Best Hollywood Studios Restaurants

50s prime time cafe sign
50's Prime Time Cafe is the Best Interactive Hollywood Studios Restaurant.

Food is as much a part of your trip to Walt Disney World as riding your favorite rides! Hollywood Studios is not usually the foodie-destination, as most people flock to Epcot for their international fare. The best Hollywood Studios restaurants, however, can hold their own and serve up amazing character, theme, and delicious food too!

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Hollywood Studios Dining Options

Hollywood Studios has a mixture of both types of dining option at Walt Disney World. When picking the best Hollywood Studios Restaurants, you’ll want to focus on the Table Service restaurants.

  • Quick Service – Counter-service or cafeteria-style meals. You order, pay for your food, and then take it to enjoy at a connected or nearby location.
  • Table Service – Restaurant-Style meals. Accept reservations, enjoy your meal ordered from a menu, buffet, or family-style with table-service.
    • Character Meals – Table Service meals that also include Disney characters who visit you during your meal. They pose for pictures and autographs with diners.

If you aren’t ready for a full meal, you can always check out the amazing Disney snack options too!

The Best Hollywood Studios Restaurants

Each Table Service restaurant at Hollywood Studios has a unique attribute that makes it stand out from the rest. While some really step it up in the theme category, others focus on a refined menu, or even have fun character interactions. They also make a great air-conditioned break if you are visiting Walt Disney World during the hot summer months.

Picking the best Hollywood Studios restaurant really depends on what you are hoping to get out of your dining experience. We’ve selected the top restaurant for:

  • Theme
  • Interactive Experience
  • Menu
  • Character Meal

Pro-Tip : If you are going to try to score a reservation to one of these on-site, make sure you have an external power pack since searching through the MyDisneyExperience app drains your battery! This one is my go-to and never fails me: Anker Powercore 13000.

The Best Themed Restaurant at Hollywood Studios: Sci-Fi Dine-In Theatre

The Dining Experience at Sci-Fi Dine-In Theatre

If you are looking for best theming, then Sci-Fi Dine-in Theatre takes the cake.  Stepping inside, you immediately feel like you are at a drive-in movie as the car hop leads you to your very own car. You’ll glimpse movie previews and short clips from a variety of old Sci-Fi movies. You can watch an Iguana step all over a small-model town, Cat-Women of the Moon fall in love with Earthlings, and more monsters trampling through cities while the townspeople let out tons of movie screams. They even play fun concession-themed commercials in-between. It’s a restaurant that even inspires fans to make their own t-shirts!

The restaurant itself has a soaring ceiling, complete with stars to make you really feel like you are outside. You’ll have a great time enjoying a movie at the local drive-in circa-1955 (which is the year on all the license plates of the cars!).

The Food at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theatre

The food is reminiscent of a Drive-In, with American classics filling the menu. Appetizers include things like fried pickles, onion rings, and buffalo chicken tenders. The most popular entrees include a variety of burgers, including a special seasonal burger. During one of our visits, it was a burger with a fried green tomato and pimento cheese!  Pasta dishes, salads and sandwiches (Cheesesteak, Turkey sandwich) round out the menu. For the younger visitors, they can also enjoy a burger or classics like chicken fingers, chicken and cheese quesadillas, or pasta.

One of the more unique dessert options here is the warm, glazed doughnut with cinnamon apples, vanilla ice cream, and caramel sauce! The house made candy bar is also a great option, unique to the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theatre.  If you are on the Disney Dining Plan, you’ll spend one table service credit for a meal.

Recommendations if Dining at Sci-Fi Dine-In Theatre

  1. Make your reservation in advance. You can book as early as 180 days prior, and this is a restaurant that rarely has same-day openings.
  2. If you are traveling with kids, ask if they can get their driver license! It’s a fun souvenir, and we all love FREE souvenirs at Walt Disney World, because they are few and far between!
  3. If you want an appetizer, then go for the sampler so you can try everything. The fried pickles are especially good.
  4. For your main course, the burgers are the draw here and make sure to check out the Seasonal offering.
  5. For dessert, the Warm Glazed Doughnut or Sci-Fi candy bar are originals to the restaurant.

The Best Interactive Restaurant in Hollywood Studios: 50’s Prime Time Cafe

The Dining Experience at 50’s Prime Time Cafe

They don’t call the staff at Walt Disney World “cast members” for nothing! It’s only fitting that one of the restaurants at Hollywood Studios has wait staff that really put on a show and embodies their characters throughout your meal. The 50’s Prime Time Cafe is the ultimate destination at Hollywood Studios if you are looking for a meal with attitude.

Prior to enjoying your meal, you can spend some time in Dad’s Lounge. The theming here is also top-notch. In a jiffy, you’ll be whisked away to your table where you’ll find a menu full of traditional favorites.

The real star of the show at 50’s Prime Time Cafe are the wait staff. They enforce a wide-range of Mom’s rules throughout your meal, including no elbows on the table and eating all your vegetables. The interaction with them is what really makes your meal at 50’s Prime Time Cafe the best. They will occasionally assign homework to the table, like listing all of the Disney animated moves in order! We have even seen them put someone in time-out for not following the rules. If they say “no elbows on the table,” it means no elbows on the table.

50s Prime Time Cafe Clean Plate Club Hollywood Studios

Make sure you collect a “clean plate club” sticker by eating all your veggies!

The Food at 50’s Prime Time Cafe

For food, you have all of your family favorites. Dad’s pork chop is a huge hit as well as Mom’s pot roast. If you have trouble picking one, you can always go for the sampler which includes their famous fried chicken, meatloaf, and pot roast. For kids, they can choose from main courses like chicken tenders or macaroni and cheese and pick 2 sides. They also better pick a vegetable or they might end up in time-out too!

Desserts are a big deal at 50’s Prime Time Cafe as well. The milkshakes are always popular. They come in all your traditional offerings, but the Peanut Butter and Jelly is a unique offering here. The apple crisps or mom’s/dad’s brownie also satisfies the sweet tooth. If you are on the Disney Dining Plan, you’ll spend one table service credit for a meal.

Recommendations for Dining at 50’s Prime Time Cafe

  1. This is another Table Service restaurant that fills up quickly at Hollywood Studios. Be sure to make your reservations in advance.
  2. Clean your plate and get a special “Clean Plate Club” sticker!
  3. Interact with the cast members. While you might be tempted to just eat your meal without joining in the fun, the interaction with the cast really is what makes this meal special.
  4. If you can’t pick a main entrée, try the sampler. it gives you a good feel for the most popular dishes here.
  5. If you have room, try a milkshake!

The Best Menu at Hollywood Studios – The Hollywood Brown Derby

The Dining Experience at the Hollywood Brown Derby

The Hollywood Brown Derby screams old Hollywood and all the sophistication that comes with it. As the only Signature Dining in Hollywood Studios, the Hollywood Brown Derby has the most up-scale menu in the park. It’s your best bet if you want an elegant dinner with delicious food.  The dining room is covered with caricatures of famous Hollywood actors and actresses. You can have a fun time finding your favorites. The main room has rich colors and low lighting, making it seem like a place your favorite Hollywood stars would hide out.

Dining at the Hollywood Brown Derby

As a signature restaurant, the menu at the Hollywood Brown Derby is a step above the other restaurants at Hollywood Studios. You’ll find appetizers like togarashi-crusted Ahi Tuna and main entreés like Black Grouper and Lobster Cioppino. There are also a variety of accompaniments you can add, like Georges-Banks sea scallops or even a lobster tail. I’ll admit to having to google some of the ingredients to know exactly what I was ordering! If it’s your first time visiting, the Famous Cobb Salad is a great choice. It’s a huge salad and definitely filling enough for an entire meal.

The desserts come in a mini set of three. You get to pick three items from the list to make up your own special dessert plate. As a signature dining restaurant, this will also take 2 dining credits if you are on the Disney Dining Plan and costs more than the other Hollywood Studios restaurants. You should expect an  entrée costing in the $40-50 range instead of the $20-30 range.

If you’d like a cheaper option,  you can try the Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge. It has some of the same atmosphere, but is outside the regular restaurant. It serves smaller, tapas-style portions of the entrées as well as some delicious drinks from the bar!

Recommendations for Dining at 50’s Prime Time Cafe

  1. If you’d like to dine at the Hollywood Brown Derby, you’ll want to make your reservation a little in advance. There are generally next-day reservations except during peak times of the year.
  2. If you can’t get a reservation or want to try the Hollywood Brown Derby for a little less of a cost, try the Brown Derby Lounge. You can get some of the same entrées, just in a smaller size. It’s also first-come-first-serve.
  3. Try the Famous Cobb salad! It’s one of the best meals on the menu.
  4. Have fun trying to find your favorite celebrities on the walls in portraits or caricatures.

The Best Character Meal at Hollywood Studios: Hollywood and Vine

The Dining Experience at Hollywood and Vine

Hollywood and Vine is themed after a Hollywood Diner, with all the sparkle and shine that comes with it! It’s also the only character meal at Hollywood Studios. It does have 2 completely different options with different characters for breakfast versus lunch/dinner. The lunch/dinner option is also seasonally-themed. This means it will have the Characters dressed in completely different outfits if you visit another time of the year.

For breakfast, you dine with the Disney Junior crew. The exact characters change, but you can expect to see Princess Sophia, Vampirina, Doc McStuffins, and Road Racer Goofy usually. Jake from the Neverland Pirates makes an appearance every once in a while. Lunch and Dinner are Minnie’s Seasonal Dining, which means it is one restaurant you can count on for a different experience when you visit another time of the year:

  • Silver Screen Dine with Hollywood Minnie and Friends – January – Early March
  • Springtime Dine – Mid-March – Early June
  • Summertime Dine with a Beach Party – June – August
  • Halloween Dine – Late August – Early November
  • Holiday Dine – November – Early January

The characters will visit your table for pictures and autographs. There is also a PhotoPass photographer who will snap your photo with one of the main characters. It’s Minnie in the case of lunch or dinner.

Dining at Hollywood and Vine

Hollywood and Vine is the only buffet option in Hollywood Studios. It’s a great option for pickier eaters as they have a lot of different options.

Breakfast is a traditional buffet, with Mickey Waffles, breakfast meats, and potatoes. It also has an omelet station where you can have an omelet made-to-order. Lunch and Dinner contain several hot dish options, variety of salads and a roasted meat carving station. The offerings also follow the seasonal dining, including Halloween-Inspired snacks during the Halloween Dine and even Star-Wars inspired fare when the restaurant has hosted special, themed-events.

Recommendations for Dining at Hollywood and Vine

  1. Reservations can usually be made for Hollywood and Vine a few months in advance. You don’t need to rush and make the reservation at the 180 day mark.
  2. Bring your cameras and autograph books! You’ll want to capture all those character memories.
  3. The buffet is a good option for pickier eaters. Breakfast’s omelet station is a nice addition, and the seasonal desserts for lunch/dinner are a lot of fun.
  4. If you can’t pick between the two offerings, go with lunch/dinner. The seasonal costumes are a lot of fun.

Other Hollywood Studios Table Service Options

The Dining Experience at Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano

There is one more table service option that didn’t make one of the “best lists.” Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano serves up Italian food on the backlot of Hollywood Studios. The theming is fun, with stringed lights along the ceiling, red and white checkered curtains, and traditional Italian decor. The story behind the restaurant is that a girl moved to Hollywood to become a star and found cooking was her true talent. She opened Mama Melrose’s, and the rest is history.

Mama Melrose’s also participates in the Fantasmic! Dining Package (along with Hollywood & Vine and Hollywood Brown Derby). You can book a meal here to include an entrée, dessert, and non-alcoholic beverage. It comes with a reserved seat at the viewing of Fantastic! later in the night. Fantasmic! is a must-do on our Hollywood attractions. If you don’t get a Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ for it, this is another good option.

Dining at Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano

You will find traditional Italian fare at Mama Melrose’s. Appetizers like the fried calamari or fresh mozzarella are a great place to start. The entrees include favorites like chicken parmigiana or spaghetti and meatballs. Round it out with a cannoli or gelato for dessert.

Recommendations for Dining at Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano

  1. Mama Melrose’s only serves lunch and dinner, so a reservation is recommended early on.
  2. If you need another Fastpass+, then you can book the Fantasmic! dining package to get a reserved seat.

The Best Hollywood Studios Restaurants Summary

If you find yourself in search of an awesome meal in Hollywood Studios, then you are in luck! The best restaurants in Hollywood Studios won’t leave you disappointed.

  1. Theme – Sci-Fi Dine-In Theatre
  2. Interaction – 50’s Prime Time Cafe
  3. Menu – Hollywood Studios
  4. Character Meal – Hollywood and Vine (Lunch or Dinner)

For all of these great meals, make sure you get your reservations early. If they are booked up, you can use these great hacks to get score that reservation!

How to Pick the Best Hollywood Studios Restuarant

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