Let me begin bluntly: Starbucks has absolutely no place on any part of Disney property. At all. Now before you go and make assumptions, I’m a fan of Starbucks. I don’t obsess over all the newest drinks, but I stop at one of the various locations In my area once a week.
That being said, what the heck is Starbucks doing at Disney? I first noticed Starbucks making its way into Disney a few years ago while walking down Main Street, U.S.A.. Needless to say, I was appalled. Starbucks had infiltrated my beloved Main Street Bakery. While Disney had kept the “Main Street Bakery” name, the Starbucks logo on the window made the whole place feel different, even from the outside. Walking inside, the room felt different still- it radiated Starbucks energy. While the bakery managed to keep its old-timey style, the color scheme was all modern Starbucks.
When looking at the menu, it’s easy to see that everything offered is from popular items off the static, nationwide Starbucks menu. From a caramel frappuccino to a mango dragon fruit refresher to a Caffe mocha, everything on the Main Street Bakery menu is pulled straight off a Starbucks one.
This is just one example of a Starbucks on Disney property. Others can be found in Creature Comforts in Animal Kingdom, Trolley Car Cafe in Hollywood Studios, various Disney Springs locations, and more; these are just Disney World locations.
The abundance of Starbucks in the Disney parks leads me to wonder: why? What is the decision-making process behind implementing so many branches of this chain in the most magical place on Earth?
I can only think of one reason Disney would do this: money. Everyone knows Disney’s primary driving force is making money. They saw an opportunity to bring in a cash cow, and they did just that.
I will say this again: Starbucks has no place in Disney parks. In my oh-so-humble opinion, it takes away from the Disney magic and immersion. When I’m in Disney, I forget about the real world, and I bet most of you agree.
I don’t want the reminder of the real world following me around the parks, inescapable at every turn, from seeing people with cups to seeing the logos on storefronts. One second I’m walking down Main Street, U.S.A., wholly immersed in old-time America, and the next, I feel like I could be walking down any main street in any town with a Starbucks.
Disney, please, for the love of magic, give me back my immersion!
And what does this say about us, as Disney fans, that the company thinks they’d make more money selling a popular chain than they would creating their own material? Are we that easily bought? Are we sellouts? Are we complacent, willing to forgo the park magic in favor of having our caramel macchiatos whenever we want, unable to go one day without them?
Maybe I’m just overreacting. But Disney, to me, represents the ideal America, the one before capitalism (Starbucks) took over. Yes, I understand how ironic and hypocritical that is, seeing that Disney is arguably the largest capitalistic force in the western world.
Disney sells an experience; they sell happiness, magic, and a way of life, while Starbucks sells overpriced coffee. Nonetheless, I want that immersion, that dedication to creativity, and, most of all, Starbucks out of my beloved parks.
What do you guys think? Do you hate or love Starbucks in the Disney parks? Or do you not have an opinion at all? Let me know!