Hollywood Studios has a reputation as being the worst ‘food park’ for counter service restaurants at Walt Disney World. As such, you might be better off grazing on various savory snacks and decadent desserts rather than sitting down for a full meal.
In this post, we scour Disney’s Hollywood Studios in search of the best snacks, and share with you both the sweets and heavier, shareable options that you can order in lieu of a proper counter service meal. Going this route the first half of the day and then doing a sit-down dinner (there are actually a trio of table service restaurants we like at DHS) is a pretty sound touring strategy.
One thing I should caution is that the menus at Disney’s Hollywood Studios are constantly in flux. In this park, menus change with the wind. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is on the horizon, and I’m expecting more changes as Disney attempts ‘upgrades’ throughout the park (we’ve already seen the first of these at Backlot Express).
Not to mention, there will be no shortage of snack options within Star Wars land. Walt Disney World could phone it in, knowing any culinary concoctions will sell like hotcakes so long as they’re “Instagram-worthy” but my suspicion is that the food & beverage teams will work to make items taste good. They’ve been salivating at the successes of items in Wizarding World of Harry Potter for a few years now.
Basically, this is all a long-winded way of saying that there’s an expiration date on this post, and it’s probably right around August 29, 2019. I’ll check back after that to see how accurate this remains (and share a link to the inevitable sequel), but it’s just something you should know if you’re planning a Walt Disney World trip today for September 2019 or later.
Speaking of later in the year, it’s also worth noting that the holiday season brings with it a ‘bonus’ round of snacks, some of which are quite good. If you’re planning a November or December visit, supplement this post with our Christmas Snacks at Disney’s Hollywood Studios post.
With that said, here are the snacks we currently enjoy the most at Disney’s Hollywood Studios…
Carrot Cake Cookie – The Third to Last O.G. of the Disney’s Hollywood Studios snack scene, this glorious treat predates half the attractions in the park (probably–I didn’t actually do a count). Previously a Disney fan hidden gem found at Writer’s Stop, it has since moved to the Trolley Car Cafe Starbucks at the front of the park.
Like a fine wine, the Carrot Cake Cookie has gotten better with age. When it first moved to Trolley Car Cafe, it started being made with thicker cookies, which would’ve been an upgrade but for it throwing the ever-important cream cheese to cookie ratio all out of whack. It was the biggest controversy of its time, making stroller-gate look like a minor matter.
In a bold move, Walt Disney World invited distinguished scientists from all over the world to come and work on a solution. Fortunately, all of them showed up. Realizing the gravity of the situation, they worked round the clock, endeavoring to find a bold fix. They did, and the end result is thick, moist cookies with a generous layer of rich cream cheese that complements the sweetness of the carrot cake flavor perfectly. This is one of the few absolute must-order snacks at Walt Disney World, and you really need to taste it to believe it.
Butterfinger Cupcake – Now know as the PB Crunch Cupcake (presumably due to trademark uses?), this has been another mainstay of the Walt Disney World snack scene for as long as we’ve been visiting Walt Disney World as adults. It was originally a gigantic cupcake at Starring Rolls, and eating it alone was almost a herculean challenge.
Today’s version is found at the Trolley Car Cafe Starbucks. It’s smaller and more expensive, but every bit as delicious. Personally, I’ve become apprehensive of most cupcakes at Walt Disney World since the size to price ratio is no longer favorable, but this remains a snack we recommend with tepid enthusiasm.
Peanut Butter & Jelly Milk Shake – Here’s the final member in our trio of classic Disney’s Hollywood Studios snacks (all of which, I believe, actually date back to when this park was the Disney-MGM Studios). Available at Tune-In Lounge, the bar side of 50’s Prime Time Cafe, this is one of our go-to desserts on hot days.
The normal version of this is the PB&J Milkshake. However, thanks to the miracles of modern technology, chocolate can be added to really up the ante. Both taste pretty much as described, which is to say, fantastic. I personally prefer the chocolate-added version, which is probably what it’d taste like if you blended vanilla ice cream, jelly, and Reese’s cups. Okay, perhaps that description doesn’t make it sound fantastic, but it is.
Anything at Baseline Tap House – In typical Disney’s Hollywood Studios fashion, we pass the baton from the old guard to the new one, starting with the bar in the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge waiting room…err…Grand Avenue.
Baseline Tap House has an excellent selection of beer, a chill outdoor seating area, and a seriously underrated trio of food items in the Bavarian Pretzel (best pretzel at Walt Disney World), California Cheese and Charcuterie Plate (a great value and nice for snacking on while drinking), and the Coffee-rubbed Rib-eye Steak Puff with Olive Salad (somewhere between a snack and entree; it’s deliciously decadent). I absolutely love the steak puff, and even though it’s on the smaller side, it definitely qualifies as a shareable counter service meal replacement (or at least part of one).
Key Lime Pie on a Stick – This seems to be the latest food trend at Walt Disney World, with three different key lime pies on a stick currently available. While we can’t endorse the trend, this is a tasty treat. The key lime pie has a really zesty and tart flavor, packing a lot of punch in a relatively small dessert. The white chocolate exterior doesn’t do a ton for me, but it’s still a good dessert, overall.
Honorable mention here to the Nom Nom Cookie, which is huge and soft in the center. It’s almost like a cookie pie. However, it doesn’t hold a candle to the Carrot Cake Cookie, so it doesn’t make the list.
S’more French Toast Sandwich – As with Baseline Tap House, there are also three different things at Woody’s Lunch Box in Toy Story Land that we think are worth mentioning. First up is from the breakfast menu, for those wanting to start your snacking a bit earlier in the day.
It’s considered an entree, but here’s the description: marshmallow and chocolate ganache stuffed in grilled custard soaked brioche encrusted with graham cracker crumbs. That’s what we call an “only on vacation breakfast entree.” As you might imagine, it’s powerfully sweet, and will lead to an intense sugar rush followed by a crash a few hours later. It’s definitely a smart idea to treat this as a snack and split it.
Chocolate-Hazelnut Lunch Box Tart – You’ll also find this Pop Art-esque treat at Woody’s Lunch Box, and it’s one of the best snack values at Walt Disney World.
The pastry here is clearly of a higher, flakier quality and the maple spread coupled with the Nutella inside is to die for. It could use about 10000% more bacon on top (better yet, just serve it with a pound of bacon on the side), but that’s a minor quibble for an otherwise excellent dessert.
Totchos – Another item at Woody’s Lunch Box, and another thing that Disney views as an entree, but you should not. These are potato barrels covered with beef and slathered with bean chili, shredded cheese and signature queso with tomatoes, corn chips, sour cream, and a sprinkle of green onions.
Delicious and healthy…or not. These are a bit like the savory version of the Kitchen Sink over at Beaches & Cream, except smaller and with all of the flavors working in concert. One of the more sizable snacks on this list, this is one to split between a couple people if you’re starting to get hungry but still have a few hours until your dinner Advance Dining Reservation.
That covers it for our recommended snacks at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It’s a short list (for now), but it packs a powerful punch. A few of the items are iconic, must-order treats, rather than a sea of ‘good but not amazing’ items you might find elsewhere. That’s pretty consistent with Disney’s Hollywood Studios, in general. There aren’t a ton of attractions, but the top-tier headliners are among the best in all of Walt Disney World.
Do you agree or disagree with our favorite snacks at Disney’s Hollywood Studios? Have any others you think deserve to make the list? Anything we’ve included that you would not recommend? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback—even when you disagree with us—is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!