Walt Disney World is always in a constant state of flux. Cherished attractions are replaced, songs change, as well as parades and shows; replaced with new and time relevant material. Walt always wanted fresh and new venues for his guests and the parks were never intended to be a museum. Case in point is the new Bakery on Main St. USA which is now anchored by Starbucks coffee chain. For months the rehab has been going on, and guests were guessing what the change would be like. On June 18th, the guessing games were over and the new Bakery on Main St. bowed, with a new look, new menu and with a few familiar memories gone.
As always, Disney has done a magnificent job of re-decorating the new bakery to reflect the Starbucks image. The ceiling has a bronze copper tiled look, with wood paneled display cases and registers. There are pictures and maps on the walls along with items on several wood shelves around the store, (Notably coffee grinders, what else!) Even the condiment bars are of dark oak. The floor has a rich light oak diagonal floor pieces, and overhead there are several turn of the century gas light fixtures mixed in with the modern eyeball lights.
But the first major items most guests will find missing is the tables and chairs. There is nowhere to sit once you purchase your goodies. In their stead are many brass poles with like chains that form several “queue” lines so to speak, to funnel guests to the four extra cash resisters. I had spoken to several cast members and a manager and asked why would Disney remove the tables and chairs? After all, for many guests, myself included there was nothing more enjoyable than after several hours in the Magic Kingdom to head to the bakery and sit for a spell while you enjoyed your hot or cold beverage, or snack. The answer I received was that there were many complaints about slow service in the old bakery with only two registers. Many people I spoke to were very disappointed to have to find a seat elsewhere, at Casey’s Corner or by the Plaza Restaurant to enjoy their snack. In addition to the missing tables and chairs, for myself at least, the Bakery with its new look has lost the old look and feel of a turn-of-the-century bakery and coffee shop. Don’t get me wrong, it is very nice inside, but it is not as quaint as was before.
In addition to the seating area, gone are the familiar Disney snacks and treats we knew and loved. All the menus are Starbucks, including snacks and of course coffee. The only vestige of the Bakery past goodies are the brownies, cupcakes and cookies. If you, like me loved those gooey, warm, huge cinnamon buns and chocolate croissants, they can still be had, but you now have to schlep over to Gaston’s Tavern for your fix.
Change is always inevitable at Walt Disney World. And I understand this, for its always exciting to see and experience new and different shows, attractions and eateries. Disney cannot ever please everyone, but in the long run, they have never disappointed. I myself love Starbucks coffee and there are a myriad of tasty looking snacks and beverages at the Bakery. I wish they would have kept a little more of the 1910 look and feel of the bakery, and I know the Imagineers could still maintain a bigger queue line and have tables and chair to boot! (There is nothing they cannot do!)
The new Bakery on Main St. will do well, as it was very crowded when I was there. One of the cast members stated to me that there was talk of maybe adding tables and chairs in the future, but time will tell. Stop in and grab a beverage and snack and see the new Bakery on Main St. It won’t take long to warm up to it.