5 Elaborately Themed Disney Parks Retail and Dining Locations

If you’ve visited Disney Parks’ retail or dining locations, you’ll know that each Disney Park prides itself on creating a totally immersive themed entertainment experience down to the buildings in which Guests purchase Mickey ear hats or chicken tenders.

In addition to attractions that transport Guests back in time, into cinematic universes, or even other worlds, the merchandise shops and eateries around every Disney theme park are typically just as extensively designed, with relevant details to really sell the story. Of course, Walt Disney Imagineers are the ones responsible for the dedicated design work, although fans have noticed lately that some of their newer projects seem to be lacking in creative input, such as the recently opened Carousel Coffee at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn.

carousel coffee disney world

Credit: Attractions Magazine

So, in the spirit of these fans hankering for “the good old days” of whimsical Disney design, let’s look at five of the most elaborately themed Disney locations which could have inspired a different look for the bakery and coffee shop:

Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe

This quaint location at the end of Main Street, U.S.A. at the Disneyland Resort does not offer the most in-depth themed dining because it’s primarily a quick-service location. However, the subtle touches referencing the “Jolly Holiday” half-animated musical number (with a flying carousel!) from Mary Poppins (1964), which is set in Edwardian London, go a long way toward feeling both in place on the turn-of-the-century street as well as adding a touch of Disney magic!

disneyland jolly holiday

Credit: Disney Parks

La Piazza

Speaking of carousels, this adults-only venue on the Disney Cruise Line’s Fantasy is supposed to resemble the “decorative plazas” of Italy, complete with a rounded Carosello bar meant to resemble a real merry-go-round! Additionally, “enchanting touches” like inlaid Venetian masks and a real vintage Vespa on display add to the picturesque tones of this “small town” at sea.

la piazza disney fantasy

Credit: Disney

Sideshow Shirts

Despite being a now-defunct relic of an older Disney California Adventure Park, this merchandise location along the boardwalk of Paradise Pier sold Guests clothing and accessories with a side(show) of whimsy! While many found the sculpted carnival barker a touch creepy, the grandiose size, manipulation of depth perspective reminiscent of a funhouse, Jungle Book reference, and eye-catching color scheme showcase an undeniable dedication to the theme.

sideshow shirts dca disney parks themed locations

Credit: Character Central

Cape May Cafe

Here, subtle touches like scalloped wave buttresses, white wood archways, delicately tiled mosaic fixtures, impressionist murals, and croquet mallets on the walls, this buffet and character dining experience go a long way to bring Guests into a cozy, tranquil day by the New England seaside.

Cape May Cafe | Walt Disney World Resort

Credit: Walt Disney World Resort

Boardwalk Candy Palace

Lastly, this Disneyland Paris candy location feels obvious! If we’re on the hunt for lost inspiration for a Boardwalk sweets eatery, look no further than this Main Street, U.S.A. stop, serving up the “ultimate fantasy” of sugary delights in all sorts of flavors, plus merchandise and more!

Boardwalk Candy Palace - Main Street, U.S.A. | Disneyland Paris

Credit: Disneyland Paris

BONUS: Classic Disney Store

Unfortunately, the last original Disney Store closed down last year, but many Disney fans will fondly remember how the Company elevated the retail experience into something on par with a Disney Parks visit itself through the use of musical in-store audio loops, video screens, and a giant plush mountain, and most importantly, sculpted fixtures of beloved characters worked into displays throughout the store.

vintage disney store parks themed locations

Credit: The Disney Store Nostalgia

Having reviewed all these, are you longing for a return to dedicated Disney Parks-themed locations for every type of budget and type of service? (We might be!)

About Spencer Beck

Spencer is a lifelong lover of theme parks, princesses, and Disney history that recently relocated to Northern California. She completed her undergraduate studies at UCLA, where she was the founder and first president of the campus Disney Club. A former Cast Member still mourning the loss of the Disney Store, she now haunts the halls of the Walt Disney Family Museum, and shares her opinions with anyone who will listen @pinknpurble everywhere.