The Good, Bad, and Ugly of Disney World’s NEW & Improved Main Street Bakery (Starbucks)

Disney Starbucks

It was Walt Disney that said, this sentence so often quoted in regard to his humongous and ever-changing empire, “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” Quite a few eyebrows were raised by Disney fans everywhere when it was announced that Starbucks was taking over the Magic Kingdom’s beloved Main Street Bakery. Change – it happens all the time at Disney World. They change the flowers. They tear down Mickey and Minnie’s homes and put up a circus. They build new resorts. They tear down shows and put in Star Wars Land (Ok, that’s still rumor. Just seeing if you are paying attention.) Change.

Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.

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new Main Street Bakery

“I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter.” That’s another of my favorite Walt Disney quotes, and really how I approach any news of coming changes within the gates of WDW. I like to be optimistic, be hopeful, but I lost this one. The Disney Main Street Bakery that I knew and loved is gone.

I managed to score four tickets for a preview into The NEW Main Street Bakery on Father’s Day, June 16th, 2013, the last day of our summer Disney vacation. Walking by on the way to snag FASTPASSES to Space Mountain 20 minutes after park opening, I saw two Cast Members handing out tickets. Forget Space Mountain…I shoved my husband and sons into the waiting line. I thought they were tickets just to get in the door for a soft opening preview. Imagine my surprise when it was tickets for free food and drinks. Woohoo! FREE! I looked at my husband and said,”Happy Father’s Day!”

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Disney meal dining voucher

Here’s a breakdown for you, trying to be as unbiased as possible, because while I fear change as a general rule, I also try to embrace it so I can keep moving forward.

The Good

I love all improvements to buildings, rides, and whatever the Disney Company chooses to “plus.”  The term “plus it” was commonly used by Walt Disney to  mean making further improvements to a project, no matter if it was a film, a television show, or a theme park. You Starbucks fans have been “plussed.” There are a lot of coffee/latte options, and The Bakery smells of delicious Starbucks Coffee. After years of reading complaints about whatever coffee Disney was serving, apparently Nescafe, you guys will be happy.

My husband said the breakfast sandwich he ate was really good, probably one of the best “meals” he had eaten on Disney property during our vacation.

My piece of berry coffee cake was Ok; it was better than a Wilderness Lodge brownie I once ate, but not as good as the Lemonade Cupcake they served at the Contempo Cafe last summer. Average.

I have read online that those people on the Disney Dining Plan (DDP) will be able to purchase food and drinks here that will count as snack credits. This is great news if you were planning to buy your Caramel Macchiato here anyway, because that’s one less expense.

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Disney's breakfast sandwich

My sons said their Vanilla Bean Latte was fabulous.

We didn’t actually get a coffee. This Disney Princess is no fan of coffee or latte from anywhere, so I let them enjoy it.

The Cast Members are as delightful as ever. They were helpful, smiling, and exactly what I have come to expect from Disney employees. They did not disappoint. The Cast Member that got us the vouchers actually went back into the building to get them for us, and we thanked her no less than three times. This is Disney World at its finest.

The floors were lovely, the wood trim was warm and inviting, and the brick work was a nice touch. It’s nothing to do cartwheels over, but the building has been updated. I personally liked the old building, but this change in appearance is still a positive.

Disney changes the Main Street Bakery

The Bad

Those Bakery fans who loved all the food they offered previously will be disappointed, or I was in a huge way. I never ate breakfast at the old Main Street Bakery, but  Cheapskate Princess Facebook Fans said there was a ham and cheese croissant on the breakfast menu that was fabulous. No croissant items are listed on the new menu.

Remember the famed Main Street cinnamon roll?

Disney World Main Street Cinnamon Roll

It’s no longer on the menu.

I remember an apple turnover bigger than my hand. My youngest son and I split one like six years ago on the sidewalk outside The Bakery. How do I remember? Because it was that yummy, better than any bakery food I have in my home town.

I remember a massive slice of chocolate cake. I remember a chocolate chocolate-chip muffin with white powdered sugar sprinkled on top. I remember carrot cake, because while I am not a fan, my middle child certainly is. He bought a slice every trip with his own money. Come to think of it, I probably remember too many yummy calorie-filled snacks.

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Disney Coffee cake

I remember a cinnamon roll so huge we split it in fourths. Word has it this treat has been relocated to Gaston’s Tavern in the new Fantasyland, which is not open as far as I know after Wishes, and it’s like two miles away from Main Street. OK, it feels like two miles, but it’s probably just one-quarter of a mile away. And I know there are fans of Le Fou’s Brew out there, don’t send me hate mail, please, but I thought that drink was blah at best, cold apple juice at worst, and I only set foot in the door once despite the amazing night-time lighting.

I don’t think of the new Fantasyland as the place to eat my Main Street Bakery cinnamon roll. What I knew is gone, and Starbucks stole it.

Disney peanut butter cupcakes

All my yummy snacks, the ones I looked forward to from The Bakery, are gone, gone, gone the way of Snow White’s Scary Adventure, or at least when I was there for the preview visit.

In Internet chatter regarding the new Bakery, many people have remarked that Disney is filled with corporate sponsorships, in fact there is an Edy’s Ice Cream Parlor almost door. My issues with the changes are not about branding and corporate sponsorships. I don’t buy coffee anywhere, so I honestly don’t care what brand of coffee is being served; it could be Goofy’s Coffee Company for all I care. Most people i know go to Starbucks for the quality of coffee, not necessarily for a snack. There are snacks all over the Magic Kingdom, and I was one of those people who ate here for the quality of the snack.

I wrote two paragraphs ago, “What I knew is gone, and Starbucks stole it.” A Reddit reader found this to be “a bit over-the-top.” Well, I’m going to stand by that as far as the food. Starbucks may have brought in a tremendous taste improvement as far as coffee, but it dropped substantially in terms of quality of snacks. That cake pop below is pretty, but it’s no match quality-wise for any of the foods I mentioned they served previously.

Bring in your Starbucks Frappuccinos, your Goofy’s Coffee, your Coca Cola coffee, (insert any brand here) but leave the Bakery snacks as they were. I read a review where it was pointed out that The Main Street Bakery wasn’t actually baking their food items on site. Neither is Starbucks, so why change up a good thing?

But hey, things change, and the menu might as well.

Wiping a formerly sugar-filled tear…

Starbucks Disney snacks

The Ugly

There is no seating now. This was a horrible realization for my family. Both my sons asked where we would sit with our food. Well, dears, mommy doesn’t exactly know.

This has really messed up my after “Wishes” snack plans in a royal Cinderella Castle-sized way. I was one of those die-hard Disney fans that watched people walking down Main Street toward transportation – on their way home  – while I enjoyed a snack in The Bakery. It was like a secret we knew, along with thousands of other Disney fans, that when the Magic Kingdom closes, you get a snack and stay a while. Some of us waited so long they kindly reminded us it was time to go now.

Starbucks stole the seats, and now there are a couple small (probably granite) counters to stand at. Listen, I’ve stood enough by 11 p.m. I liked my table. My kids liked the tables. We sat and watched the glass blowers in Crystal Arts next door. We watched sleepy kids sit in mom and dad’s laps and eat snacks. We talked about what we would order on our next visit. We watched parents fight, lovers share snacks with one fork, girls rip off princess dresses in preparation for a good night’s sleep beginning in a stroller. We watched a lot. We ate a lot of snacks on those small tables through the years, and if there wasn’t table space, you sat on the bar by the wall.

We enjoyed a lot of late night snacks in the Main Street Bakery, had some good conversations, made some vacation plans.

Goodbye tables and yummy snacks. Hello…Starbuck’s coffee? Hello Starbuck’s cookie standing at a counter? Readers have remarked that “it’s silly to get mad about this kinda stuff,” and that I was being “nitpicky” and “complaining just to complain.” I say to them…you never enjoyed a great snack here with family, because if you had, you would know what you are missing out on in the future.

Disney Main Street Sarbucks

If the worst I can say is there is nowhere to sit, then that’s not all that bad, really. It’s a nice, clean shop with reasonable prices and friendly staff.

What I have lost is memories, and a table and chair on which to make future memories. Yeah, yeah, there are tables down the street  and at the train station, but ya know, change is hard.

I’ll be back, but not like I was. I’ll stop in if I need a cold drink, because they do not lack in available soda bottles. I’ll stop in if my high school-aged daughter wants to get a latte, even though we have a Starbucks offering the same latte just 10 minutes from my house.  I’ll be back if I want to accompany my husband as he purchases another breakfast sandwich, and I’ll walk with him while he eats it, hoofing it down the sidewalk on the way to more FASTPASSES.

Wait…Disney just changed the Fastpass system too. Wow, change can be hard!

But I won’t like it, not like I used to. I’ll just have to find a “new” favorite snack spot, maybe in different  park. We found a great coffee shop in Hollywood Studios with the coldest air EVER and a really great cherry pastry over by Star Tours. Yea, maybe I’ll go there and pout and talk about what was, how the Main Street Bakery used to be when my kids were kids.

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Disney Starbucks

When I think of “Main Street,” the kind Walt Disney so fondly remembered from his childhood, I think of soda fountains, quaint stores, and cafes where I could spend time with family and friends. I don’t think of drive-through windows and taking my coffee to go. I’m on vacation to get away from my McDonald’s Happy Meal world. I’d like a table to have a seat, rest my feet, plan my next stop, with my vacation-weary butt parked in a chair.

I didn’t win this round of change, but I truly have high hopes for that Cars Land rumor.

Stop by when Starbucks, I mean the new Main Street Bakery, and see for yourself. Let us know what you thought… 

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Amanda Major CheapskatePrincess.comAmanda Major is the creator of 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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Is Your Starbucks Coffee Habit Taking Money Out Of Your Disney Vacation Fund?

Walt Disney World coffee mug, Disney mug, Mickey Mouse mug, coffee mug, I drink coffee, Starbucks coffee at Disney World

Surely by now you have heard that Starbucks has landed at Walt Disney World. For a while, Starbucks was a huge topic of conversation on the Internet in the Disney community, because many life-long Disney fanatics do not handle change very well.  Starbucks has taken the Main Street Bakery over in the Magic Kingdom.  The shop closed in January of ’13 and re-opened open in early June of this year. Over at Epcot, Starbucks is now inside the Fountain View.

It’s not surprising that people have been worried about change, given that the Main Street Bakery is about as American as apple pie, or at least it’s a favorite spot to pick up a snack that has nothing to do with a “big corporation” company like Starbucks. Disney locations that are inhabited by Starbucks are expected to serve all the general items that Starbucks usually serves. Additional Starbucks locations for Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom should be announced soon. [Read more…]