With as much pomp as I can muster, I welcome you to our inaugural Walt Disney World restroom review!
This has been a long time coming, with plans for the site starting over a year ago during my last visit to Walt Disney World. I've spent the last 2 weeks on property (don't cry for me), drawing curious glances as I meticulously study and photograph the WDW park and resort restrooms. Bear in mind that this review is indeed my first, and I'm sure the format of subsequent blog posts will evolve as I refine this process.
For our first review, I wanted to really get things started with a resounding flush. Given The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights recently wrapping up its final season, I can think of no better locale to first visit than the backlot of Disney's Hollywood Studios.
The night was January 3, 2016, and Mrs. Osborne and family were present to turn on the family's lights for what was originally to be the last time (although, earlier in the day, Disney surprised many by extending the lights another three days -- I digress). As usual, I found myself meandering amongst the Streets of America, this time towards the rear of the park.
Lights, Motors, Action! arena was dark. However, I found a well-lit brick building squatting in front of the entrance to the stage area. Wandering closer, I realized this was a restroom!
The building itself is nondescript: red brick, low and long, well-marked entrances. In short, standard Hollywood Studios backlot faire. Festooning the structure with the Osborne lights, however, made it much more inviting. Notice the not-so-hidden Mickey glowing near the top of the building.
Upon entering, I was first struck by the size of this restroom: it was HUGE (and, of course, I was only on the men's side). Disney spared no expense in ensuring the backlot has plenty places to relieve oneself.
Stainless steel dividers separated each individual urinal, collectively, an army of basins and wafers just begging to be used. A row of black stalls beckoned those who preferred to sit. Seriously, folks, this thing just stretches on forever!
And Holy black, red and yellow, Mickey! Take a look at this tile! This is one of two restrooms along the backside of Hollywood Studios to feature this color scheme (Race themed? Mickey's colors? I don't know for sure.) It's busy, but it works. Tiny squares of tile patterned in rows of obliquely-oriented colored larger blocks serve to brighten-up an otherwise dark and dull room.
Now, one would think that, given all these bright colors, given the amount of foot traffic and body fluids this restroom sees, it would be an absolute nightmare to keep clean. While this may indeed be the case, the restroom was absolutely spotless that evening. Props to the cast member(s) who care for this location -- you guys are doing a great job.
It's almost time to leave this restroom, but I simply can't yet wrap things up without featuring a photo of this monstrous, stainless steel changing table:
Would you look at the size of that thing?! Most restrooms have the plastic Koala changing station with which most of us parents are well-familiar; however, not Lights, Motors, Action! The photograph simply cannot do the enormity of this changing table justice. And look at it: it's spotless. One could perform surgery on this table -- on two people -- at the same time! It also reminded me of an embalming table -- not the most charming thought. I imagine it could hold 8 babies simultaneously, and have plenty of room for diaper bags and a crate of butt balm to boot. Gotta love it. Oh, and don't miss the "baby changing area" sign -- it's festooned with black and yellow caution tape across its top (probably to warn the babies that a stainless steel changing table is abrasively cold).
As I wandered from the warmth of the Lights, Motors, Action! restroom, back out into the damp, cold night, I turned around to take one final photograph and noticed that the Imagineers had deemed the restroom worthy of a great honor: this was the final location of the elusive black cat! Often sought, rarely found, the cat is hidden among the millions of Osborne lights, moved every year to a different location. Take a look:
What a great way to say goodbye to a truly remarkable restroom and a even more memorable festival of lights. I must admit, bidding adieu to the Osbone Lights was more than a little melancholy -- they truly were an event my family and I enjoyed for several years. I hope everyone had the opportunity to get out and see them one last time.
(Author's Note: Little did I know that, as I wrote this piece, Disney was planning to scrap Lights, Motors, Action!, with the last performance scheduled for April 4. Most of the backlot, it seems, will be demolished, making way for the Star Wars Land and Toy Story Land expansions. I suspect, though cannot confirm, that this restroom will also go the way of it's accompanying stage show. As such, get your butts to the backlot before April 4, 2016, if you want to sit on one of these thrones before they're so much scrap.)
LooReview Recap of the Lights, Motors, Action! Restroom:
Companion Restroom: Yes
Changing Station: Yes (Costco-sized)
Access: Poor (it's a bit out of the way from most current attractions)
Overall Rating: 4.5/5 urinal wafers
Despite being a little out the way, the Lights, Motors, Action! Restroom has just about everything a weary Mousketeer needs in a relief facility: huge capacity, little traffic, exceptional cleanliness, cool theming. Well worth the trip to the back of Streets of America!
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Have a great week, everyone!