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best hollywood studios restaurant

Best Hollywood Studios Restaurant for Adults

Disney’s Hollywood Studios is a great place for adults to spend a day without kids, plenty of great adult rides, shows and other things to see that you can spend some extra time enjoying. While the construction for both Toy Story Land and Star Wars Land have reduced the number of attractions you can visit, it is still worth your time to see the park. But as adults, where do you eat without Mickey coming to your table? There are two restaurants in Disney’s Hollywood Studios that I consider the Best for adults, but there are a few others that are also pretty decent. Both Sci-Fi Dine-In and Mama Melrose’s are fine restaurants with decent food, but just don’t quite make the cut.

Best Hollywood Studios Restaurant for Adults

  • 50’s Prime Time Cafe – For many older adults, this is like a blast from their past, a reminder of what it was like to visit an aunt’s or grandmother’s house back in the 50’s and 60’s. Black and white TVs are placed at each table with shows such as I Married Joan, the Mickey Mouse Club and Leave it to Beaver among many others. The food is exactly as you would expect, home cooked comfort food. The fried chicken is fantastic, as is the meatloaf is some of the best I have ever had. Oh, and don’t miss out on the Peanut Butter and Jelly Milk Shakes, so good! Plus, make sure you eat your green beans, keep your elbows off the table and leave that cell phone in your pocket or you will get on the bad side of your server and may have to stand in the corner for a while. It is all fun, great food and fantastic place to eat.
  • The Hollywood Brown Derby – Disney’s Hollywood Studios only “signature” restaurant, as the cost to dine here is 2 table service credits per person for those on the dining plan. While I am not sure it is the best signature restaurant on property, it is very good. By far the nicest restaurant in Hollywood Studios, the Brown Derby is designed after the original location in Hollywood, complete with the caricatures of famous faces all around the restaurant. The Brown Derby is home to the Cobb Salad, created first sometime around 1930 at the original location, and perfected for the last 80+ years. In addition to the Cobb Salad, the Brown Derby also features entrees such as Roasted Rack of Lamb, Faroe Island Salmon and my favorite, Pork Three Ways (all three are fantastic). And for dessert, you only need to know one thing: Grapefruit Cake. The Brown Derby features a first class, relaxing, upscale restaurant in the middle of a theme park.

What is your favorite Hollywood Studios Restaurant for adults?

best disney springs restaurant

Best Disney Springs Restaurant for Kids

While the old Downtown Disney may have seemed a bit dated and tired, the new Disney Springs appears to be a fantastic collection of new restaurants and shops, and warrants a visit from anyone who hasn’t been recently. Disney Springs is a great place to head if you have a few hours at the beginning or end of your vacation, as no addmisison is required. We usually stop by one evening after visiting Animal Kingdom, but with that park staying open later now, we may need to find some other time to visit. There are quite a few new restaurants in Disney Springs, and we were wondering, what is the best Disney Springs restaurant for kids?

I narrowed it down to two options for you, two completely different restaurants, one of them should work well for your family:

Best Disney Springs Restaurant for Kids

  • Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant – Raglan Road is a MUST DO for my family, and has been since the restaurant opened in 2005. The entire bar area was imported directly from a Pub in Dublin, it is fantastic. Raglan Road features Irish entrees that are absolutely gigantic in proportion, along with some of the best desserts anywhere. I dream about their bread & butter pudding. Yum! For kids, Raglan Road offers some Irish choices like Young Shepherd’s Pie and Dalkey Duo (dalkey-battered sausages) as well as some Americanized items like Macaroni & Cheese and chicken fingers. The best thing about Raglan Road though is the entertainment, kids absolutely love it. They have nightly music and Irish dancing, and if you fancy taking a turn, they will even let you get on stage to show of your Irish moves. Reservations are required, especially for dinner, and Raglan Road accepts the Disney Dining Plan as payment, 1 table service credit per person. Hey, I got through that entire thing and didn’t even mention the Guinness on tap. Silly me.
  • T-Rex – The Dinosaur themed Rainforest Cafe. That isn’t even fair, I really, really like T-Rex and can’t stand Rainforest Cafe. T-Rex features a bunch of dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals placed all around the restaurant, plus ample use of aquariums make the place really, really fun for both adults and kids. If your young ones scare easily because of darkness, loud sounds or dinosaurs, you may want to rethink this choice and go elsewhere, but the darkness and loud sounds are really short and are spread out, but the dinosaurs are ever-present. The food here is what you would associated with Flinstones, HUGE portions of meat and potatoes. While they do offer salads and sea food, this is a place that Fred Flinstone would be comfortable visiting. While you won’t get a side of brontosaurus ribs dropped on your car, you can order a Bronto Burger (not real brontosaur meat BTW), a Mastadon Stuffed Chicken or the Boneyard Buffet, which includes a lot of everything on the menu. Kids meals are similar, with entrees such as Prehistoric Pop’n Shrimp, Lava Lasagna and Mini Mes-O-Bones (ribs). T-Rex has pretty decent food and a fantastic atmosphere. Just be warned, if you go once, you will be going every single trip to Disney from that point forward, as it will become your kid’s number one request when planning your dining. Reservations are a must, and T-Rex accepts the Disney Dining Plan as payment, 1 table service credit per person.

So, what is your favorite Disney Springs restaurant for your kids?

cinderella restaurant

Cinderella’s Royal Table – Pros and Cons

Cinderella’s Royal Table has long been the most popular restaurant in all of Walt Disney World. I remember going to Disney in the 90’s, I would have to get up before 5:00 AM my time to call into the Disney dining call center 90 days before my trip, and I usually had to do that 4 or 5 days in a row before I could get a time. Cinderella’s Royal Table was the reason why Disney now requires credit card deposits on dining reservations, as you used to be able to buy times on ebay and Disney forums for $20 – $30, and Disney was not happy about that. Even years later it is still a MUST DO for many Walt Disney World guests, especially those with little princesses in tow. While Be Our Guest has taken over as the hardest reservation to get at Disney World, Cinderella’s Royal Table is not too far behind.

Cinderella's Royal Table

But, do you need to eat at Cinderella’s Royal Table? We put together a list of Pros and Cons and let you decide:

Pros for Cinderella’s Royal Table

  • Dining in the Castle – Unless you happen to get lucky and get to sleep in the Cinderella Castle Suite, dining at Cinderella’s Royal Table is the only way to actually be “in” the castle, plus you get to sit down and eat! There is something special about being inside the castle and looking out over Fantasyland.
  • Cinderella and Friends – On a typical day in the castle, you will be visited by Cinderella, Ariel, Aurora, Snow White and sometimes even the Fairy Godmother. IF you are extra lucky, you may even see Peter Pan climbing around outside the windows.
  • Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique – While dining with Cinderella in her castle is special, the ability to have your little princess all dressed up from the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique downstairs is something you can replicate anywhere else. Imagine being dressed like Cinderella and being able to dine in her castle. Wow!
  • Wishes – If you time your dinner right, and are inside the castle during wishes, they will lower the lights and you can watch wishes from your table over Fantasyland. Keep a keen eye, Tinker Bell will make an appearance inside the castle and fly around during the fireworks.

Cons for Cinderella’s Royal Table

  • Cost – Several years ago, in order to try to reduce the demand for Cinderella’s Royal Table, Walt Disney World basically doubled the cost for those on the dining plan, and significantly raised the cost for those who were not. Cinderella’s Royal Table is now 2 table service credits per person for breakfast, lunch and dinner while every other character meal is only 1 per person. The cost paying cash can run between $60 per adult for breakfast to $75 per adult for dinner, plus tax and tip. You could easily eat at California Grill or any other signature restaurant at Disney for less.
  • Cinderella has another home – If you really want to dine with Cinderella, you can find her elsewhere. Go check out Cinderella’s Royal Dinner at 1900 Park Fare in the Grand Floridian. While it isn’t in the castle, you do get to meet Cinderella and her family, including Prince Charming, Lady Tremaine, Anastasia and Drizella.
  • Most Popular Princesses – If you are looking for Anna and Elsa, you wont’ find them hanging out with Cinderella. I think there is some kind of rivalry between them. Some of the younger kids may not be too familiar with Cinderella or Aurora, and may do better at other dining locations.
  • Food Quality – Cinderella’s Royal Table features a set menu, you will have a few options to choose from. Back in the day, the food quality was as good as any restaurant on property, but as Disney World figured out that people were coming to see Cinderella, and not for the food, the quality has dropped some, and it is not nearly as good as it once was, or is at other character/restaurant locations.

If you have a little princess that insists on dining inside of Cinderella’s Castle, then go for it. Otherwise, I suggest you take a look at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in Epcot. It is half the cost, has very similar princesses (the possibility of Snow White, Cinderella, Belle, Princess Aurora, Ariel, Mary Poppins, or Jasmine), the food is better, and it will put you right in the middle of Norway, home to the new Frozen attraction, Frozen Ever After as well as the new meet and greet area for Anna and Elsa, both scheduled to open in June, 2016.