Hollywood & Vine Disney Junior Play ‘n Dine Breakfast

Hollywood & Vine Disney Junior Play ‘n Dine Breakfast

Let me say right off the bat that if this review was left to just the food and the interior of the restaurant the rating would be lower, but, as with most Disney Dining, this is all about the experience.

On this trip my husband and I traveled with just our recently turned two year old son.  We have two older sons (10 & 14), so a trip with them would not likely present us with the opportunity to dine with the Disney Junior characters.  We had a 9:25 reservation for our breakfast as were not in a hurry to ride headline attractions and could take the mid-morning time to enjoy breakfast.

Hollywood & Vine is located in Disney’s Hollywood Studios to the left of Hollywood Blvd. in the Echo Lake area of the park.  The exterior is not that memorable, but there is a neon sign to point you in the right direction.  We checked in and waited a few minutes to enter the restaurant to be seated.  I know they seat people by section to try to time it with the character rounds, but our area was completely empty.  The interior of this restaurant is nothing to write home about, but I suppose it fits the theme of a cafeteria type restaurant in Hollywood in the 1940s.  Metal chairs, basic tables, and Hollywood murals decorated the walls—that was about it.  It had that very streamlined, modern, chrome feeling of the 40s.

For a no obligation, FREE Quote with new bookings contact our sponsor Magical Vacation Planner by calling: 1(407)442-0289 Or for a free no obligation quote with new bookings you can fill out the form by Clicking HERE!

We were greeted promptly by our server when we were seated and placed our drink orders, and received the customary explanation of how the characters make their rounds through the restaurant.  She also explained the play time that happens every 15 minutes or so in the middle of the restaurant.  We took this opportunity to go ahead and visit the buffet.  Everything on the buffet seemed at the proper temperatures and pretty fresh, but nothing really stood out to me as outstanding.  It was a basic breakfast buffet:  fruit, Mickey waffles, eggs, bacon, sausage, etc.  To really win me over at a character breakfast you need to have a signature item like the puffed French toast or breakfast lasagna at Crystal Palace.  There was nothing wrong with the buffet and we were all able to find food to fill us (& get our Mickey Waffle fix)—it was just average.

The place where this experience shines is in the character experience.  Here you will meet four characters from Disney Junior (the Disney Channel for the preschool set).  The characters have changed over the years as shows come and go, but we were able to meet Handy Manny, June from the Little Einsteins, Special Agent Oso, and (our favorite) Jake from Jake and the Neverland Pirates.  Outside of this dining experience only Jake is available for meet & greets (currently).  My two year old was ecstatic when each character came to our table—except Oso—he’s kind of big, acted goofy & he doesn’t know him very well from Disney Junior.  I felt that each character spent a nice amount of time at the table, so the character interaction was very good here.

But, the highlight was the “party” that they have in the middle of the restaurant.  Every 15 minutes or so two hosts come out (similar to the Disney Junior Stage Show)—there are two sides to the restaurant so there is a host on each side.  Two Disney Junior characters join each host and they have a little dance party/character interaction at the front of each section.  This is perfect for their target age group of preschoolers and my two-year-old in particular LOVED getting up after his meal and dancing with the characters.  My husband and I had just as much fun watching him have so much fun—these experiences are why I keep coming back to Walt Disney World.

All in all, this was a great experience for us.  If you don’t have younger children (I’d say under 6) this probably isn’t the best meal for you . . . unless you are looking to get into Disney’s Hollywood Studios before it opens.  You can find better breakfast food and more options at  lots of other places, the reason to come here is for the characters.

Food:  Average.  Nothing special, but it was fresh and served at the proper temperatures.

Atmosphere:  A bit sterile.  It certainly fits the Hollywood diner/cafeteria of the 1940s theme, but doesn’t fit the Play ‘n Dine theme at all.  It really seems like it could be “plussed” in a lot of ways to be more engaging and inviting.

Service:  Our server was prompt on our arrival and with beverages, a little slower at the end with the check.  But, for buffet service it was fine.

Tips:  If you want to get moving to Toy Story Mania with the rope drop crowd make your reservation as early in the morning as possible.  If someone in your party wants to do Jedi Training consider sending an adult and the child to sign up while someone else takes care of the bill.  Bring your video camera—those dance parties are memories that need to be recorded!  Skip this meal if you don’t have children under age 6.

About Sarah Chapman

I am a long time Disney fan since I was hooked on Walt Disney World with my first trip in 1987. Since that time I’ve tried experiencing everything I can in the parks, with a total of 30 visits and counting (I’m always planning my next trip) to Walt Disney World—not to mention Disney Cruise Line and even (shhh!) Universal Orlando and Sea World. I’ve turned my Disney obsession into a profession helping others plan their magical vacations as a Dream Vacation Maker at LBAC Travel. I am a work at home mom to three wonderful boys, and each one has been properly indoctrinated with all things Disney. Walt Disney World is definitely our “Laughing Place.” Look for me on Facebook at Facebook.com/SarahLBAC for updates, discount announcements, tips, tricks and planning advice for your next vacation. You can also find me on Instagram (sarahdreamvacationmaker) and Pinterest (sarahlbactravel).