The walls are down and the doors are open! Disneyland’s Downtown Disney has just welcomed one of the most unique Starbucks stores in the nation.
This LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certified store is beyond gorgeous. First off, you may be wondering what LEED is; I myself had to look it up to get some more information.
LEED certification encourages “green” building, using sustainable products in the construction of the building. It also requires Energy Star performance ratings on appliances, lighting, machinery, etc.
This Starbucks has all that and more. Let’s take a look inside!
Both the interior and exterior of the store are lined with upcycled box car wood. It has been sanded and stained to a beautiful golden brown color. You can actually see the holes where the bolts originally held the box cars together.
Other design elements include hand painted murals and a tree stump that was cut into a bench for seating. Starbucks wanted to bring in hand crafted elements that compliment their hand crafted beverages.
The focal centerpiece of the store is a 9 panel LCD screen that features original content from the areas of the world that Starbucks sources their coffee.
The images have been modified to look as though they are watercolors, and change every minute or so. The only other Starbucks in the nation to features this same screen is in New York’s Times Square location.
All Content on the LCD Screen is Original to Starbucks.
When designing the store, Starbucks knew that its visitors would be in the area expecting some Disney magic. Looking to impress guests and spread some of their own pixie dust, elements were added to this new store that have yet to be introduced to any other Starbucks location.
The main feature is the interactive digital chalkboard. I immediately noticed this when I walked in the doors. It does two different things. First, it acts as a drawing board allowing guests to use their fingers to write messages, draw pictures or play a fun game of tic tac toe.
Of course I couldn’t resist trying it out for myself…
Second, it creates its own pictures using images it “sees” in front of it.
Sure enough, I watched for a few minutes and I noticed that the man sitting near it was all of a sudden featured in a chalk type drawing right there on the board. Very cool!
By the way — it has a disclosure right there on the wall stating that they are using scenes and people in that area of the store to create the unique chalkboard drawings, so you’ve been warned that you might be part of the artwork.
Above the barista work space, Starbucks has added a light up map featuring locations where they source their coffee.
This particular Starbucks has very little indoor seating. In fact the only seating is really a few small benches and the round stools that can be seen in front of the interactive screen.
Instead, the seating was designed to be a patio experience; “alfresco” is what I was told specifically. The patio was built around a large pre-existing tree. Not wanting to uproot this long time resident, Starbucks made it the focal point of the patio.
The seating around it is very inviting. In fact, if it weren’t for the World of Disney being right next door, you might easily forget that you were just steps away from the Main Gates. I can definitely see this area being at full capacity most, if not all of the time. It’s a great spot to take a break.
Another element unique to this store is the living wall towards the back of the patio. The wall features 1000 native plants and acts as a backdrop to more patio seating.
In addition to their regular beverage menu, this particular Starbucks location has a “Starbucks Reserve” menu. They have a special reserve coffee bar that serves up some rare and exotic coffee blends that can not be found at most Starbucks locations. The Reserve menu changes on a regular basis.
You can also find the familiar refrigerated cases that serve up prepackaged foods, snacks, bottled water, juice, milk and more.
Pastries and and treats can be found as well.
This location has the typical Starbucks branded gear available for purchase. You can buy coffee, water bottles, cups, mugs, etc.
They also have a location-specific Orange County mug.
I was hoping to see some Starbucks/Disney colab merchandise, but alas it was no where in sight. I did ask if it was in the works and the answer was, “We aren’t ruling out the possibility.” So, basically, don’t hold your breath!
Grinds to Go
Reserve coffees can be purchased to take home.
And…. If you need some additional energy to go, you can grab boxes of VIA, tea or coffee to take with you.
Overall, I think that Starbucks did a great job designing a location that fits right in at the Happiest Place on Earth. The design elements are modern and playful, a perfect Disney fit. I also love that it provides a great little spot for fueling up before a long day in the parks. It’s also the perfect retreat if you need a break…
Just a few hours in and already a super long line.
Welcome to Downtown Disney, Starbucks!
Have you had a chance to visit the new Starbucks in Downtown Disney? If so, did you have a favorite design element? Did you try the Reserve coffees or play with the digital chalkboard? Let us know in the comments below.