EDITOR’S NOTE: Please note that High Octane Refreshments closed in early April 2016 to make way for construction of Toy Story Land and Star Wars Land in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Today we’re celebrating Happy Hour (no matter what the time is when you read this) with a few cold sips at High Octane Refreshments at Disney’s Hollywood Studios!
High Octane Refreshments
The name is a hint as to what’s on the menu, since just about everything is “fully loaded” at this little bar, tucked into the Streets of America section of the park. It’s a very close neighbor to Studio Catering Co. quick service in both location and vibe. So much so, in fact, that — at a glance — it appears to be little more than expanded seating for the location.
But what High Octane offers that the Studio Catering food counter does not is a variety of specialty drinks served frozen and on the rocks, along with a full bar and an assortment of beer and wine to wet your whistle and offer a moment to refresh and refuel… in a “high octane” sense, of course .
The red and yellow color scheme over a large area of concrete that dominates Studio Catering Co. continues here, even down to the style of seating.
The only thing that really differentiates it is this small sign above the bar.
And sometimes you’ll spot a propped up menu in the middle of the street to let you know what awaits you at this stop.
Bar and Beverages
High Octane’s menu features good ol’ standard bar drinks like Long Island Iced Tea, Pina Coladas, and Rum Runners. (We miss you, Stoplight Margarita!) So when it’s time to belly up ;), you likely won’t have a difficult time deciding if you’re already familiar with these basic bar beverages.
I like the little seating area to the left of the bar that’s spotted with trees (it provides a wee bit of shade), so my friend and I carried our beverages there.
We decided to sample the Strawberry Daiquiri, Captain’s Mai Tai, and Blue Skyy Lemonade.
The Strawberry Daiquiri (this blend of strawberry and Bacardi Rum is pre-mixed and poured from a machine, for those curious) is highly refreshing. Even with the presence of rum, it’s your typical daiquiri in that the fruity berry flavor is very much the focus.
A little behind-the-scenes tale: I had to move this one quickly to a different location to get the shot, because the color is an exact match for the High Octane red tables.
(See what I mean? )
Typically, I don’t order daiquiris, but in the heat of the day, this was just one of those simple, “hit the spot” things, and I was happy with how the slushy, icy consistency lasted the entire time my friend and I were enjoying it.
Sweet drinks not so much your thing? You might be up for the Captain’s Mai Tai: dark and spiced rum mixed with amaretto and tropical fruit juices.
I didn’t pick up much from the juices, except for the burst from the pineapple wedge garnish.
The liquor was generously poured (to which I say, “Bravo!”), and it was easily the strongest drink of the three. Fans of sweet drinks may find it too bitter, but those who find daiquiris and the like not edgy enough for their palate will be more pleased.
Finally, we sampled the Blue Skyy Lemonade, featuring Skyy Infusions Citrus Vodka, Blue Curacao, Sweet-and-Sour and Sprite.
I expected this one to be pretty much all sweet due to the Sprite – I just thought it might overwhelm almost everything else, depending on how the drink was poured. But I hadn’t accounted for the Sweet-and-Sour together with the Citrus vodka, which packed a really nice, tart punch and left sweet as the afterthought.
While all these beverages were good (with the Daiquiri being particularly tasty) and the relaxed vibe can be a welcome change, High Octane may not merit a special trip during your Hollywood Studios visit – especially considering the terrific atmosphere at both the Tune-In Lounge at 50’s Prime Time Cafe and the newer outdoor lounge at the Hollywood Brown Derby.
The exception to this rule is the holiday season, when the High Octane menu typically gets a festive makeover, perfect for sipping while enjoying the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. Still, it’s nice to know that when the mood strikes for something cold with a little kick, High Octane Refreshments may provide just the punch you seek!
Is High Octane Refreshments a must-stop for you on your trip around Hollywood Studios? Please let us know with a comment!