Category Archives: Hollywood Studios

Something Besides Burgers at Disney

Something Besides Burgers at Disney

Headed off to a Disney vacation but afraid of burger burn out? After all that is the only option theme parks really offer. Right? And they will be overpriced too. Right? Well Grumpy cannot disagree about the overpriced but there is no need to suffer from burger burn out. There is something besides burgers at Disney.

In fact you do not have to pay to have a fancy sit down dinner or hit one of the character buffets to escape the bun. There are plenty of options from sushi (yes Grumpy really said sushi) to bbq ribs that will not set you back a fortune. In fact most of them are one quick service dining credit.

Top Quick Service Options By Park

So where do you find these options? First let’s take a look at Grumpy’s top choice for each park (and one honorable mention.)

Magic Kingdom

Columbia Harbor House: In the Magic Kingdom and looking beyond Pecos Bill’s or Cosmic Ray’s? Give Columbia Harbor House a try. Located in Liberty Square you have probably seen it a million times and never paid attention. But you are passing up some good food! The menu centers around seafood and includes tuna, battered fish and shrimp. Have non-seafood people in your party? There are also chicken nuggets on the menu. The theme in the Columbia Harbor house is also worth a look.

Something Besides Burgers at Disney

Epcot

La Cantina de San Angel: Located in the World Showcase’s Mexico pavilion La Cantina de San Angel is an excellent escape from burgers.  La Cantina de San Angel offers excellent Mexican selections like Tacos de Barbacoa. These shredded beef tacos are a Grumpy favorite. The only drawback to La Cantina is the seating is very limited and is outdoor. Note: Don’t confuse La Cantina de San Angel with La Hacienda de San Angel. La Hacienda is in the pyramid and is table service (much higher prices.)

Hollywood Studios

Fairfax Fare:  If you head down Sunset Boulevard towards the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith and smell something good cooking it might be Fairfax Fare. This is another one of those places that is easy to overlook. Most people head to ABC Commissary or the Studio Catering Company. They are missing out on some good barbeque. Fairfax Fare offers chicken and spareribs. As with La Cantina de San Miguel one of the big drawbacks here is outdoor only seating.

Animal Kingdom

Flame Tree Barbecue: A real favorite for visitors to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Flame Tree is found on Discovery Island and offers ribs, chicken and pork sandwiches. The seating area is large but spread out and outdoors. But there is some bad news…Flame Tree is currently closed for refurbishment but some of their offerings are available at kiosks like Beastly Kiosk (also on Discovery Island) and Trilo-bite in Dinoland.

Honorable Mention

Be Our Guest: Be Our Guest is one of the hottest meals in the Magic Kingdom. And by hottest Grumpy means it is hard to get into not that the food everywhere else is cold. In fact it is so popular it is the only quick service (as of publication date) that offers Advanced Dining Reservations.

So why is it honorable mention? For one because you probably will not be able to get in there and it doesn’t really matter what they offer or how good it is if you cannot get in. Secondly, it is only Quick Service for breakfast and lunch. At dinner it becomes Table Service.

Be Our Guest is located in the new Beast’s Castle. It is impressive from the outside and inside. The menu has a French flair to it and includes Croque Monsieur (Grilled Sandwich of Carved Ham and Gruyere Cheese and Bechamel) with Pommes Frites, carved Turkey Sandwich Carved and carved prime chuck roast beef sandwich.

SOMETHING BESIDES BURGERS AT DISNEY

 

Soarin and Toy Story To Get Expansions

Soarin and Toy Story To Get Expansions

Disney just announced that both Soarin and Toy Story Midway Mania are being expanded. Soarin’ is one of the top attractions at Epcot. Toy Story Midway Mania is not only the most popular attraction at Hollywood Studios it is one of the most popular in all of Walt Disney World.Soarin and Toy Story To Get Expansions

Soarin’ will be getting another theater as well as some updates to its screen and projection systems. It has long been rumored that Soarin’ was being converted to a digital format. It has also been rumored that a new movie, perhaps one made just for Walt Disney World, would be introduced. Only time will tell if either or both of these rumors are true.

Rumors of an expansion for Toy Story Mania first became popular when the Studio Backlot Tour was closed. There was a lot of speculation that the show building for the Studio Backlot Tour would be converted to a third track for Toy Story. While Grumpy cannot confirm that the Studio Backlot Tour Building is where the expansion will be it has been confirmed that there will be adding more track to Toy Story. This should be a third track that will increase capacity by 1/3.

This expansion of capacity, even more than the one for Soarin’, should prove a huge help to crowd flow at Hollywood Studios. Toy Story Midway Mania is, in truth, the only ride at the Studios that is friendly to younger children. It was so popular that before Fastpass + was introduced the paper Fastpasses were over gone by 10 am. With the new Fastpass + system they are still among the hardest to get anywhere in Walt Disney World.

The bad news is that the expected completion date for the two expansions is not until late 2016. Till then it will be hard to get Fastpasses and long standy-by lines.

You can read the official release here.

 

Star Wars Weekend 2015

Every years legions of fans (and some Stormtroopers) make the jump into hyper space and land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for Star Wars Weekends. Star Wars Weekends (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) start on May 15th and wrap up on June 14th.

Special Character Meet and Greets

What would Walt Disney World be without a chance to meet your favorite character? Mickey, Minnie and friends will be dressed as their favorite Star Wars character, of course. But there will also be chances to meet characters from the franchise. Expect to see Darth Vader, Stormtroopers, Jawas and many more. Continue reading Star Wars Weekend 2015

Hollywood Studios Gertie The Dinosaur

Hollywood Studios Gertie The Dinosaur

If you have been to Hollywood Studios you have no doubt noticed the big dinosaur. She is in Echo lake just chilling . If you an ice cream fan you know exactly where she. This dinosaur is home to Dinosaur Gertie’s Ice Cream of Extinction.

Hollywood Studios Gertie The DinosaurBut the dinosaur, named Gertie as you might have guessed from the ice cream shop, seems a little out of place in Hollywood Studios. In fact Grumpy finally broke down and did a little research to find out exactly what this dinosaur is doing at Hollywood Studios. Turns out there is a good reason!

What Is This Dinosaur

Getie looks very cartoonish. In fact she looks neglected and in need of a good coat of paint, preferably in some more vibrant colors. But when you understand her history and the history of Disney’s Hollywood Studios you will find she is perfect.

Gertie is a tribute to one of the original cartoon superstars, named Gertie of course. She was created to prove that animation really worked. When she was created, in 1914, people were skeptical about animation and moving pictures in general. So Winsor McCay created Gertie. You can see the original Gertie short below. Keep in mind this was in the era of silent films and before “talkies.”

So that explains who Gertie is but why is she at Hollywood Studios? When Hollywood Studios was Disney’s MGM Studios the park was dedicated to more than just fun rides and shows. It was a place to learn about how movies were made. It was also a place to pay tribute to the great movies of the past, which is why Gertie is perfect just where she is.

As for the paint job, well she is consistent with the era of movies she represents. Nothing too fancy.

Is Gertie headed for extinction?

Rumors abound that Hollywood Studios is going to be getting a major expansion soon. Bog Iger, the big cheese over all Walt Disney companies and subsidiaries, has all but confirmed that Star Wars is coming to Hollywood Studios. A Carsland or Pixarland may also be coming.

While more is certainly better in this case the question is where will this expansion go? As much as Grumpy would love to say they will increase the size of the park it is highly unlikely that Disney will expand the park that much. In fact they may not expand it all.

That means somethings will have to go away. The Backlot Studio Tour and the American Idol Experience are already gone. Rumors say that The Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular and Lights, Motor Action! are soon to follow. And unfortunately for Gertie, rumors are circulating that Echo Lake and Gertie are on their way out too.

But rumors are just rumors we can still hope that Hollywood Studios Gertie the dinosaur gets a reprieve and escapes extinction.

Want to learn more about Gertie? Click here for an excellent article.

What Is Going On At Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios is a good theme park. It has the potential to be a great theme park. Disney may even be in the process of making it into a great park but the way they are doing it is making more than one person grumpy.

Why Hollywood Studios Isn’t A Great Park Today

There are several thing that are holding Hollywood Studios back.  The first is the attractions. It is not that Hollywood Studios does not have great attractions and shows. It has some of the best at Walt Disney World but it does not have enough.  In fact it is less than 20 attractions. Continue reading What Is Going On At Hollywood Studios

Which Park Should You Visit

Top Ten Overrated Disney Experiences

With four theme parks to choose from maybe Walt Disney World has too many options. Each park is certainly worth visiting but if you have limited time Which Park Should You Visit?

This short quiz is NOT the way to decide where you will spend your vacation time and dollars but it might give you a better idea. And Grumpy hopes you have fun taking it! Be sure to share your results.

Top Ten Disney World Shows

Top Ten Disney World Shows

Disney World is not an amusement park. It is a theme park. Amusement parks have rides. Theme parks have rides but they also have stories to tell. Disney tells a story with every ride but they also use a lot of shows. This is Grumpy’s list of the Top Ten Disney World Shows. Continue reading Top Ten Disney World Shows

Disney Planning Seven Dwarfs Style

Disney Planning Seven Dwarfs Style

After careful research (meaning I just completely made it all up) I have come to the scientific conclusion there are seven stages of Disney planning.  Each stage can be characterized by one of the seven dwarfs from Disney’s classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. For that reason I call my approach the Disney Planning Seven Dwarfs Style.

Do your own research (read the post) and see if you do not agree. Let me know in the comments. Continue reading Disney Planning Seven Dwarfs Style

Star Wars Land at Hollywood Studios

Star Wars Land at Hollywood Studios?

Ever since the announcement that Disney had purchased Lucasfilm in 2012 people have been asking, guessing and dreaming  about Star Wars Land at Hollywood Studios. Rumors have ranged from there will be a new Star Wars attraction to there will be an entirely new theme parks. The most accepted rumor has been that it will be more than a single attraction and less than a a new park.  That means a new land similar to Carsland at Disney’s California Adventure. Continue reading Star Wars Land at Hollywood Studios