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Cinnamon Roll Throw-Down: Gaston’s Tavern vs. Main Street Bakery

Since the Starbucks at Main Street Bakery announcement a couple of weeks ago, there’s been lots of worry about whether the beloved cinnamon rolls will still be available at Main Street Bakery in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.

According to the Disney Parks Blog, the only response to this question has been: “…the cinnamon rolls are available at Gaston’s Tavern in New Fantasyland…”. Even if this only refers to the period while the Main Street Bakery will be closed for refurbishment, there’s no mention of whether or not they’ll return to the Main Street Bakery when it re-opens in the Summer of 2013. (Personally, I think they will, but what do I know?)

Gaston's Tavern VS. Main Street Bakery: Cinnamon Roll Challenge!

SO, we decided to take it upon ourselves to do a little taste test between the two cinnamon rolls to find out if the Gaston’s Tavern version is a worthy substitute for those giant rolls over on Main Street! Here we goooo!

Gaston’s Tavern Cinnamon Roll

According to cast members, these rolls are actually made at the Bakery and transported over to Gaston’s, so they should be largely the same, right? The icing (supposedly a maple version at Gaston’s) is added at the Tavern instead of at the Bakery.

First impression? The Gaston’s Tavern Cinnamon Roll is just as large — if not larger — than the one at Main Street Bakery!

As always, I asked for extra frosting — which isn’t (yet) a common request at Gaston’s. Still, the cast member was kind enough to go back to the kitchen and squeeze a bit more frosting onto the roll. The “extra frosting” thing works differently here than it does at Main Street Bakery, though: At Main Street, the extra frosting is scooped from the bottom of the cinnamon roll pan, which means it’s all warm and cinnamony!

Here at Gaston’s, the extra frosting is just squeezed on from the original frosting bottle, which means it’s room temp…and not cinnamony. Probably an issue due to the rolls being made elsewhere.

Gaston's Tavern Cinnamon Roll -- with extra icing

But we looked past that, as the roll seemed to have quite a bit of frosting; even if it wasn’t dripping off the plate like you’ll find at Main Street.

We dug in and found the roll to be a medium level of moistness — not as moist as you’d want it ideally, but fine. This is similar to the moistness of the Main Street Bakery roll. Neither of them have the frosting all the way through the roll (sigh).

Gaston's Tavern Cinnamon Roll Inside

The claims of “maple” flavor with the Gaston’s cinnamon roll didn’t seem to be very relevant. One of the folks I was dining with pointed out a bit of the maple frosting, but overall, the roll didn’t taste too different from what I’ve experienced at the Main Street Bakery.

Main Street Bakery Cinnamon Roll

Over at Main Street Bakery, you can clearly see the overwhelming awesomeness of the “extra frosting” trick

Main Street Bakery Cinnamon Roll with Extra Icing

While the roll does seem a bit smaller here, that could always be the luck of the draw on my part. I’m not sure a difference in size is a constant truth for the Gaston’s and Main Street Bakery rolls. Either way, no matter where you get them, they’re massive and very difficult to eat by yourself!

Main Street Bakery cinnamon roll cross section

The flowing extra frosting on the Main Street Bakery roll (remember, this is a special request, and you might not get as generous a cast member as I did here) helped a lot with the moistness level of the inside of the roll. If I had my druthers, I’d have frosting all the way through the roll, so I enjoy the extra here.

Also, you’ve got to give points to Main Street for the “atmosphere” factor. There’s more seating here, it’s situated perfectly on your way into the Magic Kingdom to stop for a quick bite of breakfast, and there’s nothing like sitting on Main Street watching the World go by as you chomp on some cinnamony goodness.

Overall

Overall, the Gaston’s Tavern and Main Street Bakery cinnamon rolls seemed pretty similar to me. I didn’t taste an overwhelming maple flavor at Gaston’s, which makes me think that most folks won’t really be able to tell the flavor differences between the two rolls.

While Gaston’s roll was larger, the Main Street roll had more (and better quality) frosting — which is a point in its favor.

But, honestly, in this case, I think that about 99% of Disney guests will be just as happy with the giant Gaston’s roll as they are with the Main Street roll…the main difference between the two is going to be atmosphere, of course.

What do you think? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

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26 Comments

  1. Troy says:

    I’m just hoping the rolls end up at Main Street Bakery when it reopens back up. I’m sure the rolls are just as nice at Gaston’s but it at the other end of the park. I’d rather be able to have my breakfast at Main Street USA and then start into the park then have to cross the park to have breakfast. Eating at MSB was my favorite way to start my day at the MK so I’m hoping that by the time I get back there, it’ll be business as usual.

  2. Frank says:

    Had Gaston’s this weekend. Really enjoyed it.

    >>give points to Main Street for the “atmosphere” factor.<<

    Isn't Main St going to become a Starbucks in January, 2013??? Will they have "Disney" bakery in there or will it all become Starbucks "stuff."… Not that there's anything wrong with Starbucks "stuff." Hope it doesn’t lose the “atmosphere” of a Main St Bakery.

    Frank

  3. Chris says:

    Frank – Seriously? Main St. Bakery is going to become a Starbucks? I just lost my appetite ever to re-visit WDW. Let’s hope the folks at Disneyland do not follow this idiocy…..

  4. Vikki says:

    Chris – This has already happened at Disneyland.. there has been one in California Adventure for around 5 months now.

  5. Raelynn says:

    It kind of depends on the deal SB and Disney struck. Will this be a Starbucks or The Main Street bakery serving Starbucks? The later is the case at my employer, Barnes & Noble. It is a Barnes & Noble cafe serving Starbucks–it doesn’t serve any of the food items you find at a Starbucks, just the beverages. You also can’t use a Starbucks giftcard there. Wonder if that will be the case at MSB too.

  6. Matt says:

    Chris, Starbucks has already been opened at Disneyland. From the first hand reports I have heard, it doesn’t make that big of a difference. A few starbucks logos, and some of their coffee. But it didn’t intrude on the overall Disney feel of things. But I haven’t seen this for myself, so I am kind of anxiously waiting.

  7. Frank says:

    I’ve heard that it will have the coffee drinks and the pastries.
    Wonder if we’ll be able to pay with our Strbx app from our iPhones??
    Frank

  8. Joy Ousterout says:

    Nicely done, AJ. I was pondering this very same cinnamoney thought after the post about the announcment as well. And whether you like SB or not (I am a gold card carrying member) think of it this way – isn’t one of the many things we love about DW is that fact that there is always something “new”? I for one am excited to see a refreshed idea and for SB to get “Disnified”. Can’t wait to see what they do! I’ll get my java fix there (everyone else can keep their Nescafe) and head on over to Gaston’s to try out these buns for myself! Thanks again AJ.

  9. Joy Ousterout says:

    PS: Frank – if this Starbucks is anything like the ones we see at Barnes and Noble or Target – the app-paying is a no-go. Since it is a Disney owned and operated franchise it’s their show – that means no free soy for me :( Oh well….

  10. Sarah says:

    We were just there 11/8-11/17 and got a few cinnamon rolls from the Bakery. I thought they weren’t as good as previous years. I know you said you asked for extra frosting and they scoop it from the pan. They used to just scrap it from the pan when they passed out each roll, preDec 2010. This time there was hardly any frosting on it and there was nothing to scrap or I would have asked for extra. This was on more than one occasion, too. I am a frosting girl and I want my cinnamon roll to be gooey. These were dry with hardly any frosting. We also got one from Gaston’s and it seemed to be the same as the Bakery. I hope this w as just a fluke.

  11. Ruth Anthony says:

    I don’t think it is so much how they compare but the fact that you have to go all the way to fantasyland to get one. People come into the park and go directly to the Main Street Bakery for breakfast before they start their day.

  12. @Joy – with the sbux gold card, free soy has been out since last month :(

  13. AJ says:

    Troy — I agree. I am hoping the rolls stay at MSB when it re-opens. Like I said, I think they will, but you really never know. When’s your next trip? I hope it’s back in action for you!

    Frank — The Bakery will be refurbished in 2013, but the atmosphere will still be there. They will sell Starbucks coffee and drinks, and SOME of the baked goods will be Starbucks; but Disney has promised that some Disney baked goods will remain. We just don’t know which ones yet.

    Chris — You can see a great example of Starbucks in Disney at the Fiddler, Fifer, and Practical Cafe in Disney California Adventure: http://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2012/08/02/dining-in-disneyland-fiddler-fifer-practical-cafe-with-starbucks/. You’ll find that even through Starbucks is coming to Disney World as well, the theme will be similar to what you’re used to at the Main STreet Bakery. http://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2012/11/09/first-disney-world-starbucks-locations-announced/

    Raelynn — It will be Main Street Bakery serving Starbucks, by all indications. :-) The Bakery will be refurbished, but the theme and atmosphere will be maintained. I do believe there will be some starbucks food items there, however.

    Matt — I think you’ll enjoy it! Here’s our review of Fiddler, Fifer, and Practical in Disneyland: http://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2012/08/02/dining-in-disneyland-fiddler-fifer-practical-cafe-with-starbucks/

    Frank — Ooh, not sure on that one!!!

    Joy Ousterout — Ha ha! It IS a cinnamoney thought! Looking forward to hearing what you think of the Gaston’s Tavern cinnamon buns!

    Sarah — Thanks for the feedback! Yep — I think the extra frosting at the MSB is the luck of the draw. I’ve gotten lucky in the past, but you never really know if there will be any extra frosting in the pan to be had, or if you’ll have a generous cast member who doesn’t just look at you funny. ;-)

    Ruth Anthony — Great point. It’s a LONG trek for breakfast, to be certain!

    Krissy — Bummer!

  14. Jeff says:

    How do these compare to the cinnamon rolls at DLR?

  15. AJ says:

    Jeff — I like these ones better than DLR, usually. (Unless DLR is VERY generous with icing ;-D)

  16. Fred Posner says:

    My wife and I went to the Fantasyland preview and had one of these breads. I call it a bread because that’s what it was — just a bread with cinnamon. Looked nothing like the photos here.

    Even worse the staff were rude. The Disney I once lived is long gone.

  17. oogieboogie says:

    “The Disney I once lived is long gone.”

    Probably because guests run around constantly asking for “extra frosting”. Seriously, how many calories do you need?

  18. carlos says:

    I think the cinnamon roll at the main street bakery is a better choice. The one at gaston’s that my wife and I shared was hard, cold (which is the worst part) and not delicious at all. I went and asked for a refund cause it wasnt very good!

  19. Tracy says:

    Had my Gaston’s cinnamon roll on Tuesday and it was very good. It was a little bit dry though but I would buy one again. Had my banana bread pudding from the Main Street Bakery on Thursday – SO hoping it won’t my the last time. It is Heaven on Earth!

  20. Gary says:

    I hate to say this, but no wonder the world is getting fat!

  21. Susan says:

    My 82 year old mother and my sister just returned from their annual trip to Disney World, making the trek to “the happiest place on earth” from Ohio every year for the past 20+ years. What a disappointment it was to find out that a Starbucks had taken the place of their much beloved Main Street Bakery. There are soooo many other avenues within the Magic Kingdom to put a Starbucks location, if one was even needed, instead of on nostalgic Main Street. Really, Disney, really?? The bakery was so welcoming — the infamous cinnamon roll was always a fabulous start to what was surely going to be a fabulous day. It was also a place to sit down and slow down, regardless of the time of day. This kind of tradition is the foundation of “Main Street USA”. A Starbucks :-( I don’t believe Walt would be happy…..

  22. Andrea says:

    So… do we have a verdict?
    Does anyone have FIRST HAND knowledge of whether or not you can still get *the* epic cinnamon roll after this mid-2013 change to Starbucks? Or am I stuck waiting until I hit Fantasyland to settle for a Gaston roll?
    Was it completely a Starbucks takeover? or do you find any resemblance of MSB left?

  23. AJ says:

    Andrea — I do prefer the old Main Street Bakery roll, but the ones at Gaston’s aren’t bad. And no, you can no longer get the cinnamon roll at Main Street Bakery.

  24. Andrea says:

    Poop scoop! But thank you, AJ. They should move Gaston’s closer to the entrance (but i know that wouldn’t make any sense); I always like to get a roll first thing in the morning and it was an easy stop on Main Street. Guess we’ll make it dessert after lunch at Be Our Guest… excited to try that! I’m sure my husband will like the theming of Gaston’s, along with LaFou’s Brew. ;-)

  25. Teri says:

    Just returned back from Walt disney world. I loved gaston’s cinnamin rolls. I am not a coffee drinker but every Starbucks (wdw and Epcot) we’re packed 24/7. You can get the cinnamin rolls to go so it was a great treat to pick some up at park closing (1am) and then we had them for breakfast the next morning in our room.

  26. Colleen says:

    To me the Gaston’s cinnamon roll tasted like a “Dolly Madison” packaged cinnamon roll from a convenience store. It in no way reminded me of a “fresh baked” bakery cinnamon roll.

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