Ultimate Woody’s Lunch Box Review – Toy Story Land
Last week, my wife and I joined a family of three for lunch at the newest restaurant at a Disney theme park. This counter service eatery has made headlines since months before its debut. Our party of five wanted to see for ourselves whether the food matched the hype. Here’s a review of Woody’s Lunch Box.
What You Need to Know
You’re likely familiar with this place, but let’s go over the basics just in case. Woody’s Lunch Box resides at Toy Story Land, the newest themed land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. In fact, it’s the newest themed land at any Disney park at the time of publication. It’s the anchor of Disney’s entire 2018 marketing campaign, too. The company is understandably proud of Toy Story Land, warts and all.
I say warts and all because some online critics have grumbled about a few issues pertaining to the themed land. I don’t want to denigrate these comments since they’re based in truth and will play into some of my thoughts in just a moment.
The most important of them is that Toy Story Land’s out in the open. It doesn’t have much interior space, save for the line queue at Toy Story Mania!. The other two rides in this park section, Alien Swirling Saucers and Slinky Dog Dash, are open space, although each one has covered areas in the line queues.
Let’s Start with the “Negatives”
I mention this because Woody’s Lunch Box is a true counter service restaurant. While Disney refers to them as Quick Service meals, many of them are indoor eateries with comfortable climates and ample seating. At Toy Story Land, nothing is inside, meaning that a meal here takes place outside.
On hot summer days, this situation is less than ideal. The Florida heat will bear down on you. Yes, Woody’s Lunch Box has covered seating, but it’s still outside. You can’t escape the temperature or the humidity. It’s largely manageable, of course. I simply want you to be aware of potential aggravations during your meal.
One of these irritants is the other part of Florida weather. It rains at Walt Disney World a lot more often than people realize. The direction of the wind is something that Imagineers can’t control, no matter how smart and creative they are. During a rainstorm, wind can and will blow onto a table.
The only way to avoid this situation is to eat somewhere else. Remember that Woody’s Lunch Box is a counter service restaurant. Once you order, there’s nothing stopping you from taking your food elsewhere. For example, ABC Commissary is a lovely Quick Service restaurant with plenty of seats. You might consider eating your Woody’s Lunch Box food there. Since Disney owns all of these places, nobody will mind, especially on less crowded park days.
My party wished we had done this because getting a table at Woody’s Lunch Box is surprisingly difficult. At this point, it’s one of the most popular counter service joints at Walt Disney World. It has two factors driving sales.
One is that it’s the only restaurant in this themed land. The other is that the themed land itself is THE place to be at Hollywood Studios right now. A famous historical saying is that all roads lead to Rome. At Hollywood Studios, all roads lead to Slinky Dog Dash.
Ordering at Woody’s Lunch Box
When my party planned our meal, we were waiting in line for a FastPass at Alien Swirling Saucers. We pulled up Mobile Ordering on My Disney Experience. As it happened, this process wasn’t as smooth as usual with the service.
One of the quirks of some park restaurants is that they serve three different meals a day. The switch from breakfast to lunch is particularly challenging due to the entirely different ingredients and recipes involved. Woody’s Lunch Box actually “closes” from 10:30 to 10:45 each morning right now. During this window, the people standing in line get to order. Those who want to use Mobile Ordering, however, are locked out.
This step isn’t necessary at all Disney restaurants that serve breakfast and lunch. It is, however, needed at Woody’s Lunch Box since the line here is always long. Chefs need that downtime to prepare for the next meal. I’m pointing this out so that you’ll know why you might not get to use Mobile Ordering here.
Admittedly, it won’t be a problem for most people. One of the members of our group had participated in RunDisney that morning. She NEEDED calories right then and there. What we wound up doing was waiting for a table at Woody’s Lunch Box. Then, we ordered after we sat down.
Had we waited in line, we would have gotten food much faster. We wouldn’t have had a place to sit, though. I expect the restaurant to remain this crowded for quite a while, at least until Star Wars Land opens and skews crowd traffic patterns at Hollywood Studios. So, prepare to be patient should you choose to eat here…which you really should.
Eating at Woody’s Lunch Box Is THE BEST!!!
I’ve mentioned a few quibbles thus far so that you don’t think my mother is a chef at Woody’s Lunch Box or anything. That’s how glowing my opinion is on the subject. I’m worried that I’ll come across as unreasonably optimistic if I didn’t lead with the negatives.
Other than the rain, my party’s experience at Woody’s Lunch Box was wonderful. I queried them for some options after the meal. Everyone agreed that the restaurant serves the kind of comfort food that will remind you of your childhood. Think back to that time when you had a bad day at school or weren’t feeling well. Remember that grilled cheese sandwich that made everything better? It’s on the menu here.
As a member of my party eloquently stated, Woody’s Lunch Box is the perfect place for Toy Story Land. It’s an entirely themed land predicated on making guests feel like a kid again. The food here is an elevated version of stuff you ate as a kid. The Grilled Three-Cheese Sandwich is the best example, as it’s a gooey trip down memory lane. The BBQ Brisket Melt and Smoked Turkey Sandwich are foods you ate when you were feeling blue, too.
Perhaps the best decision Disney made is to skip French fries here. Sure, kids love them, but there’s a similar food that’s even better. You’ll find “Potato Barrels” on the menu here, a themed name for tater tots, the most fun of all potato products!
Our table was a bit disappointed by the portions on the Potato Barrels. We could have easily eaten twice as many. There was one exception, though. The menu features “Totchos”, which are basically loaded tater tots. One member ordered these and was delighted by the size of her plate. The rest of us looked on with envy, although the chili and onions concoction was a bit much for 10:45 in the morning.
The star of the meal here is the dessert. That’s a strange thing to say since the restaurant only serves one permanent dessert item plus a seasonal one. The main item is the Chocolate-Hazelnut Lunch Box Tart, while the current seasonal offering is a “Cran-Apple stuffed Cinnamon Pastry coated in a Vanilla Fondant and Holiday decorations”. We actually had a raspberry seasonal offering that is already off the menu.
Our party of five was ready to go to war over which treat was better. This actually happened twice on the trip, and it amused that neither restaurant is renowned for its desserts. I traveled with three foodies, one of whom is likely to become a chef. Three of us favored the raspberry flavor of the pastry, including the person with the most impressive palate. The other two felt STRONGLY that the chocolatey concoction is the stuff of myth and legend.
Simply stated, our party loved the desserts. The most remarkable part was the price. At a time when Disney had recently raised the rates on most snack offerings around the parks, these upscale Pop Tarts covered with bacon bits cost a measly $3.29 each.
Since our table was all on the Disney Dining Plan, we had five of them. By the end of the meal, there wasn’t even a crumb left over. If I could order a dozen delivered to my home right now, I’d do it without hesitation.
Overall, everyone agreed that the Woody’s Lunch Box meal presented the best value at Walt Disney World. While the seating situation is less than ideal, the food will remind you of the best parts of your childhood. And that’s perfectly fitting for the only restaurant at Toy Story Land, a themed land that celebrates the creativity of youth. We hope you enjoyed this Woody’s Lunch Box review…now go check it out for yourself!