If the advertisements scattered around Walt Disney World property and on the busses weren’t a clue, the fact that Disney’s Hollywood Studios features a counter service restaurant named the ABC Commissary should clue guests into the fact that there is a connection between ABC and Disney. Once inside the ABC Commissary, this dining establishment takes on a life of its own.
The first items sure to catch guests’ eyes are the glass panels separating the various dining sections and the ordering line. On each pane is the logo of a branch of ABC, such as ABC News and ESPN, which gives this area a very distinct newsroom feel such as you could find at a studio. Continuing inside, above the ordering stations and menu is a remarkable mural that creates a composite skyline out of the various structures found throughout the parks.
The menu itself may feature only a small number of items, but the offerings include atypical Walt Disney World quick service fare. Chicken curry or a Cuban sandwich (complete with plantain chips) may not be as good as similar items found in your local restaurants, but among the hamburgers and chicken nuggets found elsewhere, these meals are definitely headliners.
Progressing to the seating areas, guests may feel like they have entered a high school cafeteria, as the intimate spaces of other quick service locations are exchanged for larger open areas with rows of tables with fairly blank walls. The diversions offered here, however, make up for the immediate surroundings. A looped television program features behind the scenes clips and advertisements for ABC programs. Occasionally, these loops are out of date, but a late summer/early fall trip can offer an inside look into new shows or season premieres that have yet to air.After the meal, however, guests who take a little time to explore the dining rooms will find several display cases filled with costumes and artifacts from ABC television programs. From Ugly Betty memorabilia and Samantha, Who? costumes to Dharma jumpsuits and food items, these exhibits offer guests a chance to get up close and personal with pieces once only seen on their television screens.
With very little in the way of attraction entertainment along Commissary Lane this alleyway is often bypassed, just like the ABC Commissary. Yet, the offerings, both nutritional and engaging, are more than enough of a reason to venture off the beaten path for a gander.