One of those that rarely makes our “must do” list is Planet Hollywood Observatory. Typically known more for its movie memorabilia than its food, we’ve often left rather unimpressed by the eats. But we revisited it recently to see if there was anything on the menu that could change our mind.
Ooohh Planet Hollywood. We have tried and tried to fall in love with you. We don’t think it’s the BEST place to eat in Disney Springs, but it’s certainly not the worst either. It’s just very…generic. For the longest time the menu here was very predictable — generic steak, generic fish, generic burgers, etc. Think Chili’s but more expensive. But then, enter Guy Fieri a few years back to supe up the menu with his unique sense of over-the-topness. If his neighboring Chicken Guy! (which we LOVE!) doesn’t provide you enough Guy Flavortown-isms, Planet Hollywood sure will.
Imagine ribs. Now serve them on a doll-sized picnic table! Imagine chicken tenders. Now bread them with kids’ cereal! You get the picture. It’s not BAD though. The ideas for lots of the foods are solid and fun but, in our past experiences, often fall flat in execution. There ARE some fun burgers on the menu, and the fries are actually the bomb, and we’re not going to say anything bad about the massive milkshakes in Mason jars either. So would one more trip there change our mind and make us big fans of Planet Hollywood? Well, we were determined to find out!
Like most restaurants at Disney Springs, Planet Hollywood has put certain health and safety guidelines in place. There are plenty of hand-sanitizing stations set up within the restaurant, and social distancing markers on the ground will lead guests in a safe way to the host’s podium. There are also social distancing markers inside that lead to the restaurant’s upper floor. Tables are also spaced apart for social distancing.
There’s also plenty of seating here — there’s seating at the bar, on the restaurant’s multiple levels, and outdoor seating. The center of the restaurant is a giant movie screen (projecting on that “observatory dome” that shows music videos and birthday messages.
Note: this is one of those restaurants that is always pretty noisy. If that’s something that bothers you while eating, it’s best to keep that in mind! This may not be your ideal location for a quiet, romantic date night in Disney Springs!
The main draw for most people is the movie memorabilia, and there’s LOADS of that to look at during a visit there. Want to see the dress Dorothy wore in Wizard of Oz? You can!
Or maybe you want to see the door that Jack couldn’t fit on in Titanic? (Heavy eyeroll. Rose, you totes could have saved Leo. 😠)
We always take time to say hello to Chewbacca!
If you do eat here, we highly recommend you make a trip around admiring the memorabilia. Ask your server if any of your favorite movies are on display! But now it’s time to eat, so we took a seat at the bar and got to ordering!
Our menus were disposable and printed on paper. Planet Hollywood is still serving its limited menu, but there are plenty of beverages to choose from.
Guests can choose from a wide selection of beer, wine, and cocktails, as well as non-alcoholic beverages and massive Supernova shakes.
We chose the Arnold’s Lemonade, which is Tito’s handmade vodka, Bottega limoncello, iced tea, and lemonade. This $12.99 drink was not super sweet like many of the other drinks on the menu (which is why we chose it).
It mostly tastes like a lemony sweet iced tea. It was nothing to get super excited about, but we had no regrets in drinking it. It’s a good drink for fans of iced tea or for someone looking for a boozy sip that is easy to drink!
Did someone say appetizers? The apps here are very much “bar food” you’d expect to find at many casual eateries, but jazzed up a bit.
Aside from burgers, you’ll find a couple of kinds of pasta and grilled items on the entree menu.
We started with the World Famous Chicken Crunch, which is all-natural chicken tenders hand-breaded with a crunchy sweet coating, served with a Creole mustard sauce. It’s served in a cute Rooster basket! Remember those chicky tenders we mentioned breaded in kids’ cereal. Boom. These guys.
This is one of the signature items here and it’s been on the menu seemingly FOREVER. The breading is mostly a secret, but there’s a sweetness lent to it by Cap’n Crunch (yes, that’s really one of the secret ingredients). Come to think of it, why aren’t we breading MORE foods in cereal?? These are actually really good chicken tenders and the Creole mustard dipping sauce adds just the right bit of zip to the sweetness of the chicken’s coating.
We do think the price of $14 is steep for four little tenders, though (you do inexplicably get a handful of spiralized carrots on top sooo…maybe you could count it as a complete meal 😂?)! If you love chicken tenders, you will probably want to try these! They’re actually QUITE good.
How could we resist the Bacon Mac-n-Cheese Burger? It’s like a combination of everything we love! This is the original award-winning Guy Fieri burger with Applewood-smoked bacon, six cheese mac-n-cheese cheddar, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, crispy onion straws, and donkey sauce on a brioche bun served with triple fries.
This is a WHOLE lot of food, y’all. And the burger is GREAT — the patty itself is cooked perfectly. We’ve had this burger once before and, much like our first time trying it, the mac and cheese on the burger fell flat. It mostly just adds a little bit of an extra cheesy flavor to the burger as a whole, but the mac was pretty bland.
This thing was messy, too — the bottom bun just couldn’t handle all the wetness of those ingredients. Sometimes too much of (too many) good things isn’t a good thing, as is the case here. Unfortunately, there’s just not much to write home about on this burger, especially not for the $19.99 price tag. However, if you’re looking for an insane over-the-top burger, you might still want to give this one a try!
The fries, though, are actually three kinds of fries (hence the name TRIPLE fries. Where do they come up with these things? 😂) — waffle, skinny, and curly. And these fries are GOOD. They’re seasoned JUST RIGHT and were nice and crispy, just the way we like them. On our last visit, we pretty much made peace with only eating these fries on every visit here and making Planet Hollywood would be one of our favorite places ever. They GOOD, y’all.
Seriously, we could live off these fries! If you DO find yourself in Planet Hollywood, just ask for all the Cap’t Crunch chicken tenders and triple fries they’ll give you.
Nosh or Not
Grab a table at Planet Hollywood if…
- You love movie memorabilia and want to visit a veritable mini-museum of it.
- You have kids (the menu is very kid-friendly). All the stuff on the walls and movies projected on the ceiling will hold their entertainment.
- You want easy, approachable foods with a twist.
Dine elsewhere if…
- You want more thoughtful, well-prepared foods. Wine Bar George, Morimoto Asia, and more are just a short walk away and cost about the same.
- You don’t like a lot of noise when you’re eating.
- The whole Guy Fieri schtick isn’t your personal brand of “Flavortown.” Again, we adore the food at Chicken Guy! but much of the menu here does feel like one big advertisement for him. If that made you eyeroll, maybe steer clear.
Like most of our previous experiences here, this wasn’t a bad meal, but it wasn’t a great meal either. It’s saying something if, after multiple reviews, our favorite food we tried was still just the fries. 😂 We are pop culture junkies, though, so we love the atmosphere with the props and costumes. But the food is still just okay and we feel it’s a little too expensive for what you get. We find ourselves once again wanting less sizzle and more steak out of our meals here. “Just ok” food will still be “just ok” food, even with a punny name or wacky toppings and presentation.
That said, if you just want an easy meal where you don’t have to worry about finding something you’ll like on the menu, this might be up your alley. It’s in line with other restaurants in Disney Springs, like T-Rex or Rainforest Cafe, that offer a little bit of this and that but don’t have a particular theme or direction nailed down for their menus. This can be great for kids or pickier eaters though, so look at your crew and see if this is a fit. Planet Hollywood, like those other restaurants, also tries to make up for its shortcomings with food in its decor and entertainment value. You likely don’t come here for a fine dining experience you’ll remember forever. You come here to see the shrimp hands from Beetlejuice and the costumes from Star Wars and eat something while you’re at it. And, for many families, that’s totally cool.
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Have you been to Planet Hollywood recently? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!