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Review: High Octane Refreshments at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

When I was a kid, my dad and I always celebrated that Thursday was the “day before the day before the weekend!”

I don’t know about you, but this week has taken it’s sweet time, so I thought we should celebrate this “day before the day before the weekend” with a little happy hour… whaddya think? :-D So, we’re headed over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios for a visit to a place that a lot of people don’t even know is there — High Octane Refreshments!

High Octane Refreshments

Atmosphere

This spot is next to the Studio Catering Company (where you can get your eats), and pretty much blends into the background unless you’re looking for it.

There’s plenty of seating between the two restaurants as well. Unless you’re visiting on a truly busy day, you shouldn’t have to search too hard for a place to plop down. We advise that you take your refreshment to the shaded seating closer to the restaurant. It’s all hot sunshine in front of the bar!

Seating

The Signature drinks here — Stoplight Margarita, Long Island Iced Tea, Grand Margarita, Pina Colada, Rum Runner, and Frozen Golden Margaritas — aren’t necessarily mind-boggling in their creativity, but I can speak from experience that they’re highly enjoyable. Especially the Stoplight Margarita; but more about that later.

Menu and Full Bar

First, let’s look through the menu and options…

menu - click image for larger version

Margarita photo menu - click image for larger version

High Octane Full Bar Display

Wine and Beer menu - click image for larger version

On Tap

Our Drinks

The main reason I visited High Octane Refreshments was because I’d heard about the Stoplight Margarita — a mixture of strawberry, golden, and melon frozen margaritas. I wanted to try it and I’m glad I did! It made our margarita gallery here on the DFB!

Stoplight Margarita

I thought this was fantastic. While I continually bemoan the further receding number of signature drinks in Disney World, I’m happy to see that this one, though pretty basic, is still unique and only offered here (as far as I know). Plus, it’s based on the theme of the location, which I like even better.

Stoplight margarita close-up

And the drink was actually quite good! It was better-tasting than the frozen margaritas you get at the Mexico pavilion’s outdoor margarita kiosk, and still had a good alcohol content.

Of course, if frozen margaritas aren’t your thing, consider the Rum Runner with Myer’s Dark rum, blackberry brandy, banana liqueur and tropical juices. It’s a virtual trip to the islands! I’m not really a rum fan, but I did like this one!

Rum Runner

Overall

While our favorite place to grab a drink in the Studios remains the Tune-In Lounge, this is fun second stop to be sure!

And if frozen margaritas are what you’re after, or a drink-in-a-plastic-cup to carry around the parks while you tour, this should definitely be your first destination!

Are you a fan of High Octane Refreshments? Let us know your favorite drink in Hollywood Studios in the comments below!

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13 Comments

  1. Eric says:

    I absolutely love the Stoplight Margarita! It’s a staple that I love to enjoy each trip! I also had my first Rum Runner last week but it was from the Uzima Pool Bar at the Jambo House. Very tasty!

  2. Alan says:

    It’s a shame, but the only time we ever pass this neat little bar, we are on our way to or from Mama Melrose with a lunch or dinner reservation. If we are going to… I don’t like to spoil my appetite and if we are coming from… I’ve already have had too much Sangria.

  3. Christi says:

    Thanks for the post! We usually make this little place our home base for at least half of our DHS day :) The kids can take a rest, the drinkers can imbibe, and there used to be a smoking section nearby, for those with that habit. We’ve been known to take turns taking the kids over to the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids playground…one parent goes with the kids while the other has a beverage, then we switch. And the Stoplight Margarita is great, can’t wait to have one in…let’s see, 3 days!

  4. Mark D. says:

    Well since you are not a big rum fan, let me know if you need to hire an official rum drink taster ;)

  5. marcellina says:

    yay! I love hearing about signature drinks especially in little hidden away areas that I never have visited before. I am going to be sure to stop here in February and hopefully try the stoplight margarita, as long as it’s not too cold outside! If that’s the case I’ll try the rum runner then. On my last trip to WDW I was pregnant so I couldn’t partake in the thrill rides OR the adult beverages… I have a lot of making up to do! ;)

  6. GoBearsGo95 says:

    AJ I have never noticed this. I am going to try it next month. We will be there with the inlaws so a little liquor is always needed.

  7. Betsy says:

    Stoplight margarita?! How have I never found this before?!

    I imagine it’ll be too cold in December, but maybe in May :)

  8. Kat says:

    Definitely a must at DHS. I have tried the Stop Light Margarita, Grand Margarita, and Long Island Iced Tea and I must say that the Stop Light Margarita is the most delicious. All three are great choices, but there’s nothing like a signature drink in Disney.

  9. Sharon C says:

    LOL at GoBearsGo95. And Betsy – its never too cold for a margarita! We will be there in December too, and this beverage is on my “must try” list!

  10. AJ says:

    Eric — I’m so glad you enjoy it! I’m super happy I found it! :-)

    Alan — Ha! Don’t you hate it when that happens! I have a couple of similar spots that I really want to enjoy, but I’m always too full! Still, sangria is a good substitute…

    Christi — SUCH a good idea! Margarita baby swap!

    Mark D. — Deal!! Though I WILL compromise my standards for a lapu lapu.

    Marci — I’m dreading the WDW visits when I’m pregnant! What will I doooooooooo?

    GoBears — Ha ha! Definitely give it a try! It packs a kick! (Maybe I’ll see you guys there!)

    Betsy — Fingers crossed for a warm enough day!!

    Kat — So glad I chose the right one!!! Thanks for the reviews, Kat!

    Sharon C — Very good point! Margaritas warm you up, right? ;-)

  11. I found myself agreeing with your review AJ. It’s not a bad spot for a drink and is typically less crowded than our beloved Tune In Lounge. During the summer, it can be tough to drink (outdoors) but otherwise nice spot and off-peak hours rarely have a line.

  12. Erin says:

    Had a Long Island Iced Tea here a week or so ago and it was delicious! I wasn’t in the mood for a frozen drink but will definitely be trying the Stoplight on the next visit.

  13. Ryan says:

    We always stop by High Octane on a hot day for a tall cold draft beer. The shaded seating right down the ramp in front of the bar is the perfect place to relax and enjoy a beverage.

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