Escapes & Strolls: Backlot Express

Large hanging sign for Backlot Express RestaurantThis week after a long day of sitting at our desks, Kim and I decided to head to Hollywood Studios for a walk. The park has surprisingly not been as busy as I had anticipated. The lighter crowds are good for me as it’s my favorite park, but unexpected since Galaxy’s Edge just recently opened. The park is even better for us to visit at night as the hours extend to 10 pm. We decided to stroll over to Backlot Express and stop for a treat before continuing our walk.

Backlot Express is one of the remaining pieces of the old Hollywood Studios, hidden away between Star Tours and the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular. It’s a pretty big space with a lot of large tangible décor. The theme is the backlot of a production studio with pictures, diagrams, sets, and props all over the seating areas. The restaurant doesn’t get much attention because it’s not themed to any specific properties, but there’s still a lot to see. Right by our seats in one dining room corner, there was a full scheduling office filled with schedules and breakdowns.

Covered outdoor seating with paint department themingThe seating is spread out with a small dining room on one side of the ordering area, another indoor seating on the other side and a large covered outdoor seating area. The ample space will ensure that there’s always somewhere to sit even if it may not be in the AC.

Mural painting of cityscapeBacklot Express is usually open from 10 am-9:30 pm. When we arrived around 7:30 pm, there was hardly anyone in line. The restaurant can serve a lot of patrons, but there were only two lines open. At Backlot Express, you order your food and pay, then wait and pick up your food at the counter behind the register. Right by the registers, there is a large mural painted on the wall of a city. This mural looks like an example of a backdrop used during the filming of a movie. This mural reminded me of the Streets of America area of Hollywood Studios that used to exist. The Streets of America has mostly changed into newer areas like Galaxy’s Edge, but there are still small pieces like the area by Baseline Tap House.

Digital menu with pictures of itemsThe menu at Backlot Express is straightforward and made up of a few burgers and sandwiches. The top menu item is the Backlot Burger, an 1/3 lb. Angus Burger with Barbecued Pulled Pork and Pepper Jack on a Brioche Bun with fries for $13.99. A standard Cheeseburger and fries are $10.99. There is a Kids Menu with multiple choices that run about $7 each. There are always a few desserts at Backlot, which right now include the Peanut Butter & Chocolate Brownie that we ordered for $4.50. The brownie came out very quickly and served at room temperature. It is big and fudgy and topped with peanut butter candies. It is a lot of thick delicious chocolate brownie and ended up being more than enough for the two of us to eat in one sitting.

Peanut Brownie with candies on top from Backlot ExpressBacklot Express also has a decent alcoholic drink menu. There are two mixed drinks including a Frozen Golden Margarita for $11.50. There are four draft beers here that range from $8-$9.75, one of which is usually something seasonal or crafty. Right now, it’s the Goose Island IPA. There is a red and white wine available as well.

Backlot Express Drink Menu

Backlot Express is usually one of the locations in the park to have specialty limited menu items. Currently, they have the Mickey Celebration Cake which is a chocolate sponge cake with chocolate cream and vanilla marshmallow for the 30th Anniversary of Hollywood Studios. The Two Suns Hummus red pepper and original hummus with pita bread for the grand opening of Galaxy’s Edge. The Souvenir Alien Sipper Cup from Woody’s Lunchbox is also sold here with a fountain drink for $14.99. These limited items are posted on signage by the registers and can be spotted easily in a quick pass by to see what’s new.

Mini Submarine hanging from ceiling in Backlot ExpressAfter finishing our brownie, we paused for a moment to take in the scenery all over the rooms. Above our seats, was a minisub hanging from the ceiling. A mini-helicopter was also hanging from the ceiling in the distance. Across the way, I could see a behind the scenes set photo from Who Framed Roger Rabbit? hanging on the wall amidst others. There are different seating areas separated for various departments in movie production. There are Props, that’s filled with unusual stuff, Stunts, filled with action scene plans and vehicles, and Paints, filled with art supplies. Although Backlot Express is a restaurant, there’s a great deal to walk around and see. There are plenty of “aha” moments to discover, and it’s all out of the sun.Fake full scheduling office setup inside Backlot Expres

We headed out, feeling a little buzzed from our brownie to continue our stroll through the park. We also gained a greater appreciation for the time and theming put into the restaurant. I recommend Backlot Express for anyone visiting the park looking for a quick meal or spot to sit down. Backlot is also a great place for movie fans to take a fun look around and get a break from the elements.

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