Themed as a turn-of-the-century tea room and originally sponsored by Sarah Lee, Walt Disney World’s Main Street Bakery quickly became a fan favorite and holds a special place in the hearts of many, including yours truly. This venue, however, has gone through many changes and sponsorships over the years and, you could say, it has been dealing with somewhat of an identity crisis since it opened in 1971.
The first of these changes came in the mid-80s when Sarah Lee ended their sponsorship and the bakery changed its name to the Main Street Bakery and Cookie Shop, followed a few years later with another name change. This time to the Main Street Bake Shop.
In the early 90’s, Toll House became the new sponsor, and its name remained the Main Street Bake Shop until 2001, when its name changed back to the original Main Street Bakery and the interior of the bakery received a complete overhaul.
Fast forward to 2013, it is still known as the Main Street Bakery, but it now has Starbucks as its new sponsor. It reopened after a lengthy refurbishment of both the interior and exterior along with a revamping of the menu offerings. It’s fair to say that this new look and new sponsorship debuted to very mixed reactions. Today, five years later, the sponsorship, layout and name remain the same.
Did Main Street, U.S.A. really need a Starbucks? That’s a conversation for another day. However, since change happens fairly regularly at this location, it seems, I thought it would be fun to play “Armchair Imagineer” and imagine what this location could be in the future.
Whenever the Starbucks contract runs out, I’d really love to see this location go back to its roots. I’d love to see it refurbished back to a turn-of-the-century location, but this time with a twist. I’d like to see the bakery and the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor combined into an old-fashion drug store/soda fountain, which is a perfect fit for the time-frame of Main Street, U.S.A.
Disney Imagineers could have a field day with this. Imagine a place with a long bar and stools, ragtime music playing in the background, where soda is served the old fashioned way – flavored syrup squirted into carbonated water and phosphate added by the soda jerk – and hand-scooped ice cream (if you want an ice cream soda, milkshake or sundae). Cast Members can be dressed as soda jerks with bow ties and little white hats that resemble the kind you used to make out of newspaper as a kid. Cast Members can also have fun with this by asking Guests to order in the way they did back then. For example, if you want a strawberry milkshake, you’d order “in the hay.”
For those who still want a sweet pastry, the Magic Kingdom has so many great locations where extra treats could be added, but this would make a nice addition to Main Street, U.S.A., combining both locations into something really special.
What do you think? Would this be a nice change or are you happy with the way things are now? What do you envision for the future of the Main Street Bakery?
(Main Street Bakery photo from the Flickr Creative Commons, copyright HarshLight, license)
To learn more about Felicia and read her recent posts for the WDW Radio Blog, visit her author page by clicking the link on her name at the top of this post.