The Backlot Express is tucked way in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Associated with one Nate’s favorite show, the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular (which could be removed in favor of a new Indy themed land). Backlot Express is themed on a grab n go lunch spot on the next big Hollywood movie set. It had a brief intermission recently for a refresh, but it’s back now with a revamped menu that’s a little more contemporary and adventurous. On our last visit to Walt Disney World, we laced up our shoes and headed to the Backlot Express set at for some grub!
The decor remains fun and movie filled – there’s props everywhere and the restaurant feels like a big sound stage! With ample seating both inside and out, you’ll have no problem finding a spot. Backlot Express was previously known for its burgers, salads, and sandwiches – not much has changed in regards to the staple offerings but these have all gotten a serious upgrade! Take two and ACTION!
The Grub – Burger Time
For us, we did the usual – sandwich and a salad to split. This time we went with the classic Backlot Burger and the Southwest Salad. The burger is the standard Disney burger, nothing too fancy, dressed up with a decent sized portion of pulled pork, pepper jack cheese, tomato, lettuce, and pickles.
The DVC Duo are a duo divided on this burger – Nate really liked it, Serena, not so much. Pros: pulled pork was soft and juicy with a sweet BBQ sauce. Pepper jack cheese was spicy which helps cut the sweet pork. Cons: for Serena, the sauce is too sweet and the pulled pork was the same texture as the burger – let’s change up the texture! An alternative approach would be spicy melty pepper jack cheese, BBQ sauce, and onion rings – now that’s a backlot treat! The onion ring would add crunch and onion flavor while still getting the sweet from the BBQ sauce. For this burger to work better, in my opinion, a tangier sauce needs to be implemented to the pulled pork, that would help break it up!
The Grub – Healthier Option
We also had the Southwest salad which was a hearty portion of lettuce with crispy crunchy wonton strips, black bean salsa, and avocado with a Mexican style vinaigrette. This can also be had with chicken which would be more than filling! This was as solid as you can get of a salad at a theme park – lettuce was crisp, toppers weren’t too skimpy, dressing flavorful and on the side so the salad doesn’t get soggy. Good enough for me!
Maybe Next Time
We were eyeing other menu items too: the Chicken Tenders looked amazing – crispy battered and golden brown, a hearty portion at 4 tenders and fries. The Chicken and Biscuits was stick to your ribs looking and a spicy strawberry glaze? Wow Disney, taking it to the next level! The Chicken Club also looked delicious with a juicy grilled chicken breast, cilantro aioli, pickled red onions – yum yum!
They even have special desserts for the 30th Anniversary (though when we were there it was still Mickey’s birthday celebration). I imagine these desserts are similar to what you’ll find at other quick serve locations – perfectly sized to share and always fun and fresh with familiar yet elevated combinations of flavors and textures. This is some high-quality stuff for quick-serve land!
Overall, the heart and soul of Backlot Express remains with a delightful upgrade into new tastes, flavors, and food ideas. We definitely love a solid restaurant in each park – something not too crazy that everyone in the party can enjoy with healthy and naughty options to satisfy any food craving. Backlot Express sure delivers! AAANNNDDDD Cut! We’ll see you at the Backlot!