A new quick-service dining location opened today along Disney’s Boardwalk called Carousel Coffee, but after months of anticipation, the reception from Guests has been lukewarm.
Disney’s Boardwalk is a quarter-mile promenade “evoking turn-of-the-century boardwalks” within EPCOT’s Resort Area. Here, Guests can “stroll along the water’s edge, play afternoon midway games and discover evening street performers,” all within close proximity to EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme parks.
In addition to luxury stays at the Boardwalk Inn, Disney’s Boardwalk Resort promenade promises Guests a unique shopping and nightlife experience, along with so-called “exquisite dining.” Carousel Coffee sits in the spot once occupied by Dundy’s Sundries, a gift shop location inside the lobby of Disney’s Boardwalk Inn.
In fact, Disney aimed to enhance the Guest experience, especially for Guests staying at the Inn, by providing easily accessible “delicious coffee drinks, teas and pastries” from the comfort of the lobby. Of course, all hot, iced, or frozen blended coffee drinks use Joffrey’s Coffee signature blends, with the semi-reasonably priced menu offering specialty items at $14.99 and under per adult, like the Pomegranate-Green Tea Lemonade, Crunchy Raspberry Danish, and New Jersey Crumb Cake.
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Unfortunately, it appears Disney might have missed the mark, with Disney fans reacting poorly to the new coffee shop’s bland color palette and almost non-existent themed decor. Although Carousel Coffee is considered a standard quick-service location, Guests still expect an elevated and immersive offering of the same quality as everything else Disney Parks does, especially in an area promising to take Guests back in time.
Despite the creative new snack options, Guests are still disappointed by the lack of thematic execution, with Carousel Coffee’s admittedly modest decor being limited to a few framed photos of Magic Kingdom attractions like the Prince Charming Regal Carousel and Mad Tea Party on one wall. While Disney is likely just following a new trend in hospitality decor, it’s surprising the Company would choose to follow the other industry leaders rather than continue offering one-of-a-kind theming and the magical immersive experience Guests know and choose to come for.