A trip to Walt Disney World is like visiting several delightful culinary destinations in one go. From the recently expanded Disney Springs, eating around the world at Epcot’s World Showcase or enjoying meals with your favorite characters at some of Disney most stunning resorts, there’s no shortage of interesting places to grab a bite. However, when it comes to questions about dining at the theme parks, the biggest gray area seems to be Disney’s Hollywood Studios. No, it may not have breakfast in a Princess’ castle, or opportunities to sample cuisine from exotic locations, but when it comes to unique, fun and family-friendly dining options Hollywood Studios tops my list. So for those heading to the parks this Winter, give one of these Hollywood Studios eateries a try:
1) Best for Character Dining – Hollywood & Vine is the place to go if you’re looking to dine with characters at Hollywood Studios. For breakfast and tiny tots have an opportunity to meet some of their favorite Disney pals at Disney Junior Play ‘n’ Dine where they’ll rub shoulders with Princess Sofia, Jake, Doc McSuffins and Handy Manny. For lunch and dinner, Hollywood and Vine switches gears with Minnie’s Seasonal Dining, where Minnie, Mickey, Donald and Daisy join guests to celebrate (you guessed it) the Season. Cuisine for all three meals is an American-style mash-up of trusted buffet classics with a dessert bar that is to die for! Prices range from $15- $59.00 per adult with dinner being the most expensive. Those on the Dining Plan will need to fork over 1 Table Service Credit.
2) Best for one-of-a-kind theming– Many consider this to be Hollywood Studio’s strongest suit as they boast not one but two dining experiences like no other. The first is Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant where you’ll be whisked back to the heyday of drive-in movies. Enter a soundstage/restaurant complete with the starry night sky and cheesy sci-fi flicks, where instead of a table you are seated in your very own convertible cars. Guests enjoy American diner favorites like BLTs, burgers and milkshakes.
For those preferring a dose of Mom’s home cooking, look no further than 50’s Prime Time Cafe, where you’ll be transported back to the days of Donna Reed and I Love Lucy as mom serves up specialities in her vintage kitchen such as meatloaf, fried chicken and lasagna. For a special treat ask for a table with TV and watch clips of 50’s sitcoms while you wait for your food. Just be sure to follow mom’s rules as those spotted with their elbows on the table or not eating their vegetables will suffer the consequences.
Dining at both restaurants will run anywhere from $15- $34.99 per adult. For those on the dining plan, it is 1 Table Service Credit.
3) Best for a taste of old Hollywood glamour – Dine like the A-listers of days-gone-by at The Hollywood Brown Derby, Hollywood Studios’ fine dining restaurant. Guests are immersed in vintage Tinseltown at this replica of Los Angeles’ original Brown Derby complete with larger than life caricatures adorning the walls. First-time guests will definitely want to give the Cobb Salad a try as it is a house favorite or even indulge in a selection from the wine list. Considered Signature Dining, a meal at the Brown Derby is a little bit on the pricey side with costs for adults going to as high as $59.00. It also uses 2 Table Service Dining Credits per person for those on the regular dining plan. But for those looking for a little treat or a romantic time out, it’s definitely worth considering.
4) Best for Quick Service credits – Sure when it comes to finding a Quick Service restaurant food is key, but so is a nice cool place to rest your weary feet midway through pounding the parks. For that reason, ABC Commissary comes up trumps for those looking to grab a quick bite. Food can be a bit hit and miss at times with menu items such as Asian chicken salads, bacon cheeseburgers and even a NY strip steak. However, tucked away to the left of The Chinese Theatre, the ample indoor seating, air conditioning and nicely maintained restrooms make it a worthy place to take a break. Those with a picky palate may enjoy the cuisine better over at Backlot Express but ABC offers a nice mix of food and comfort! A meal will set you back up to $14.00 or 1 Quick Service Credit.
5) Best pizza – When it comes to counter service theme park pizza they can all be pretty bog standard but for us PizzeRizzo is apart from the pack. The pizza is doughy and delicious and has never disappointed us. But what we really love is the ambience of this eatery. Tucked away over by MuppetVision 3D, the second-floor balcony dining offers fantastic views of the street below and is perfect for people watching. There’s also tons of indoor seating which makes it a perfect place to cool off during those hot afternoons. PizzeRizzo playfully conjures up that feeling of a NYC Little Italy-style pizza joint. Also be sure to pay attention to all the delightful little Imagineering touches throughout the dining rooms!
6) Best new dining experience – BaseLine Tap House is the newest dining spot on the block at Hollywood Studios and for adults interested in craft beers, cocktails, light bites and people watching we can’t think of a better place. That atmosphere evokes the feeling of a relaxing at a neighborhood corner pub. Menu highlights include an impressive array of beers with over 126 craft beer combinations. Savory treats like a delicious charcuterie of California cheeses as well as a mammoth Bavarian Pretzel with Beer Cheese Fondu are the clear stand-outs. The Tap House is located on Grand Avenue, just around the corner from Sci-Fi Dine-In.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this crash course in dining Hollywood Studio’ style. There are several other fantastic places to eat at the park that didn’t make the cut but this should hopefully provide newcomers or those wanting a dining refresher with a great starting point. Bon appetit.
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