Review: Lunch at The Hollywood Brown Derby in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

We’re dining with the stars at THE place to “see and be seen!”

Welcome to The Hollywood Brown Derby! We’re enjoying lunch while taking a trip back in time to the elegance of the “golden age” of Hollywood. For fans of classic films, even within Hollywood Studios this signature restaurant is a destination in its own right.

A replica of the original Hollywood Brown Derby  (a fine dining establishment for the likes of Clark Gable, Lucille Ball, and Bing Crosby back in the day), the Derby of Hollywood Studios offers park-goers a touch of refined elegance in the midst of a busy park day. In fact, I’d say that once you enter the doors of the Brown Derby, it’s a little bit difficult to remember that you’re in a theme park at all.

Let’s step inside…

Atmosphere

I mention taking “a trip back in time” because I feel as though the setting of The Hollywood Brown Derby transports guests to another place and era better than just about any place in Disney World, starting with the outside entrance.

Brown Derby entrance

Brown Derby entrance

Brown Derby entrance

Brown Derby entrance

A plaque on the outside gives guests a tiny bit of the history and inspiration for the Hollywood Studios location, though many may stroll right past and miss it.

Plaque noting the inspiration for the building

Plaque noting the inspiration for the building

There are two defining features, I think, to the Brown Derby. One is [Read more…]

Disney World Cheese Plate Gallery

FINALLY!!

After several years…and lots of cheese…we’ve finally put together a list of many of the cheese plates found in Walt Disney World restaurants!

Cheese from Tutto Gusto in Epcot's Italy

For those who have never had a cheese plate in a Disney World restaurant, here’s a little Disney cheese plate primer:

  • Cheese plates are often offered as both an appetizer and a dessert
  • They usually provide small samples of three, four, or five cheeses
  • Cheese plates are served with accompaniments like dried fruits, nuts, compotes, honey, and small pieces of toast or crackers
  • The samples are usually arranged from mild to strong, with a veined blue cheese almost always at the end of the line

You’ll find goat milk, cow milk, and sheep milk cheeses with varied aging processes and preparations. If you’re dining in a themed restaurant, the cheeses may be themed as well (e.g. Cheeses from California).

I can highly recommend pairing just about anything with honey or dried raisins on the vine. ;-) In fact, I usually ask my server to bring an extra side of honeycomb since I nearly always run out.

Another tip: always ask for more little toasts. Even if you’re NOT sharing with a dining partner, you’ll still run out.

We’ve had many requests for this type of post — there are a lot of cheese lovers out there — so I hope this is helpful. Note that plates change often, so you may find different cheeses and accompaniments on your visit. Please share your reviews and experiences in the comments section below!

Epcot

Les Chefs de France
Plateau de fromages de France
My very favorite cheese plate in all of Disney World is found here, at Chefs de France. The creamy, delicious cheeses in large portions could probably be a meal in themselves!

Imported cheese board $14.50. Available at lunch and dinner.

Cheese Plate

Le Cellier
Assortment of Artisanal Cheese
accompanied with Chef’s Selection of Dried Fruits and Preserves $14.00. See our review!

Cheese Plate

Boulangerie Patisserie
Cheese Plate
Get a similar plate to the one in Chefs de France over here at the [Read more…]

Disney Food For Families: Teachable Moments at Disney Restaurants

Learn from the Chefs at Victoria & Albert's Chef's Table

My 15-year-old daughter was recently invited by a classmate’s family to a super swanky dinner event at a super-duper swanky restaurant in New York City.

When she was telling me about it the next day there was a lot of “who wore what” and “what was on the menu” discussion. And then she said this to me, “Thanks for taking us to Victoria & Albert’s. I knew what to expect at the dinner last night because we had been to V&A’s.”

After I got over the shock of such an overt expression of gratitude and politesse from a teenager, I allowed myself a brief moment of parental pride. My plan to use Disney restaurants as a manners training ground had worked!

Using Disney Restaurants as Manners Boot Camp

I understand that using Victoria & Albert’s as etiquette boot camp is a bit over-the-top, but the concept could be applied to any signature restaurant at Walt Disney World. Before I get going, let me say that while of course you can (and should) teach manners at restaurants in your home town and at your own dinner table, the Disney signature restaurants are an ideal learning environment for adult behavior.

The Disney signature restaurants have all the elements of posh and polite, PLUS all the elements of easy-going and family-friendly. The restaurants put you in a position to succeed, with no fear or threat of derision or embarrassment if you don’t. The Disney signature venues are the perfect stepping stone on the path to civilized behavior.

Here are some things your children can learn and practice at a signature venue: [Read more…]

Disney’s Hollywood Brown Derby

Note: See answers to last week’s photo quiz at the bottom of this post!

One of my new favorite restaurants on Walt Disney World property is one I’d never set foot in during all my trips to Disney World: the Hollywood Brown Derby in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

I’d always looked at the menu and figured, “Too expensive. Too hoity-toity,” and never gave it a second thought. But since starting the Food Blog — and embarking on an adventure of eating in every Disney restaurant I could — I was excited to finally have a reason to try this place out. After all, I’ve always heard glowing reviews. And, let me tell you, they’re deserved.

Atmosphere
Disney’s Hollywood Brown Derby is a replica of the famous Vine Street Brown Derby, originally built in 1928 and home to dozens of famous Hollywood rumors and stories, including Clark Gable’s proposal to Carole Lombard in booth #5 and Lucille Ball’s dinner roll food fight. Disney World’s Brown Derby is an officially licensed Brown Derby Restaurant, and is the fifth Brown Derby Restaurant to be built.

Brown Derby History -- Click Image for Larger View

The likeness to the original restaurant is uncanny — the covered entryway, signage, dining room, and even decor are identical to the namesake. And those well-known caricatures grace [Read more…]

Rumor: Flying Fish to Add Chef’s Counter Option

Flying Fish Cafe
Update: Flying Fish has instituted their Chef’s Counter, so book away!

SamLand’s Disney Adventures has included in a recent trip report post that Flying Fish Cafe might be using their open kitchen counter seats as a “Chef’s Counter” within the next couple of months!

Chef’s Counters at Disney’s signature restaurants are in the theme of the Victoria and Albert’s Chefs Table, though not quite as elaborate. You book the special experience and have the opportunity for the Executive Chef to build a custom menu for that evening around your likes and dislikes. It’s an extraordinary chance to [Read more…]