Tag Archives: Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Jedi Training Academy at Hollywood Studios

Anyone who has seen Star Wars can probably agree that lightsabers are cool.  When you add in Jedi skills, an Obi-Wan robe and a chance to defeat the Dark Side, you’ve got a pretty big adventure waiting at the Jedi Training Academy at Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

Jedi Training Academy

Jedi Training Academy

This high-demand event is only for kids ages 4-12, although I’m sure there are plenty of grown ups who would love to become Jedis too!  There are shows about every 1/2 hour throughout the day, but spots fill up quick – and the kids who are signing up have to be present to register. So if Jedi Training is on the ‘must-do’ list for your Disney vacation, plan to be at the park before it opens to head straight to the ABC Sound Studio to register.
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Hollywood Dining

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:

Mama Melrose

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.

Dessert Meatball

Dessert 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.

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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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May the force be with you

One of the major events that Disney World hosts each year is Star Wars weekends. It’s usually in the spring but this year it’s from May 17th – June 9th. We didn’t plan our Disney trip around this event, but it was one of those unexpected ‘magical’ experiences that happen so often in the bubble.  We happened to be at Disney World during Star Wars weekends a few years ago when it fell during the same time as spring break and I’m glad we got to experience it. This event takes place at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and requires admission to the park.

Star Wars Weekend

Star Wars Weekend

Hollywood Studios has a few Star Wars-related attractions year round, but the atmosphere just feels different when you see Storm Troopers patrolling the streets and hear the menacing voice of Darth Vader.  What’s more eye catching are some of the lesser known life forms that seemingly appear out of nowhere and make you wish you had your light saber! Continue reading

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