Main Street, U.S.A. serves as the entrance to Disney’s theme parks worldwide. It’s like a quaint American small town from a century ago, where everyone carries smartphones in their fanny packs. Change has come to Main Street, and some Disney fans are more than a little upset that the Main Street Bakery will now serve a full menu of authentic, turn-of-the-century Starbucks beverages.
To clarify: they didn’t tear out the bakery and plop a regular old Starbucks on Main Street. It’s still a the same bakery, but with a Starbucks-branded drink counter in it, like at Barnes & Noble or Target.
Theme park blog Inside the Magic checked out the new bakery, and says that this new Little Mermaid sort of fits in, but only if you retcon the founding of Starbucks into the Disney narrative. It’s subtle, but you can find mermaids integrated in the decor of the remodeled bakery. How does that make sense, when Starbucks was founded in 1971? Well, it doesn’t. Inside the Magic explains:
As the new story goes, the turn-of-the-century cafe owner found the [siren] figure and loved it so much that he made it his logo. And so Starbucks was born. Or, at least, Disney’s version of it.
The fans howling about how commercialism doesn’t belong at Disney World, especially at these prices, seem to have forgotten that sponsors have been a part of the theme parks almost since the beginning. Who was one of the early sponsors? Consumerist villain Bank of America, which took over sponsorship of “It’s a Small World” from Pepsi when the attraction moved to Disneyland in 1966.
Let’s not forget, the parks themselves are a pricey, living infomercial for Disney entertainment brands and their affiliated toys.
Whether you hate the new beverages or not, here’s a video tour of the new Main Street Bakery.
Story of Starbucks at Walt Disney World: How Disney made modern coffee house fit into Magic Kingdom’s Main Street USA [Inside the Magic]
Walt Disney World: Do not replace the Main Street Bakery with a Starbucks [Change.org]
Brew-haha: Starbucks at Disney World? [The Motley Fool]