Search for Starbucks along with Disney on Google and immediately, multiple results come up via the Walt Disney World Moms Panel with guests asking where is it? Even before the Moms Panel was created, the elusive Starbucks-Disney connection has been on the tips of guests’ tongues for years. Although Disneyland Paris has a Starbucks Cafe in its Disney Village, the Disneyland Resort is dotted with them just outside the property borders and even Universal Studios Orlando has gotten a taste of it inside the theme park, the North American Disney Parks have not been very Starbucks friendly. But all that is surely about to change.
This MiceAge report from January (via DisneyFoodBlog.com) talks about both Starbucks and Earl of Sandwich coming to the Downtown Disney District at Disneyland. While the latter has been formally announced, Lutz claims that the Starbucks deal, after overcoming long-term issues Starbucks has had with Disney Parks and being able to maintain its integrity, is pretty much sealed, but is being regarded as very sensitive and highly secretive until it’s ready to come out in the open.
Today we have learned that Disney Parks has registered two domain names: disneyparksstarbuckssurvey.com and disneystarbuckssurvey.com, both currently inactive. Although we have had enough experience and research to know that while domain names don’t guarantee anything, most of the time they do point to something concrete (though it can be years before we see the end product). But here, our confidence of the news isn’t so much in the domain name registration process itself, but of the quad-shot, venti sized legal teams at both companies. Quite simply, there is little chance Disney would have of getting away with registering domain names using Starbucks’ name unless there was mutual consent involved, survey or no survey.
Whether Starbucks coffee will be available inside the parks or restricted to the Downtown Disney Districts remains to be seen, but it would not be unprecedented to have a third party own and operate kiosks inside the parks.