Plumbing the Depths of Gonzo's ... Plumbing
Of late, Disney's Hollywood Studios is getting a bad rap.
First, DHS enthusiasts were forced to weather the closing of of Streets of America (and with it -- gasp -- The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights -- ed), Lights, Motors, Action!, Writer's Stop (that carrot cake cookie!) -- pretty much the entire backlot. Next, we're struggling with making DHS a wholly-fun experience while dealing with a decidedly not-whole park. And, let's not even mention that DHS lost some really memorable loos in the recent demolition.
What's left for the Hollywood Studios enthusiast while (im)patiently waiting for Star Wars and Toy Story Lands' completion?
What can the die-hard DHS fan enjoy when all he/she sees is this around every corner?
Well, for starters we've got PizzeRizzo! We love what Imagineering has done with the place.
A re-skinned Pizza Planet, though, just doesn't seem enough, does it?
We here at WDW Loo Review definitely sympathize with those yearning for the DHS of old. It's definitely not a full-day park anymore, and the destruction of some beloved attractions along with the construction of the Dream Builders barriers makes it hard to find the silver lining in this bank of clouds.
Yet, we think we've found one for you, and it's in one of the most unlikely of places: Muppet Courtyard! It took some looking, but we've stumbled upon a real treasure of a loo: one we've overlooked many times in the past, never really paying much attention to this gem disguised as a mild-mannered plumbing emporium.
This ..... is Gonzo's Royal Flush!
(We wonder if the guy in the blue shirt realizes he's now immortalized in a WDW Loo Review featured post. You're welcome, sir. Bask in the fame, it's on the house! -- ed)
Gonzo's Royal Flush Sits just adjacent to PizzeRizzo on its northwest side. It's tucked away beneath (that's right, we said beneath -- this is a subterranean loo, folks) a large red bricked building festooned with all manner of pipes, ductwork and signage. Here, take a closer look at the main facade.
The actual name of the building is Broadway Plumbing (seems fitting in light of the New York tribute restaurant serving Italian cuisine to Frank's dulcet tones next door). One glance tells us that the building inspector may have overlooked a few details during the construction process -- what's with all the pipage everywhere?
Also, if you look closely at the above two photos, you'll see that Gonzo's Royal Flush is the actual name of this loo. To our knowledge, this is the only restroom on property that is actually featured with its own name, affiliated with an intellectual property character, proudly displayed above the stairs leading down to the loos themselves. This is pretty cool and further demonstrates that Imagineering has stepped things up a notch or two in terms of designing loos. Nice work!
Here's a look at the building's southwest facade. Anyone have a clogged drain?
A classic New York skyline wooden water tank adorns the roof of Broadway Plumbing's Florida headquarters. Again, check out all the ductwork here (someone has really got his ducts ... in a row -- ed).
Here's a sign featuring the simple, hilarious backstory to this loo. Everyone's favorite weirdo has apparently opened a showroom featuring used toilets (listen, the Muppets IP has seen better days, folks -- a new toilet showroom is just too expensive for its limited budget -- don't judge). Our trip to the loo, then, takes us to his showroom where, as this sign suggests, these toilets have been used ... many, many, many times.
Here's a close look at the women's loo sign. Notice this is a queen, and we're certain she's well suited for the thrones beyond.
Here's the sign for the companion loo. Royalty abounds!
Finally, we meet his highness before heading into the loo. Notice, by the way, how these signs are designed to look a little weathered, a little dingy. This is intentional, but it's such a seamless effect that it's easy to overlook. That's Imagineering theming at it's absolute best!
Let's head into the men's loo and check out Gonzo's wares.
Above is the small foyer leading to the loo's interior. This loo is open to the elements, though, this 180 degree turn (and the loo's below ground location) keeps it cool inside.
Already, we can see this place is all about subway tile.
Here's a closer look at WDW's most unfortunate cast member, perpetually slipping on and falling towards floors moist with all manner of fluids. If you can get past the word moist, direct your attention closer to the tile. It's a shiny, taupe subway tile at eye level and above, with a thin brown trim piece below, leading to a mixed blue and browns pattern. This is carried throughout the loo, and it really looks snazzy.
Another look at that tile pattern:
Peeking into the loo, we see the full effect. This is a pretty modern looking restroom: subway tile, warm yellow light fixtures -- all of it enhanced by piped-in music from classic American crooners.
Here's a better look at that tile. The wall's colors are conveyed on the floor as well, this time with the blues and creams speckled with other colors. The pattern is repetitive, and just busy enough to engage the eye without annoying it.
Four sink basins invite all manner of filthy mitts for cleaning. Check out that Dyson Airblade situated in the middle! There's also a single basin squatting closer to the floor for the kids just adjacent to this counter.
A closer look at one of the wall sconces above the sink. These sconces line much of this loo's walls, projecting cones of light upward and onto the ceiling.
7 urinals (one for each of Gonzo's chickens) line one wall:
Peeking inside the ADA-compliant stall, it's pretty much perfect (save for one burned out lightbulb). There's ample room in here for multiple persons, equipment, etc.
Aaand, in this corner of the ADA stall, we find sink, and his buddies vanity mirror and towel dispenser. Soap dispenser is here, too, but he and sink are on the outs right now (awkward -- ed).
Babies should be lining-up to be changed in this station. Seriously, look how that light bounces off all that subway tile. It's warm, inviting -- like a day spa for infants!
Now this was something curious. At this loo's backside, there appeared to be a hallway leading deeper into the building. It was blocked off by this conspicuous piece of white-painted wood. When we visited the loo for this session (late October 2016), PizzeRizzo was not yet completed. We're wondering if this loo connects to the interior of the restaurant?
If any of our readers have visited this loo lately (especially since the opening of PizzeRizzo), we'd love to know if this wood is still up, or if there's a secret tunnel leading us further into the depths of Broadway Plumbing HQ.
WDW Loo Review Recap of Disney's Hollywood Studios Gonzo's Royal Flush Loo:
Capacity: Large (seven urinals, four stalls -- one ADA-compliant)
Theming: While there's no discrete nod to the Muppets in here, the loo looks like it would be comfortable near an Italian restaurant in a New York borough.
Traffic: medium; traffic surges slightly when Muppet Vision 3D lets out (though, until Star Wars land is complete, we anticipate that this will remain a pretty quiet loo)
Changing Station: Yes!
Companion Restroom: Yes!
Access: Easy -- though it's a bit of a walk to get there (especially if you wouldn't otherwise be heading to this now desolate part of the park)
OVERALL RATING: 4/5 urinal wafers
We enjoyed our trip to this one. There's something about listening to Tony Bennett and Dino while doing your business in a classy loo that makes you want to return. We'll definitely be hitting this one up again, and we encourage you to give it a whirl!
As we type the final sentences of this review, 2016 is drawing to an end, and we'd be remiss if we did not take a moment to thank you for visiting our blog and sharing our posts on social media. We have the best followers, and your enthusiasm for WDW Loo Review is always humbling, and it continues to fuel our excitement for researching a part of WDW that many don't ever think about. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for giving us one heck of an inaugural year, folks! We're looking forward visiting all sorts of commodes with you in 2017!
Happy holidays from our family to yours.
Loo Review Matt