Starbucks opened today in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, completing the line-up of Starbucks locations in Walt Disney World parks (the others being Magic Kingdom’s Main Street Bakery, Epcot’s Fountain View, and Hollywood Studios’ Trolley Car Cafe along with Downtown Disney’s two locations).
On a recent tour of the building’s exterior (formerly a merchandise store), we noticed what looked like coffee beans added to the design elements. Africa is one of three main regions from which Starbucks sources their coffee!
As you approach the Starbucks from the front of the park (located between Discovery Island and Africa), this is the first Entrance of two that you will encounter.
You’ll notice that the name “Creature Comforts” has stuck, which kind of make sense, right? I love the two little monkeys with their coffees flanking the sign. 😉
But just in case you’re not sure where you are, a subtle mermaid logo sign is posted near the door.
On the opposite side of the building, you’ll find an identical entrance.
With its octagonal shape, they’ve made the most of the fairly small space by creating two, mirror image lines that feed up the middle and branch off to the right and to the left, similar to other Disney Starbucks locations.
A high-ceilinged atrium lets in tons of natural light from above. But it’s also home to a stunning display of modern, teardrop light fixtures.
Colors are muted and natural, as we’d expect from Starbucks in general, and especially in this area of the park.
Fans of Animal Kingdom Lodge might recognize these African warrior shield lights as looking somewhat similar to those found in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge lobby!
Also similar to other Disney Parks Starbucks, there is no seating whatsoever, and the main floor space is given over to queue lines.
And I personally think that’s really unfortunate. There is a distinct lack of spots in Animal Kingdom to sit and cool off for a while. It would have been nice had Creature Comforts offered this option.
But I did appreciate the fact that there was a little counter space, and a spot to stop for a spell before heading back out into the heat.
If you’re a Starbucks “You Are Here” collector, get ready to add another to your stash! The Animal Kingdom mug is available exclusively at this location.
In the packaging, you see that the Tree of Life is featured prominently on one side of the mug.
But I had to see the rest of it! Fortunately, I needed to grab a mug for a close friend, so I was able to snap a few pics of the other side.
I love the Safari Truck and Mt. Everest too!!
Now that we’ve had a look around (and scoped out some merch), let’s check out the eats and drinks!
The big news for us here at DFB is that some of Animal Kingdom’s feature cupcakes (once only found at Kusafiri Bakery) are now at Creature Comforts. The Cotton Top Tamarin Cupcake, which had mysteriously disappeared from all other park locations a couple of weeks ago, will be a permanent offering at Creature Comforts.
I love that you can get them in little to-go containers here!
And of course, inside the bakery cases, you’ll find the standard Starbucks treats and eats too. Today, the case was filled with cake pops, banana walnut bread, iced lemon loaf, pumpkin bread, raspberry swirl pound cake, s’mores tart, cheese danish, chocolate croissant, butter croissant, classic coffee cake, blueberry scone, petite vanilla bean scone, and more.
For a heartier bite, check out the Artisan breakfast sandwiches.
The standard condiments bar (this one with a beautiful counter top) is available for convenient customizing of your drinks.
OK, we KNOW you’re wondering about this one! The STRAWS!! As many of you know, the Animal Kingdom has a no plastic straws policy — to keep the animals’ habitats plastic free! Here, the paper straws are in Starbucks’ trademark green.
We went with the Cotton Top Tamarin Cupcake and a Quad (caffeine times four!!) Iced Espresso. We’ve said it before — cupcakes are perfectly acceptable for breakfast when touring Walt Disney World!
Here’s that cutie cute Cotton Top Tamarin Cupcake that we were so hoping wasn’t gone from Animal Kingdom for good! It’s a dark chocolate cupcake topped with chocolate buttercream icing, chocolate shavings, and a solid chocolate tamarin at the top.
The Cotton Top Tamarin habitat has been moved and is now right across from the entrance to Creature Comforts, so this location makes perfect sense!
We dug in and found that the cupcake is still a mammoth treat, and very sweet. It hits the spot for chocolate lovers for sure.
Still no filling, though, in case you were wondering!
And speaking of the Cotton Top Tamarin…
There’s another heartwarming feature that sets Creature Comforts apart from other Starbucks Stores. (Well. Besides the green paper straws, I mean.) Conservation is the name of the game here. First, as with other merchandise locations in Animal Kingdom, cashiers will ask if you’d like to donate to the Disney conservation fund when you pay. But even more interesting than that, for every Flat White sold here, Disney will make a donation to cotton top tamarin conservation.
Seriously, how cool is that? You can check out the cute little guys at their exhibit across the walkway, and then come into the store, and order a Flat White to help ensure their future! Win/Win!!
Finally, we heard from a Cast Member that this location may feature specialty coffees and blends from Africa and Asia in the future, so stay tuned!
Are you excited that Animal Kingdom has its own Starbucks now? Let us know in the comments below!