A fine dining experience in the middle of Disney World Orlando? Who knew! I’ve visited Disney World Orlando twice before and I’ve only ever eaten lunch (usually something with a side of fries) and ice-cream treats. But this year Phill and I had an amazing foodie experience in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We booked a dinner reservation for The Hollywood Brown Derby and after a fun but tiring day walking around the park, enjoying the rides, shows and street shows, we were so excited to sit down to a three course meal. Believe me when I say nothing makes you more ready for a big feed than a day spent in a Disney Park!
The Hollywood Brown Derby is a large spacious restaurant that transports you back to old style Hollywood – with dark wood and dimly lit interiors, and black and white photographs covering the walls. I had to laugh that this is probably the only fine dining restaurant where you’ll find adults in t-shirts and shorts, looking a little frazzled!
Our waiter was a wonderful gentleman (who actually reminded me a little of Walt Disney…) and recommended some of the stand-out dishes to us – which we duly noted.
I ordered the beef carpaccio and Phill ordered the scallop and pork belly. Mine was fresh and delicious – I loved the capers and the lemon mustard aiolo. But the winner of the starters was most definitely the melt-in-your-mouth scallop and pork belly. It was served with wilted greens and yellow cauliflower purée with raspberry-quince gastrique.
“It was the best starter I have ever had” ~ direct quote from Phill.
I opted for the pan-seared black grouper and Phill ordered the charred filet of beef. The last time I had lobster it was overcooked, so I was hoping I’d taste some truly succculent lobster this time round. And result! This dish was divine. Light yet rich. The lobster was beautifully tender and soft and the cognac mushroom sauce surrounding the rice was so creamy and richly seasoned. I loved it.
Phill’s beef was a resounding success too. Cooked perfectly, the beef was in a red wine reduction and topped with cabernet roasted shallot butter, over white truffle oil and wild forest mushroom mashed potatoes. Phill barely said a word throughout the course – always a sign that he is enjoying some stand-out food.
Usually after two courses I am too full up to order dessert but because both courses weren’t overly large in size (and the fact we had built up quite an appetite from walking around the park all day) I still had room for something sweet.
I’ll be honest, I was in the mood for a big bit of cake with cream/ice-cream. However, there was only the option to order three mini desserts (there were six to choose from). I am not the biggest fan of this dessert approach. I prefer to tuck into one well-sized slice of something.
Phill and I both ordered the same trio – warm blueberry cobbler, chocolate sphere and amaretto flan. The best tasting one for me was the cobbler – the other two were ok but not very memorable. This was a bit disappointing after two stellar first courses, but I still got my sweet fix.
With full bellies, Phill and I finished our night in Disney watching the wonderful ‘Fantasmic!’ – a mesmerising night-time pyrotechnic display.
Thank you to Disney UK for organising this Disney Dining experience. Disney currently have a Free Dine package offer which can be booked until 3 November 2015. It’s a really great deal which means everyone on your booking dines for free during their entire stay when you book a Disney Moderate-Deluxe or Deluxe Villa Resort Hotel and Ticket package for a minimum of five nights. The Free Dine Dining Plan allows you to dine at up to 100 dining venues across the Parks and Resorts!