We return to Disney’s Hollywood Studios to check out some recent additions to Backlot Express. We’ll take note of a handful of other changes along the way. We recently took a pretty good look at the Studios’ culinary landscape in a variety of posts:
- We started with a table service restaurant update, which included fresh reviews that pit 50’s Prime Time and Sci-Fi Dine-In against each each.
- We visited ABC Commissary, where there might be a surprising amount of variety, including Teriyaki Shrimp Bowls and Beef Empanadas.
- The Woody’s Lunch Box review in Toy Story Land includes a look at everything offered during breakfast.
- I also have an overarching Studios quick service update. Just about everything in that post is still accurate, with the exception of Backlot Express and Fairfax Fare, which we’ll take a look at here.
Backlot Express is one of a few major quick service operations at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and one that offers plentiful indoor and outdoor seating.
This week’s podcast is all about dessert parties as we discuss which upcharge events are potentially worth the money and where you’re probably better off spending five dollars on a cupcake and seeing the show with everyone else.
The episode is available in the usual spots:
Google Play: http://bit.ly/waltlovedgoogle
A direct link to the mp3 file is also available here.
If you’d like more information about any of the Parties, you’ll find links to my full reviews below:
I know, I know. Just hold your horses. We’re going to get to all the exciting Hollywood Studios updates.
We begin with some news that you can potentially use, not that the current status of the parking lot isn’t worth three separate posts each week. Tower of Terror will be running at half capacity for the foreseeable future as maintenance work is completed on one half of the attraction. It’s expected that Disney will distribute fewer FP+ per day during the elevator downtime. That will help keep standby waits lower, but also make acquiring FastPass+ that much more difficult, whether you’re booking them in advance or hoping to score someone else’s day-of cancellation. With the ride moving through half as many people, standby waits should be about 40% higher than they would be otherwise. The work was supposed to begin on the 18th. Here’s a look at posted waits so far this month:
Our morning at Animal Kingdom continues from Part 1, where we rope dropped Pandora to see what it takes to ride Flight of Passage or Na’vi River Journey first thing in the morning. In Part 2, we continued with Kilimanjaro Safaris, met Kevin the bird, passed a 50-minute wait at Expedition Everest, and experienced DINOSAUR in the standby line.
“Winged Encounters – The Kingdom Takes Flight” is a “pandemonium of parrots,” as Disney describes it. When a group of Disney bloggers get together, the company describes it as, “just kind of sad.”
We continue our day at Animal Kingdom after checking out what it takes to rope drop Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey in Pandora. We pick things up at 8:57am, or three minutes before the Park officially opens. I’ve already experienced Na’vi River Journey twice in standby with virtually no effort whatsoever. Flight of Passage is, of course, another matter. We’ll be returning to Pandora later in the morning to check out peak crowd levels and to see how long it takes to ride Avatar Flight of Passage with FastPass+ when the standby line is over three hours long.
It’s mildly amusing to see more people rope dropping the Creature Comforts Starbucks than Na’vi River Journey. People are lined up outside with the doors closed since the coffee house doesn’t open until 9am. The wait to ride River Journey, one of Animal Kingdom’s newest attractions, and a ride that will see a 100+ minute peak wait later in the day, is virtually a walk-on at the same time. But these people are going to be here for at least ten more minutes to order and receive their coffees. On one hand, I understand wanting to be fully-caffeinated before your first major attraction of the day. On the other hand, it might be better if you’re asleep during Na’vi River Journey.