The Mystery at MuppetVision has been solved! Walt Disney World has shared a sneak peek at the menu and food photos for Ice Cold Hydraulics, the new stand stand opening soon in Grand Ave at Hollywood Studios.
For those who haven’t been following this saga, construction walls went up in Grand Avenue at Hollywood Studios last June around the entrance walls to the Muppets Courtyard, where an outdoor vending cart (movable/temporary variety had been located). Nothing was ever announced, so speculation ensued about the so-called mystery project.
Technically, this hasn’t really been a fully-fledged mystery for a while–if ever. Back when Walt Disney World filed the permit for construction last March, the project was listed as the “Grand Ave Coke Kiosk.” That made it pretty clear this would be a permanent food & beverage location rather than, say, another Disney Vacation Club sales kiosk.
What we didn’t know until now is what the kiosk would serve. Well, aside from Coca-Cola. That much seemed obvious from the permit and Walt Disney World’s longtime corporate alliance with Coke. If not, the portion of Ice Cold Hydraulics poking out over the construction walls made it pretty clear.
Anyway, here’s the menu and food photos for Ice Cold Hydraulics in the Muppets Courtyard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios:
Candy Painted Cinnamon Rolls: Mini cinnamon rolls topped with Coca-Cola-infused glaze and toasted nuts.
Bouncin’ Mini Churros: Savory churros topped with Coca-Cola and bourbon candied bacon, sriracha aïoli, and scallions.
Frozen Slushies: Fanta Blue Raspberry, Minute Maid Lemonade, or Coca Cola (Also available with Jack Daniel’s Whiskey, Bacardi Superior Rum, or Stoli Vanil Vodka).
Being mindful of the ‘expectations vs. reality’ differences between stock photos and what’s actually served to guests from snack kiosks at Walt Disney World…this actually looks and sounds pretty good! Well, at least the mini cinnamon rolls and churros–the frozen slushies are what they are.
This blog has long been critical of garden variety Walt Disney World churros (there are a few exceptions at sit-down restaurants and lounges), so maybe these savory churros will be what turns things around. Having toppings might help mask the normal shortcomings in WDW churros, and this sounds like an intriguing mix.
Same story with the cinnamon rolls. We’ve actually had more luck with this dessert at Animal Kingdom than Magic Kingdom, despite the latter being a fan-favorite dish for decades. (Gaston’s Tavern is capable of fantastic cinnamon rolls–it all comes down to freshness.)
Beyond this, it’s nice to see Disney’s Hollywood Studios get more dining capacity. More is definitely needed in the back of the park, but they’ve gotta start somewhere. Roundup Rodeo BBQ helped, as did changes at Woody’s Lunch Box, but the additions of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Toy Story Land have added more demand than they did dining capacity.
The midday rush can be really bad, with lines for lunch being long just about everywhere. I remember a time back in ~2019 when PizzeRizzo was slow most of the day, aside from like the noon to 1 p.m. hour. Now it’s slammed for lunch and fairly busy until it closes. It’s a similar story with BaseLine Tap House, which was often quiet–but now seems like it never is.
It also doesn’t help that some restaurants still have reduced hours. PizzeRizzo closing before dinner doesn’t make a ton of sense given current crowds, nor does Ronto Roasters. While it’s still true that crowds at Disney’s Hollywood Studios peak early and start leaving early, I’m still surprised that there isn’t enough demand to justify those spots being open for dinner.
To the contrary, I think there is. Those and other venues closing early probably explains the longer lines for popcorn and other snacks around DHS in the evening hours. Some of the outdoor vending carts can be really busy at a time when the park is otherwise quieting down, which has gotta be due to a dearth of dining alternatives.
While we’re on the topic of Disney’s Hollywood Studios operations and Muppet Courtyard, I’d love to see the Stage 1 Company Store over by the exit of MuppetVision and Mama Melrose finally reopen. I can’t say I’m completely shocked that Walt Disney World has opted to shutter this spot, so maybe it’s time to inject new life into this entire corner of the park? My ideal scenario is reimagining Mama Melrose as “Swedish Chef’s Cooking School,” which was one of the original concepts for this area.
Of course, any comprehensive retheme risks losing the Muppets entirely. The exterior of Stage 1 Company Store is fantastic (it’s also easily overlooked despite being a bit over the top, so do yourself a favor and check it out if you’ve never stopped to look at it), and it’s not hard to envision a scenario where all of that goes away and it becomes a bland spot for more Star Wars or Simpsons or whatever stuff that’s more ‘mainstream’ than the Muppets.
Back to the topic at hand, we’re looking forward to trying out the food at Ice Cold Hydraulics. Both the churros and cinnamon rolls look like they could go either way, being excellent and inventive treats or desserts that miss the mark for quality and freshness. Here’s hoping they’re the former, and we have an excuse to update our List of Best Disney’s Hollywood Studios Snacks for 2024.
Are you looking forward to trying the snacks at Ice Cold Hydraulics? What do you think of these sweet and savory treats (or the frozen slushies, I guess)? Do you agree or disagree with our assessment about dining capacity at DHS? 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!