Welcome back to Backlot Express!
This counter service option is quite possibly the most popular in Disney’s Hollywood Studios (with the exception of the relatively new Woody’s Lunch Box). Known for its highly detailed movie warehouse setting and classic dishes like chicken nuggets, burgers, and salads, it’s a spot which appeals to many guests.
The past couple of years, Backlot Express has also been known as the spot to find some Star Wars themed eats among the offerings. The Royal Guard Burger and Dark Side Chicken and Waffles (with said waffles emblazoned with Darth Vader) were found as entrees in front of Star Wars cupcakes for dessert options featuring an array of characters ranging over the years from Darth Vader and Yoda to Chewbacca and BB-8 and beyond.
We’re here today, though, to check out the newly revamped menu and to discover what’s changed and what’s remained the same on the menu at Backlot Express!
The main thing you’ll notice when checking out the entrée menu is that the Star Wars themed offerings have been removed… somewhat. You see, technically you’ll still find the Royal Guard Burger (1/3 lb angus beef burger topped with BBQ brisket, pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato and pickles), only now it’s called the Backlot Burger.
Ditto for the Galactic Salad, which is now the Southwest Salad served with or without chicken.
New offerings include a Cuban Sandwich. Four piece Chicken Tenders have replaced the more standard Chicken Nuggets, and the Dark Side Chicken and Waffles have been entirely switched out for a new Chicken and Biscuits entrée. You can still grab a Caprese Sandwich or the California Chicken Club.
And for dessert? A new Key Lime Verrine and Peanut Butter Brownie are available.
As for drinks, current Backlot Specialty cocktails include a Strawberry Daquiri, Frozen Golden Margarita, and Vodka Lemonade. And your little Padawan may be glad to know that they can still get a BB-8 Souvenir Sipper with their soda or drink if they’re still really hoping for a Star Wars touch here.
Let’s dig in!
The Chicken and Biscuits takes homestyle buttermilk biscuits and chicken tenders and tops them with country gravy, a spicy strawberry glaze, and bacon crumbles.
Three nice-sized tenders offer more meat and less breading than the standard Nuggets.
The biscuits themselves are nice and buttery, and not dry at all.
There is nothing remarkable about the gravy, which is fine. But it is outshone by the yummy spicy strawberry glaze which has a surprising amount of kick to it along with its tang. Hooray!
The Cuban Sandwich features roasted pulled pork, sliced ham, Swiss cheese, and pickles and mustard.
It comes with French Fries.
The pressed sandwich gives the bread some great texture.
And when they say that it comes with pickles and mustard, they mean business! There is a lot more applied here than your standard condiments.
We really enjoyed how much flavor this lends to the sandwich, but if you’re not a fan of those strong tastes you may want to ask for your sandwich to be made without or to have those on the side.
As for the meats, the pork is just okay, and the ham lends a lot more flavor.
But overall it’s a really nice change of pace for a counter service sandwich, and it was enjoyed!
The Peanut Butter Brownie is, first of all, pretty darn big!
But it’s obviously different than the Peanut Butter Brownie we’re used to over at Animal Kingdom Lodge. The emphasis remains on the chocolate here with the peanut butter coming from the generous amount of Reese’s Pieces-style candies over top of a layer of fudgy chocolate… at least at first glance.
You see, even more peanut butter is tucked inside the brownie itself.
The whole thing is SUPER dense, rich, and filling with the candy pieces adding a fun and tasty crunch. And did we mention… it’s HUGE?!
The Key Lime Verrine (Verrines are taking over Hollywood Studios counter service spots, BTW) is a parfait-style dessert layering light and airy key lime custard with graham crumbs topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a white chocolate ring.
Even though it was good overall, I was wanting more of a flavor punch from the lime. It was even overpowered just by the dollop of vanilla bean cream (which is delicious, I must say).
The new offerings here are solid, and a reminder of why we enjoy Backlot Express as a go-to within the realm of counter service in Hollywood Studios. But the removal of most Star Wars elements from the menu here is a bit of a surprising decision, as Hollywood Studios continues to readily promote Star Wars elements within the park such as the Star Wars Launch Bay and the nighttime production of Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular in anticipation of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opening in the park this fall.
Then again, it’s hardly a complete shock. After all, Star Wars themed food won’t be quite so necessary when we’re able to grab a drink or maybe even some Blue Milk in an actual Cantina on the Planet Batuu… so there’s that!
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Is Backlot Express one of your favorites? Please let us know with a comment!