Review: Backlot Express at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

We’re back at the Backlot Express!

And it’s a good time to visit, since Backlot Express is really THE place to go in Disney’s Hollywood Studios to get that “backlot” feel, especially since The Studio Backlot Tour attraction closed down last September.

It’s also a good time solely because it’s always a good time to visit Backlot Express. With its fantastically-done themeing, this movie production warehouse that’s actually an eatery serves up Quick Service favorites (with a few unique items thrown in), and it’s long been just about my favorite Counter Service restaurant in Hollywood Studios. Of course, now you’ll find part of it decorated for the Rebel Hangar Star Wars Lounge Experience for Star Wars Weekends, but my most recent visit took place just a couple weeks prior to the temporary redecoration.

It’s been too long, I’d say… so let’s head back inside Backlot Express!

Atmosphere

Yes, Backlot Express is a Counter Service stop, so the goal —aside from getting fed ;) — is to be in and out and get back to the attractions. In fact, that was even more of the goal with the Express Order test. But if you have a little extra time, I’d really encourage you to spend some of it exploring the terrific details here.

This “Warehouse of Good Eating” (its slogan is on the main entrance sign), in story, serves as a warehouse for the Studios, storing all manner of movie production items from paints and props to storyboards and stunt gear.

Backlot Express sign and "warehouse" entrance

Backlot Express sign and “warehouse” entrance

The sculpture area is super cool, with the scupltures all in white awaiting their paint.

Sculpture

Sculpture

Sculptures

Sculptures

Sculpture

Sculpture

And you can spot pops of color here and there, too.

Painted sculpture

Painted sculpture

Speaking of paints… you’ll see cans upon cans of the stuff, in both indoor and outdoor seating areas.

Paint cans

Paint cans

Paint cans in outdoor seating

Paint cans in outdoor seating

Though you could choose to eat in the stunt crew area.

Stunt diagram

Stunt diagram

But I can’t say that I have, since I find the stunt dummies sitting above –frankly — a little creepy.

Stunt dummies

Stunt dummies

Stunt dummy

Stunt dummy

Some of my favorite details, though, are reminders that you’ve walked into a functioning, working warehouse complete with safety-in-the-workplace and supply conservation signs.

Save Money sign

Save Money sign

Safety Quiz

Safety Quiz

There is even the ol’ office bulletin board for the Paint Department, displaying inter-team memos as well as [Read more…]

Review: The Golden Horseshoe in Disneyland

You want history, my fellow Disney-loving friends? Well, then, you’re going to love what we have in store for you today.

Sign

That’s right, we’re taking another trip to Disneyland for a rip-roarin’ good time at one of our favorite Old West saloons — The Golden Horseshoe!

This place has it all — Disney pedigree, a hilarious show, and signature menu items.

If you haven’t been there before, I have a feeling it will be on your Disney Bucket List once we’re finished talking about this time-honored spot in Disney’s original theme park.

Let’s check it out!

Atmosphere

Head up Main Street USA towards Sleeping Beauty’s Castle and hang a left at the hub. You’ll find The Golden Horseshoe centrally located in Frontierland, appropriately.

One of the most interesting bits of trivia about this spot is that it was one of the original fixtures when the park opened waaaaaayyy back in 1955.

In fact, Walt and his wife, Lillian, celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary with a private party here just days before the park opened to the public.

Awesome Golden Horseshoe Signs

(Check out Heather’s post about a cool Limited Time Magic event earlier this year, which included a dessert with a picture from that famous night!)

The boardwalk outside touts Ice Cream Sundaes and more as you anticipate heading inside… .

Entrance

Enter into the saloon-themed counter service spot and take in all the details. The restaurant was designed by Harper Goff, and if it seems familiar, then you must be an old film buff — it’s based upon a set design that Goff used in the the 1953 western comedy musical Calamity Jane, starring Doris Day. (See? Reading DFB is not only a treat for the eyes, it’s a learning experience, too! ;-D You’re SMARTER than you were when you started reading!)

Seating and Stage Under the Rotunda

Two levels of seating provide you lots of options for taking in the show. You’ll also notice some “box seats” situated closer to the stage. Walt himself kept the one on the right for viewing the show anytime time he wanted to, as this was a favorite spot of his. The boxes are open to the public now.

Upper Level Seating on the Rotunda and Longhorns

Rich details surround you, and actually, the feeling is pretty [Read more…]