Review: Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

I had the Deluxe Disney Dining Plan on a recent visit, so I was hitting up all the 2-credits I could find!! And today, we’re heading back to that bastion of Old Hollywood Glamor, The Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Have you ever dined here? The Hollywood Brown Derby is notable for a few reasons. First, it’s the only signature dining experience that you can enjoy within Disney’s Hollywood Studios (although that’s likely to change with the opening of Galaxy’s Edge, the Star Wars-themed land coming to the park in 2019).

And fans of the restaurant’s signature dishes, like the original Hollywood Brown Derby Cobb Salad, are always quick to advocate for this spot.

My experiences here have been hit or miss, but I’ve enjoyed the addition of The Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge in recent years.

But since it had been a while since I’d been to the Derby, I decided to make it a priority on my most recent Disney World visit to make an advance dining reservation to see the latest. Here we go!

Atmosphere

The Hollywood Brown Derby is located on Hollywood Boulevard, and anchors one end of the street that channels the glamour of Hollywood’s Golden Age.

The Hollywood Brown Derby

The Hollywood Brown Derby Sign

The original Brown Derby was actually a chain of restaurants, but the one that you see here is a replica of the location at 1628 North Vine Street. This location was closest to the studios, and became a bit of a Hollywood icon itself. [Read more…]

Review: Jiko at Disney World’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

You guys…Jiko still rocks.

Animal Kingdom Lodge’s signature dining spot has it all — unique, interesting food that’s constantly changing to reflect seasons and trends. Ambiance that changes with the evening light. Impeccable service.

We have returned to Jiko again and again since my husband and I celebrated our first Valentine’s Day together. On a recent visit, we met friends at Jiko for a special dinner in hopes that our streak of great experiences would continue.

Atmosphere

Jiko is located on the ground floor of Disney World’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. Head downstairs from the lobby, past Victoria Falls Lounge. You’ll find Jiko adjacent to Animal Kingdom Lodge’s other table service spot, Boma.

Menus -- Click to Enlarge

A bank of windows overlooks a beautiful water feature just outside of the restaurant. The rocks and running water provide a soothing backdrop to your dining experience. And if you happen to be seated near the window, be sure to try and spot the hidden Mickey in the rock formations!

Outside View

Back inside, you’ll pass a bar area and the outside wall of the Cape Town Wine Room en route to the main dining room. This is a great time to discuss the truly amazing wine offering at Jiko. The restaurant offers only African wines and is home to the largest collection of South African wines outside of the African continent.

Bar Area and Wine

Pause as you enter the restaurant and take in the view before you. The interior created by well-known restaurant designer Jeffrey Beers evokes themes from The Lion King. The colors, although understated, are rich and mimic nature.

A View of the Restaurant from the Front

Dozens of bird sculptures are suspended in realistic fashion from the ceiling and provide a wonderful sense of movement. I have yet to walk into Jiko with someone seeing the birds for the first time and not see his or her face light up. They’re a beautiful touch.

Ceiling and Bird Detail

A “jiko”, or cooking place, is [Read more…]