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Review: Writer’s Stop at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Dude. If you haven’t been to Writer’s Stop, YOU. MUST. GO.

Seriously, Writer’s Stop remains one of my favorite spots in all of Walt Disney World. Even though they’ve re-vamped the place since I initially fell in love with it (and got rid of my favorite little window seat in favor of a coffee flavoring station…hmph…), the charm of this place is not matched in any other Disney coffee joint.

Tucked into a corner of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, this little bookstore-slash-coffee shop has been around since the 1990s. It’s so cozy — and often uncrowded — so when I stop in I always feel a little bit more like I “live” at Disney World. :-)

I’m pretty sure this is going to be the spot where Starbucks infiltrates Hollywood Studios (no official information, of course — just my personal prophecy), so if you’re going to check it out in its initial incarnation, I suggest you head over there ASAP… .

Writer's Stop -- Outside

Atmosphere

If you don’t pay attention, you could easily think that Writer’s Stop is just a clever bit of scenery amid the other storefronts at Studios. Especially since it sits right next to the Streets of America backlot area. But the rolls of film and vintage percolators in the windoe herald a real, honest-to-goodness coffee and bookshop.

Step inside, and you’ll recognize the themeing immediately. The little storefront gives the impression that it’s a hangout for writers situated in the corner of a studio. A makeshift counter has been fashioned out of crates, and studio equipment adorns the walls.

Writer's Stop -- Inside

Writer’s Stop actually began as a play on the set of Buy the Book, the fictional bookstore in the sitcom Ellen, which starred Ellen DeGeneres and aired during the nineties (thus the studio lights up above). When the series went by the wayside, Buy the Book morphed into Writer’s Stop — and gained a happy place in the hearts of Disney fans.

Be sure to take a slow look around Writer’s Stop. First off, they really do sell books! So be sure to peruse the selection in case there’s a volume you’ve been meaning to pick up. The shop also occasionally hosts book signings. Above, you can just glimpse the corner of a poster announcing the appearance of Ridley Pearson, who pens the Kingdom Keepers series.

I love the collection of art glass and the old Carthay Theater print, too.

Book Display

Not interested in reading? Take your coffee and have a seat in a comfy chair to see what’s playing on TV!

TV and Seating

Be sure to look up as well. The lights are a leftover feature from the Buy the Book days, and helped to give guests the impression they were on a set. Look closely and you just might spy a hidden Mickey!

Hidden Mickey on Light

But as much as I love the vibe here, I came for some of my most favorite treats in all of Walt Disney World! Let’s check out what they have to offer.

Eats

The sights, sounds, and smells assure you that you’re in a real coffee shop. Many of your favorite upscale coffee drinks are available at Writer’s Stop. But there’s something for everyone! In addition to java, you can also get Goofy’s Glaciers here!

Coffee Drinks Menu -- Click to Enlarge

But Writer’s Stop is equally as well known for their amazing bakery items. The cookies here are seriously enormous. There are also other pastries, like danish and muffins.

Bakery Case

If you prefer soft drinks or bottled water, there are a few options in bottled form.

Bottled Drinks

Some prepackaged food and snack items are also on sale here. These make great souvenirs!

Food Display

Carrot Cake Cookie

But Writer’s Stop has one major claim to my confection affection, and that’s the Carrot Cake Cookie. This addition to the park’s snack list made it an instant favorite several years ago, and now it’s a cult must- have!

Carrot Cake Cookie -- On Display

Two spicy, cakey cookies are sandwiched together with rich cream cheese filling. The whole thing is reminiscent of that regional favorite, the whoopie pie.

I usually get one (or two…whatever…don’t judge) and take them back to my hotel room to stash in the fridge and snack on throughout the trip! (You guys know that my favorite food in the world is cold cream cheese frosting, right?)

Carrot Cake Cookie -- Up Close

Whatever you choose to call it, I’ll just keep considering it what it is — one fantastic snack. It can also double for a delicious breakfast. (Hey, those carrots and raisins make it pretty healthy, right?)

Carrot Cake Cookie -- Cross Section

And don’t forget, you can also pick up this delicious treat at Sweet Spells at the front of the park!

Peanut Butter Cookie

But if you’re looking for MORE unabashed decadence, have a look at this Peanut Butter Cookie. Oh no, this is not your garden variety recipe.

Peanut Butter Cookie -- On Display

Rich, buttery cookie dough with just the right amount of peanut butter flavor is kicked up with chunks of Butterfinger candy bar pieces. At least it looks a lot like that to me… .

Peanut Butter Cookie -- Up Close

Couldn’t you just swoon for a big, ice cold glass of milk and this cookie right now? Because I so could.

Peanut Butter Cookie -- Cross Section

They were both incredible. But my heart will always remain true to the carrot cake cookie. :-)

Overall

This quiet little corner of bliss in a sea of theme park excitement remains a best kept secret. Even with legions of carrot cake cookie fans, I can still find a spot at a high-top table or in one of those comfy chairs to just unwind a bit before heading back out into the heat and the crowds.

A wonderfully comfortable setting and some legendary eats make Writer’s Stop one of my top picks in the whole Disney universe. And once again, I implore the Disney gods…please, leave this quiet little unassuming spot just as it is: a haven and a rest stop. A place to refuel and go back out, ready to face one more drop (or three) on Tower of Terror.

Looking for the biggest bang for your snack buck while you’re in Hollywood Studios? Check out the brand new DFB Guide to Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios Snacks e-Book for the low-down on all the treats and snack eats in these two parks!

The hot off the presses, the Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios guide to everything snacks is full of over 200 reviews and color photos to make sure you make the best use of your dollars in Disney world. Get yours today! Or, opt to get our specially-priced bundle of snack guides for all four parks, along with the 2013 DFB Guide to WDW Dining.

Is Writer’s Stop one of your favorite Disney destinations? Leave us a comment and tell us all about it.

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39 Comments

  1. Kelly M says:

    One of my fabourite spots in the World.
    Carrot Cake Cookie = heaven. That’s all. :-)

  2. Kelly M says:

    FaVourite :-) …yes I was thinking about the cookie…

  3. Kev says:

    I’m one of the few people that welcomes Starbucks generally in the parks.
    Overall they should bring good food and drink at reasonable pricing to the WDW parks.
    The Main St Bakery is a definite winner, but the Fountain View at Epcot is debatable, I loved the sundaes but recognise that the quick service choices in Future World are limited.

    But to lose the Writer’s Stop isn’t a great plan at all.
    The Writer’s Stop is an oddity that has its own magic and will definitely be a loss, despite the actual offerings under the Starbucks brand being better.

    Progress isn’t easy!

  4. Frank Stefanec says:

    My wife and I ALWAYS stop for a white chocolate macadamia nut cookie.
    Great place!!!
    Frank

  5. Bridget M says:

    I love the Writer’s Shop! During my first CP internship I would always visit in the mornings before work and grab something to eat and sit in their window seat and work on my internship assignments – what better way to work on homework then to watch guest’s immerse themselves in the magic!

  6. Sandy says:

    I need to put this on my must stop list for this trip for sure! You had me at peanut butter.

  7. John says:

    Never even heard of this place. It certainly sounds like some place I’d like, but I seem to have a hard time going anywhere other than the Tune-In Lounge when I need a break at DHS.

  8. Alan says:

    I’m a one cup of coffee in the morning guy, with no real appetite for Lattes etc., so, in all my visits I have never stopped here in any of it’s iterations. However, now that my wife has seen some of the sweets available, she let me know she would be visiting it on our next trip. I’ll just wait for her around the corner at the High Octane Refreshments stand.

  9. Laura says:

    I love their oatmeal raisin cookies! And they are huge!

  10. Diane @ DixieJulep says:

    I’m always a fan of the Writer’s Stop, too. I especially like to stop in here during the Spectacle of Lights. Its location and atmosphere make it a great place to warm up, fuel up or just take a little break from all the excitement before you head back outside.

  11. Tootie says:

    I’ve been to WDW over 20 times in the past 20yrs and I can’t believe we have never been in this place, and I consider myself well versed in WDW knowledge and stay up to date on what is happening in the world.

  12. Helen says:

    The cookies look good but the price shocked me!

  13. Cheryl D says:

    Back in the 90s, I used to go in there for the books. (I missed Bob Hope by 1 day! Sniff.) Because of the rave reviews I read in your blog, I HAD to go in there in June and try a carrot cake cookie. It was wonderful! It was also huge! It had to eat it in installments. But that is a good thing. Thank you for this blog. There are so many things available that even us Diz-noids wouldn’t know about, if it weren’t for you.

  14. Heather says:

    I plan to visit the Writer’s Stop on our October trip. I noticed that it isn’t even on the Hollywood Studios map!

  15. Amy says:

    Rumor has it Starring Rolls is where the new Starbucks is going… Heard it from a CM at DHS. But it is just a rumor. It would really be sad to lose Writer’s Stop!!

  16. Wendy says:

    I love this place. It reminds me of some of the privately-owned coffee houses where I used to live. There have been nights at Hollywood Studios that have been packed, yet I’ve been able to find a respite here. I always love how proud the Cast Members are of the Carrot Cake Cookie and all the treats there. They know it’s a gem. Crossing my fingers that it remains as is.

  17. Gretchen says:

    We stumbled upon this hidden gem while waiting for our table at Sci-Fi. There was no place to sit so the cast member suggested we go through the doors to our left. So we did and ended up in the Writer’s Stop! It has to be the cutest little shop in all of DHS. Bonus was they were offering free samples of Goofy’s Glaciers!

  18. Sandra says:

    We love WS and will be deeply depressed if it is Star-bucked. My husband is definitely not a fan of SB’s coffee. This is a great place to spend snack credits, pick up something to read or a quick gift, or just to take five out of the heat. Although the carrot cake cookie is high on my list of treats, I also love their seasonal muffins, cranberry orange being a favorite. It’s so big that I cut it in two and save half for later. The price of the hot tea has doubled (sob), but with such a variety of beverages and treats, it’s still a must for our family.

  19. Angelina says:

    AJ, you are killing me with the pics of the Carrot Cake whoopie pie!! I’ve never wanted anything else more in my life (excuse the hyperbole but i’ve been “cutting back” in leui of my upcoming beach vacation) !!!!

  20. Lucy says:

    I hope Starbucks (as much as I love it) stay away from Writer’s Stop. It’s one of my favorite stops at DHS and home to that amazing peanut butter cookie.

  21. Kelly says:

    I hope they do change the coffee. As an avid coffee drinker I keep getting tricked into thinking that when I’m in Disney I might have a great cup of coffee and then I taste it and realize that the crappy coffee at MK is the same crappy coffee at HS etc. I do like going to that store though I believe I bought my scrapbooking things there as well.

  22. Wendy says:

    OK, I admit to dropping my husband and kids at the hotel, jumping onto a Hollywood Studios bus, running in to only buy carrot cake cookies, and then stashing them in the hotel fridge for breakfast. An early morning conversation in our hotel room might be something like this:

    Child: Mommy, what are you eating?

    Me: Oh…it’s carrots and…

    Child: Can I have cereal?

    Works like a charm.

    And, before you judge me, my husband hoards schoolbreads for breakfast!

  23. Joe B says:

    I couldn’t agree more AJ. The Writer’s Stop is such a quaint, off the beaten path kind of place. I love going in to take a break from the heat & enjoy a carrot cake cookie. I also fear this or Starring Rolls will be replaced with Starbucks. Not only will we lose a great spot but also some unique & beloved treats.

  24. Essie says:

    I feel so inadequate. :( I’ve been to WDW 16 times and I didn’t even know about this place. And, I’m a book lover….how could this gross flaw in my Disney personality have happened? Not to mention the fact that my radar usually picks up the scent of a bakery counter, or so much as a single cookie crumb from within 500 yards…. I have a LOT to make up for on my next trip.

  25. Debbie C says:

    The carrot cake cookie at Writer’s Stop (and Sweet Spells) is at the very top of my favorite WDW sweets list. They are THE BEST!!! I always have them wrap it so I can snack a bit at a time because they are huge!!! I love the atmosphere at Writer’s Stop as well. I’m hoping they don’t ruin it by changing it to a Starbucks.

  26. Georgeanne says:

    While I love the atmosphere at WS, I’m not a carrot cake fan. I’d rather sacrifice this location as a Starbucks and keep Starring Rolls cupcakes, danish, cupcakes, sandwiches, cupcakes, sushi, and cupcakes intact. (Did I mention I love the cupcakes at Starring Rolls?) Both locations seem small for a WDW Starbucks to me, though, so hopefully we’re safe.

  27. Nicole says:

    Stopped in here with my mom and brother on our last trip to Hollywood Studios in June and loved being able to relax inside with an iced coffee and a giant cookie to split while the afternoon thunderstorm came through. We got the oatmeal raisin cookie which was huge, soft, and delicious. I really hope they keep the place as is.

  28. Dawnanne says:

    We discovered it in a mad dash to avoid the afternoon rain. A perfect spot to sit out the downpour with a hot cup of tea!

  29. Leslie says:

    This is an absolute must stop for us on every trip. I love this place – and yes, so sad that the window seat was taken out. It would be a tragedy to see it homogenized into a Starbucks.

  30. Kait says:

    Best place ever!! I work her and it is so tempting not to eat everything.

  31. jess says:

    AJ – stop telling people about this place! The carrot cake cookies are my favorite and I consider this my secret little piece of heaven.

  32. Sarah says:

    We discovered this place a couple trips ago. A-Mazing. It was incredible, all the sweet treats and good reads. Love it! I love Starbucks, but would hate to see this go. :(

  33. Kristina says:

    I admit when I see a new post on your blog I look at the pictures first! I can’t not do that, I have to see the Disney food lol! So while looking just now I thought to myself how nice that Starbucks hasn’t infiltrated this shop. That all the pasteries that we love are still there. Then I scrolled up and began reading. Oops!! Nah I know it hasn’t been announced but I hope it’s not here. After all while I’ve tried the carrot cake cookie (yum!!) I still have to taste this peanut butter dreamboat!

  34. Anna says:

    This is where I hang out when the rest of the family goes on Star Wars or Toy Story :).

  35. Becky KIein says:

    are there nuts in the carrot cake cookie? it sounds amazing! but due to family allergies, I don’t eat anything with nuts in it.

  36. tkcanada says:

    My favourite place, too—I always stop by even if its just to browse their books. They used to have a 1950′s style TV Iinstead of the flatscreen) and a sofa that faced the tv. But I’m glad they still have a couple armchairs. AJ- if your prediction comes true and a Starbucks is slated to go in here you must use your powers to stop it!!! (you can do that, right??) It would be a very sad end to an original, creative, cozy spot.

  37. Hazel says:

    My husband works there! lol I’ve followed his lead and hide Remy’s around store :)

  38. Angelique says:

    Although I love Starbucks coming to WDW, please, please, pe-lease not in Writer’s Stop!! I love this place (although more before the changes). Very friendly CM and lovely cookies :)

  39. Penny says:

    LOL This is the only place I know well in the whole of Hollywood Studios!!

    We’ve been to Orlando twice, 2007 & 8 and due to the kids school holidays, we’ve been in July and August – we found the heat and humidity a killer and HS’s just didn’t have decent air-conditioning anywhere but this place!

    So the two times we went to HS – we ended up here! My sons loved the rollercoaster at HS so we did that and went here to recover and no where else!! We looked for shows, couldn’t see them anywhere and decided to leave.

    I have to say HS’s is my least favourite place due to their complete lack of air-con, the shops are useless for it. I feel very sorry for the staff working there.

    One day we might visit again but not in the hot months!

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