One of the best parts of the Disney Dining Plan is having the opportunity to eat at a different table service restaurant each day. Since we’ve used the dining plan on a few of our trips, we’ve eaten at places where we probably wouldn’t have if we were paying out of pocket. We’ve had the opportunity to dine at 3 of the 5 table service restaurants in Hollywood Studios (we haven’t made it to the Brown Derby yet and I don’t plan on making it to the 50’s Prime Time Café!)
Here are the pros and cons of each restaurant:
Pros: I think this is the best of the 3 restaurants. The food is good Italian, probably similar to what you’d get at an Italian chain restaurant outside the bubble, but no complaints – even better with a nice glass of wine. My daughter’s favorite was the dessert spaghetti with meatball.
Another perk of dining at Mama Melrose is the Fantasmic Dinner Package that is available on days when the nighttime Fantasmic show is scheduled. If you purchase the package you get dinner plus a VIP voucher to get into the show through a side entrance and you don’t have to fight the crowds going through the main entrance to the amphitheater. You still sit on stadium bench seating, but when we did this it was less crowded than the regular seating area with a bird’s eye view of the show.
Cons: None – there’s nothing I dislike about this restaurant!
Sci-Fi Dine In
Pros: Every restaurant in Disneyworld has a theme, but one of the best for really feeling like you’re somewhere else is the Sci-Fi Dine In Theatre restaurant. As soon as you walk into the dining area it’s like you’re transported to a summer night at the drive in. Classic car-shaped tables fill the room, all pointed at the giant movie screen in the front. Even the stars shine from above so you get the feel of being outside (without the mosquitos, of course!) The old black and white movies that are played are pretty funny – Devil Girl from Mars, Attack of the 50 Foot Woman – too ridiculous to actually be scary, even for kids.
Cons: The same qualities that make the restaurant fun are what I would consider cons – it’s dark, everyone is facing forward in the ‘car’ so you can’t really have a conversation, and the food is just okay. But I would recommend everyone dine here at least once.
Hollywood & Vine
Pros: None that I can remember. Not a fan of this restaurant (see Cons.)
Cons: It’s a buffet, which in itself is not a con, but for the price you’re paying the buffet food is what you’d get at the local $9.99 all you can eat joint. Okay, maybe it’s not that bad, but I wasn’t impressed. This restaurant’s layout is not conducive to people getting up and walking back and forth to the buffet – space is pretty tight, not to mention the yucky décor. But since we ate here on the dining plan I couldn’t be too upset, I just chalked it up to another experience accomplished in the bubble.
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