I always liked the entrance to Disney’s Hollywood Studios


With Galaxy’s edge opening at the end of August and with the recent success of Toy Story Land, Hollywood Studios is becoming a very busy place indeed.  The predictions for wait times in Hollywood studios, especially the times for the attractions in Galaxy’s Edge are staggering, and not just a little frightening.   Millions of Star Wars and Disney fans are clamoring for a chance to check out what the brilliant Disney Imagineers have dreamed up for our beloved franchise.  The real question that should be asked is not “how long am I going to have to wait in line for this attraction” but “Where can I get a good cheeseburger while I wait.”  That latter will be the approach that I think I will have to take when we visit this late fall.

The Great Movie Ride is gone… but the Theater is still there!!!

I think of Hollywood studios eateries and I think of how much fun they are.  Each has their own quirks and foibles and each serves a different kind of food.  The theming of each of the restaurants blows me away and the food at Hollywood studios ranges from good to amazing.  Almost everything is available, from the standard burger and fries to the more elevated fare of The Brown Derby Restaurant and all the types of food in-between are available somewhere in Hollywood Studios. Fast service restaurants and Table service restaurants are all over Hollywood studios. This park presents so many options that I have yet to try them all and I have made a concerted effort to eat at as many as I can.

My family and I used to start many of our days in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Starring Rolls.  We loved to grab a cup of coffee and a sweet roll of some sort before wandering out into the streets of Hollywood.  My personal favorite has been the Chocolate Croissant followed closely by the Cinnamon roll. Unfortunately, with all the changes that have taken place in Hollywood Studios, Starring Rolls Café was closed after our last visit.  Another victim of Disney’s Hollywood Studios expansion was the writers stop.  I can recall on at least two occasions this place saved the day in Hollywood studios.  Once we ducked into the shop during one a rain squall.  Imagine that, It rained at Walt Disney World.  We found our way in, not just to get out of the rain, but because they were rumored to have a wonderful Red Velvet cookie.  We found the Red Velvet cookie just as delicious as advertised.  Since it was raining we had our cookies with a cup of hot tea.  To be honest, you would be hard pressed to find a better way to spend some of your Disney time than eating a Red Velvet Cookie with a cup of Earl Gray Tea watching the rainfall over the Streets of America.

Lots of seating at the Sunset Ranch Market.. and lots of choices too.

So, where do we like to go that is still open in Hollywood studios?  For Counter Service, I can think of two pretty good spots.  The ABC Commissary and the Sunset Ranch Market.  The Sunset Ranch Market is a food court of sorts with several windows serving a number of different kinds of food.  At Cantina Eddies, you can pick up some pizza and a salad.  At Rosie’s all American café you can get the more traditional theme park foods including burgers and Chicken strips.  Rosie’s also offers a Fried Green Tomato sandwich which, while I haven’t had it, sounds pretty good.  Fairfax fare serves Tex-Mex food including Tamales and Empanadas and  I loves me some Tres Leches Cake when I can get it. They also serve a couple of different Rice bowls.  You can get Ice Cream at Hollywood Scoops.  If you want a churro or a pretzel with an adult beverage, you can get that at Anaheim Produce.  I’ve had the burgers there and while they are pretty standard for Theme park food, I enjoyed them.  The ABC Commissary is another quick service restaurant in Hollywood studios.  Located on Commissary lane, the ABC commissary fed the Hollywood studio’s guests for many years and is probably the favorite quick service restaurant in Hollywood Studios.  The restaurant serves a wide variety of food ranging from cheeseburgers to Fish and shrimp and a Mediterranean salad.  As of March 28th, you can get an ADRs there as well and considering The commissary’s proximity to Galaxy’s edge people might need reservations.  The food at the ABC Commissary is probably just a touch better than most theme park Quick Service restaurants.  The Chefs at Disney honestly try to add some diversity even to the simplest of Quick service menus.   I found this place to be one of the better Quick service restaurants in the four parks.

Many of you are probably like me in the fact that they would like to sit down and enjoy a full-service meal.  Hollywood Studios has several great places to sit down and let the wait staff take care of you.  The only line in which to stand in is the line to get into the restaurant.  I have eaten at four of the table service restaurants in Hollywood studios and have found them all diverse and fun with food ranging from good to great.  Among the first table service meal I had at Hollywood studios was at the Sci-fi dine-in theater.  I don’t really remember that first meal so well, but I do remember the experience very clearly.  I have been back at least two other times since that first visit.  What draws me back to the Sci-Fi Theater is not so much the food, which while unmemorable was still tasty, was the amazing theming of the restaurant.  For those of you who haven’t eaten there, the restaurant is full of booths that look like mid to late 50’s cars with a counter in front of you where you can put your food.  The focus for the people that eat at the Sci-Fi dine in Theater is the big projection screen at the end of the restaurant.  What I love about the Sci-Fi is the loop of Old Cartoons, including both old MGM Tex Avery cartoons and Disney Cartoons, the trailers for 1950’s B science fiction movies and the newsreels depicting what people in the 1950’s envisioned for the future.  I loved the loop so much that on one vacation, my family went to the Sci-Fi Dine-in Theater just for Milk Shakes and to watch the loop.   On our most recent trip to Disney, we had breakfast there.  Breakfast was, pretty much, normal Disney breakfast fare.  Lunch was mostly Sandwiches and burgers.  I have not had the pleasure of dinner at the Sci-Fi dine in theater but I imagine it is similar to lunch.  Breakfast doesn’t appear to be served anymore so here is the menu for lunch and dinner.

The 50’s Prime Time Cafe offers an experience as well, and the food is, I would say, a cut above the fare you find at the Sci-Fi Dine-in Theater.  Here you will find yourself in a stylized version of a 1950’s Kitchen/Dining Room with Formica tables, cutlery, and dishes straight out of the 1950s.  The servers are prompt and efficient.  They also play a role in your dining experience.  You must mind your manners at the 50’s Prime Time Cafe and Elbows on the table are strictly frowned upon.  You better finish all of your vegetables if you want dessert.  The whole experience was fun and rewarding.  The 50’s Prime Time Cafe is very popular and can be a difficult ADR to get and I can’t see that getting any better with the advent of Galaxy’s Edge at the end of August.  but the food here is very good and worth the effort attempting to get an ADR.  The chicken, while it might not measure up to the reviews I’ve seen coming out of Homecomin’ in Disney Springs, was crisp, juicy and very tasty.  I have a very high standard for fried chicken.  My grandmother used to fry chicken that she raised in her farm lot.  Fresh chicken fried in pork lard may be the best thing ever.  While nutritionist may tell you that lard is bad for you, lard makes chicken taste amazing. Like most things in this world, I don’t think that a bit of pork fat from time to time is all that bad.  The pot roast was tender and juicy and filled with comforting flavor.  I had A Sampling of Mom’s Favorite Recipes, from the dinner menu.  As well as pot roast and fried chicken, my selection included a slice of meatloaf.  I love a good meatloaf, especially with ketchup on it.  This meatloaf was lovely. It was very meaty and filled with comfort food flavors.  I would say that this restaurant would be as close as you could get to what your grandmother would serve at her dinner table.  My mom served this kind of food every day.  Many might think, “Why would I want to spend money on food I can get at home?”  Disney is about the feeling of Home and comfort in many ways.  And that is why I loved the 50’s Prime Time Café!

Here is the menu for the 50’s Prime Time Café.

Photos of Famous people at Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano, Yet I couldn’t find Bob or Tim in any of them.

One of the many Italian restaurants at Disney world, Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano tucked away un-obtrusively near Muppet Vision 3D.  Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano is a great place for Italian food.  This is probably my favorite eatery in Hollywood studios, but, I really like Italian food. The restaurant welcomes you with many pictures of Celebrities on the walls of the front waiting area. The smell of garlic, as you wait for your table, is intoxicating.  The restaurant features an open kitchen from which a lot of really good food is produced.  The menu features many classic Italian dishes from Spaghetti to Saltimbocca.  I tried the Saltimbocca and while I can’t vouch for its authenticity, I can vouch that it tastes wonderful.  We usually have a plate of fried Calamari as an appetizer.  Tasty Calamari should be very fresh and quickly fired.  Calamari can become rubber bands in moments if overcooked.  Also, it can get rubbery under heat lamps.  Fortunately for us as customers, the cast members that work at the restaurant are top notch and as good as any that I have run across on many of my Disney trips. The food was served promptly by a friendly and attentive wait staff and the Calamari and Saltimbocca were both excellent. The decor of the restaurant is full of wood, yet it is, perhaps, a little dark.  My eyesight isn’t young anymore and a little more light would have been appreciated.  Still, I loved the look and feel of the restaurant and will go back for more Italian food.

It a bit dark in the restaurant, but the food is very tasty!!

Follow this link to find the menu for Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano.

I think one of the first ADR’s my family ever made was for the buffet restaurant, Hollywood and Vine.  The first time we visited Hollywood Studios in the year 2000, My extended family ate at this restaurant.  I’m not really big on buffets but this is one of my favorites.  With a large carving section and lots of protein choices, you should never leave this place hungry. If you do then the fault is your own.  The secret to a good buffet is refreshing the food often.  Even on off hours,  which is almost a misnomer in Disney, fresh food arrives at the buffet all the time.  We have chosen Hollywood and Vine as our restaurant of choice once when we had Dinner and a Show with Fantasmic reservations.  Hollywood and Vine is closer to Fantasmic Venue that many of the other restaurants in the park.  That isn’t a big factor since usually, we get our ADR’s for earlier in the day before Fantasmic.  the food is solid there and there is a wonderful desert line filled with all sorts of sweet goodies.  They also have a buffet line for kids if you have picky young ones with you.

Typically the menu for Hollywood and Vine on Disney’s web site is broad.  You can find the menu by following this link:

I haven’t had the opportunity to visit all the restaurants at Hollywood Studios.  We have not had the pleasure of dining at the Brown Derby to experience their World Famous Grapefruit Cake.  As a signature restaurant, the prices are a bit higher there.  Certainly, I would love to eat at Woody’s lunchbox for breakfast and lunch.  How could Potato Barrels (Tater Tots I assume) with Brisket gravy and Scrambled eggs be bad?  Or perhaps a BBQ Brisket Melt for lunch.  I have to say, Woody’s lunch box had me at Brisket. 

Coming to Galaxy’s Edge is The Milk Stand. Can you say blue milk?  Actually, I’ve heard that is isn’t milk at all but something unique and refreshing.   Ronto’s Roasters will serve grilled sausage and roasted pork.  Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo will serve Roasted beef and chicken dishes.  Who among us hasn’t wanted to go to one of the amazing Star Wars Cantina’s?  We will get our chance when Olga’s Cantina opens in Galaxy’s edge.   All in all, Galaxy’s Edge will offer diverse heavily themed menus, throughout the land.   I hope that the crush of people that is predicted for Galaxy’s edge will permit me an opportunity to visit and eat at these locations.

I know I’ve missed some of the food carts and restaurants scattered through the park.  I know you can get Turkey legs and popcorn all over the place.  To Disney’s credit, they offer healthier fare at many of the carts as well.  I’m taking a month off from blogging to go on a long-planned vacation across the Atlantic.  But I will be back in June to talk a bit about the Animal Kingdom.