Lawsuit seeks to ban Starbucks in the Magic Kingdom

| April 1, 2013 | 34 Replies

An organization calling themselves the Association of Victims of Recreational Improvements and Liabilities (AVRIL) has filed a lawsuit asking the Orlando federal court to enjoin Disney and Starbucks from opening a Starbucks in the historic Main Street Bakery location.  The lawsuit cites three reasons for the injunction.

The first ground asserts that, contrary to Disney’s announcements, Starbucks has secret plans to remake the storefront to resemble its original store in Seattle. This, AVRIL claims, is an affront to the historic portrayal of Main Street that Walt Disney sought to create when he envisioned Walt Disney World.


Original Starbucks Store in Seattle (photo copyright Starbucks)

AVRIL’s second ground asserts that “Starbucks unreasonably hot coffee creates the risk that innocent guests will receive third degree burns from having Starbucks coffee spilled on them during parades.”  It is well known, the lawsuit claims, that when a Magic Kingdom parade begins, there will be a fight for positions along the Main Street parade route.  It’s “inevitable” according to the complaint that “guests will be injured and will be forced to sue Disney and Starbucks for injuries caused by Starbucks hot coffee.”


Guests Line Main Street to view the Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade

Then there is the matter of Starbucks’ long-standing logo, which portrays a smiling mermaid. If the first two grounds bordered on the foolish, this ground gets downright unbelievable.


Depictions of mermaids, the lawsuit alleges, should be banned from the Magic Kingdom.  The lawsuit asserts that sailors and pirates believed that mermaids would bewitch them into giving up their gold, dragging them to the bottom of the sea.  It then claims that Starbucks’ logo shows that the secret motive for Starbucks and Disney joining forces is to bewitch guests into giving up their “gold.”

I contacted AVRIL’s lawyer, Paril Vailr, to ask why he thinks the group has standing to sue Disney and Starbucks.  He explained that AVRIL’s members believe they should not have to reserve spots for parades so its members fear having Starbucks coffee thrown on them.  Pressing my luck, I also asked that, if his client objected to the Starbucks’ mermaid logo, whether they were also seeking to force Disney to close the Journey of the Little Mermaid attraction in Fantasyland.  “Are you kidding me”, he said, “AVRIL’s members love that ride.”


If you’ve read this far, you’ve probably realized the “AVRIL lawsuit” is an April Fools’ joke. But now that I have your attention, let me ask you to support Give Kids the World by getting Pete Werner to drink Starbucks “swill” from the Main Street Bakery when it opens (sometime in mid-May).

Anyone who has listened to (or watched) the Orlando DIS Unplugged podcast knows that while Pete says, “coffee is an important part of my life,” he intensely dislikes Starbucks coffee.  On the November 14, 2012, podcast, Pete urged listeners to support an online petition against replacing the Main Street Bakery with a Starbucks, saying,  “I’ll complain ’til the cows come home about crappy Disney coffee and the Main Street Bakery is home of crappy Disney coffee.  But I’ll take that crappy Disney coffee at the Main Street Bakery any day over a cup of swill from  Starbucks.”

But Pete loves Gives Kids the World more than he detests Starbucks coffee. It didn’t take much arm-twisting to get Pete to agree that, if we can raise a mere $1000 for Give Kids the World, he will drink a cup of Starbucks “swill” at the Main Street Bakery in the Magic Kingdom when the Starbucks opens. Frankly, I think Pete underestimates the generosity of Starbucks lovers.  We can do better than $1,000. Let’s raise $5,000 and see what Pete is willing to do.

So please, Starbucks lovers unite, donate to Give Kids the World at the Power of Ten “FDE” First Giving page before May 15, 2013.  (“FDE” is an abbreviation for a coffee “term” Pete has used.)

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Category: Disney World, News, Rumor Mill

  • Nicole L. Mancini

    Jack!!!!! You got me!!!! I am sitting here drinking a Starbucks latte and eating an artisan sandwich and nearly choked!

  • Giles Wells

    Well done good sir. I need to sharpen up my brain for today or I will continue to be swindled by the likes of internet bloggers.

  • Skegeeaces

    Sounds like a plan- but what is “swill”?

    • Jillian Byrd

      I’m going to assume it’s the remnants of coffee made throughout the day. Kinda like the person at the bar that gets offered $5 to drink what’s left in the mats that the bartenders have been making drinks on all night … basically a mishmash of everything that’s been poured.

      • Skegeeaces

        Ohhhh! Ew! lol Thanks.

    • Nick Andrews

      Swill is rotgut, nasty, pathetic attempts at something decent, like Corona trying to make beer. It’s not beer and never will be. As for coffee, there is no such thing as good coffee. It’s all foul bile.

  • Nicole Puracchio

    I totally fell for it! Good one!

  • Muriel Essary

    You got me on this one! After some of the idiotic lawsuits I have read about, I could totally see someone suing over this.

  • Scott Pontikes

    that was good.

  • Sarah Hanisko

    Can you feel me rolling my eyes at this frivolous ridiculousness? Nice April Fools try though.

  • radiogeek

    I seem to remember Pete making an illicit Starbucks run on an ABD! But anything for GKTW!

  • Chris Harris

    LOL you guys got me too!

  • Arthur Houston

    One I do not like the change, but since 1972 its not the only one. Suing is not the answer. If you don’t like it vote with your pocket book don’t buy it. I hate to think of all of the changes, since Nov 1971 at WDW. Starting with removal of steam train at Ft. Wilderness.

  • Green Lifestyle

    Ok. I believed it. Right up until you said that it was an April’s Fools joke. Shame on me! But I have seen some foolish laswuits before. Happy April’s Fools!

  • Alison Bazeley

    Starbucks is actually a decent, reputable company that is very good to its employees and community. You might not care for its coffee and its presence, but it’s not a dump.

  • Jeremiah LaFleur

    Well, Starbucks’ logo is a Siren not a Mermaid. They’re very different.

    This lawsuit is hilarious. Disney can do whatever it wants in it’s theme parks.

    The Starbucks in CA. Adventure is so well themed I couldn’t find it even though I was standing in it. I was looking for the big white or green sign that is in the store. They’re not in there. Actually, there’s nothing that really makes it look like it’s a Starbucks.
    What everyone needs to do it calm down and wait to see that happens.

    Lastly, Starbucks brews its coffee at 180 degrees F (I was a barista and coffee master at Starbucks). Far lower than boiling. No 3rd degree burns.That’s just ridiculous I’ve burned my lip on the old Main Street coffee. Why? Because I was a little piggy and didn’t want to wait for a few minutes to let it cool a bit. Stop being a piggy and exercise self control if you don’t want to be burned. (And, I can promise it won’t be a 3rd degree burn).

    How stupid can you be. Dumb complaints from dumb people. If you don’t like Starbucks then don’t go there. Stop reacting so violently to rumors. If you don’t want to buy it then you can bring your own, go to another coffee cart and get some there, in California you can go to the La Brea Bakery in Downtown Disney (it’s right next to the entrance to CA Adventure) OR just don’t buy any coffee at all… there are options. Lawsuits like this are stupid and a waste of time and money for our legal systems.

  • Matt Franks

    Lol you guys got me as well. Didn’t realize this was fake until I started reading the comments. What’s sad is it’s completely believable that someone would try to do this.

  • Lara Iannetta

    April Fool’s!

  • Jessica Smith Mullins

    Very very clever :)

  • Doreen Robinson

    Why does Disney want to support a chain that doesn’t support our troops????
    Starbucks doesn’t deserve to be in Disney. !!

    • Quentin Von Hoodsen

      Yeah, war is so fair ! So DISNEY SPIRIT !

    • Jen Gari

      Are you serious? Starbucks DOES support our troops. Don’t believe every info-graphic you see on the internet. Search for the truth. It is out there! Starbucks is actually very good to the troops. And no, I don’t work for them.

    • Tim Gonzales

      Um, Starbucks is a huge partner of the USO and sends tons of coffee overseas to our troops. For a company so against the troops, they have a really funny way of showing it.

  • Kerry

    I would also like to keep Starbucks out of Disney. When I go there, I want a Disney experience. I was disappointed when I went years back and they had a McDonalds French fry cart too…I just stayed away from it, but I just feel I shouldn’t have the usual fare pitched at me while in the parks.

  • Megan

    Argh. I hope this is NOT an April Fools Joke. I hope there is a lawsuit in place.
    Starbucks shouldn’t be part of Magic Kingdom. Booo. If it does go in i think we should not buy anything from there. No matter how hungry or thirsty we are or how good or bad the prices are…

    • Jen Gari

      Why? And if someone doesn’t like something, don’t buy it. But a lawsuit? That is part of what is wrong with this country. But I am very curious why you are so Anti-Starbucks and why because YOU don’t like them, EVERYONE should ban them…

      • Megan

        Its not that I don’t like starbucks but putting modern day stores into Disney is like taking the magic out of place that should be a place for magic not modern day coffee shop. God Stupid people take stuff too serious. At least I still have the heart for a place that I want to keep the magic in….What’s next? Best Buy or how about a Walmart?

  • chad johnson

    Starbucks does have craptastik coffee, pathetic that Disney would choose them rather than a “fair trade” mix of their own.

  • Jolie

    Makes me “lol” to read these comments and realize how many people comment without reading the whole article 😛

  • Mary Ellen Nunes

    LOL good one! but I have to submit to change the challenge to see which side can raise more money – the people who wish to torture Pete (by making him drink nasty coffee) or the people who wish to save Pete by NOT drinking that swill :)

  • Nick Andrews

    Just get rid of all coffee everywhere. It serves no valuable purpose. It stinks. It stains. It sucks. One of my fondest dreams is a virus to destroy all coffee crops all over the world…

  • richh19191

    there a are tons of people who love starbucks, I don’t believe this type of business should be established on main street USA, this surely was never the intend of walt disney, though we was an entrepenour and would have given his approval for a different more practical area to serve that (what I fully agree is……) swill………………

  • Guest

    I personally do not like Starbucks coffee and just will stay away. I did love the Main Street Bakery and my son and I will miss it when we go to Disney in August. I just hope that they don’t start serving only Starbucks coffee every where in Disney.

  • Amanda McWilliams May

    I don’t think Pete Werner needs more attention.