Stores in Disney; Frappuccino Happy Hour
The first big Starbucks news item is that the chain will be opening up six new stores in Disney theme parks. The first will open at Disney California Adventure in June, followed by stores at Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom.
I have to admit, I have been taking guilty pleasure in watching the Starbucks-haters try and get outraged at this news. It isn't easy to decry the increasing commercialization of Disney theme parks with a straight face, but that won't stop some people from trying.
Seriously though, this is good news for both Starbucks and consumers. The last time I was at a Disney theme park, the only coffee options were the "French" café at Epcot, where you could buy a tepid cup of brown coffee-flavored fluid for about nine bucks. (Now you'll be able to buy a tall Americano for about nine bucks, instead!)
The first store will be located on Buena Vista Street, which is a faux 1920s Los Angeles. The store's architecture "plays off the Spanish/Mexican architecture of the period, and baristas will wear 1920s-inspired attire."
Item 2: Frappuccino Happy Hour
If you avoid Frappuccino blended drinks because of the cost (which can run you $5-8 per drink), then now is your chance! Between May 4 and 13 from 3-5PM at participating stores, Frappuccinos are half off.
This is also a good time to try the new Frappuccino offerings for this season. Mocha Cookie Crumble looks like your basic mocha Frappuccino, but with chocolate whipped cream (excuse me - "chocolaty" whipped cream) and a sprinkle of cookie crumbs on top. Chocolate Cookie Crumble Creme is pretty much the same thing, but without the espresso (being made on the crème base instead of the standard Frappuccino base).
In addition, the two coconut Frappuccinos are returning from last summer: Mocha Coconut Frappuccino and Coconut Creme Frappuccino. This pair follows the same pattern, being a caffeinated and a non-caffeinated crème version of the same basic drink.
Personally, I don't half wonder if Starbucks isn't approaching the point of having too many choices, when it comes to Frappuccinos. There is a huge body of study which proves that the more options you give people, the less likely it is that they will choose anything at all. I know a lot of people find the Frappuccino choices too confusing, and just get an iced coffee instead.