda is a Disney Vacation Club Member and Annual Pass holder. Her amazing husband, band director Carl Major, plus three teen children and two dogs keep her busy. Amanda teaches Leadership to high school seniors in the almost-coastal town of Foley, Alabama. Read about her cheapskating local vacations with this link. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, walking somewhere, or paddling a kayak. Life is indeed a blast.
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