Photo Tour: Animal Kingdom Starbucks Design Elements

I simply can’t get over how fast this year is moving! We’ve already reached the end of April, which means in just a few weeks events like Star Wars Weekends, Magic Kingdom’s 24-Hour Day (both in May) and the return of Frozen Summer Fun this June will start to usher in the summer season at Disney World.

But that’s not all there is to look forward to! The anticipated opening for the final in-park Starbucks is this summer, too. It’s coming to Animal Kingdom at what was formerly the Creature Comforts merchandise  location. And I must say, of all the Disney Parks Starbucks (the others being Magic Kingdom’s Main Street Bakery, Epcot’s Fountain View, and Hollywood Studios’ Trolley Car Cafe), I’ve always been most curious as to how Starbucks will be themed to fit into Animal Kingdom’s Discovery Island.

Dream Builders sign

Dream Builders sign

Many of the shops and food stops in Discovery Island are decorated with brightly colored signs and murals (take Pizzafari, for instance) as opposed to the deep greens and browns we often associate with Starbucks in their typical locations. And this was definitely true when the building served as Creature Comforts — think bright orange, purple, and teal. Granted, none of the in-park locations are what you would call “typical” Starbucks, but the unique beauty of Animal Kingdom offers the potential for some truly special themeing. And now is as good a time as any to explore a little further of what we can currently see, which is the outside of the building.

You’ll notice that the vivid colors from Creature Comforts have been toned down significantly, yet there are still some unique features that you won’t see at the other Disney Parks Starbucks locations.

Animal Kingdom Future Starbucks Exterior

Animal Kingdom Future Starbucks Exterior

Check out the coffee beans playing a role in the painted patterns along this wall border.

Exterior Border artwork

Exterior Border artwork

When you consider the continents, countries, and cultures celebrated in Animal Kingdom, including [Read more…]

Review: Bacon and Gouda Artisan Breakfast Sandwich at Main Street Bakery Starbucks

Time to ‘fess up: I’d never tried one of the breakfast sandwiches at Main Street Bakery… or at any of the other Disney Starbucks locations.

It’s not so much that the options aren’t appealing, but I could get the same thing three minutes away from my own home at the Starbucks down the street. And about three minutes down the road from there at the next one. And about four minutes from… well, you get the idea ;).

But, no matter what your thoughts are on the availability of Starbucks at the parks, it’s here to stay. And as such, Starbucks Breakfast Sandwiches are a part of the Disney dining scene, so it’s time we grab one for review here on the DFB.

Main Street Bakery

Main Street Bakery

Participants on the Disney Dining Plan might be especially interested to know that the Breakfast Sandwiches are available on the plan as part of one Quick Service meal entitlement, which also includes your choice of beverage.

Main StreetBakery Dining Plan entitlements

Main StreetBakery Dining Plan entitlements

While I picked up my breakfast sandwich at Main Street Bakery (Magic Kingdom’s Starbucks location), the same offerings are available at the other in-park Starbucks as well: The Trolley Car Cafe at Hollywood Studios, and Epcot’s Fountain View.

Choices include a Ham and Swiss Croissant, a Bacon and Gouda Sandwich, a Sausage and Cheddar Biscuit, and a Spinach, Feta, and Cage-free Egg White Wrap.

Breakfast sandwich menu

Breakfast sandwich menu

I went with the Bacon and Gouda Artisan Breakfast Sandwich because … well, ‘cuz, bacon. Also, the roll looked most appetizing to me of the bread choices.

Since there is no [Read more…]

News! Disney Park Mugs Arrive at Starbucks Locations in Disney World and Disneyland

They’re heeeeere….

Disney Parks "You Are Here" Collection

Disney Parks “You Are Here” Collection

As of TODAY, Main Street Bakery and Fountain View (the Magic Kingdom and EPCOT Starbucks locations) are carrying Starbucks mugs dedicated to the park in which they serve your mochas, Frappuccinos, and soy, half-caf, vanilla lattes (no whip!). We stopped by Fountain View today to see the Epcot mug. Since you can only see one side of the design in the box…

Epcot "You Are Here" mug

Epcot “You Are Here” mug

… we grabbed one to show you each side of the design (if a circular mug indeed has a “side,” that is).

Epcot "You Are Here" Mug

Epcot “You Are Here” Mug

Epcot "You Are Here" Mug

Epcot “You Are Here” Mug

Epcot "You Are Here" Mug

Epcot “You Are Here” Mug

Epcot "You Are Here" Mug

Epcot “You Are Here” Mug

Bottom of Epcot mug

Bottom of Epcot mug

Also at Fountain View were the travel cold cups, designed [Read more…]

News! Starbucks Signage is Unveiled at Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

Yet another Starbucks — the fifth in Walt Disney World — has a grand opening right around the corner. And today we got a glimpse of some of the fun signage for this new location in Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

Trolley Car Starbucks at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Trolley Car Starbucks at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Themed after the old time trolley cars that go hand in hand with Hollywood’s heyday, this Starbucks will be an ideal spot for Disney guests to grab coffee and a bite to eat on their way to the park’s biggest attractions.

Trolley Car Starbucks at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Trolley Car Starbucks at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Maybe the inside will be a bit like Fiddler, Fifer and Practical Cafe in Disney California Adventure in Disneyland Resort — another location themed to about the same time in Walt’s history.

Trolley Car Starbucks at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Trolley Car Starbucks at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Set to open next month, this new java stop comes along with a lot of other changes at the Studios — some pretty obvious… [Read more…]

News! Downtown Disney West Side Starbucks Now Offering Starbucks Evening Menu with Beer and Wine

Attention, Starbucks fans: now you never have to leave your favorite hangout! At least not if you’re visiting the Downtown Disney West Side location.

Starbucks Location in Downtown Disney's West Side

Starbucks Location in Downtown Disney’s West Side

Recently, the coffee giant announced that they’d be piloting a new Starbucks Evening menu in select locations throughout the U.S. These locations would offer beer and wine as well as food to go along with the adult beverage selections. So far, the menu has been rolled out in select stores in Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington D.C., and Atlanta.

But today, we’re getting word that you can also enjoy the evening menu when you visit Walt Disney World, as the Starbucks located at Downtown Disney West Side has now joined the ranks.

Outdoor seating

A Glass of Wine By the Fire? Sounds Awesome!

Guests can enjoy wines by the glass or bottle, and beer and wine selections vary by location. In addition to the beverages, there are also tapas-style foods available. These include [Read more…]

Confirmed! Starbucks Coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios in February 2015

Okay, coffee lovers… what we’ve suspected for a while now has officially been confirmed by Disney: Starbucks is coming to Hollywood Studios in February 2015!

Starbucks logo

Starbucks logo

starbucksBut there are a few additional details along with the announcement: we’ve also got a name! The Trolley Car Café will have a “classic trolley car station” theme.

While Disney has only officially confirmed the location as being “along Hollywood Boulevard,” all signs point to the L.A. Prop Cinema Storage merchandise location, which closed for refurbishment a few months ago, and remains surrounded by refurbishment walls.

L.A. Cinema Prop Storage under refurbishment

L.A. Cinema Prop Storage under refurbishment

The location will carry [Read more…]

What’s New Around Walt Disney World: June 4, 2014

For this round of “What’s New,” we’ve got food news (and menu changes galore) from every single Disney World park… and beyond! So settle, in, make yourselves comfy, and join us to see What’s New!

Animal Kingdom

We’ll start with the fact that Dole Whip (with or without rum, y’all) can now be found at Tamu Tamu Refreshments in Animal Kingdom’s Africa! (Yep; we’ve had confirmation from Dole that it IS indeed authentic Dole Whip Pineapple Soft Serve.)

Tamu Tamu Refreshments

Tamu Tamu Refreshments

Pineapple Soft-serve (Dole Whip!) menu

Pineapple Soft-serve (Dole Whip!) menu

But we don’t want to miss the chance to mention that Tamu Tamu has also brought back some old favorites with a recent menu refresh: The Slow-cooked Pulled Beef Sandwich is back (hooray!), along with the return of the Quinoa Salad. The Roasted Chicken Salad and gorgeous Fresh Fruit Salad made the cut from the previous menu.

Tamu Tamu Menu

Tamu Tamu Menu

Inside the pulled beef sandwich

Inside the pulled beef sandwich

Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Salad

And I’m very happy to say that the Fresh Fruit Bowl is back in time for summer!

Fruit Bowl at Bradley Falls Kiosk

Fruit Bowl Salad

The Fruit Salad has returned to Bradley Falls, too.

Bradley Falls menu

Bradley Falls menu

Remember, Bradley Falls operates seasonally, so if it’s closed during your visit, it’s good to know you can head over to Tamu Tamu for a Fresh Fruit Bowl.

Have you seen (or heard?!) this awesome Musical Tumbler found at various food locations throughout Animal Kingdom? Get the full scoop here!

Musical Tumbler

Musical Tumbler

Musical Tumbler

Musical Tumbler

The Royal Anandapur Tea Company is a perfect spot to grab a cup of hot tea (assorted varieties available) or coffee. However, they’re currently offering some flavored Iced Teas in light of the warmer temps.

Royal Anandapur Tea Company Menu

Royal Anandapur Tea Company Menu

Though not food-related, I’d like to offer this next picture as a small tribute. Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade wrapped up its nearly 13-year run as Animal Kingdom makes way for all sorts of new adventures. I don’t think I’m speaking solely for myself when I say this unique, beautiful and fun parade will be missed.

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade

Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade

Magic Kingdom

The Lunching Pad has added one more option to its gourmet hot dog selection: the BLT Hot Dog joins the Coney Island Dog and the Philly Cheese Steak Dog.

Lunching Pad Menu

Lunching Pad Menu

Now, here’s something you don’t see everyday… this next bit is not a new item, but rather a new [Read more…]

Full Review: West Side Starbucks in Disney World’s Downtown Disney

Downtown Disney (currently transitioning to Disney Springs, with the official renaming set for 2015) has opened its second of two Starbucks locations.

West Side Starbucks in Downtown Disney

West Side Starbucks in Downtown Disney

You may want to grab your own cuppa joe before settling in to take this tour – the West Side location is HUGE, so there is lots to see!

Starbucks Location in Downtown Disney's West Side

Starbucks Location in Downtown Disney’s West Side

Before we step inside, one of the unique outdoor features is the grass roof, aided in its growth by recycled coffee grounds.

Grass roof as seen from the side

Grass roof as seen from the side

Grass roof

Grass roof

As you approach the door to enter, you’ll notice that this is a Starbucks Reserve location. More on that to come…

Starbucks Reserve door handles

Starbucks Reserve door handles

While the Marketplace location that opened a couple of weeks ago is a walk-up counter for grab-and-go coffee, the West Side location is large enough that there is a dedicated room just for ordering and picking up your coffee. The queue is waiting for you!

Queue for the ordering counter

Queue for the ordering counter

Welcome to Starbucks!

Welcome to Starbucks!

Ordering room

Ordering room

If you are a Starbucks regular, you may not even need to glance at the menu, but it’s there, just in case ;) .

Menu board

Menu board

You can grab a bite from the bakery case as well. While there are no location-specific treats, I learned that this location carries just about every item from the La Boulange pastry line including coffee cake, cheese danish, cookies, muffins, croissants, scones, and breakfast sandwiches.

Bakery case

Bakery case

Bakery case

Bakery case

Packaged sandwiches, salads, and cheese and fruit boxes are also available.

Once you pick up your coffee, you can proceed to the next room and grab a spot to relax.

Indoor seating

Indoor seating

Since it is anticipated that this will be a very busy spot, the name of the game is seating, and lots of it.

Indoor seating

Indoor seating

Indoor seating

Indoor seating

Seating at the Reserve Coffee Counter

Seating at the Reserve Coffee Counter

I liked this group table – a smart addition for a family vacation destination (there are a couple of group tables in the outdoor seating area, too, which we’ll see a bit later).

Large table

Large table

You can even gain some coffee knowledge if you take a look around. Chalk-style murals depict regions where coffee beans are harvested, as well as a little history of the French Press brewing system.

Mural

Mural

Mural

Mural

French Press mural

French Press mural

A few cool antique coffee grinders and measuring scales are tucked into wall shelves.

Coffee antiques

Coffee antiques

Antique scale

Antique scale

Everywhere you look, you’ll find more coffee-inspired details.

"Coffee sack" Pillow

“Coffee sack” Pillow

Beans at the Reserve Counter

Beans at the Reserve Counter

Changing screen showing progess of the coffee bean

Changing screen showing progess of the coffee bean

With lots of wood and black walls, this spot might be rather dark, but large windows provide plenty of natural light as well as a great view of Downtown Disney and the lake.

Window wall

Window wall

There are two really unique features in this room to share. One is the interactive screen. The screen is interactive in that you can “draw” on it (think etch-a-sketch, without the little pen).

Interactive Screen

Interactive Screen

I stole this little greeting idea from Heather, our Disneyland reporter, from her trip to the Starbucks location in Downtown Disney Anaheim :) .

DFB Greeting!

DFB Greeting!

I also mention the Anaheim Starbucks because you can use this screen to check out what’s happening out there from your spot at Disney World!

"Live from Anaheim"

“Live from Anaheim”

Of course, Anaheim is three hours behind the east coast, so there wasn’t much action to be seen during my morning visit, since they weren’t open yet. But there was still fun to be had — occasionally you can catch a glimpse of the chalk version of yourself, and see what they would be seeing in Anaheim.

Interactive screen

Interactive screen

I kind of felt like I was in the “Take On Me” video (by A-ha!) from WAAAAAY back in the day. If you remember that, then I salute you, fellow child of the eighties! (AJ’s Editor Note: “I TOTALLY had that cassette single!!!!!!! This is why Wendy and I are friends.”)

Obviously, part of what’s involved in this technology are cameras, so a disclaimer is present letting you know where to go if you prefer not to be filmed during your visit.

Disclaimer

Disclaimer

The other special thing in this room is the Reserve Coffee Counter. If you are looking specifically for Reserve Coffee, save yourself some time and bypass the main ordering section, since you’ll find the Reserve Coffee in the seating room. It has it’s own register, so you can make your purchase without waiting in the main line.

Reserve Coffee Counter on the left

Reserve Coffee Counter on the left

Reserve Coffee Counter

Reserve Coffee Counter

Reserve Coffee is offered at select Starbucks locations, featuring very small batches of “rare and exotic” beans. These upscale brews are [Read more…]

News and Photo Tour! Starbucks at Downtown Disney’s West Side Is Now Open

Hey all! Yet another Starbucks has joined the ranks of Disney locations in Walt Disney World…and it’s now open for business!

Starbucks Location in Downtown Disney's West Side

Starbucks Location in Downtown Disney’s West Side

This time, you’ll find a HUGE one at Downtown Disney’s west Side — with a great view of the Characters in Flight Balloon!

Wendy will be putting together a full review for us of this location, but I just wanted to give you a quick sneak peek to whet your appetite! There are so many cool components to this spot — including an interactive chalk board that’s hooked up with a sister Starbucks location in Disneyland’s Downtown Disney District! Let’s take a look!

Ordering Area at Starbucks

Ordering Area at Starbucks

While the Marketplace Starbucks is primarily a grab and go location, this spot is [Read more…]

News and Photo Tour: The Downtown Disney Marketplace Starbucks is Now Open!

So, we thought we’d give you a quick glimpse at the newest java stop in Downtown Disney… the Marketplace Starbucks is open and ready for business (with another one coming to the West Side soon). Let’s have a look!

Downtown Disney Marketplace Starbucks

Downtown Disney Marketplace Starbucks

You’ll find the location tucked in between the front entrances into the World of Disney store.

Marketplace Starbucks at World of Disney

Marketplace Starbucks at World of Disney

The first thing you’ll likely notice is the Starbucks Coffee signage in front of the signature green siren logo. The A frame mirrors those of the entrances to the store.

Starbucks Coffee Signage

Starbucks Coffee Signage

From that point, what you see is what you get! This location is walk-up only, with no seating other than the regular tables around Downtown Disney. This is a spot for grabbing your beverage and continuing your stroll.

Front view of Marketplace Starbucks

Front view of Marketplace Starbucks

Speaking of beverages, all the Starbucks favorites are here… as well as some of that new “Oprah Chai” you may have heard about.

Beverage Menu

Beverage Menu

Beverage Menu

Beverage Menu

One day I’m gonna order that, just to hear myself say it: “Oprah Chai me!”

Anyhoo, there is also an assortment of standard Starbucks snacks, including pastries from the new “La Boulangerie” line of treats that may have made it to your local store.

Starbucks food window

Starbucks food window

Cookies by the register

Cookies by the register

You simply walk up to one of the two ordering windows…

Ordering windows

Ordering windows

… then pick up your beverage on the side. After that, you’re all set to visit the rest of the shops and restaurants, with a little caffeine boost to help you along.

Left side pickup window

Left side pickup window

Right side pickup window

Right side pickup window

While that’s the basic gist, there are a few cool details to share. Only viewable from [Read more…]