Hollywood & Vine Character Meal Buffet Review at Disney World

by josh on March 12, 2010

Food Type: Buffet, Character Meal for Breakfast and Lunch

Location: Echo Lake to the left of 50′s Prime Time Cafe.

Dining Plan: 1 Table Service

Cost (Note that pricing can fluctuate a dollar or two in each direction depending on season):

  • Character Breakfast: $29.99 for adults and $16.99 for children ages 3-9
  • Character Lunch: $34.99 for adults and $18.99 for children age 3-9
  • Dinner WITHOUT Characters: $39.99 and $20.99 for children ages 3-9

Discounts: 20% Tables in Wonderland.

Menu:

Breakfast (8am – 10:55am: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/hollywood-studios/hollywood-and-vine/menus/breakfast/

Lunch (11am – 2:25pm): https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/hollywood-studios/hollywood-and-vine/menus/lunch/

Dinner (3:30pm – 30 minutes prior to Park close): https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/hollywood-studios/hollywood-and-vine/menus/dinner/

Bar: None. Head to nearby Tune-In Lounge next to 50′s Prime Time Cafe or Min & Bill’s Dockside Diner for craft beer or frozen lemonade with vodka or whiskey.

Setting: The interior looks like a  (very large) 1950s-era ice cream shop with plenty of booths and murals of Hollywood scenes on the walls.  For breakfast and lunch, Doc McStuffins, Sofia the First, Jake from Jake and the Never Land Pirates and Handy Manny visit diners table-side and lead kids in song and dance around the restaurant.

Advantages:

  • Characters are a ton of fun and more animated than most character buffets where they simply walk slowly from table to table. Officially titled “Play n’ Dine,” the kids will have plenty of opportunities to be spontaneous with the characters.
  • A wide variety of hot and cold items. Recent additions to dessert include a chocolate fountain, in addition to the lavish soft serve ice cream spread. Lunch/dinner includes upscale items like lobster and shrimp mac ‘n cheese, pork loin, short ribs, and a made-to-order pasta bar. Breakfast is the most consistent meal.
  • Rarely busy, though the addition of Doc McStuffins and Sofia have increased popularity.

Disadvantages:

  • Buffet food is mostly mediocre. Considering the quality, price,  and lack of characters, dinner is an extremely poor value.
  • Extremely loud and echo-y when it’s busy.

8am Breakfast: I don’t usually recommend the 8am breakfasts. Hollywood Studios lets guests into the Park somewhere between 15 and 30 minutes before regular open. With the usual 9am open, that means people will be streaming into the Park and getting in line for Toy Story Mania, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, and Jedi Training Academy no later than 8:55am. Theoretically an 8am breakfast allows guests to take pictures on Hollywood Boulevard inside the Park with nobody around, but there are usually 30 to 40 people waiting at 8am with the same idea. By the time they clear out closer to 8:20am, you’ll have no more than 20 minutes to eat before people enter the Park. Your options are to try and enjoy your meal, only to find waits are already 60+ minutes at Toy Story Mania and spots are full at Jedi Training Academy, or rush through the breakfast. It’s an early morning, a lot of rushing, and a big bill for a short breakfast or longer lines once you finish.

Tips: Book a breakfast for around 10:30am. You’ll pay the cheaper breakfast pricing, be able to enjoy the better breakfast food, and then sample some of the lunch items that look good once 11am hits. A late lunch scheduled around 2pm is also a good idea. Characters stay through 3:30pm and you’ll be able to enjoy them with fewer people around as more and more people leave, in addition to being able to try some of the dinner foods.

Value: Below average.  $30+ for an Old Country Buffet quality meal is drastically overpriced.  The characters at breakfast and lunch are fun, but it’s unlikely anyone in your group will know who they are.  For one table service credit, you can eat here on the Fantasmic Package and get access to the roped off seating area which makes this a good value on the Dining Plan, especially during busier times when Fantasmic is likely to be full.

Reputation: Hollywood & Vine has one of worst reputations of any restaurant at Disney World.  Is it deserved? Not necessarily. The character breakfasts and lunches are a lot of fun with kids interested in playing with the characters, Food options are diverse with plenty to fill any guest up. Dinner is not recommended with the high price and lower quality food than other table service restaurants. Consider it on the Dining Plan with the Fantasmic Dining Package, but skip it otherwise.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle April 20, 2012 at 5:02 pm

Just a little clarification – the “Baby Einsteins” are actually called the “Little Einsteins”. This is an important difference as Baby Einstein is a series of learning dvd’s for infants and toddlers and the Little Einsteins are more for the pre-school set. It’s actually a fabulous show, and the charaters are named Leo, Annie, June and Quincy, with their friend Rocket. Just thought you should know:)

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Amy June 27, 2012 at 6:21 pm

I think they’ve updated the characters a bit to more current Disney Junior characters

Reply

Emelie July 16, 2012 at 5:56 pm

Yes,
Now it is June and Leo (Little Einsteins), Jake (The Neverland Pirate), Handy Manny and Special Agent Oso.

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Scott April 15, 2013 at 11:28 am

Hollywood and Vine has some of the worst food in all of WDW. Nevermind the cost. Now I know its “Buffet style” but there are really good Buffet at WDW. This is just not one of them. I/we avoid Hollywood and Vine at all costs. The quick service is has better food.

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Julia November 12, 2014 at 11:50 am

“…it’s unlikely anyone in your group will know who the characters are.” Ummm, unless you’re one of the thousands and thousands of families with preschoolers. These characters are HUGE for preschoolers.

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