Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Not So Wordless Wednesday: Saving the Main Street Bakery

You can ask any of my friends, family members or coworkers. They will tell you the truth: I am obsessed with coffee. I've been drinking espresso since I was a kid (thanks to my Poppy) and I routinely pay for good coffee rather than sampling the acid inducer my office tries to pass off as coffee.

So when I initially heard about Starbucks coming to Disney Parks I was thrilled. Lets be honest: Nescafe just didn't cut it when you needed a jolt from a good cup of joe. I assumed the Starbucks partnership would be just like the old McDonald's partnership - they would put a few stands up in each park that featured Starbucks signature beverages and possibly serve Starbucks coffee in table service restaurants. This is fabulous, I thought.

That is, until the news was leaked that Starbucks would replace the Main Street Bakery. It took a while to process this because my dreams of giggling while riding Splash Mountain until 4am with a venti no whip caramel frappuccino in my hand were powerful.

Hold up! The place that is all about the theming and back story is adding a Starbucks to Main Street U.S.A.? Someone please explain to me how Starbucks fits in with early-20th-century small-town America! I soon realized that my love for a good Disney backstory outweighed my love for coffee.

Of course we happened to be at Walt Disney World when this news was announced. We also happened to be in the Magic Kingdom for Extra Magic Hours. As adults we take full advantage of EMH. We took a long nap during the day and went to the Magic Kingdom at 10pm.

By 2am, we were heading (slowing) down Main Street and noticed the line for the Bakery was out the door. We decided to pick out (very healthy) breakfast for the next morning. While in line we were chatting with a Cast Member who must not be named. I said to her, "Please tell me the rumors aren't true." She looked at me and said she only knew what she read on the Internet and like us, was devastated. She grew up with Disney and made a stop into the bakery every trip. And that is the biggest shame of this partnership news: generations of traditions will be tossed out the window for a corporate giant to swoop in.

Out of a show of solidarity we ordered four gooey, warm and delicious cinnamon buns to go. (Ok, it may have been more than solidarity that pushed us to order. Have you seen the way they need to use two spatulas to lift these babies?)

For good measure we stopped at City Hall Guest Relations to voice our displeasure with the news. The cast members said that the bakery will remain and Starbucks will operate inside. I have my doubts but I will withhold further judgement until after the work is completed. They did say the cinnamon buns will now be served in Gaston's tavern in the New Fantasyland. I can tell you first hand that they are NOTHING like the cinnamon buns pictured above.

Nonetheless, this marks another sad day for Disney tradition. There is upgrading and improving and then there is destroying. If Starbucks replaces the Main Street Bakery this would easily fall under destroying.

Thanks for letting me dramatic and wordy on this "wordless" Wednesday! 

Focused on the Magic

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Magical Gathering of Disney Dreams

Welcome to those of you joining me from The Magical Mouse Pad and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the 4th stop on our Magical Blogorail. Today we are discussing our favorite nighttime spectaculars.

When I think of Disney, I don't think of crazy roller coasters; instead, I think about world class entertainment for the entire family. The first time I saw Wishes: A Magical Gathering of Disney Dreams it was June 2004. It was two months before I was supposed to start my College Program and I was hoping I made the right decision.

We sat down directly in front of Cinderella Castle and took it all in. Jiminy Cricket's voice encompassed the park and I was immediately hooked. I didn't know where to look first -- the castle, the fireworks, or the kids and adults around me who looked absolutely mesmerized.

During my College Program I always loved when I was at a position outside of Space Mountain during the fireworks. I would sing along with the guests watching from Tomorrowland. I was also very lucky to have roommates who loved Wishes as much as I do. On our very last day of our College Program, I was in charge of driving my roommates back and forth to the airport. It was a depressing job, and to try to make things right, we sang Wishes while listening to my CD on the top of our lungs back and forth.

With my roommates watching Wishes.
Wishes is a terrific, heartfelt show. Whether you are there to see Tinkerbell fly or for the huge booming fireworks at the end, you are in for a real treat every night in the Magic Kingdom. Over the years I've found new ways to enjoy the show. I watch the show from all different places now. Some of my favorite spots are from the top of the Contemporary at the California Grill, the porch of Narcoosee's from the Grand Floridian, or the beach at the Polynesian.

If you are a park purist, I suggest watching from the Tomorrowland bridge.

No matter where I see the show, it will always have a special place in my heart. I dread the day that Disney replaces the show. My favorite years at Disney have always included a night of Wishes!

What are your favorite memories of Wishes?

Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is The Disney Chick.

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

1st Stop ~ Manda’s Disney Blog
2nd Stop ~ The CanaDisney Blog
3rd Stop ~ The Magical Mouse Pad
4th Stop ~ The Disney Point (you are here)
Final Stop ~ The Disney Chick