First Look! and Review: The Trolley Car Cafe at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

It’s officially official… The Trolley Car Cafe is your Starbucks stop in Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

Trolley Car Cafe

Trolley Car Cafe

Trolley Car Cafe sign

Trolley Car Cafe sign

Starbucks logo

Starbucks logo

Set right on the corner of Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards, the architecture

brings to mind the Golden Age of Hollywood and fits right in amidst its surroundings.

Side of Trolley Car Cafe as seen from Sunset Boulevard

Side of Trolley Car Cafe as seen from Sunset Boulevard

Side exit of Trolley Car Cafe

Side exit of Trolley Car Cafe

It’s all in the name, of course! The Trolley Car Cafe, in story, is the place that houses the Big Red Cars you might’ve taken down Hollywood Boulevard back in the day, as depicted on this billboard sign at the park entrance.

Big Red Cars billboard

Big Red Cars billboard

So, let’s step in!

Trolley Car Cafe entrance

Trolley Car Cafe entrance

Atmosphere

The theme is depicted in the details all over the shop. There is a definite industrial feel, helped along by the exposed pipes and light fixtures mingling with the machinery and mechanical tools set high above you.

Inside the Trolley Car Cafe

Inside Trolley Car Cafe

Trolley Car Cafe Inside

Trolley Car Cafe Inside

Ceiling and light fixtures

Ceiling and light fixtures

Gadgets and gizmos aplenty

Gadgets and gizmos aplenty

More wall details

More wall details

Upstairs at the Trolley Car Cafe

Upstairs at the Trolley Car Cafe

Upstairs continued

Upstairs continued

The Superintendent of Electric Lines keeps office here.

Superintendent "Office"

Superintendent “Office”

The switchboard provides another reminder of your Tinsel Town location, noting stops in Santa Monica, Venice, and even a subway transfer to Culver City. (Notice the 1920s – 30s repair dates written next to some of the signal lights! They’re admittedly easier to see in person, but you can click the images to enlarge.)

Switch and Light boards

Switch and Light boards

Switch and Light boards

Switch and Light boards

Switchboard closeup

Switchboard closeup

Photographs of trolley cars in their heyday adorn the walls behind the counter.

Trolley photos

Trolley photos

Vintage photo

Vintage photo

Pacific Electric Railway map

Pacific Electric Railway map

And the map above isn’t the only place you’ll see mention of the Pacific Electric Railway. You’ll also find the map pictured below across from the patio at Starring Rolls Cafe.

Pacific Electric Railway map outside

Pacific Electric Railway map outside

Back inside, hot beverages get a nod in the storage crates and boxes of coffee and tea above.

Tea boxes

Tea boxes

Cast Member costumes are pretty sharp, and play a terrific role in transporting you to another time.

Cast Members

Cast Members

If you’ve visited the Main Street Bakery or Fountain View (the Starbucks locations in Magic Kingdom and Epcot), then you’re already familiar with the setup.

Upon entry a Cast Member will direct you to the right or left, so you can peruse the bakery items and ultimately place your food and drink orders (items available for purchase are identical on either side). The main menu hangs high above, reflecting the choices you’ve come to know if you frequent the ‘Bucks at home.

Trolley Car Cafe setup

Trolley Car Cafe setup

Inside the Trolley Car Cafe

Inside the Trolley Car Cafe

Also prominently displayed in a few areas is the Hollywood Studios version of the “You Are Here” Disney Parks  mug collection.

Hollywood Studios "You Are Here" mugs

Hollywood Studios “You Are Here” mugs

Here’s a roundabout view, for those interested.

Hollywood Studios "You Are Here" mug

Hollywood Studios “You Are Here” mug

Hollywood Studios "You Are Here" mug

Hollywood Studios “You Are Here” mug

Hollywood Studios "You Are Here" mug

Hollywood Studios “You Are Here” mug

We also got to check out the Ceramic Travel Tumbler that exactly mimics the Disney Parks cup you receive with hot beverages.

Travel Tumblers

Travel Tumblers

Travel Tumbler

Travel Tumbler

Bags of Starbucks blends are available for purchase as well.

Merchandise display

Merchandise display

And now that we’ve had our look around, let’s get what we came for…

Eats

Hmm… is there anything to drink in this place? Well, there’s coffee, among other things ;) .

Beverage menu

Beverage menu

Beverage menu

Beverage menu

As with Starbucks nationwide, a wide range of the La Boulange food line items are available (cake pops, breads, muffins, and scones), as well as grab and go goods. Breakfast sandwich offerings include a Bacon, Egg, and Gouda Artisan Sandwich; a Roasted Ham and Swiss Croissant; a Sausage, Egg and Cheddar Sandwich; and a Spinach and Egg White Breakfast Wrap.

Bakery case

Bakery case

Bakery and grab and go

Bakery and grab and go

As always, we were on the hunt for some Disney specific items, and we found them. You’ll spy a couple of cookies that you won’t see at your local Starbucks: a Toffee Cookie and Chocolate Chips (you will, however, find similar cookies at the other Disney Parks Starbucks locations).

Toffee and Chocolate Chip Cookies

Toffee and Chocolate Chip Cookies

Unique to the Trolley Car, though, is that it plays host to an assortment of Hollywood Studios cupcakes and snacks. To be clear, these cupcakes aren’t specific to The Trolley Car Cafe, but rather to Hollywood Studios as a whole.

In the bakery case on opening day were two new seasonal gems: the Cinderella and Lady and the Tramp Cupcakes. Also up for grabs were the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcake and “Chocolate Toffee Cupcake.” (I put that in quotes for reasons you’ll read later…)

Cupcakes

Cupcakes

The Fruit Tart, Napoleon, and candy-topped Brownie from Starring Rolls have made the bill, too.

Disney specific treats

Disney specific treats

Rest assured, though, that all of those goodies and so many more are still available and waiting for you at Starring Rolls :) . We grabbed the new Cinderella and Lady and the Tramp Cupcakes there, and will have a review for you soon!

We chose three items: the Toffee Cookie, that Chocolate Toffee Cupcake, and a Venti (huge!) Flat White for our beverage.

Flat White sign

Flat White sign

We wanted to try the Flat White as it’s served, so we passed up the chance to doctor it with sugar, more cream, and the like, but there is a station to do so if you wish.

Cream and sugar station

Cream and sugar station

Cream and sugar station

Cream and sugar station

A note on seating before we dig in: there is none, either inside or outside of the Trolley Car Cafe. However, this doesn’t pose anywhere near the issue that it does on a busy Main Street, U.S.A., thanks to the close proximity of Min and Bill’s Dockside Diner and oodles of benches nearby. Min and Bill’s typically doesn’t open until 10:30 am or so, so that early morning Starbucks rush isn’t much of a problem in regards to seating, thanks to scenes like this:

Outdoor seating at Min and Bill's

Outdoor seating at Min and Bill’s

Benches in the area

Benches in the area

Onto the food! And drink! The Flat White is new to Starbucks everywhere. It’s like a hybrid between a cappuccino and a latte.

With a cappuccino, the espresso sits on the bottom of the cup and is topped with a huge layer of foamed milk. With a latte, espresso and steamed milk blend together throughout the whole drink. The Flat White is steamed milk (rather than foamed) layered on top of espresso, with a signature white dot of foam on top.

Disney Parks Starbucks coffee cup

Disney Parks Starbucks coffee cup

The Flat White (taken indoors)

The Flat White (taken indoors)

I’ve never claimed to be a coffee connoisseur, and I won’t start to now. I left the taste test to my husband who said it was, indeed, both stronger than a latte and more substantial than a cappuccino. I’ll take his word for it!

Next is the Toffee Cookie which is, first of all, huge.

Toffee Cookie

Toffee Cookie

There was no shortage on buttery toffee or chocolate bits in every bite, and it was nicely crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside, just like you want. At $2.59 it’s big enough to share, and we enjoyed it. You can find similar cookies at Sweet Spells and Writer’s Stop.

And now, to the cupcake: the Chocolate Toffee Cupcake is — in actuality — the Butterfinger Cupcake we know and love from Starring Rolls, right down to the fudge-y center (you can check out a full review of this legendary cupcake here!). I mean, once I saw it, I simply had to get one to verify… strictly for research purposes, of course ;).

Chocolate Toffee/Butterfinger cupcake

Chocolate Toffee/Butterfinger cupcake

Chocolate Toffee/Butterfinger cupcake

Chocolate Toffee/Butterfinger cupcake

I kind of like, though, that Starring Rolls is the only place that has retained the right to call it the Butterfinger Cupcake. Why? I don’t know, exactly. I just do.

Overall

That said, I’m pretty keen on The Trolley Car Cafe. I enjoyed the atmosphere, the fun Cast Members, and — to be honest — I’m pleased with the fact that it took the spot of a former merchandise location as opposed to another eatery. And even though I may never entirely understand a “Flat White,” the coffee’s not too bad, either!

A few details before we wrap up our time at Trolley Car Cafe: just like at Main Street Bakery and Fountain View, Starbucks cards are accepted, and card holders can earn stars with their purchases but cannot redeem rewards such as Birthday Beverages.

On the Disney Dining Plan? You can see on the menu pics above that all drinks — from Tall to Venti — are covered with snack credits, and you can use one quick service credit for breakfast (which includes a breakfast sandwich and a beverage, OR a pastry, one whole fruit, and a beverage).

And with that, I’m off to catch the next Big Red Car! See you on the rails…

 Will you be stopping by the Trolley Car Cafe on your next trip to Hollywood Studios? Please let us know with a comment!

Comments

  1. Dee says

    From what I understand, a Flat White starts out with “ristretto”, which is a shot of espresso with the same amount of coffee as normal, but half the amount of water, making it extra strong. So your husband’s take that it’s more substantial sounds just about right–and it’s nice to know that there really is some sort of difference between this and a latte or cappuccino! Thanks for the review. It’s freezing cold where I am this morning. Seeing the Florida sunshine and thinking about hot coffee has warmed me up. :)

  2. Destinie says

    Love your blog! Great pics!

    I’m going in just a couple weeks and am so excited! A question about the Starbucks at WDW: Do you know if this location carries alternative milk options aside from Soy milk? (Like Rice or Almond milk)

  3. says

    I really like this little spot. It’s got a cute backstory too- just ask one of the cast members to tell you about it.

    George- that is Ward! That’s also a nice little nod to Wreck-it Ralph in there too.

    Besides Min & Bills’s seating is also available around Echo Lake, as well and numerous benches along Hollywood and Sunset.

  4. Pete says

    I’ve been to Disney over a dozen times and Hollywood Studios is my favorite park for rides…But I’ve probably passed by this about a million times and never seen it! When they first announced the Starbucks, my family all wondered where this place was… Maybe next time we need to slow down and stop running toward Tower of Terror/RnR and enjoy the sites!

  5. Galloping Gourmond says

    I like that they take the meal plan for breakfast. I’m also glad to see a nice selection of Disney specific food. From what I’ve read so far I like this location better than the one on Main Street.

    Why wouldn’t they include seating? The cynic in me says it’s so people will not linger over coffee and instead walk into a merchandise location nearby. However a few tables or a counter for a tired mom and kid, or a dad to chill while the group shops (not being sexist, I would LOVE that) would be appreciated at these locations.

  6. Elizabeth says

    Do you know how late they serve breakfast–in particular, how long the breakfast sandwiches are offered? I’d enjoy having one as lunch.

  7. ReneeA says

    Just the thought that I’ll be able to get my vanilla iced coffee every morning in each park (soon!) makes me so incredibly happy. The surprising part to me? When my DD and I did our girl’s only trip a year ago, I grabbed my at home go to – venti vanilla iced coffee, and it was the same exact price as I pay at home for it! I was shocked that there was no typically “Disney markup”.

  8. Kate M. says

    That is interesting that the Chocolate Toffee Cupcake is the same as the Butterfinger Cupcake! That is my FAVORITE cupcake of all time! :-)

    Starring Rolls closes at 4 pm, and I’ve heard that they run out of the Butterfinger Cupcakes pretty early. My question is – does the Trolley Car Cafe run out of the Chocolate Toffee Cupcakes? Or are they constantly replenished, no matter the hour?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *