In reality, the former Backlot Express has been open for all but a couple of weeks as it has been re-dressed to become Disney Blockbuster Café these past months, with only the Pirates section closed for its more major changeover.
The result gives a mostly bare, mostly bland restaurant filled with High School Musical banners and posters… with a surprisingly ambitious Pirates of the Caribbean room tacked onto one side.
Early reviews are in, and they’re calling it’s the “coolest” place to eat:
Well, at least the correction printed in the current Programme for the Park Guide (which still lists Backlot Express until November) says so.
And, with the first guests seated in the new area, Kayshaman for DLRP Times provides the first photos:
There’s the tilted mast — the large platform and sail above it helping to give this area a much more intimate feel from the bare warehouse before. The lights have also been changed, to a flickering candle effect, and the props appear to include — hold onto your seat — something related to the films themselves: the circular map from At World’s End, the third film?
The idea behind the restaurant appears to be similar to Planet Hollywood, dining amongst movie memorabilia and themes, yet with only look-a-like items and reprinted High School Musical posters for the memorabilia. At least, we have to assume so — if any of these items are real props, they’ve made the same mistake as before: not labelling them.
In case you’re not familiar with the building, here’s a plan to show the new layout:
As you can see, there’s a whole lot of High School Musical in there. That’s not surprising, considering it’s been so easy to give a feel of that film’s perfect, whitewashed school in this empty warehouse, but could turn out more than a little disappointing if the rumoured continual updates of new films and themes don’t materialise.
According to the original rumours, after all, the restaurant would see changing themes every year or so, allowing a place for the Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures arm of Disney to promote their latest films without covering Disney Studio 1 with, say, a giant billboard.
There’s your preview. Look out for our full, scurrilous review with both pictures and video in a couple of weeks. Until then, give your verdict (from 1 to 5 stars) in our Question of the Week to the right of this article.
Pictures: Kayshaman for DLRP Times.