There’s no doubting the breath of fresh air Starbucks Coffee has given Disney Village. Time for another? Yes, it’s looking likely.
Back in 2008, we reported:
“But what for that second new eatery? The admin of Disney Central Plaza, Grandmath, promised that at least one of the two was already operating at Walt Disney World. Since there are no Starbucks franchises on Disney’s Florida property, the second location must surely be the Orlando import.
“Indeed, current rumours, again very strong and from reliable sources, point to an Earl of Sandwich opening at Disney Village.” … “No location for the second building has been rumoured, and no tentative dates for construction of either have yet been given.”
Ahh but now, with the benefit of Starbucks’ completion and around 18 months, some rather more precise rumours are beginning to surface about the possible Earl of Sandwich store. This new chain of restaurants, founded by John Montagu, 11th Earl of Sandwich himself, on the basis that his ancestor, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, popularised the sandwich in Great Britain in the 1800s, launched at Downtown Disney in Walt Disney World in 2004 and has recently been expanding rapidly in the US.
Various ‘Earl of Sandwich’ images, including artwork for a standard franchise outlet
Most importantly for us — they’ve got their sights set on Europe. This business plan was revealed due to a rather embarrassing start over here, however, when the Earl of Sandwich chain made news in the UK for taking incredibly fierce legal action against a small sandwich shop in Aberdeen, Scotland, unknowingly bearing the registered name.
The reason, buried inside the filling of those reports (hey, sandwich puns are hard), was confirmed by a spokesperson for the company:
‘We now have plans to launch in the UK and Europe and we have trademarks both in the name Lord Sandwich and the Earl of Sandwich in relation to various things, in particular sandwiches and the provision of sandwiches.
‘With the launch of shops in the UK and Europe we have to avoid confusion with similar businesses – that is essential for a successful launch.’
So, with Earl of Sandwich clearly stating UK and Europe, there’s certainly weight to these rumours. The latest of which are pointing to one clear fact — that the restaurant will be in a brand new building — and also offering some very interesting, perhaps unexpected, suggestions for locations within the Village.
Naturally, with the long-awaited removal of the despised Rainforest Carousel this April, this big vacant space looked promising for the British-themed toasted sandwich restaurant.
But perhaps not, after all… An interesting snippet of information was posted by phantom247 on magicforum, stating simply: “By the end of the year Earl of sandwich preparations for construction should begin with the lake area nearest Steakhouse and the dome being filled in.”
So… by the end of the year, that’s good to hear. But wait a minute — the lake area nearest Steakhouse and the Dome being filled in…? Yes, we said these rumours were surprising.
A more likely area of this inlet to be filled in would have been the corner between Rainforest Cafe and the bridge (above right), allowing an Earl of Sandwich to use both this and the area vacated by the old carousel, becoming a part of the main thoroughfare.
Alternatively, placing the restaurant on the other side, opposite The Steakhouse (above left), seems on the first hand incredibly unlikely, but could turn this forgotten corner into a more worthwhile second area of Disney Village, adding something more to the corner currently dominated quite negatively by McDonald’s.
However, whilst the area does currently feel a little run-down, losing too much of this precious water could take away the possibility of it ever becoming a nicer, but still sedate patch of the entertainment district.
The size of the restaurant is completely unknown, so these are just guesswork — but the two general areas at least have been marked on the satellite photo above to help visualise the possibilities. Clearly this will be a much larger construction project than Starbucks, especially if any infilling of the lake inlet is required.
Though which area the Earl ultimately seizes — if any! — we’ll just have to wait and see.
Pictures: DLRP Today, Google Maps.