This past weekend Star Wars Weekends returned to Disney’s Hollywood Studios to the delight of many. New for this year is the “Rebel Hangar: A Star Wars Lounge Experience”, located at the Backlot Express counter service restaurant next to Star Tours. When word first came out about this dining experience excited Star Wars fans quickly booked up all the weekend spots for the whole event. Luckily, Disney listened to their audience and have extended reservation past weekends only and are now offering reservations on weekdays too.
Before we begin checking out this new dining experience I want to warn you all, this is not a full-service restaurant but a lounge with drinks and appetizers only. I don’t know how many guests I talked to who had booked a reservation, believing it would be the perfect place to have dinner. Seating guests from 4 p.m. the Rebel Hangar serves up some impressive appetizer, desserts and themed cocktails, but I would not recommend it as a dining option for you and your family.
Stepping into the lounge, which has taken up half of Backlot Express, you will see the Star Wars themed decor immediately. Every table is decorated with well-known figures from the Universe and X-Wing fighters are hanging from the ceiling. Star Wars memorabilia can be find in pretty much every corner, but it is still rather simple. I could just envision what Disney could have done if they had more time and maybe a larger budget. There is also some seating outdoors, but you will be missing the theming if you do decide to dine there.
The lounge is not classified as a character meal, but quite a lot of Star Wars character made surprise appearances, walking throughout the tables inside the lounge. They don’t really stop at each table, like we are used to at Disney restaurants, but instead wandered around the “Hangar” like they were just stopping in to grab a drink. During my visit I spotted Sabine and Ezra from Star Wars Rebels, Jawa and Greedo. According to cast member these character appearances may only happen during weekends.
As you are seated you are handed a cool Rebel Hangar menu that shows each menu item with a picture, which makes it much easier to pick what you would like to order.
As you can see the menu offers a nice selection of small plates, some big enough for sharing if you are just looking for a snack. The cocktails offered are also exclusive to the lounge, so is the X-Wing glow cube you get with some of them.
For cocktails I tried the Degobah Swamp Juice and the Imperial Blue. Both were really on the too sweet side for me, but at least they had a kick to them and the Swamp Juice came with an awesome X-Wing glow cube.
Our table tried a variety of the small plates offered and were nicely surprised by both the size and flavor of them. The Illum Fruit and Cheese Sabers platter is perfect for sharing and the Lightsaber Bites is definitely the best option if you are really hungry. The best part about the food is how themed it is, this is what will attract both adults and kids to this lounge.
In essence, Rebel Hangar is a great place to check out if you want a light snack and drinks. It is a much more affordable option than the Star Wars character breakfast and dinner that Disney offers and you will still get some fun theming and see a character or two.
For Reservations, visit DisneyWorld.com/dine or call 407-WDW-DINE.