Snack Series: Desserts from Backlot Express

Backlot Express in Disney’s Hollywood Studios is one of my favorite spots to grab a quick bite when I’m at DHS.

The fantastic themeing really makes you feel like you’ve stumbled into a backlot workshop. I could wander around this place a really long time, taking in all the detail.

I’ve had the opportunity to try a couple of the items on the menu, and they’ve been big hits — with me and others as well.

The Grilled Vegetable Sandwich is tops in my book. And any place that serves Buffalo Chicken Nuggets? Well, that’s just pure awesomeness.

Entree Menu -- Click to Enlarge

But today, we’re here to sample the Desserts! Sure, they’re pre-made. But I’ve discovered some pretty delicious desserts at Disney counter service spots, so I wanted to give these a go to see how they compared.

There are two desserts to choose from at Backlot Express: Marble Cheesecake and No Sugar Added Strawberry Parfait.

Full Menu -- Click to Enlarge

First up — the Marble Cheesecake!

This one is actually…pretty good.

The base cheesecake is vanilla and has a nice rich flavor, with that touch of sour that balances the sugar overload. The swirl comes from chocolate, which takes a backseat to the vanilla but you still get the faint flavor.

And it’s probably a complete coincidence that the swirl just happens to look like Donald Duck. They couldn’t have done that on purpose. Could they?

Marble Cheesecake

It’s good enough that I would actually get it again if I found myself craving cheesecake, and without an advance dining reservation for a table service version.

Marble Cheesecake -- Inside

Next, I tried the No Sugar Added Strawberry Parfait.

The no sugar added options are gaining new followers every day, with so many folks watching their sugar and carb intake. So it’s nice to see a dessert like this so easily accessible.

The parfait is built a bit like an upside-down pie. There is a crumb topping that is a fair stand-in for a crust, providing a little texture to the otherwise completely soft consistency.

No Sugar Added Strawberry Parfait

Dive below the crumb layer, and you come to a vanilla custard over a thick gel studded with freshly sliced strawberries. I like to mix the different components a bit, getting a little of each in every bite.

It’s surprisingly satisfying for a no sugar added dessert, and I didn’t detect any flavors of artificial sweetener (although clearly, they are utilized here).

Overall, I’d recommend it if you’re looking to watch intake of calories, carbs, or sugar.

No Sugar Added Strawberry Parfait -- Inside

So my takeaway? I’ll continue to fearlessly try Disney’s counter service desserts. More often than not, I find them to be a good option when I’m wanting a sweet, but I’m not looking to blow a day’s calorie budget on a cupcake or other large indulgence.

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 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.

Will you be trying either of these counter service desserts at Backlot Express? Leave a comment and tell us what looks good to you!


  1. Essie says

    I feel that the QS desserts often leave a lot to be desired as they seem so processed, but the cheesecake really does look good. It looks like it has a ‘dryish’ consistency, which a good cheesecake should have. I don’t even like to have two desserts a day, but at WDW, well, you know.

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