By guest blogger Chris Andrews of Theme Park Foodie
There are a number of delicious dining options at Disney’s Hollywood Studios®. When the main park activity involves waiting in line for a few high-demand rides, the high availability of restaurants offers welcomed choices. While we will often pick a sit-down restaurant over a quick-service (we recommend Mama Melrose’s and Sci Fi Dine-In Theater), there are a number of fast and affordable locales for snacks or dining on a budget. Keep in mind that nearly all of the quick-service restaurants close early, sometimes up to two hours before the park gates close. Because of this, we recommend visiting just after the lunch rush, around 2 p.m. We’ve listed our three favorite Hollywood Studios quick-service locations below:
Located between Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! and Star Tours® - The Adventures Continue Attraction, Backlot Express offers traditional quick-service items with some added flair. Seating is available both inside and outside (under cover) and is surrounded by movie props and film equipment. The drink stations at Backlot Express are self-serve — free refills are always nice when you’re shelling out $2.50 for a soda!
As for the food, the restaurant delivers a great mix of traditional park favorites with new variations for guests looking for a change from the usual burger and fries. While simple, the buffalo chicken nuggets are great for a snack, and the cantaloupe and cucumber salad is a healthy alternative with a gourmet touch. We like the grilled turkey and cheese on ciabatta with the carrot sticks instead of the fries. The interesting scenery makes this our favorite quick-service locale for a relaxing lunch.
The Commissary is a great place for a break during the hot summer days in the park. The fully indoors and air-conditioned space with lots of tables means it’s easy to find a quiet spot for lunch. Entrees are varied, but may not match the Disney description of the restaurant as “international.”
The bulk of the menu includes various seafood items, including fish or shrimp platters, and salads such as the Asian salad with chicken or couscous, quinoa and arugula. Though the couscous salads or chicken blue might be more “adventurous” for quick-service dining, we like the 1/3 pound loaded Angus cheeseburger that comes with a skewer of shrimp through the top. While you’re eating, TVs around the dining area show clips and behind-the-scenes footage from various ABC shows.
Studio Catering Company
For parents weary of the hours spent on the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set play area, the Studio Catering Company next door offers a good meal and a rest. While the menu is smaller than other locations (serving only six entrees), it offers healthier options than the usual fried foods.
While the chicken Caesar wrap is rather typical, the buffalo chicken sandwich or toasted Tuscan deli sandwich are great choices for something different. We like the buffalo chicken sandwich for the spicy ranch, which gives it a little kick. While the food is great, the atmosphere is rather lacking. Concrete and steel may make a believable studio lot space, but they aren’t the best for dining areas. That said, Studio Catering Company is adjacent to High Octane Refreshments for all of your alcoholic beverage needs!
These are a few of our favorite budget dining locations at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Have a personal favorite that you would love to share? Or, do you have questions about these and other dining locations? Comment below. Happy dining!
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Chris Andrews is a writer for Theme Park Foodie, a blog that highlights dining and cuisine opportunities at theme parks throughout the United States with a focus on Central Florida. TPF, an UrbanSpoon featured blog, features content on Walt Disney World, SeaWorld, Universal Studios, Busch Gardens and more! Join the theme park food conversation on Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Facebook.