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Which are the Best Restaurants in Hollywood Studios? When you think about a visit to Disney’s Hollywood Studios the potential dining experiences are probably not high up on your list of things to think about.
Although Disney’s Hollywood Studios has relatively few full service restaurants compared to the other parks you should certainly consider taking some time to visit at least one of the restaurants.
If you are just wanting a quick bit I have written a review of all the Best and Worst Disney Hollywood Studios Counter Service Food.
However, if you want to spend a little more time enjoying a meal at Disney Hollywood Studios here is my opinion about the Best and the Worst Restaurants in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Hollywood and Vine Restaurant
Hollywood and Vine is usually a Disney Character Dining buffet location. However, like all character restaurants and buffet restaurants they have had to adapt
No more buffet for right now, the Hollywood and Vine restaurant has adapted and meals are now served family style with a choice of entree and dessert.
The characters do still appear at Hollywood and Vine. You will usually see Minnie Mouse, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Daisy Duck.
One of the big attractions of Holllywood and Vine is interaction with the characters. Right now they are social distancing of course.
It is also unusual as there is seasonal dining at Hollywood and Vine. One great thing about this is that the costumes of the characters change. If you are a Minnie Mouse fan it is a good chance to see her in lots of different themed outfits.
Photo Credit Disney
Here is the current schedule of the themed dining at Hollywood and Vine.
September 25 – November 5
Halloween themed dining at Hollywood and Vine.
Minnie’s Holiday Dine
November 6 – January 4
Celebrate the Holidays with Minnie and her friends
Silver Screen Dine
January 5 – March
Celebrating the glamor of Hollywood and the golden age of the movies.
March – June
Mark the start of Springtime with a character experience at Hollywood and Vine.
June – September
It’s time to head to the beach with this summertime celebration.
The decor of Hollywood and Vine is light and bright, with of course, a Hollywood theme. The tables are a combinatio of conventional tables and booths.
A large part of the space is taken up with the buffet lines, but this isn’t being used right now.
The family style menu means that the Appetizers are brought to the table. The selection is Plant Based Chopped Salad and Farmhouse Tossed Bowl Salad.
Each person then has a choice of entree. The menu does change seasonally but right now there is a choice of one of six entrees.
- Macaroni and Cheese with Shrimp
- Pork Osso Bucco
- Garlic and Cracked Black Pepper Prime Rib of Beef
- Seared Fresh Salmon with Grain Mustard Buerre Blanc
- Carved Herbed Roasted Turkey Breast
- Plant-Based King Roasted Trumpet Mushrooms
You also have a choice of one of these desserts.
- Vanilla Creme Brulee
- Apple Blueberry Pie
- Banana Cream Pie
- Chocolate S’Mores Pie
- Plant Based Cherry Lemon Pie
The price of the Hollywood and Vine lunch and dinner is $55 for adults and $36 for children aged 3 to 9. This does not include tax and gratuity.
The Hollywood and Vine restaurant does accept the Disney Dining Plan (when it is operating). It also takes the Tables in Wonderland discount card.
Mama Melrose Ristorante Italiano Hollywood Studios
Mama Melrose is the only full-service Italian Restaurant in Disney Hollywood Studios. I first dined here over 20 years ago. Way back when the park was still called Disney MGM Studios. I have revisited it a number of times in the last couple of decades. However, I have to say I am not exactly lining up to do it again.
My experience has always been pretty much the same. Disappointing. This wins my vote as the Worst Restaurant in Holllywood Studios. I just wish that it was better than it actually is. It really should be.
At least the backstory of Mama Melrose is interesting. The restaurant is located close to Muppet Vision 3D. When in the planning stage the restaurant in that location was supposed to be called Great Gonzo’s Pizza Pandemonium Parlor. This Muppet themed restaurant was planned to have a strong Muppet theme.
However, plans for this were shelved and Disney needed a new idea. They stuck with the original Italian cuisine idea but changed the backstory. And it is a slightly confusing backstory.
The idea is that a young girl came to Hollywood in Los Angeles with dreams of becoming a movie star. No confusion there, but stick with it and you will see.
Anyway, the young Italian woman was a talented chef who delighted in bringing her wonderful home inspired creations to her fellow studio hopefuls. She was soon known as Mama Melrose (after the shockingly expensive and exclusive avenue where many stars live in Beverly Hills).
Her cooking became so popular the Hollywood studio owners encouraged and backed her to open an Italian Restaurant. She opened the restaurant in a location on the backlot where movies were made to look as though they were being fiilmed in Little Italy in New York.
So the slightly confusing story is that it is a restaurant located in Los Angeles California. Which is located in reality in Orlando, but which is made to look as though it is New York’s Little Italy. And it serves Californian influenced Italian food.
This is why it says on the outside of the building “where Italy meets California in the heart of the Backlot.”
The confusing backstory explains the decor of the interior of Mama Melrose. New York style brick walls with Los Angeles street signs.
Twinkling fairy lights and pictures of movie stars. Italian cherubs and vinyl records on the wall. Let’s just say it’s all a bit eclectic and it works fine without ever knowing the backstory.
If you can, ask to be seated in one of the cosy booths that line the walls.
I’ve spent so much time talking about the themed decor its almost as if I don’t really want to talk about the food. To be honest its because I am way more of a fan of the decor and ambiance than I am of the food at Mama Melrose.
Generic Italian fare which is incredibly average best describes it for me. I know Mama Melrose has its fans out there, but really this Disney restaurant should be making a better job of the food.
One of the best parts of the meal is actually the free bread which is brought to every table. It is served with olive oil and herbs.
Appetizers range in price from $8 for Minestrone Soup to $15 for the Margarita Flatbread. The flatbread is actually one of the best things on the menu, but for $15 it seems a bit overpriced.
Entree prices range from $19 to $33. The Polenta Cake, Mushroom, and Herb Cauliflower is the vegetarian option for $19. I really wouldn’t recommend it.
Traditional Spaghetti and Meatballs are $22, Charred Strip Steak is $33.
Dessert choices are the inevitable Tiramisu, Cannoli, Gelato and Cherry Tort.
Mama Melose, like all of the Disney Hollywood Studios Restaurants, is part of the Disney Dining Plan. It isn’t great to use the Plan here as the prices are relatively low for a Disney restaurant.
Hollywood Brown Derby at Hollywood Studios
Hollywood Studios has it’s very own Signature fine dining restaurant. This means that when the Disney Dining Plan is used it requires two credits.
This restaurant, like all of the Disney Hollywood Studios full service restaurants, also takes the Tables in Wonderland discount card.
The design of the restaurant really is something worth seeing. The theme is meant to evoke the Golden Age of Hollywood and it does an amazing job of creating an upscale ambiance in the midst of a theme part – not an easy thing to do.
The restaurant is modeled in the style of the original restaurant located in Hollywood Los Angeles which catered to the famous and the glamorous in the Golden Age of the movies. If you want some classic move nostalgia and glamor you can at least pretend for a while before you return to Rock N Roller Coaster and Galaxy’s Edge.
Hollywood Brown Derby is definitely a Disney World restaurant that needs to be on your bucket list. You should visit here at least once and when you have you will most likely want to return.
However, be prepared for your wallet to take a bit of a beating here. This can be an expensive out of pocket experience, but it you are going to use 2 credits on the dining plan, it can be a good bet.
Take the chance to look around the restaurant and really take in the experience. I would say don’t plan this if you are trying to cram in as many Disney Hollywood Studios rides as possible. This is an experience in itself and you should allow yourself a decent amount of time to actually experience it.
It isn’t just the decor which follows the original Brown Derby experience. The menu pays homage to the original as well. Every wondered who created the Cobb Salad? Reputedly it was Bob Cobb of the original Brown Derby. The salad here follows the original recipe as closely as possible.
Want an original recipe but the salad is not your thing.? If you prefer a dessert then try the iconic Brown Derby grapefruit cake. Created in the original restaurant you can now experience it in this Disney Hollywood Studios Restaurant.
Hollywood Brown Derby Menu
Prices are correct in November 2020. Tax and gratuity are not included.
- Curried Butternut Squash Soup $12
- Heirloom Tomato and Burrata Salad $13
- Shrimp Cocktail $15
- Local Greens and Spinach Salad $13
- Pan Seared Sea Scallops and Pork Belly $17
- Ahi Tuna Carpaccio $16
- Charcuterie Board $21
- Scottish Salmon $38
- Our Famous Cobb Salad $18
- Char-Grilled Angus Filet $49
- Wagyu Burger $24
- Plant-Based Salisbury Steak $29
- Bell and Evans Chicken Breast $33
- The Brown Derby Cioppino $46
Hollywood Brown Derby Desserts
- Grapefruit Cake $13
- Mango Passion Fruit Mousse $12
- Chocolate Mousse Cake $12
- Chocolate Coconut Cake $12
The Hollywood Brown Derby is most certainly worth a visit. Make sure that you budget time, as well as money, for this Disney World dining experience. It is something that you will want to take some time over,
Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge
Image Disney Parks
If you still want to sample some of the menu delights of the Hollywood Brown Derby but can’t get an Advanced Dining Reservation a great alternative is the Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge.
This is located at the front of the Hollywood Brown Derby restaurant. Mostly it is patio seating, but there is also some inside seating.
The Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge gives you the sample some of the great food offered in the lounge, but on small plates. There is also an extensive cocktail and bar menu.
Image Disney Parks
Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge Food Menu
- Andouille-crusted Shrimp $15
- Artisanal Cheeses and Charcuterie Board $20
- Famous Cobb Salad $11
- Derby Sliders $17
These desserts are offered at the Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge:
- Grapefruit Cake
- Espresso Cheesecake
- Chocolate Mousse Cake
- Mango Passion Fruit Mousse
- Chocolate Coconut Cake
Image Disney Parks
The Lounge really is a good place to spend some downtime if you are in Hollywood Studios. It is popular though, so it may be that you have to wait in line. The patio is a very good place to spend some time relaxing and people watching in the park.
50’s Prime Time Cafe at Hollywood Studios
The 50s Prime Time Cafe is certainly one of the most entertaining restaurants in Walt Disney World. Step inside this Hollywood Studios Restaurant and you step back in time to the 1950s. And you going going right back to your family of the 50s living room!
The decor is brilliantly themed. The food is classic comfort food. And the Cast Members play a brilliant role in bringing the nostalgic homely theme to life.
The 50’s Prime Time Cafe really is Disney at it’s best. It is an immersive dining experience like no other. Don’t come here for exceptional food (although a lot of it is pretty good). Come here for the experience, bring your sense of humor, and you won’t be disappointed.
The Cast Member servers will make you very welcome in their “living room”. Everyone here is an Aunt, Uncle or your Cousin. If you don’t finish your meal you may very well be chastised, in the nicest possible way, for not cleaning your plate. Sit there on your phone? Your friendly “Aunty” may very well ask you to put it away.
The best seats in the restaurant are the ones by the televisions. You can ask for one of these at check in and the cast Members will do what they can to accommodate your request.
50’s Prime Time Cafe Menu
The emphasis here is very much on comfort food.
Picture from Disney
Appetizers at 50’s Prime Time Cafe
- Beer-Battered Onion Rings $10
- Grandpa’s Crab Cake $13
- Cousin Amy’s Iceberg Lettuce Wedge $9
- Chicken Noodle Soup $9
50’s Prime Time Cafe Entrees
- Aunt Liz’s Golden Fried Chicken $24
- A Sampling of Mom’s Favorite Recipes $26
- Cousin Megan’s Traditional Meatloaf $21
- Mum’s Old Fashioned Pot Roast $24
- Caesar Salad with Chicken $17
- Caesar Salad with Salmon $18
- Cousin Harold’s Vegetable Garden (Market Price)
50’s Prime Time Cafe Desserts
- Traditional Warm Apple Crisp $7.50
- Traditional Warm Apple Crisp A la Mode $9.50
- Dad’s Favorite Chocolate-Peanut Butter Layered Cake $8
- Dad’s Favorite Chocolate-Peanut Butter Layered Cake A la Mode $10
- Ice Cream Sundae $7
- Mom’s Brownie $9
Picture from Disney
There is a full drinks menu including milkshakes. This is what the 50’s Prime Time Cafe is known for – if you love milkshakes you will love these. They are handcrafted just like they were in the old days!
If you want to try something different then ask for the Peanut Butter and Jelly Milkshake. It’s delicious!
The 50’s Prime Time Cafe is definitely one of the most entertaining Disney World Restaurants. Make sure you bring your sense of humor with you. If you want a quiet meal this is definitely not the place for you. But if you want some good old fashioned pretty well done comfort food, this is the Hollywood Studios restaurant for you.
Sci-Fi Dine in Theater Restaurant
Photo by Disney
The Sci-Fi Dine is Theater is another wonderfully themed restaurant at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This, just like the 50s Prime Time Cafe, is a wonderfully immersive experience – and the food it pretty good too.
The restaurant is themed to be a drive in movie theater showing sci-fi movies. One again we are transported back to the 1950’s glory days of America and the movie drive in. The cuisine is classic all American fare.
Photo by Disney
When you walk into the Sci-Fi Dine-in Theater you will immediately see the huge screens on the walls – all showing 1950’s sci-fi movies. The next thing you will see is the classic convertible 1950’s car-shaped booths. There are some ordinary tables at the back – make sure that you request one of the cars when you check-in.
There is one down side of the car design. They seat up to 6 which can be a little cramped. But the unusual thing is that you are seated in rows which al face the screens. This is great for watching the movies, but not so great for encouraging conversation during the meal. It also means that if you are just in a couple you may very well be seated with another couple in front of you and you will then have to look over their heads to see the screen!
Sci-Fi Dine-in Theater Restaurant
Photo by Disney
The Sci-Fi- Dine is is known for its traditional American diner food.
Sci-Fi Dine in Theater Appetizers
- Shrimp and Crab Fondue $11
- Fried Dill Pickels $10
- Crispy Chicken Strips $12
- Sci-Fi Wedge Salad $9
- Island Cake $12
Sci-Fi Dine in Theater Entrees
- Drive-in BBQ Burger $21
- Buffalo Chicken Salad $16
- Oven-roasted Turkey Sandwich $17
- Classic American Burger $19
- Pan-seared Shrimp Pasta $25
- Chicken Pasta $24
- Sci-Fi Seasonal Specialty Burger $22
- Beef and Blue Burger $19
- Flying Saucer Impossible Burger $20
The entree menu is very heavily burger based. It is great to see the Impossible Burger being available in more and more places in Walt Disney World.
Sci-Fi Dine in Theater Desserts
- Warm Glazed Doughnut $10
- House-made Sci-Fi Candy Bar $9
- Hot Fudge Sundae $8
- Cookie Shake $7
Just like the 50’s Prime time Cafe, they have excellent milk shakes here. Try Oreo Cookie, Chocolate or Vanilla.
Just like all of the other Disney Hollywood Restaurants, the Sci=Fi Diner is part of the Disney Dining Plan and the Tables of Wonderland discount program.
Which is the Best Disney Hollywood Studios Restaurant?
This is a tough one. We think that if you are looking for an amazingly fun experience and good food, you can’t go wrong with the Sci-Fi Dine in Theater or the 50’s Prime Time Cafe.
If you are looking for an excellent fine dining experience then choose Hollywood Brown Derby. The decor and ambiance are excellent, and the food is of high quality. If the prices are giving you sticker shock, opt for the Cobb Salad, and skip the entree, or go to the Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge.
If a fun character dining experience is on your list then the Hollywood and Vine restaurant is a good bet. Particularly if you are a Minnie and Mickey fan.
One to skip? Mama Melrose. The decor is fine, but the food really is mediocre, particularly for the prices.
Which of the Disney Hollywood Studios is your favorite?