CONFIRMED: Star Wars Themed Dinner Club Coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios

We first mentioned this a while back in this post about some of the dining options that we can expect when Star Wars Land opens at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. But while we had confirmation at that time of a Cantina, today, we can confirm that there will also be a Dinner Club!

Disney has released a brand new artist rendering, which further cements their plans to build an immersive table service experience in Star Wars Land.

© Disney

© Disney

No details like name or what the menu might be —  we’re still operating with the name “Star Wars Dining Experience”. :-) But we think this is super exciting! After all, how many times did you wish you could jump into the screen and enjoy a dinner on another planet?? Me toooooo!!  [Read more…]

Review: Sweet Chili-Glazed Chicken Nuggets at Oasis Canteen in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios has really been changing things up on us lately!

Of course, we saw some of this coming with fair warning: we knew that several Counter Service spots would be closing in early April to make way for the construction of Star Wars and Toy Story Lands. So far, construction has most affected the former Streets of America section of the park, and the remaining dining location in that area — Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano — is now part of the recently renamed area of Muppets Courtyard (meanwhile, its nearby neighbor, Toy Story Pizza Planet, is closed for a major makeover of its own).

Suddenly down a few dining locations, rumors of additions are starting to swirl (like a possible themed bar coming to the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attraction). That’s just a glimpse of some of the changes around the park. And as much as these changes are highly likely to result in a really great experience once the new Lands are complete, it’s all enough to make you want to visit a tried-and-true spot and soak in some familiarity.

So it came as a fairly big surprise when one of those tried-and-trues revealed an entirely new menu on our most recent visit.

Oasis Canteen Sign

Oasis Canteen Sign

The Oasis Canteen (located near the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular) has been the Hollywood Studios home to the theme park staple of Funnel Cakes for years.

[Read more…]

Rumor: Twilight Zone Tower of Terror Bar and Lounge

Any plans to DROP by the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror in Disney’s Hollywood Studios?

Well, even if you don’t plan to take on the haunted elevator itself, you may find it worthwhile to stop by one of these days anyway. That is, if the rumors are true that a themed bar may be added to the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attraction, according to wdwnt.com.

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

Said to be in the works for a location planned at the attraction’s exit (before entering the merchandise shop), the spot would offer some much-needed oomph in regards to food and beverage offerings in Hollywood Studios, which has recently lost several eateries (including one full Counter Service location with Studio Catering Co., and one bar with High Octane Refreshments) in conjunction with the closure of the Streets of America section of the park to make way for the future Toy Story and Star Wars Lands. [Read more…]

What’s New Around Walt Disney World — April 13, 2016

It’s time for another Trip Around the World to check out all the latest eats and happenings… and maaaaaybe a couple of construction walls, while we’re at it ;). Because while April showers might bring May flowers, this month is also bringing LOTS of changes to the Disney World parks!

And nowhere else is that more true than…

Hollywood Studios

“Please Pardon Our Pixie Dust”

It’s already been over six months since it was announced that MAJOR changes are on the way to Disney’s Hollywood Studios with the construction of Toy Story and Star Wars Lands.

"Please Pardon Our Pixie Dust"

“Please Pardon Our Pixie Dust”

Of course, it will be quite some time before those Lands are realized, but early April brought some of the first physical signs of change as the Streets of America section of the park (including eateries such as Studio Catering Co., High Octane Refreshments, Herbie’s Drive-In and the Pretzel Garden) was officially closed to make way for construction. [Read more…]

News: Muppets Courtyard is Officially Official…for now…at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

For those keeping track of changes at Disney’s Hollywood Studios this week, there’s one more to add to the list. You already likely know that the construction of Toy Story Land and Star Wars Land is now officially underway, as evidenced by the very recent closure of Streets of America fixtures such as Studio Catering Co. and the Lights! Motors! Action Extreme Stunt Show to make way for the new ventures.

Construction Walls Blocking  the Streets of America

Construction Walls Blocking the Streets of America

But what about Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano? It was always part of the former Streets of America section of the park, and yet it’s still in operation. (Yay!)

Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano

Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano

Well, it’s now part of the newly renamed Muppets Courtyard! The new name of this area of the park is revealed in the updated Guide Map for Disney’s Hollywood Studios (it’s listed on the bottom right of the shot below). [Read more…]

Review: The NEW Writer’s Stop in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Editor’s Note: We are hearing the news that the Carrot Cake Cookie is BACK at Writer’s Stop. Yay!

Well, April 2nd has come and gone, and it was a big day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

It was the last day guests could enjoy the Lights! Motors! Action! Extreme Stunt Show, or grab a bite to eat at Studio Catering Co., or a sip at High Octane Refreshments. This is all, of course, to make way for construction of the future Lands of Toy Story and Star Wars.

Writer’s Stop — a bookstore-meets-coffee-shop also specializing in some of the best bakery treats this side of the Studios — was originally on that same list to close down on April 3rd. However, it got a reprieve of sorts from the ol’ chopping block, and for a limited time it is still in operation… though in a different form than what we’re used to!

With many thanks to our Instagram pal, @savepointstu, we were alerted about the new menu. But we also couldn’t resist going over to search everything out ourselves and ask a few questions! What’s being served at Writer’s Stop now? And what is — or WAS — the fate of the spot’s signature item, the Carrot Cake Cookie?!?

When we arrived, we noticed the sign still remains, though the location has been taken off of the Hollywood Studios map. This is definitely a time of transition for Writer’s Stop.

Writer's Stop

Writer’s Stop

The menu now features three key items: a Charcuterie and Cheese Plate, a Warm Pretzel with Cheese Sauce, and Sugar-Spiced Nuts. [Read more…]

Rumor: A Second Chance for Writer’s Stop?

Oh, could it be?!? Has the Writer’s Stop been given a second chance?!

If you follow Disney news, you’ll likely recall the announcement that the Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show attraction will give its final performances on April 2nd in order to make way for construction of the future Toy Story and Star Wars Lands at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

It was subsequently announced that some of the eateries in the same Streets of America section of the park where the attraction is housed would be closing along with it as well. These include Studio Catering Co. and High Octane Refreshments as well as my much-beloved Writer’s Stop.

Home of the famous Carrot Cake Cookie, I also loved Writer’s Stop as an often quiet respite from a busy park. So, though it wasn’t exactly a surprise when its closure was announced, I — like many other like-minded fans — was saddened by the thought.

Writer's Stop

Writer’s Stop

But it’s possible that there is some VERY good news! According to the folks at wdwmagic.com, Writer’s Stop may remain open for “a limited time” beyond April 2nd! [Read more…]

Best Kept Disney Dining Secrets: Saving Money in Disney World

We are back with some of our very best kept Disney Dining Secrets. And we want to share them with you!

2016 book cover dfb guide

Planning where you’ll be spending your food budget in Disney World is a BIG deal. There are so many choices to make! Maybe you’re worried about getting the advance dining reservations you’d like the most. And what about your favorite brands and foods? Will they have them?

These are all great questions, and we address them all in our DFB Guide to WDW Dining e-Book! But today, we’re exploring one of the biggest concerns: Is it possible to save a buck or two when you’re at Disney?

Secrets to Saving Money in Disney World

Today, we’ll share some of our favorite ways to save money during your visit to Walt Disney World. And if you like what you see here, be sure to check out even more secrets in the brand new DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining, 2016 Edition, where we gather over 530 pages of tips, recommendations, and secrets to make your Disney trip the best ever!

Here we go!

Ditch Unwanted Sides

I love this tip, and it can save you some serious cash (and calories!). You may think the price printed on the menu board or in the menu is non-negotiable. But we’ve got a secret to share!

Did you know that you can often forego unwanted sides? For instance, say you order a sandwich that comes with fries, but you don’t really want them. Ask if you can order your sandwich as an entree only and save!

Cheeseburger at Backlot Express!

Cheeseburger at Backlot Express!

And if you’re a light eater, or someone who doesn’t really care about (or literally can’t EAT) that side of salad/chips/fries/coleslaw/pasta salad, then you’ll never miss it.

[Read more…]

Guest Review: Star Wars Symphony in the Stars Dessert Party at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

The Force is strong at Symphony in the Stars, a Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party! Beth Wesesky, guest author, takes us to this hard ticket event at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. No faster-than-light travel necessary. ;)

A short time ago…in a state far, far away…
Nerd, geek, dweeb, scruffy-looking Nerfherder… any way you describe it, my family and I are proud Star Wars fanatics! So, on our most recent trip to Walt Disney World, we just KNEW that we had to get our “fix”! That “fix” included booking reservations for the “Symphony in the Stars, A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party” held in Disney’s Hollywood Studios on select nights through April 30th, 2016.

Symphony in the Stars

Symphony in the Stars

The day the reservation window opened, I made the jump to hyperspace and booked our party! Admission price is $69.00 for adults and $39.00 for children ages 3-9 and Hollywood Studios admission is required. Disney Dining Plan entitlements may not be used and prepayment with a credit card is required.

The party is described on the Walt Disney World website as: The Dessert Party You’re Looking For! Enjoy an out-of-this-world selection of desserts and specialty drinks—including alcoholic beverage options. Nibble on Darth Vader cupcakes as you take in an up-close view of the enthralling Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular Fireworks Show.

A Galactic Evening

A Galactic Evening

Atmosphere

We arrived in Disney’s Hollywood Studios around 6PM on January 24th, and headed for the Dessert Party check-in, which is located beside Min and Bill’s Dockside Diner. We were checked in by a lovely Cast Member who instructed us to return closer to 7PM. We were given a wrist band to present at the entrance when we returned.

Around 6:45PM, we headed back to an already very long line of party-goers waiting to be admitted to the viewing area. The viewing area was set up on the left side of Center Stage, in the hub of the park. The tables were standing tables, draped with black and red (nice Dark Side touch) tablecloths that just touched the ground. Keep in mind, there is no seating available, but the area is spacious and comfortable. Besides, once the fireworks begin, you’ll be on your feet in awe! The evening of our party, the temperature was about 38 degrees (brrrrr…), so Disney had several heat sources set up in the area to keep guests from shivering through the show!

Standing Tables

Standing Tables

Dessert Party Tables

Dessert Party Tables

Before the event got started, park-goers were entertained by an awesome light show and DJ who was playing modern dance tune mixes, which everyone enjoyed! As soon as we got into the viewing area, we headed for a table near the front to get a clear view of the fireworks. There were some trees blocking a bit of the view for other tables, but I’m sure this wasn’t a deal breaker.

Eats

We made the table our own, and went off to scope out the offerings! WOW…I’ve got to say, we were very impressed with not only the taste of the desserts and savory bites, but also with the presentation and layout as well! There were two food buffet stations, one on either side of the viewing area. Each station had the same selections, and it made navigating the area very stress-free. No bumping into other people reaching over you for food!

The sweet dessert options that were beautifully displayed on the stations included: Blue Milk Panna Cotta with Crispy Pearls (our 15-year old son’s favorite), “Darth Maul” The Pastry Menace Eclairs, [Read more…]

Review: 50’s Prime Time Cafe at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

One of my family’s favorite restaurants at Walt Disney World, 50s Prime Time Cafe, is what my teen son deems a great, immersive experience! It’s been one of his favorite places to dine for many years and apparently it still gets a thumbs up. ;)

While the entertaining servers will draw you into the “show,” you’ll also be digging into some comfort food. You’ll find hearty portions and tasty eats from appetizers to desserts.

This place is popular so be sure to make your advance dining reservation ahead of your vacation.

We always request a TV table; this request is easier to fill if you are one of the first diners of the day. Make an early lunch reservation!

Atmosphere

As you enter this restaurant in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you’ll be transported back to the 1950s. You’ll be immersed in kitschy decor and slapstick humor, and you’ll be served by your “family” members. In fact, it won’t be long before your “cousins” are seated near you (but not WITH you).

Right from the start, you’ll be greeted by costumed Cast Members.

Cast Members

Cast Members

[Read more…]