This counter-service spot is themed as a production warehouse, and serves up classic theme park entrees such as burgers, sandwiches, and salads. This spot typically a reliable place to stop for lunch in the park, and we’ve we’ve enjoyed a few of our meals here in the past. Recently, we found a very Instagrammable cake here! On this visit, we noshed on a couple entrees, as well as a Star Wars-themed treat! Will this visit measure up? Let’s find out!
Nestled next to the Star Tours attraction, you could easily pass this eatery by if you weren’t paying attention! But don’t rush off to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge just yet, let’s make a pit stop at Backlot Express first!
Backlot Express is known as the “Warehouse of Good Eating”, and it definitely has working-prop-shop vibes! The backstory here is that this big warehouse is home to all the props and set pieces manufactured for the various movies shot on the backlot. Here, craftspeople would cast plaster, stamp concrete, sculpt, mold, paint, and build all those realistic-looking props you see on the screen. It was “converted” into a dining hall and now you can dine where the magic was made!
Of course, this is all just Disney Magic. All of these “props” seen here are actually just that — props decorating this restaurant to fit the theme. BUT, it is one of the more unique locations to eat some chicken nuggets in. There is SO much to see here and, if you’re looking to find some fun easter eggs, well worth a visit to check everything out in here.
There is a lot of seating at this restaurant! There are three sheltered dining areas (a great place to hide from the rain!), as well as one outside dining area. Most of this restaurant is covered but still open air (you are in a big ol’ warehouse, after all!).
There is some seating outside under umbrellas.
There is also a dining room inside, just to the left of the ordering area. (There’s a lot of seating in here!)
Here’s the fun of this restaurant: all the sections are themed to different prop warehouse departments. There’s a plaster casting department…
…backdrop painting department…
…and even more of a general mechanic/prop department.
The details in here are really fun and you could seriously spend ages checking it all out. There ARE some fun actual props you might recognize hidden throughout as well. Keep an eye out for a few vehicles seen in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and even a ship from Horizons (for all you OG EPCOT fans!).
We personally like sitting in the covered area where the paints are; read each can for some fun surprises!
Like most other fast food options in Disney World right now, Backlot Express is taking advantage of Mobile Order. This simply means instead of walking up to the counter and placing their order, guests are asked to pre-order and pay for their meals from their phones. When you arrive, alert Mobile Order that you’re there and your order will be prepared and alert you when it’s time to go inside. The waiting area inside is limited, so they are asking that you wait on one of the socially distanced dots outside. Or, you can pop next door and wait inside the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular theater!
Once you have placed your order and receive the notification that it’s ready, you’ll head to the stations at each counter.
The app will let you know which station has your order, so just look for the sign with the corresponding number!
There is a separate section to pick up your fountain drink to the left of the stations.
Self-serve silverware is next to the drinks….
…and next to the condiments! They have mayo, yellow mustard, ketchup, barbecue sauce, and honey mustard available.
We’ve grabbed our food, and now it’s time to eat!
Let’s see what’s cookin’ right now at the Backlot!
The Entrees at Backlot is pretty simple — burgers, a Cuban, Chicken Strips, or a salad.
There is a plant-based hummus option with a Star Wars-themed flair. You’ll also notice under Sides are fries and Cheese Sauce. We’ve written love songs to that one buck cup o’ cheese before and (spoiler) we’re going to again. It’s a solid deal — one buck gets you a cup of plastic cheese. Don’t question it. Buy. The. Cheese.
Kids’ options are straightforward here as well.
As for adult beverages, they have a few beers, wines, and mixed drinks on the menu.
To drink, we ordered the Strawberry Daiquiri for $12.
This is about as straightforward as a drink can get. We could definitely taste the alcohol (which helped curb the sweetness from the strawberry), but overall we thought it was just fine. It’s not bad for a pre-made frozen drink, but not necessarily anything special. You may want to pass if you are wanting to try something more unique, but it is a refreshing and boozy option if you’re in a pinch or not too picky.
The first entree we tried was the Backlot Burger with Fries for $13.99.
This Angus beef burger is topped with barbecued pork, pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, and pickles. You can choose between carrot sticks or french fries as your side (we obviously choose fries because….fries). The toppings come on the bottom under your burger so you can add them yourself.
This is a hefty burger! We thought it was cooked well and there’s a good amount of well-sauced pulled pork on top.
This is fancier than your classic burger, but didn’t blow us away. The pepper jack cheese was a fun touch, but we could have used more of that cheesy kick. More cheese please! We kept comparing this Backlot Burger to the Regal Eagle cheeseburger on garlic toast, but the boring normal bun here is a bummer compared to the Regal Eagle option for buttery garlic toast. Overall, it’s not a stand-out burger. But if you love double meats, this may be for you!
The fries were your standard Disney fries, but we spruced them up with a special purchase (more on that later!).
The second meal we tried was the 4 Piece Chicken Strips with French Fries for $9.99.
It’s no secret that we love Disney chicken nuggets (and we aren’t the only ones!). These are basically those nuggets, but bigger! It was a good size portion and came with a ton of fries.
It’s not the most exciting offering, but it’s dependable and delish! It’s a great go-to for picky eaters. Seriously, we could probably eat these every single day and not complain. It’s solid, reliable Disney fast food.
But why would you have plain ole chicken and french fries, when you can dip them in cheese?? For $1 you can order a BIG cup of cheese sauce! AKA liquid gold.
Oh, plastic cheese. How we love thee.
Finally, we’ve arrived at the pinnacle of our meal. The dessert! We ordered the Wookie Cookie, which is two oatmeal cookies with vanilla cream filling. It’s garnished with a milk chocolate sash on top. And GUYS…
This thing is STILL SO GOOD. The cookie was chewy and soft, and the filling was yummy and not too sweet. We’ve sung this cookie’s praises since it debuted and still do. it’s chewy, sweet, and huge!
Oatmeal cream pie fans will stan this treat. It’s not as obnoxiously sweet as other Disney desserts, and we think any wookie would approve. Chewie, we’re home.
Run, don’t walk, to get this cookie!
Nosh or Not
Add the Backlot Express to your Hollywood Studios plans if:
- You are looking for something quick to eat near Star Tours or MuppetVision 3D.
- You have several kids or picky eaters in your party and want to make sure there are simple options everyone will be fine with.
- You want a LOT of seating to choose from. Hollywood Studio’s fast food locations like Sunset Ranch Market over near Tower of Terror can get notoriously crowded at busy times. There’s ample seating here.
Visit another Hollywood Studio option if:
- You are looking for more exciting food options. Maybe head to Docking Bay 7 in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge for some more unique food!
- You are very particular about a burger and only want to eat the best versions around. This is your average theme park burger at best here.
- You like a variety when it comes to desserts. The name of the game here is that cookie or the cute paint can cake currently.
Our meal was pretty average. And honestly, this is on par with what we’d expect from this Hollywood Studios quick-service spot. Each entree was just fine — not incredible and not bad — and the menu is overall relatively uninspired. For many folks, that’s perfectly fine! A burger or some chicken strips hit the spot! We’ve seen Backlot serve more interesting choices before, (remember when they went all out with Star Wars-themed foods??) so maybe they’ll start being inventive again soon. BUT, if you’re looking for easy-peasy, no-nonsense food on your Hollywood Studios day, this is a solid choice. And frankly, compared to SUPER popular alternatives like Woody’s Lunch Box (with their very limited menu) or super outdoor locations like Sunset Ranch Market (it can be H-O-T in the summer!), this location is a win in our book.
The theming of Backlot Express is the main draw of the restaurant. We definitely recommend spending a good amount of time wandering around and finding all of the small details. This feels very much like old MGM-Studios in the best way possible — the theming. They crammed so much fun detail in an otherwise unassuming location. The fun backstories worked into locations are a huge part of what we love about many Disney restaurants — this is a great example of that.
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Have you visited Backlot Express recently? Let us know about your experience in the comments!