Docking Bay 7 Food & Cargo Review

Docking Bay 7 Food & Cargo is a counter service restaurant in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World and at Disneyland. We’ve bought everything on the menu, eating several dishes more than once. In this dining review, we’ll share food & drink photos, thoughts on the atmosphere, offer entree recommendations, and discuss how it stacks up to the best restaurants around WDW and Disneyland.

Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Docking Bay 7 is the main dining option in Star Wars Land. While there are other things like Blue Milk and the glorious (but overpriced) Ronto Wraps, this is where you’re almost certainly going to be eating if you plan to dine on Batuu. In fact, Docking Bay 7 is your only option for a full meal in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

At Walt Disney World, it’s not yet clear whether the restaurant will participate in the Disney Dining Plan. Currently, Docking Bay 7 is not listed as being a Disney Dining Plan participant, but we assume it will be added to the list at some point. It wouldn’t be a surprise if that doesn’t happen right away in an effort to suppress demand. We’d expect it to participate in the 2020 Disney Dining Plan, though. (At Disneyland, the restaurant offers Annual Pass discounts.)

Unsurprisingly, Docking Bay 7 hasn’t generated the amount of fanfare and coverage as other components of Star Wars Land. That makes sense, given that it’s “just” a counter service restaurant. However, we’d argue that Docking Bay 7 is the closest thing to perfection Galaxy’s Edge has to offer right now.

Think about it. Millennium Falcon Smugglers Run is an uneven experience with the queue and pre-show arguably surpassing the ride. Oga’s Cantina is a cool environment, but doesn’t have a lived-in feeling (and the drinks are largely awful). Droid Depot is cool, but the experience is a bit cold and the finished products aren’t the highest quality.

Arguably, Dok-Ondar’s is perfect for what it is, but it’s still a gift shop. In terms of substantive experiences, Savi’s Workshop is otherwise the closest thing to perfection…but that requires setting aside the $200 price tag, which is pretty much impossible to do.

Then there’s Docking Bay 7 Food & Cargo. It’s a cool, themed environment. The food is delicious and ambitious. None of the pricing is excessive by Walt Disney World or Disneyland standards. The restaurant is huge, with ample seating both indoors and outdoors.

As we’ll discuss in this review, Docking Bay 7 is not without fault, but it’s not making any unforced errors and there aren’t any significant problems with it. From our perspective, this makes it the substantive offering that’s closest to perfection in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. (At least for now.)

In terms of theme, Docking Bay 7 looks like…a docking bay you’d find in Space Morocco! Technically, it’s housed in a working hangar bay, with the cargo crates and other industrial space decor to match. Even though it might sound like Docking Bay 7 has the kind of warehouse setting we’ve lamented of late, this is totally different.

Per the Imagineered backstory, Chef Strono “Cookie” Tuggs has docked a food freighter loaded with fresh supplies and he’s ready to satisfy the appetites of visitors and locals alike with an array of exotic offerings. His planet-hopping travels allow him to prepare fare with unusual flavors that delight customers.

The indoor seating area is inside of a spacious hanger, with a variety of unique seating options. Larger parties (or multiple smaller groups) can sit inside cargo crates, there’s bar seating for single diners, and there are a variety of other tables scattered about.

Additionally, there’s a rustic outdoor seating area surrounded by the crumbling walls of Black Spire Outpost’s old marketplace. Although we liked the shipping crates when dining with friends, we found nighttime in the outdoor area to be serene and blissful. Of course, that experience might be ‘different’ in the summer Florida heat and humidity.

Thematically, I’m a fan of Docking Bay 7. It reminds me a lot of Satu’li Canteen in Pandora – World of Avatar in terms of layout, capacity, and other logistical regards, but I prefer the design here.

While I criticized Satu’li Canteen for being comparatively muted and a bit dull as compared to the rest of Pandora’s brilliant design, there’s a lot of eye candy in Docking Bay 7.

The space is also spread out into multiple rooms, and within those rooms there are other ways of subdividing the space with the shipping crates and other barriers. The end result is something that–even though it’s a hangar bay–feels a lot less like a school cafeteria or mess hall.

Everything from the barrel seats (not recommended from a comfort perspective) to the light fixtures to control panels to the shipping crates is very engaging, and enhances the theme.

While the design is grungy and industrial, it’s not depressingly so. There’s a lot of color and light, along with random cool stuff from the Star Wars universe that helps balance out the dilapidated look of the hangar bay.

Basically, this is what it might look like if FedEx partnered with Guy Fieri to open a restaurant on Space Morocco. (That’s praise in case it’s not clear.) There’s not quite as much Morocco here as the adjacent marketplace, but you still see flashes of that in the lighting, fixtures, and other details.

To be sure, Docking Bay 7’s design is not going to wow anyone like Oga’s Cantina, the old marketplace, or the Millennium Falcon Smugglers Run queue, but it’s good and interesting for what it is.

Now let’s turn to the food. One thing I guess we could note here is that every item name is based upon a real Star Wars creature, many of which are featured in the 200-page Star Wars: Visual EncyclopediaAs with the rest of Galaxy’s Edge, there are a lot of deep cuts here, and familiarity with the universe will enhance your experience or give you a chuckle here and there.

As someone who is oblivious to almost all of this, I can say that not knowing these things did not detract from my experience. As much as I’d love to munch on some aliens, these dishes are still made from terrestrial things, which I (mostly) understand…

We’re only going to cover lunch and dinner here because the breakfast situation is more fluid and I’d like to see what happens after a month of operations at Disney’s Hollywood Studios before review that.

First up is the Yobshrimp Noodle Salad: Chilled Shrimp, Marinated Noodles, Vegetables.

There are a dozen shrimp topping this dish, which helps justify the price. This reminds us a lot of a cold Asian noodle salad, and there’s a mild kick to the dish, and a variety of textures. I appreciate what they’re doing here and think it’s an inventive and interesting dish, especially for counter service.

Ultimately, though, this dish has a bit too slimy of a texture for me (or Sarah); if that doesn’t bother you, it’s a potentially good option. It’s not high on my list of things to revisit given everything else on the menu, though.

Above is the Roasted Endorian Tip-Yip Salad: Marinated Chicken, Mixed Greens, Roasted Seasonal Vegetables, Quinoa, Pumpkin Seeds, Green Curry Ranch.

I didn’t pick up much curry flavor here, which is the one thing that gave it the potential to be a really inventive dish. With that said, it’s still a top-tier Disney salad. The portion is hearty, with quality ingredients and tasty chicken. The flavor of the pumpkin seeds and the texture they provided made this dish for me. Highly recommended to anyone wanting a salad.

If you want your chicken a bit less healthy, there’s the Fried Endorian Tip-Yip: Fried Chicken, Roasted Vegetable Potato Mash, Herb Gravy.

Obviously, I’m not blind to the realities of chicken nuggets, but there’s something about a large brick of fried chicken that’s a bit…unsettling? Being a total sucker for fried chicken, I got over that relatively quickly. The curry/herb gravy sauce has a bit more of a pronounced flavor here, and works well with the mashed potatoes. It’s a great comfort food option that doesn’t quite live up to the famed Plaza Inn fried chicken, but it’s also not as pricey. Recommended at Disneyland; highly recommended at Walt Disney World.

Here’s the Braised Shaak Roast: Beef Pot Roast, Cavatelli Pasta, Wilted Kale, Mushrooms.

I love mushrooms and I’ve never met a pot roast I didn’t at least somewhat enjoy (I can’t say the same for kale, but you can’t win ’em all), so it should go without saying that this was a winner for me. There’s a good portion of moist and tender meat, and the pasta below is like a bonus entree. It’s expensive, but it’s also delicious and very filling. Highly recommended.

If you’re vegetarian or vegan, there’s the Ithorian Garden Loaf: Plant-based “Meatloaf”, Roasted Vegetable Potato Mash, Seasonal Vegetables, Mushroom Sauce.

Our opinions on this are mixed. We both agreed that, like so many other recent plant-based “meats” this does a good job of capturing the essence of meatloaf without using meat. Otherwise, I wasn’t a huge fan. (I’m also not a huge fan of meatloaf, though.) Sarah loved it, finding it to be a robust and ‘meaty’ dish.

Here’s the Felucian Garden Spread: Plant-Based “Kefta”, Herb Hummas, Tomato-Cucumber Relish, Pita.

Another vegan/vegetarian dish, this was far and away Sarah’s favorite thing and she has already proclaimed it her new go-to dish in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It’s light but filling, inexpensive, and featuring a range of refreshing flavors. I also really liked it, and didn’t even realize it was plant-based meat at first. (The only caveat I’d add to Sarah’s glowing review is that this won’t be filling for everyone–the faux meatloaf is better in that regard.) Highly recommended for lighter eaters.

Finally, the Smoked Kaadu Ribs: Sticky Pork Ribs, Blueberry Corn Muffin, Cabbage Slaw.

Without question, this is my favorite thing on the menu at Docking Bay 7. It even bests the aforementioned Plaza Inn fried chicken. (It should go without saving that it’s far and away the best thing being served at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.)

These ribs are tender, moist, bold, and perfectly seasoned. The light coating crumbles on top also provide great texture. I’ve ordered them twice so far, and each time received a deceptively large amount of meat. The surprise standout here is the blueberry corn muffin, which I guess is like a ‘mashed potatoes alternative.’ I don’t how how that blueberry corn muffin works so well here, but it’s a beautiful companion to the meaty ribs. This are a must-order for any avid carnivore, even at the high price.

Turning to desserts, we first have the Oi-Oi Puff: Raspberry Crème Puff and Passion Fruit Mousse (above) and the Batuu-bon: Chocolate Cake, White-Chocolate Mousse, Coffee Custard (below).

Both of these are beautifully-presented, nuanced and layered, with a variety of flavors and textures. They’re worlds (galaxies?) apart in terms of taste, with the Oi-Oi Puff being lighter and fruitier whereas the Batuu-bon is dense and rich.

We love both of these. Unless you’re a chocoholic, I’d probably share the Batuu-bon, as it’s pretty heavy. The Oi-Oi could be shared, but it has a succulent flavor that’ll make you want to devour the entire thing yourself.

It’s impossible for us to choose just one of these, sorry. Order both.

With all of this praise heaped upon the menu at Docking Bay 7, there’s the question of how it stacks up to other restaurants in the parks. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, it’s the unequivocal champion. While we’ve commented on this park’s counter service scene improving in the last couple years, Docking Bay 7 is still the winner by a wide margin. In fact, its elevated menu quality probably helps explain why every other counter service spot at DHS has improved–so they’re not so bad by comparison.

As for the rest of Walt Disney World, let’s see how it stacks up to the consensus favorites around the parks. (Unfortunately, our Top 10 Counter Service Restaurants at Walt Disney World List is woefully out of date–we’ll have a huge revision in the very near future). For most Disney fans, the top picks are the aforementioned Satu’li Canteen, Be Our Guest Restaurant, Flame Tree BBQ, and Sunshine Seasons.

We’ve already covered Satu’li Canteen, and Sunshine Seasons has dropped in quality recently. We’ll thus focus on the other two–those are better comparisons, anyway. Flame Tree BBQ has always been a personal favorite, and it’s tough to top. Its barbecue is incredible, and I’ve recently fallen in love with the Baked Macaroni & Cheese with Pulled Pork. However, I’d take the Smoked Kaadu Ribs over Flame Tree’s, with the rest of Docking Bay 7’s strong menu giving it more diversity and providing the ultimate edge.

I like Be Our Guest Restaurant, but I’ve never quite thought it lived up to the hype. It’s good (great by Magic Kingdom standards), but I’d put at least a trio of Docking Bay 7’s entrees ahead of Be Our Guest’s very best. I also personally prefer the theme of Docking Bay 7, although I suspect I’m in the minority there. (Personal thematic preferences are probably the best argument for Be Our Guest being #1 at this point.)

Ultimately, all of these three are in different parks, so it’s sort of a silly comparison that we’re just doing for fun. You’re not choosing one over the others; you should dine at all three. 

Now for Disneyland, where you are potentially choosing between Docking Bay 7 and the alternatives. Disneyland’s formidable dining lineup is highlighted by all-stars that include French Market and Plaza Inn. As of right now, we’d put Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo ahead of both. It’s that good, has a more varied menu, and is a more interesting environment.

One thing we need to consider is that this is a brand new restaurant and Disney has in the past diluted new offerings after about their first year. We’ve seen this with Flo’s V8 Cafe, Satu’li Canteen, and Be Our Guest Restaurant. (It’s worth noting that all three remain strong, just not quite what they once were.)

With the DHS version of Docking Bay 7, this is not as pronounced of a concern. Even a 25% reduction in quality puts it 75% above the next-best alternative. However, it’s not quite as clear whether a 25% drop would be enough to maintain Docking Bay 7’s #1 status for all of Walt Disney World and Disneyland. That’s something that’ll be worth revisiting come mid-2020. However, if you’re planning a visit late this year or early next, we think it’s hard to argue against Docking Bay 7 Food & Cargo as the best counter service restaurant in all of Walt Disney World or Disneyland.

Overall, that ranking should pretty much say it all. While Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo is not perfect, it’s pretty close. It’s also close enough to be considered the best of its class in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. This doesn’t mean it should be your top priority in Star Wars Land–to the contrary, it’s lower priority and unlikely to make the kind of indelible impact as Smugglers Run, Oga’s Cantina, or Savi’s Workshop–but unlike the others, it accomplishes pretty much everything it sets out to do. Mobile Order before you enter the land and eat at Docking Bay 7 when time allows, because it’s a not-to-be-missed winner.

If you’re planning on visiting the new land, you’ll also want to read our Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Guide. This covers a range of topics from basics about the land and its location, to strategically choosing a hotel for your stay, recommended strategy for the land, and how to beat the crowds. It’s a good primer for this huge addition. As for planning the rest of your trip, we have a comprehensive Disneyland Vacation Planning Guide as well as a thorough Walt Disney World Planning Guide.

YOUR THOUGHTS

Have you dined at Docking Bay 7 Food & Cargo? What did you think of the theme and atmosphere? What about the food? Any favorites from the menu? Do you agree or disagree with our assessment? Looking forward to experiencing Docking Bay 7, or is it low on your list of Star Wars Land priorities? Any questions? 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!


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