If you are interested in a Signature Dining experience while visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios®, look no further than The Hollywood Brown Derby. Here you will be taken back to the Golden Age of Hollywood while enjoying amazing cocktails and fantastic cuisine.
You’ll find The Hollywood Brown Derby located near the entrance to the Animation Courtyard, on the right side of the street as you walk down Hollywood Boulevard towards the Chinese Theatre. The restaurant is modeled after the N. Vine St. location of the famous Hollywood chain of the same name. The original restaurants operated in Los Angeles, California from 1926 through 1985, and is well known as the birthplace of the “Cobb Salad”, which is named after its creator and restaurant owner, Robert Cobb. It has been said he created the Cobb Salad late one evening as a snack for himself and Sid Grauman, owner of the world-famous Grauman’s Chinese Theatre (Disney’s replica of the theatre is right across the courtyard). The atmosphere places you into the hustle and bustle of Hollywood during its heyday. You can almost imagine what it was like for the Hollywood elite to dine there and more importantly to be seen there. The Brown Derby was one of the “places to be” for actors, actresses, writers, and producers looking to make connections, and for pure publicity. The dining room has an open architecture which allows for clear sight-lines throughout the restaurant. In homage to the original restaurants, the walls are adorned with hundreds of celebrity drawings and caricatures. Take a walk around and see if you can find some of your favorite performers and Hollywood personalities from days gone by.
The Hollywood Brown Derby is the only Signature/Fine dining location in Disney’s Hollywood Studios® and requires 2 dining credits if you are participating in the Disney Dining Program. They also take the Tables in Wonderland Card. We had a dinner reservation for five adults at a relatively early dining time; 5:30 pm. Additionally, our group consisted of both adventurous and reserved dining palates. We had notified the restaurant when we made our reservation that our table was celebrating an engagement and we were treated to a little extra pixie dust when we arrived at our booth and were able to enjoy a couple of complimentary glasses of champagne. It was a very nice touch! TIP: always mention any celebrations when making reservations, you never know what may happen.
The entrees on the menu ranged from $32 to $59.99 (as of this publication) with some additional charges for certain substitutions, ie. substituting Kobe beef for the Char-Grilled Filet will add $25 to your order. Everything that was brought to our table had a great presentation and was thoroughly enjoyed by all! We started with the Togarashi-crusted Ahi Tuna ($15) as our appetizer and proceeded with the following entree’s for our main courses; Char-grilled Filet of Beef ($49), Faroe Island Salmon ($37), and the Bell & Evans Chicken Breast ($32). All sides complimented the main dishes perfectly. Although we didn’t have any children dining in our group they do have a children’s menu for those in need, as you would expect when dining at Walt Disney World®. We opted to pass on dessert since the meals were very generous portions and had planned to try some other dessert items in the park later that evening. However, the dessert items we saw being delivered to other guests looked fantastic, especially their signature Grapefruit Cake.
This was a return trip to The Hollywood Brown Derby for us, and we once again truly enjoyed our experience. One thing to keep in mind when selecting this dining experience is that there is minimal Disney representation during your meal. There are no Disney characters present at The Hollywood Brown Derby. However, for an additional charge, you can add the Fantasmic! Dining Package to your meal which will give you preferred seating along with delicious dessert offerings during Fantasmic!.
Another option for dining is The Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge, which serves small plates and cocktails from a full-service bar. This walk-up lounge is located directly outside the main restaurant, and you can enjoy light fare while people watching with some tables even providing a view of the shows performed in front of the Chinese Theatre. Dining plans are not accepted at the lounge.
Overall, we enjoy the experience of dining at The Hollywood Brown Derby. The Tables in Wonderland Card makes it a reasonable value since cardholders receive a 20% discount off the full amount of the meal (food & alcohol). While we do enjoy this restaurant, we have found other signature restaurants on property amazing as well! My recommendations for foodies using the Disney Dining Plan would be the California Grill located in Disney’s Contemporary Resort, or for those looking for a character experience; Cinderella’s Royal Table which is found inside Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom®, and if it’s an all-out show you’re looking for then the Hoop De Doo Revue at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground will be a pleaser. I have enjoyed the dining experiences at all of these fantastic locations. Each of these dining experiences are extremely popular and should be booked exactly when your Advance Dining Reservation window opens, 180 days from your Walt Disney World® Resort stay. Your Key to the World Travel® Advisor will be happy to assist with booking your dining reservations.
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