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5 Awesome Places to Dine at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

There are lots of new attractions coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, but many guests don’t realize that the park is also home to some of the most entertaining dining options at Walt Disney World.

Hollywood Studios boasts five table-service restaurants that combine great food—and desserts—with interactive fun and entertainment. Here are five awesome places to enjoy a meal at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

5. Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater

Many Walt Disney World guests may be a tad too young to remember the days of drive-in movie theaters, but the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater gives everyone the chance to watch a movie from the comfort of a car-shaped booth. You’ll walk into what appears to be an outdoor theater under the stars with a big screen showing science-fiction clips and vintage commercials, and your carhop will deliver your meal from a menu that ranges from sandwiches to ribs. Frequent visitors know that the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater is home to some of Walt Disney World’s most mouth-watering milkshakes, and both parents and kids alike can appreciate the restaurant’s kitschy memorabilia and old-fashioned, drive-in-style concession stand.

4. Hollywood & Vine

If you’re spending the day at Hollywood Studios, this is the place to fill up before Fantasmic and get your fair share of character interaction time. A casual all-you-can-eat buffet, Hollywood & Vine is the only character dining opportunity at Hollywood Studios, so be sure to come hungry…and bring your camera! During the day, kids are invited to meet and greet their favorite Disney Junior pals like Sofia the First, Jake and the Never Land Pirates, Doc McStuffins, and Handy Manny for breakfast and lunch. But the most exciting dining news to come out of Hollywood Studios as of late revolves around dinner, since the restaurant recently began hosting seasonal themed dinner parties. Depending upon the time of year for your visit, a dinner reservation will grant you a sumptuous seasonal buffet meal and festive music and decor so that you can celebrate holidays like Halloween and Christmas with Minnie, Mickey, Donald, Daisy, and Goofy—and, yes, they will be decked out in themed costumes.

3. 50’s Prime Time Café

Another restaurant that allows you to go back in time to yesteryear, The 50’s Prime Time Cafe serves up American comfort food just like Mom used to make. The 1950s-themed eatery is appropriately centered around “Mom’s Kitchen”—think Formica tables and vinyl chairs—and offers hearty, savory favorites like chicken pot pie and meatloaf. But like many Hollywood Studios restaurants, park-goers also come for the interactive fun and entertainment. “Mom” herself may just drop by during your meal—so be sure to keep those elbows off the table and mind your manners—and the old-fashioned television sets throughout the restaurant show black-and-white clips from popular 1950s shows.

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2. Hollywood Brown Derby

Just because Hollywood Studios is home to family-friendly, themed dining experiences doesn’t mean you can’t find a restaurant for a more romantic, upscale meal. The elegant Hollywood Brown Derby is an authentic replica of the famous Tinseltown landmark that shares its name, and is known for signature dishes like the famous Brown Derby Cobb salad—which was created by Bob Cobb, owner of the California Brown Derby—and the restaurant’s legendary grapefruit cake for dessert. But the décor is perhaps just as enjoyable as the food; the walls are adorned with caricatures of famous faces, and the glamorous ambiance was designed to capture the glitz of Hollywood’s Golden Age.

1. Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano

For a more relaxed meal, Mama Melrose’s offers home-style Italian fare in a cozy restaurant decorated with checkered curtains, string lights, and Mama’s mementos on the walls. Formerly a backlot warehouse, the restaurant serves up Italian classics like chicken parmesan and flatbread pizzas. Guests can sip from an assortment of Italian and Californian wines as well as specialty cocktails in the inviting dining room, and finish their Italian feast with delectable desserts like a Ghirardelli chocolate and cherry tort or Mama’s tiramisu.

About Jennifer Nelson

Jennifer L. Nelson donned her first pair of personalized mouse ears at age 4. A lifelong Disney fanatic and avid runner, the New Jersey resident visits both Walt Disney World and Disneyland several times a year to cross the finish line of one of runDisney’s half or full marathons; among her proudest accomplishments to date was completing the 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend’s 5K, 10K, half marathon, and full marathon to earn the coveted inaugural Dopey Challenge medal. When it comes to theme park touring, she’s a self-described “commando” visitor who arrives at rope drop, follows a strict touring plan (and never waits in line!), and soaks up the Disney magic until the final gift shop has closed. She is a freelance writer and editor who blogs about her personal weight loss journey, running exploits, and Disney obsession at www.thefinalforty.com.