The Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe, now serving Starbucks

Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe
Photo via Disney Parks

A Disney Park adventure can stir up a big hunger. If you’re visiting Disney California Adventure, you’re in luck, because there are many delicious choices.

In light of the recent discussion about Disney and Starbucks, I thought I’d calm everyone’s fears with a look at how smooth the transition has been for DCA’s Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Café, now serving Starbucks. You see, Disney integrated Starbucks there earlier this year, and it has been a wonderful addition!

In case you’re new to the discussion, last week, Disney Parks announced they will be closing Magic Kingdom’s Main Street Bakery and Epcot’s Fountain View for refurbishment to add Starbucks to Walt Disney World Resort. Here’s exactly what they said, “At Magic Kingdom Park, Main Street Bakery will close for refurbishment in January 2013 and reopen as a Starbucks location in early summer. At Epcot, Fountain View will close in March 2013 and reopen as a Starbucks location in midsummer.” After much backlash and many complaints, Disney has since clarified the statement with this update, “UPDATE 11/12: Here’s some additional information about our Walt Disney World Resort Starbucks locations. The Main Street Bakery will keep its name and theming when it reopens in early summer. It’ll also continue to serve Disney favorites like cookies, brownies and seasonal cupcakes, in addition to Starbucks signature beverages and other items.” Now, I don’t know if Disney made the first statement vague to intentionally stir up public interest and debate, or if their marketing department simply slipped, but the whole controversy created a lot of commotion.

So I wanted to take a moment today and let you see what will likely happen when WDW’s Main Street Bakery reopens: You will hardly even notice! I admit I was riled up about it when I first heard Disney’s plan. I said, “Main Street, U.S.A., is NO place for a Starbucks!” We had quite a bit of discussion on the Magical Mouse Schoolhouse Facebook page too. But as it turns out, DCA’s Main Street Bakery counterpart, the Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Café, has made a very smooth transition to a Starbucks venue while rapidly becoming a crowd favorite.

Disney California Adventure Fiddler Fifer and Practical Cafe
Photo via Disney Parks

Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Café is a great place to relax, refuel, and recharge (with a little Starbucks caffeine). The venue offers indoor seating with music-themed décor and open-air seating beside Buena Vista Street and the trickling Carthay Circle fountain. Despite the Starbucks refurbishment, it still offers a wonderful variety of sandwiches, soups, and pastries. What’s new on the menu then? Refreshing Starbucks coffees and espresso drinks—including lattes, iced coffees, and Frappuccino blended beverages. The café also serves some signature Starbucks breakfast sandwiches and pastries in addition to the café’s regular menu items.

Per Disney Parks, the café’s specialties include:

  • Cinnamon rolls
  • Roast beef and cheddar sandwiches
  • Turkey Ruebens
  • Paneer and roasted vegetable sandwiches
  • Salami with olive tapenade sandwiches

Each day, 2 house-made soups are available from a rotating selection that includes:

  • Vegetarian cream spinach
  • Chicken tortilla
  • Portobello barley
  • Hearty meaty stew
  • Classic chicken noodle
  • Vegetable
  • Minestrone with pasta
  • Cheesy enchilada

It sounds pretty delightful to me!

So Walt Disney World fans, do not worry. Main Street Bakery was due for refurbishment anyway. I have a feeling it will only be improved and you will soon be able to enjoy the plethora of goodies offered there while sipping a Starbucks, and it will be a welcome change as it has been for Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Café.

Today’s Takeaway:

Starbucks logo mug
Photo via Starbucks

Learn how to be a barista! Moms and Dads, teach your teens how to brew coffee. Let them make it on their own, and then practice their barista talents on you, the “customer.” The below advice from eHow offers great suggestions on landing a job in this field and how to develop skills to advance their future in the industry. (Even if they’re not interested in serving coffee, it would be great job interview and preparation practice.)

From How to Be a Barista, By Sara Gates, eHow Contributor
1)      Hand deliver a resume to the coffee shop of your choice [aka, parents posing as employers and customers], along with a completed application if necessary, during a time when the shop is not likely to be busy (around 2 pm is usually a safe bet). Coffee shops look for baristas with people skills, so show yours off from the beginning by applying in person rather than calling first. However, many larger chains may require you to apply online, so do find this out before showing up in person with your resume.
2)      Show up for your interview on time and appropriately dressed. [Parent/“employer” set an interview time for student to arrive.] Business casual is appropriate for most interviews, but take note of the environment of the coffee shop. Come prepared with a few questions of your own about the job, which will show the manager that you take the opportunity seriously.
3)      Expect to be overwhelmed during training. The duties of a barista include knowing how to properly steam milk, pull espresso shots, prepare ingredients (sometimes food) and memorize a host of drink recipes. [Of course, in our practice session, this can be as simple or complex as you determine.] During training, it’s important to be patient with yourself and ask a lot of questions. Taking notes is another good idea, since you will most likely be bombarded with information.
4)      During your first few weeks on the job, always show up a little early, ask lots of questions and get to know your coworkers. Most coffee shops open early in the morning, and being on time is extremely important since customers expect quick service on their way to work or school. Coffee shops are typically a fast-paced environment and it can take time to feel comfortable behind the counter. Watch the seasoned employees to see how they operate efficiently and ask them for tips.
5)      Get to know your new customers. [Parent/“customer” act like frequent customer getting to know the newbie.] Learning how to make their complicated coffee drinks is only part of the job; you should also learn their names and faces. Nothing will impress your boss more than having a regular customer tell him how much they like the new barista.

SUBJECT: Business
SKILL LEVEL: High School

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