Archive for the ‘Hollywood Studios’ Category

DCA’s new entrance

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

DCA's new entrance

We finally got to see the new entrance to Disney California Adventure, and think it is an incredible tribute to the entrance to Disney Hollywood Studios in Florida.

Seeing the new entrance also helped us understand why the park’s name was changed from Disney’s California Adventure to Disney California Adventure — there is no possible way that the “‘s” could have fit on the marque. Seriously, it would have been crammed up against the “C” and just looked terrible. Good decision, Disney!

’50s Prime Time Cafe: Menu

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

To give you an idea of what’s available when you dine at Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ ’50s Prime Time Cafe, here are a few sample items from a recent menu.


  • Lightning McQueen Raceway Punch: Raspberry lemonade served by your “older brother” who gives you a punch in the arm for ordering “a sissy drink with a light toy stuck in it.”
  • Mickey’s Bee Bop: Cherry soda served with an ice cube that has a bee frozen in it.
  • Flavored Sodas: Coke blended with vanilla, cherry, or maple syrup, “depending on what what ol’ cousin Buford whipped up in the bathtub.”


  • Chicken Noodle Soup: Served “just like Mama used to make” (to sick guests only).
  • Mixed Green Salad: Served with house dressing that tastes a little off but if you take a bite and make a face, “your face is going to freeze like that.”
  • Onion Rings for Two: Because you don’t need to be a pig and eat all of them yourself.

Main Course

  • Grandma’s Chicken Pot Pie: Just like Grandma used to make, but without the complaining, lame old-time stories, and occasional incontinence.
  • Mom’s Old-Fashioned Pot Roast: Proving that, even though it’s the ’50s, Mom was a child of the ’60s.
  • Crazy Cousin Buford’s Stuffed Pepper: Nobody has any idea what’s in this thing.
  • Trendy Little Sister’s Fish Sandwich: We’re guessing that she doesn’t understand that fish isn’t vegetarian.
  • Dad’s Traditional Meatloaf: Thick ground beef with thick sauce and a mound of mashed potatoes. (Not recommended for individuals with heart conditions.)
  • Stacked like the Cheerleader Next Door Sandwich: Mounds of chicken breast wrapped tight in a fried-dough “sweater.”


  • Dad’s Brownie Sundae: No, you can’t have a bite.
  • Grandma’s Bread Pudding: Seriously, get your own.
  • Baby Brother’s Ice Cream Sundae: Sorry, he’s not going to share.
  • Mom’s Fruit and Cottage Cheese Plate: This you can have.

When we visited, we checked out the menu and decided to order a Diet Coke. Here it is:

'50s Prime Time Diet Coke

The Diet Coke was delicious and nicely matched the restaurant’s decor and atmosphere. It also went well with the rest of our meal, which was quite good.

’50s Prime Time Cafe

Monday, May 11th, 2009

’50s Prime Time Cafe is a unique, atmosphere-rich eatery found in Disney’s Hollywood Studios (it was moved there from Disney MGM Studios in 2008). The restaurant is decorated like a gigantic stereotypical 1950’s family sitcom house, from the plastic flowers to the tacky knickknacks, to the ankle-height end tables, just made for wacky slapstick antics.

There are no cast members here, but rather family members. If your server is a woman, she isn’t a waitress, she’s “Mom,” ready to make sure you eat your peas, clean your plate, and feel guilty for not calling her more often. If you’ve got “Dad” waiting on you, he’s wearing a suit, smoking a pipe, giving out advice, and calling “Mom” over from another table whenever actual work needs to be done. And of course there’s “Brother,” bussing tables, giving out random wedgies to unsuspecting diners, and saying “good boy!” to Fido, who is constantly underfoot.

Each table (either a Formica counter or a TV tray) has a small television on or near it, showing clips from old black-and-white family sitcoms. Observant guests will notice that every show has a common theme — something wacky or embarrassing that happens to someone who harasses or under-tips a waiter or waitress.

The dining experience is quite unique. Mom makes you set your own table and gives you “homework” to do while you wait for your food to arrive. (For example, she might ask you to calculate the corporate profit on an annual pass or list the atomic weights of everything on the table.)

We’ll talk more about the food in a future post, but suffice to say it has a heavy emphasis on comfort and sitcom-like fun. For example, here’s the meatloaf, a popular entree:

'50s Prime Time meatloaf

After you eat and Mom has confirmed that you cleaned your plate (because there are children starving in China), you bring your dirty dishes to the kitchen and wash them before you are allowed to pay your bill, brush your teeth, and “go out to play until bed time.”

A few entertaining bits of dialogue overheard in the Cafe:

  • You want what they’re having? If they jumped off a bridge, would you do that, too?
  • That napkin isn’t going to pick itself up.
  • I’m not going to ask you again — what would you like to order?
  • How do you know you don’t like it if you haven’t tasted it?
  • You want me to take that back? What am I, your maid?
  • What part of “we don’t serve Pepsi” don’t you understand?
  • It’s no use crying over spilled Lightning McQueen Raceway Punch.
  • Don’t put that in your mouth; you don’t know where it’s been.
  • If you’re going to the restroom, call me when you get there, just so I know you’re okay.
  • Why are glowing ice cubes extra? Because I said so, that’s why.
  • If I told you once I told you a thousand times, appetizers aren’t included.
  • I know it isn’t fair that the dining plan no longer includes a tip. Well, life isn’t fair.
  • This bill is going to hurt me more than it hurts you.
  • I brought you into Disney World and I can take you back out!
  • Don’t eat that — you’ll get worms!
  • You call that a tip? Do you think I’m made of money?
  • Everyone got clean underwear?

Fantasmic! (only not so much)

Monday, July 21st, 2008

In January, Disney’s Hollywood Studios will cut performances from five night a week to only two. We asked supposed DHS representative Francis “Fran” Tasia for an explanation of the cutback and she said, “There are a number of important safety, performance, and cost vectors at work here. First and most importantly is that Mr. Mickey Mouse is growing fatigued after so many years of performance. It is quite difficult, as you might imagine, to spend so many hours with your face frozen into the same happy smile day in and day out, and the ‘shooting delightful magical sparks from his hands’ meme has left him with what can only be described as something akin to the early stages of shell shock. An additional factor is the desire to close DHS — that’s Disney’s Hollywood Studios, not Disney Homekingdom Security, which is an entirely disjoint matter, bless their hearts — early on multiple evenings. This left many possibilities, and it was judged that it was not practicable to continue performing Fantasmic! on evenings after the park had closed early and there were no guests to view it. Additionally, having Fantasmic! dark five nights a week was a potential cost/energy savings but it was decided that safety concerns precluded performances without lights on. Not performing but leaving lights on was the only remaining viable option that was legal in the state of Florida.”

Sounds Closed

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

Beginning in about a week, Sounds Dangerous at Disney Hollywood Studios will be closed for lengthy refurbishment. Apparently, due to a fluke in a maintenance contract, none of the lightbulbs in this theater have been replaced in years, so guests have been suffering through much of the attraction in what pretty much amounts to near darkness. When the attraction reopens, it will have all new, long-lasting, energy-saving light bulbs, remedying this problem.

Said supposed Disney World spokesperson Drew Carey (no relation), “The show is really much more entertaining if you can see the visuals clearly. Because its name was chosen to minimize anxiety in younger guests, those who have not experienced the attraction when it is in good repair may not know that it not only sounds dangerous — it really is dangerous! Up until now we’ve been fortunate that nobody has leaned forward in their seat at an inopportune moment, but with the lights on everyone will know exactly why they need to remain motionless at all times.”

Culture Shock, Block Party Style

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

After a long journey, the Block Party Bash parade has arrived in Florida and is being prepared to premier at Disney’s Hollywood Studios later this month. But already there are hints that the move from California to Florida was not as smooth as it could have been. Apparently, the parade performers, all native Californians, are having trouble adjusting to their new Florida home.

“There’s like, all these old people in this state,” says Krissi Taylor, a trampoline artist who has been with the Bash since its inception. “Even in the store they’re all like, ‘Don’t chew gum so much,’ and I’m like ‘Whatever.'”

“I’m not down with the bugs,” adds Duane Brown, who (ironically) works on the parade’s Bug’s Life unit. “Don’t they have Raid here?”

Staci Pennington adds her voice to the chorus of the annoyed, “It’s easy to get a tan, which is cool, but there’s like noplace here that sells organic and it’s like they think co-ops don’t even exist. When I’m at work it’s like, okay, smile, dance, and be happy, and it’s just like back home, but after work it’s all weird with too many swamps and not enough malls.”

Only time will tell if they will be able to adjust.

Last Year for Osborne

Thursday, November 15th, 2007

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights is lit at Disney-MGM Studios, bringing more than 6,600,000,000 tiny lights (one for each person on Earth, updated nightly) to life each night with enough electricity to power a destitute South American town for an entire year! The lights are programmed to twinkle and dance in tune to lively Christmas music (“Father Christmas,” “Christmas Wrapping,” “Oi to the World!,” etc.) and may prove inadvertently fatal to epileptics.

Disney trivia buffs know that every year a light-up purple cat is hidden amongst the lights. But very few know that this cat is a tribute to the famous purple cat Christmas poem of the same name (“I never saw a purple cat / I never hope to see one / But if I get one Christmas day / Bet it’s an L.E.D. one!”)

We close with a bit of sad news for fans of Christmas lights. This is the last year that the Osborne Family Spectacle will be shown at Disney-MGM Studios. Next year, and presumably for the foreseeable future, it will be presented for holiday celebrations at Disney’s Hollywood Studios instead. Sorry!

Disney-MGM No More!

Thursday, November 15th, 2007

On January 7, Disney-MGM Studios will officially change its name to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, much to the pleasure of those who dislike hyphenated theme-park names. The name change is necessary because MGM has decided not to renew its branding contract with Disney. Although some analysts believe that this is because MGM is not pleased with the $1/day contract rate then Disney CEO Michael Eisner blackmailed them into, a Disney insider said it is more likely “because MGM is just a bunch of big meany jerko jerks.”

When questioned about why Disney’s Hollywood Studios was chosen as the park’s new name, Disney’s press correspondent corresponded, “It’s because the only other possible alternative, MGM’s Hollywood Studios, did not test market as well.”

In addition to switching signage, Disney will have to make many more subtle changes to the park, in keeping with its new image. For example, all the animatronic figures in The Great Movie Ride will now wear Muppet masks, and the title character in the Indiana Jones Stunt Show will be portrayed by Kim Possible.

Rock ‘n’ Rollerwear

Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

Hanesbrands Inc. has signed up as sponsor of Disney-MGM Studios’ Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith. An exciting line of Hanes Men’s Rock ‘n’ Roller Briefs (as worn by Aerosmith) was also announced.