Distinctive and unique are not words one usually associates with Starbucks. The popular coffee shop chain is more likely to be described as consistent and ubiquitous. The new Starbucks that opened Monday in the Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, however, has promised to offer guests a “one-of-a-kind” experience.
The opening was a low-key affair, belying the experience inside. This is the first of four planned company-owned Starbucks for Disney properties across the United States. Starbucks and Disney publicity made much of the store’s LEED design. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards have been set to encourage not only eco-responsible construction, but performance as well. Inside the Downtown Disney Starbucks recycled materials and energy efficient fixtures were evident.
The location offers the full range of Starbucks products, as well as souvenir items that are specific to the Southern California location. In addition to the coffees that are available at other area Starbucks, this location will offer Starbuck Reserve. This is a program to offer small batch coffees in a constantly rotating selection. On opening day the blends offered were Finca Nuevo Mexico, Sumatra Blue Batak and Ethiopia Yirgacheffe.
Another detail that sets this location apart from your neighborhood Starbucks is the interactive 10-foot video installation, which, according to Starbucks, “is designed to inspire creativity for Disney guests and Starbucks customers.” The video screen appears to be a large chalkboard, with a variety of settings. Guests can pose for pictures, draw directly on the surface, and interact in various pre-set activities. Eventually a similar board will be placed in other Starbucks locations on Disney properties, and will be linked. According to Disney and Starbucks, additional locations are planned for Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World, Disney Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom.
Perhaps more familiar to Downtown Disney guests is the outdoor patio. Tables and chairs are provided around an old-growth tree and reclaimed wood siding. Free wi-fi is, of course, offered. An unusual feature of the patio is a “living wall,” consisting of over 1,000 native plants in the shape of a coffee cup.
The hours of operation that have been announced for the Downtown Disney location are: 7 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. Friday through Sunday.