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View Full Version : Dining dilemma for HS day....


sydneysmom
08-31-2012, 02:26 PM
With all of the really negative reviews for Mamma Melrose, I just don't know what to pick. We were first going to go for lunch at Mamma Melrose to get the Fantasmic Package passes. Then all the bad reviews I have been reading...

So how does everyone feel about The Brown Derby for lunch? We originally wanted to do MM for lunch and 50's Prime Time for dinner, but if we do Brown Derby for lunch, we would probably just get snacks for Fantasmic. For anyone that's eaten there, what's your opinion? Or should we just keep 50's Prime Time and not worry about getting the passes...

We're going the first week of June if that matters w/ crowds and Fantasmic.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!!! :goodvibes

denise5374
08-31-2012, 02:42 PM
I just had lunch last week at Mama Melrose. The food was good as was the service. My only complaint is that it seems really expensive for what you get. We are 4 Disney adults and our bill was almost $200 on the Fantasmic! Dinner Package and the food is definitely not worth that. Plus when it came time for dessert, our waiter brought us out a "sampler" and we all liked the same dessert, so the others went uneaten.

Our meal at Ohana was the same price and the food was better at that meal.

psac
08-31-2012, 02:49 PM
Mamma Melrose is okay for lunch, it's not great, but not completely terrible. (Ringing endorsement, isn't it?) I don't find their tomato sauce to be that great, but some of their other dishes are pretty good.

The Brown Derby, on the other hand, is excellent, but we always go for dinner. It might be pricey for lunch. We've only gone to BD over the last two years, after the change to a single menu for both meals, and it's always been good. It used to get a lot of bad reviews, it seems like it improved with the change-over (my guess is it got a new executive chef at the same time.)

tarheelmjfan
08-31-2012, 02:57 PM
In our opinion, the only in park restaurant than could compete with HBD was Le Bistro. We will have to wait to see, if that is still true, when the new LB opens. Like all WDW restaurants HBD can be inconsistent. It's still better than other park options, & can be excellent. We feel it holds it's own with most of the signature restaurants.

starousse
08-31-2012, 03:10 PM
Skip the Brown Derby and do 50's Primetime or Sci-Fi. The Brown Derby was the worst of 5 signatures we had on our last trip. Horrible cold food and horrible service.

Mouseketeer1974
08-31-2012, 05:07 PM
We were pleasantly surprised by Hollywood & Vine dinne buffet last week - ok, not the best meal we had all vacation but certainly much better than we had expected based on reviews of DHS table service options. Good, plentiful options, especially the freshly carved roast meats.

EvilQueenT
08-31-2012, 05:12 PM
we really liked doing brown derby for lunch. we then did a quick serve dinner that evening. otherwise when we do dhs we usually hit the boardwalk area and the surrounding resorts for our sit down dinners.

sydneysmom
08-31-2012, 05:36 PM
I really appreciate everyone's comments, thank you !.... it's amazing how many different experiences people have.... and it seems like there isn't any rhyme or reason to the consistency.

I'm SO unsure ! Fortunately, we've got some time to mull it over but I'm leaning towards 50's PT because it just looks like ALOT of fun. But, I'm going to keep Brown Derby in mind ......

I love hearing everyone's comments though !! It's a HUGE help !!!

Art 1
08-31-2012, 06:00 PM
Nothing wrong with Brown Derby.

Doc Goofy
08-31-2012, 06:21 PM
I LOVE The Brown Derby. It is one of my very faves. I went the first time for dinner on the Fantasmic package and fell in love with it. Have been a number of times since and always had a great meal in an elegant atmosphere.

poohbear13
08-31-2012, 06:25 PM
Love Brown Derby! expensive but awesome. duck done twice is so good!:thumbsup2

Meredisney
08-31-2012, 07:03 PM
I Love the Hollywood Brown Derby, but I also always go for lunch and get the same thing...The Cobb Salad! It's just so good!

neodymm
08-31-2012, 10:29 PM
We've eaten at H&V, HBD and 50's PT several times. We've never eaten at Sci-Fi because DD has NO interest and I've just heard too many negative reviews to even try Mama's. 50's PT is an experience everyone should have at least once! It's fun and whimsical. It's traditional homestyle comfort food that is often too heavily salted for our liking. I think HBD is a fine choice for in-park dining...we've always had good service (even great extras for special occasions) and the food has been fine for us. However, while it is a signature, to us it's not a comparison to the other signatures. Which is why we tend to not even eat TS in DHS anymore. We have a big breakfast elsewhere, then grab snacks at Starring Rolls or The Writer's Stop and have a late dinner at a resort signature or in Epcot.

However, if you can't wait to eat until after Fantasmic...then I do recommend everyone try 50's PT at least once and I also think you would more than likely have a nice meal at HBD. Any restaurant (Disney or not) can have off days, but if things are really off...we just tell them! LOL

Kimosabe
09-01-2012, 12:10 AM
The Fantasmic! Dinner package is a set price for appetizer, entree and dessert, so you want to make sure you are sufficiently hungry since you are paying for it anyway. We did not realize that (our fault - should have known better!) and had eaten at 50's PT for lunch with plan to eat light at HBD. Oops.

Having the package can give you an extra hour or more of time of not having to wait in the huge F! line, so that is quite helpful and worth the extra price. I would recommend doing the package, regardless of restaurant. We did HBD and had excellent food but scary slow service. I assume that was a fluke and would give them another chance sometime. But we also loved 50's PT. With kids, we would lean toward 50's again for the theming. Do they offer the F! package? Due to when you have to eat for F!, might be too much to try two full "proper" sit-down meals before it starts.

Have never eaten at MM, but have seen as many good reviews as bad. Like buying anything online, there will always be good and bad reviews of every restaurant. At WDW, with a few exceptions, go with whatever menu and theming look good to you and it probably will work out just fine!

KarenR122
09-01-2012, 09:11 AM
We ate at Mama Melrose in August for the first time. We were kind of dreading it because of all the negative reviews but we decided to give it a shot. Well we were pleasantly surprised. It was good. It wasn't the best restaurant we have ever eaten at, but by far not the worst, nor the worst at disney. We never order a red sauce from other than authentic italian restaurants (New York Italian here :) ) but the other items were good. I had a grilled chicken flatbread and my husband had the chicken dish. Both very good.

jenjie
09-01-2012, 09:12 PM
If your family can handle it, I would try doing Fantasmic at 10:00 on an evening when they show it twice. We did this last week. There were whole sections empty.

sydneysmom
09-02-2012, 08:03 AM
I like the idea of a later show.....

I didn't know that there was a price fixe menu at these places if you were doing the Fantasmic! tickets. So even if you are doing the dining plan ( we're going to do the deluxe plan) you have to pick that and not off the regular menu? I'm not sure I like that a whole lot.....it might be better to skip the package?

jenjie
09-02-2012, 08:51 AM
I like the idea of a later show.....

I didn't know that there was a price fixe menu at these places if you were doing the Fantasmic! tickets. So even if you are doing the dining plan ( we're going to do the deluxe plan) you have to pick that and not off the regular menu? I'm not sure I like that a whole lot.....it might be better to skip the package?

If you do the later show, you don't need a Fantasmic dinner package. Just eat wherever you want and show up by about 9:15 if you want your choice of seat. We sat between Mickey and Scar, about 2/3 of the way up. Excellent seats!

BuzzLiteyear
09-02-2012, 10:38 AM
We ate at Mama Melrose's two weeks ago. We usually love going there. We had a 1:30 lunch reservation and we were not seated until 2:15. I saw a few walk-in's get tables almost as soon as they came in. Our server was indifferent and we didn't feel welcome at all. Everything was rushed. The food was a little slow, but not terrible. The food was good, but not great.

In short...that was our last trip to MM. If you are already planning on going to 50's, I'd opt for SciFi.

Very disappointed in MM :sad2:

TheRatPack
09-02-2012, 11:24 AM
We wanted to do the Fantasmic Package but we weren't really impressed with the restaurants available for that package so we'll be eating at 50's Prime Time and then trying to make it in to the line for Fantasmic early so we don't have to stand :)

PosadaGirl519
09-02-2012, 11:30 AM
BD is my favorite restaurant on WDW property!!!

JimmyV
09-02-2012, 11:50 AM
I think that getting "your choice of seats" at F! Is overrated. Anywhere you sit is fine. On all but the craziest days (pmEMH plus F!) You can get in the back of the line 15-20 minutes before they let in the crowd and you will get a side seat with a perfectly fine view. I find the package dinners to be a combination of poor food with lots of downtime. They will book you in for dinner at 4:45 for an 8:00 show. Is a "preferred seat" worth that time lag? Not to me. That's a lot of waiting around. And as stated before, if there is a later show, go to that one. People tend to over plan for F! Last time I was there, people lined up for the later show immediately after they finished seating the early show. Really? You're going to stand in line for two hours to get a seat to a show that opened to a theater that was 1/3 empty? People who showed up 5 minutes before the show got terrific seats.

sydneysmom
09-02-2012, 12:43 PM
I think everyone has me sold to forget the dinner tickets and just go to either the early show a bit early or wait for the later one. I like not being tied to that dinner package, especially since MM hasn't gotten great reviews. I really appreciate everyone telling me your experiences. :thumbsup2

tarheelmjfan
09-02-2012, 01:33 PM
I like the idea of a later show.....

I didn't know that there was a price fixe menu at these places if you were doing the Fantasmic! tickets. So even if you are doing the dining plan ( we're going to do the deluxe plan) you have to pick that and not off the regular menu? I'm not sure I like that a whole lot.....it might be better to skip the package?


It is prix fixe, but you can order any appetizer, entree, & dessert on the menu at HBD. MM offers a dessert sampler, but you can still order an appetizer & entree of your choice. Prix fixe for the F! package just means you pay a set price regardless of what you order. There isn't a separate menu.

I see you've decided to skip the package. I still don't think you can do better in any park than Hollywood Brown Derby. The Epcot resorts have few restaurants that are as good or better as well. I would still suggest you dine there. If food quality is your top priority, the other DHS restaurants can't compete. There are some fun themes though. It depends on what is most important to you. Without the package, you can dine later.

sydneysmom
09-02-2012, 03:02 PM
It is prix fixe, but you can order any appetizer, entree, & dessert on the menu at HBD. MM offers a dessert sampler, but you can still order an appetizer & entree of your choice. Prix fixe for the F! package just means you pay a set price regardless of what you order. There isn't a separate menu.

I see you've decided to skip the package. I still don't think you can do better in any park than Hollywood Brown Derby. The Epcot resorts have few restaurants that are as good or better as well. I would still suggest you dine there. If food quality is your top priority, the other DHS restaurants can't compete. There are some fun themes though. It depends on what is most important to you. Without the package, you can dine later.

We may do that and try the Brown Derby either for that day or maybe come back in the week since it seems worth going....the menu looks wonderful. We had a bad experience at Sci-fi last time, so that's why we were thinking 50's PT as a substitute. I actually was excited for MM until reading everyone's reviews. That was a bummer.

princessanj
09-02-2012, 05:02 PM
Had this same issue when planning for our upcoming trip this month! We decided that none of the HS restaurants were really what we wanted, so we are going to head over to the Beach Club for supper at Cape May:) we are seafood lovers and I was also worried about all the bad reviews for the HS places. We are doing an early lunch at Pizza Planet that day also! Going to the second Fantasmic! show would work!

sydneysmom
09-02-2012, 11:35 PM
Had this same issue when planning for our upcoming trip this month! We decided that none of the HS restaurants were really what we wanted, so we are going to head over to the Beach Club for supper at Cape May:) we are seafood lovers and I was also worried about all the bad reviews for the HS places. We are doing an early lunch at Pizza Planet that day also! Going to the second Fantasmic! show would work!

That's a great idea!!!! :thumbsup2. Great, now another decision! :rotfl:

lync
09-03-2012, 07:22 AM
We actually enjoyed MM. I did not get anything with a red sauce, though. I don't love Italian. I think I ordered salmon or something. We all thought the food was good. It just took a long time to eat b/c of all of the courses.

We aren't even eating at dhs this trip. My girls don't love F! So we are eating dinner at Sanaa since we are staying at AKL.

RyMacJ
09-03-2012, 12:30 PM
Had this same issue when planning for our upcoming trip this month! We decided that none of the HS restaurants were really what we wanted, so we are going to head over to the Beach Club for supper at Cape May:) we are seafood lovers and I was also worried about all the bad reviews for the HS places. We are doing an early lunch at Pizza Planet that day also! Going to the second Fantasmic! show would work!

We're doing this exact same thing! The only HS TS meal that looked appealing was 50's, but we're on DDP and really want to try and get a bit more bang for our buck. DH wanted to eat at Cape May anyway, so, two birds w one stone.

I was worried about the walk though, as it's been 5.5 years since I was at Disney and I can't remember how far it is.

JerseyJanice
09-03-2012, 12:41 PM
We really enjoyed our dinner at Mama Melrose in 2009. I would do it again if on the Dining Plan, and I wouldn't hesitate to try the lunch.

That said, while the dining package is nice, but it's not essential. If you're certain that you like 50's Prime Time, you could choose that and make sure you line up early for the show.

I've never been to the Brown Derby, but honestly, the menus I've seen from it are not appealing to me at all. The food does not sound upscale enough for a 2 credit restaurant, and if you're not on a Dining Plan, you'll get hosed with those prices. It's way at the bottom of my list of restaurants to try at the World, and let's face it--the food quality at the Studios is not known for its greatness. Can the Studios pull off a decent signature restaurant? I have my doubts.

JerseyJanice
09-03-2012, 12:42 PM
I was worried about the walk though, as it's been 5.5 years since I was at Disney and I can't remember how far it is.

It's a hike--take the boat! It's a bit time-consuming, but very scenic and enjoyable. :)

RyMacJ
09-03-2012, 12:47 PM
Thanks for the tip! How time consuming though? 30 minutes?

JerseyJanice
09-03-2012, 12:52 PM
Thanks for the tip! How time consuming though? 30 minutes?

Yes, it's about that, but if you consider it a ride, it's time well-spent. :) And I think the Cape May Cafe is better than anywhere you can eat in the Studios.

RyMacJ
09-03-2012, 12:53 PM
again, thank you! I'm sure my DD's would love the boat ride :)

tarheelmjfan
09-03-2012, 01:33 PM
I've never been to the Brown Derby, but honestly, the menus I've seen from it are not appealing to me at all. The food does not sound upscale enough for a 2 credit restaurant, and if you're not on a Dining Plan, you'll get hosed with those prices. It's way at the bottom of my list of restaurants to try at the World, and let's face it--the food quality at the Studios is not known for its greatness. Can the Studios pull off a decent signature restaurant? I have my doubts.

In our opinion, they absolutely have. You should try it for yourself. We pay OOP & think it's a great value. It's the cheapest signature restaurant, but the food is on par with the others. I have a feeling the fact that it's in a park affects the prices a little. Like every WDW run restaurant, it can be inconsistent. That is the case at all the WDW signatures though. HBD is not alone in that. Even on a bad day, the quality is better than the non-signature options (not only in the parks, but anywhere).