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A respectful retheming & fast service make the Market House Starbucks a welcome addition to Disneyland's Main Street U.S.A.

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A respectful retheming & fast service make the Market House Starbucks a welcome addition to Disneyland's Main Street U.S.A.

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Late last week, I was out west for a Disney "Frozen" media event (Don't worry. JHM will be posting a bunch of stories about this new Walt Disney Animation Studios production in the coming weeks). And before I flew back home to New Hampshire on Saturday night, I made a quick side trip to Disneyland Park to go check out this year's Halloween Time decorations.

Photo by Jim Hill

I have to admit that I enjoyed how Disneyland Entertainment Creative  Development works with this theme park's Resort Enhancement department had used jack-o-lanterns to playfully comment on the various shops & restaurants that you'll find along Main Street, U.S.A. Here's the pile of pumpkins that are now sitting above the entrance to the Mad Hatter.

Photo by Jim Hill

As well as the Elvis-inspired jack-o-lantern which graces the 20th Century Music Company sign.

Photo by Jim Hill

And speaking of the shops & restaurants that you'll find along Main Street, U.S.A., the Market House finally re-opened this past Wednesday as a Starbucks.

Photo by Jim Hill

I have to admit that when I initially heard about this project, I was worried that this there-seems-to-be-one-on-every-corner coffeehouse chain would somehow undercut Main Street, U.S.A. turn-of-the-century charm. But as I entered the Market House this past Saturday afternoon ...

Photo by Jim Hill

... I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised by how many elements of the original Market House could still be found inside of the Disneyland Park's first-ever Starbucks. These included the old party line phones ...

Photo by Jim Hill

... as well as that game of Checkers which has sat atop an old pickle barrel inside of this store, waiting to be played for the past 58 years.

Photo by Jim Hill

As for the Starbucks itself, though this coffee shop had only been open for four days by the time I made my initial visit this past Saturday, it was already a well oiled machine. Even though there were already a lot of people in line waiting to order their coffee drinks when I entered the Market House, the line moved quickly.

Photo by Jim Hill

Thanks -- in large part -- to the smart way that this store's new double-sided queue had been set up. Not to mention that veritable army of baristas who were working behind the counter.

Photo by Jim Hill

I barely had time to eyeball all of the goodies that were in this store's bakery case ...

Photo by Jim Hill

... as well as check out the Market House's fun new light fixtures (which appear to have been cobbled out of old expresso machines) ...

Photo by Jim Hill

... before it was then time to place my order. Which -- in honor of all the jack-o-lanterns that I had just seen adorning the rooftops & railings of Main Street, U.S.A. -- I decided to make a pumpkin spice latte.

A mere two minutes later, my order was up ...

Photo by Jim Hill

... so I grabbed my coffee drink and then settled into the Market House's newly expanded seating area.

Photo by Jim Hill

All in all, my visit to Disneyland Park's first Starbucks was a relatively pleasant & painless experience. I was pleased both with the quality of my beverage as well as this respectful retheming of Main Street U.S.A.'s Market House. It was pretty obvious the Imagineers & Starbucks executives had put a lot of time & effort into making sure that this modern day coffeehouse fit into its new turn-of-the-century setting.

So even if a tall half-skinny half-1 percent extra hot split quad shot (two shots decaf, two shots regular) latte with whip may not be your cup of tea, I still suggest that you drop by the Market House the very next time that you're at Disneyland Park ...

Photo by Jim Hill

... if only so you can then meet the extra-caffeinated Cast Members who now work in this coffeehouse and are really, really, REALLY happy to be calling Main Street, U.S.A. home.

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  • I'm so happy you liked the Starbucks. So many other "Disney" fanatics do nothing but bash it without even giving it a chance. Everyone complained about the Nescafe so Disney did something. It brought in one of the most popular coffee shops around. My son and husband are looking forward to Starbucks at Disney. I am not a coffee drinker but I will be drinking my Grande Unsweetened Black Ice Tea!

  • The Magic Kingdom in Disney World has had the "themed" jack-o-lanterns along Main Street USA for at least 7 years.  I have pictures from the 2006 Mickey's Not So Scary  Halloween Party that showed the pupkins above certain Main Street stores were themed to correspond with that store.  Maybe that's new in Disneyland...but Disney World's been doing it for a while.

  • I had an interesting experience yesterday. Another Disney fan site had a long list of gripes about Starbucks in the parks, with one of the main gripers complaining that this is not something Walt Disney would have wanted because Walt Disney didn't approve of corporations in his park. It was the most absurd and revisionist thing I ever heard, because Walt aggressively went after corporate sponsorships and loved having brand-name products in Disneyland. If he was alive today, there's no doubt in my mind that Walt would have been all about having Starbucks on Main Street.

    The other gripe was that people didn't like how "open" the Market House is now. But I looked at pictures of how it was before Starbucks and I can't really see much of a difference. Now it's just easier for people to go get their coffee and it's better coffee than it was before. I think the library room is really nice too. Sometimes I feel like no matter what Disney does there are people committed to hating on Disney.

  • BradyNBradleysMom-- You hit the nail right on the end. Many people like like to complain, and actually look for things to complain about.

    It's the main reason why I don't bother reading Disney fan sites anymore. All they ever say is. "I hate it" "I'm disappointed" "I hate it." Also most people who make comments in response to articles on those sites (especially one site that shall remain nameless) they don't want to have a conversation, they just want to have a place to complain "loudly."

    It absolutely disgusts me when people play the "Walt card" and claim that he wouldn't like a change, when it's really they themselves who doesn't like something. I'm just gonna say it, most people who claim "Walt wouldn't like this" are incredibly ignorant.

    It's true. There have been sponsors in Disneyland since day one. As a matter of fact, judging from photos, the ads and sponsors in the early days were a lot more "in your face" than they are now.

    Having Starbucks drinks is no different that Disney serving Dreyer's ice cream or coca-cola in the parks.

    I've been inside the Market House since it reopened. It is very well themed. As Jim mentioned, the party line phones and checkerboard are still there. (The stove is also still there, in the new seating area.)

    Also, people need to stop nagging about how they feel the Market House is "more open". Open spaces mean less traffic and makes it easier to get around. That is one of the needs of our society today. Shops in Disneyland need to be FUNCTIONAL as well as appropriately themed.

  • BradyNBradleysMom hit the nail on the head. Clearly many people just like to find things to complain about and will never be satisfied, no matter what Disney does.

    I've been in the newly refurbished Market House. It looks great, and in addition to the party line phones and checkerboard, the stove is also still around. (in the new seating area). Sponsorships have been a part of Disneyland since day one.

    People need to stop complaining about the fact that the Market House feels more open. In our day and age that is a necessity. It's important to have space for traffic-flow. Shops in Disneyland today need to be *functional* as well as appropriately themed.

  • Hey Jim, I thought this was interesting, the DisneyParks blog had a Q&A with Imagineer Kim Irvine about the Market House;


  • Sigh. I guess this means the longstanding "free coffee refills" are now gone. When I began regularly visiting California on work trips in 95, you could save your cup and get rifills all day around the park. Later, it was just at the Market House (they said it was the last place with the "special" Mickey brand coffee). Then you didn't even have to save you cup - just the receipt. That was something I looked forward to (in cold months).

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