By Erik Johnson
If you need a calm respite from your busy Disney day, Hollywood Studios has a great solution. You showed up early, got your Rise of the Resistance reservation, hit up both the Tower of Terror and Slinky Dog Dash, but now what? If you’re anything like me, it’s high time for a pretzel and some beer.
That’s where BaseLine Tap House comes in! Set along the back side of the original New York Street area of the studio tour, this location has long been a restful location. Let’s take a closer look!
A Delicious History
In its earliest incarnation, the location was a coffee shop called Writer’s Stop. Disney designed the space to look like a trendy coffee shop that still had studio lighting in the ceiling. The set piece design mirrored much of Hollywood Studios at the time, as the park was still trying to act as if it was a functioning movie studio.
Writer’s Stop was the premiere place in the park where you could catch great coffee and stay out of the sun for a bit. Long before Starbucks came to the park in the Trolley Car Café, guests could have an espresso or latte along with some delightful sweets. The café became well known as the only location Disney sold carrot cake cookies that were basically two pieces of cake with frosting in the middle. Fantastic. It was also packed with Disney books like any good coffee shop should be.
It was here where one sunny day as my wife and I sipped on some coffee (regular, black) and shared a cupcake, we witnessed Disney Magic. A small girl walked up to the pastry counter and asked if they red velvet cupcakes were any good. The cast member behind the counter said, “You tell me,” and handed one to her. The girl immediately turned around and shouted, “Mom! I asked and he just gave me one! For FREE!” The cast member looked a little embarrassed and turned to his coworker who just shrugged and turned away with a smile.
We loved Writer’s Stop.
Skip forward a few years, and you have a new location for food and a different sort of drink in the same spot. Even though the original was pretty great, BaseLine is a very nice addition!
At a glance, BaseLine Tap House is a successful transition point into the rest of the area. The brick exterior blends well into the LA-styled area of Grand Avenue, home of the Muppets and their general tomfoolery. The location is cozy. Lights are strung up overhead, providing calm illumination in the evening. Trees and umbrellas protect against the heat and the rain during the day. Inside, the converted industrial look continues with more brick and shelves stacked with memorabilia. Those missing their beloved Writer’s Stop will find plenty of typewriters and even the letters of the original sign displayed overhead. The backstory of the bar is that it used to house a print shop, but we all know it’s another of Disney’s clever nods to the past.
But What About the Food?
The main event isn’t letters on a shelf. It’s food and drink! In keeping with the California theme, all of the beers on tap come from California breweries. Some are from giant breweries like Golden Road and Stone, but a few generally source from well-known, but smaller breweries like North Coast. Kick back with a 22 oz pour of some fine Pilsner from North Coast and forget all about rushing to the next ride.
There are plenty of things to enjoy at BaseLine outside of beer. The food menu is composed of smaller, more shareable bites that are designed to delight. The pretzel with mustard and beer cheese is a classic that might just hold its own against the standard Mickey pretzel offered everywhere else. A charcuterie board is packed with cheeses and sliced meats. Not the sort of things you expect to see at a theme park! Spiced, roasted almonds provide some salty, protein-based finger food to round out your day.
If you’re not into beer, there is plenty more to taste! BaseLine Tap House also features wine and some cocktails on draft. The Exotic Margarita adds some extra kick with juice from the yuzu, a Japanese citrus fruit. The California Sunset blends vodka, Southern Comfort, and tart fruit juices with a floater of pomegranate juice. Just what you need in the hot Florida sun! And if all that doesn’t work for your distinguished palate, the location has a full bar featuring some higher-shelf liquors like Gentleman Jack and Hendrick’s Gin.
BaseLine Tap House is the kind of place at which I would love to hang out in my own town. To see something like this available in a major theme park like Disney’s Hollywood Studios is a serious win. I have spent many afternoons lounging under an umbrella, whipping up stories like this or just enjoying a gaze at the throngs of people streaming into Galaxy’s Edge. It really is a great place to rest and take in your surroundings.
Take some time during your next visit to Disney’s popular Hollywood Studios park and hang out at this secluded corner! Sure, you can’t take in a full meal here, but there is plenty of shade, food, and libations to go around. Best of all, there are no reservations required.
If you and your family want to check out the fun at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the rest of the Walt Disney World Resort, give one of our travel planners a call! We are ready and waiting to arrange the Disney trip of your family’s dreams. Click on one of the links below and one of our planners will be in touch to learn about your family’s personal dream vacation. Let’s get planning everybody!