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Looming food issues complicate visit to Disney’s Hollywood Studios


We spent Sunday at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, taking in some of the changes already in progress as the park transforms to add more Toy Story attractions and a whole new land based on the new Star Wars movies. More on that in the coming days.

We had fun, but there was a looming issue that impacted our visit… the lack of quick service food options in the park.

With Pizza Planet under a long refurbishment and Studio Catering Company now behind construction walls. The park is down to just three quick service locations, 60% of its regular peak season capacity. There may be some capacity in the sit down restaurants, but I think a lot of guests will choose not to eat in the park if the choice is between that and a $19 burger.

We did notice the new food options at Writers Stop. A hefty pretzel, roasted candied nuts, and a cheese and cold cuts plate make up the new options. The prices are reasonable and if you want a beer, they have those too.


There are some questionable choices. The children’s menu options are vastly reduced compared to before with just two options (one of which is the pre-packed PBJ) at each location. We couldn’t find the old standby of Mac & Cheese at either Backlot Express or ABC Commissary. They also switched out the funnel cake at Oasis Canteen for some pricey chicken nuggets. We walked by that location three times and never saw a line, unlike with funnel cakes where there were always people in queue.


Disney clearly needs to think bigger here to meet guest expectations. Set up three or four of food reasonably priced carts (borrow the Swan and Dolphins) or a remote kitchen somewhere in the park to replace the lost capacity from being down 2 quick service locations. Make sure there are plenty of tables with protection from heat and rain. The Sunset Showcase courtyard by Rock’n’Roller coaster is one option, the walkway just beyond Midway Mania is another. I’ve even got a name for the location “Craft Services,” which in Hollywood-speak is the food brought to film shoots or movie studios to feet the cast and crew.

The good news is that management seems to be aware of the problem. According to a new rumor, they’ll even finally open that long rumored bar inside the exit queue to the Twilight Zone: Tower of Terror as an attempt to add more food.

Hopefully there’s more in the works. What would you like to see added to DHS as a bridge until more quick service food options return?

11 thoughts on “Looming food issues complicate visit to Disney’s Hollywood Studios”

  1. This is also a problem for vegetarians and allergy sufferers, too. Disney is usually very accommodating, but on a recent trip, there was one option in the entire park for my vegetarian wife with allergies, at a sit down restaurant, all other options were things that were made offsite and couldn’t be changed. It took Guest Services over a half hour to find a place where she could eat anything other than an apple.

    1. I honestly don’t see how the loss of two quick-service restaurants presents any greater challenge for people with food allergies, because people with serious food allergies almost always need to eat at a table-service location anyway.

      The vegetarian part is fairly inconsequential when compared to life-threatening food allergies, so if someone in your family chooses to be vegetarian and doesn’t like the food options — just like anyone else who doesn’t like the food options in a park — you can bring in your own food. We had to do that with one of our kids who went through a phase where he only wanted to eat PB&Js, but because of a peanut allergy, he had to have almond or cashew butter. We bought almond butter, his favorite jelly, and some bread at Publix and just brought his meals into the park with us.

  2. For upcoming WDW trip we are considering walking to the Boardwalk or Yacht Club to eat and then returning to HS. Any opinions on that idea?

  3. For Vegetarian options in the sit down restaurants, request a chat with the chef. There is much more they can do, and will be happy to do for those hungry for veggies. That has been our experience. Classic Disney service comes into play if you ask.

  4. For an actual meal, it’s just the fried green tomato sandwich, but depending on who you talk to, it’s not dairy free. Otherwise it’s carrot sticks and fruit.

  5. Min and Bills Dockside Diner (the boat by Echo Lake) is one of my favorite quick service locations at DHS, and they have a vegetarian option. Seems like it was a veggie wrap, last time I looked. They have something for just about everyone in our group. There are several other counter service locations that were also not mentioned.

  6. Would be nice to see the “pop up” kitchen concept using some of the favorites from the existing restaurants.

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