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Old 09-16-2011, 03:01 PM   #1
BouncyTiggerMom
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Question Hollywood and Vine Dinner -Worth it?

Hello all,

This is the very first post of a self-admitted lurker, so I apologize in advance for my lengthy question. I am currently in full-on planning mode for our next trip (wheeeee!) at the end of March 2012 since it is almost time to make the ADRs. The hubby and I have generated a huge list of places we would like to eat, and have done pretty good and narrowing things down. We will be doing a LOT of character dining to please our two boys, who will be 3 and 1.5 at that time (and let's face it, we love character dining too!). We want to try some new places and I was really looking forward to trying Boma (had breakfast there on last trip) but then I realized that they don't do lunch. We had already decided on our dinners, which include Hollywood and Vine for the Fantasmic package. But the more places I look, the more I am worried that the food there will disappoint us. We generally enjoy buffets (we thought Crystal Palace was great last visit) and the foods listed for the menu sound good, but most of the reviews have not been positive. We will be doing the Playhouse Disney breakfast there, but it seems the dinner is not very good. Now I am really beginning to wonder if we should eat there at all or if we should even see Fantasmic. I have been reading that little ones like ours may be scared by the show. We have never seen it, but hope to be returning to Disney again in the Fall of 2013. So now that I have written a book, here are my main questions:

1. Is Hollywood and Vine really that bad at dinner? Will we likely be disappointed? (We will be on the DDP and are considering upgrading to Deluxe)
2. Should we wait on going to Fantasmic with the little ones? I would be fine with seeing it during our next trip as long as it doesn't look like this is something we might miss out on forever if we don't see it this time.
3. As far as having dinner at Boma goes, should we find room for it in the dinner schedule? We will be eating at Tusker House for lunch one day and some have called it "Boma lite". Will they be that different?

Thanks!
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Old 09-17-2011, 10:19 AM   #2
icc2515
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We went to Hollywood and Vine last April. It was the worst meal we had at Disney World. The food choices were poor and the food was not good. That being said, and since everybody's tastes are different let me tell you what we did eat and like. 'Ohana the best hands down. Corel Reef neat with the aquariums food average or a little above. Cinderella's Royal table, kids loved meeting the princesses, food was fancy and good. Chef Mickey's kids loved the characters which were plentiful and very interactive, each one coming to your table for a visit, food was good, not a lot of choices, but tons and I do mean tons better than Hollywood and Vine. Liberty Tree Tavern, Great food lots and lots of it and served right in the middle of the MK. We also went to H&V for the Fantasmic package. From the looks of it there were plenty of seats available for walk-ins at Fastasmic. As a matter of fact the package seats are probably only about 5% of the total seating. We went during spring break and the park was packed. My kids 4 and 7 had no interest in the show and would not go back if I bribed them. My 7 year old was scared.

I have never eaten at Boma, but we have ressy's there for our next trip in Dec '11. I can tell you that I would eat at 'Ohana every night if I could get the reservations.

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Old 09-17-2011, 11:18 AM   #3
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We actually like Hollywood & Vine. I think it has a good selection at the buffet. It was replenished often and our service has been good as well. Any restaurant has good and bad days- I guess we've been there on good days. I will say we've had fairly long waits to get seated- but again, that's happened at other restaurants as well.
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Old 09-17-2011, 11:45 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BouncyTiggerMom View Post
Hello all,

1. Is Hollywood and Vine really that bad at dinner?YES!!! Will we likely be disappointed? Probably (We will be on the DDP and are considering upgrading to Deluxe)
2. Should we wait on going to Fantasmic with the little ones? It depends on each child. If they are afraid of loud noises (explosions/fireworks) or the appearance of villains, then it might be prudent to wait until your next visit. Some kids really enjoy it, others are scared spitless. I would be fine with seeing it during our next trip as long as it doesn't look like this is something we might miss out on forever if we don't see it this time. I doubt that Fantasmic is in any danger of being retired any time soon.
3. As far as having dinner at Boma goes, should we find room for it in the dinner schedule? We will be eating at Tusker House for lunch one day and some have called it "Boma lite". Will they be that different?Boma is probably our favourite buffet at WDW. But if you are already eating at several buffets this trip, including TH, then I would just save Boma for your next visit.

Thanks!
Hope that helps. If you do decide to go to F. on this trip, then I would recommend either booking the package with Mama Melrose or see it without the package (possible long lineups during busy times) and dine at any of the other restaurants.
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Old 09-17-2011, 12:41 PM   #5
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Thanks so much for the input!

icc2515 -We like all of those places you mentioned (except we have never been to Cinderella's Royal Table) so that is probably a good indicator that we would not have the greatest time at H&V. I know the food can be hit or miss at Coral Reef but at least you can always count on seeing the fish! This may be the only visit where we don't do Ohana (yummy!) just because sometimes it can take a while before the food gets around when you need more (and I would like to keep things as meltdown-free as possible...lol). I know a lot of people probably think it's strange to focus so much on the when and where of eating but our kids do a lot better when they have had their snacks and meals so it will actually help keep them happy.

minnie mum -The hubby and I have been talking about Fantasmic since last night and I think we a just going to skip it this time. We want this trip to be about the kids having a good time and being pretty relaxed about things. And at this point they may not even stay up late enough to see any of the fireworks anyway. Both of us think Boma sounds yummy (and different than some of the other basic buffet food) so we will be going there instead of H&V.

Thanks so much!
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Old 09-17-2011, 08:51 PM   #6
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Hollywood and Vine

Quote:
Originally Posted by BouncyTiggerMom View Post
...............
1. Is Hollywood and Vine really that bad at dinner? Will we likely be disappointed? (We will be on the DDP and are considering upgrading to Deluxe)
2. Should we wait on going to Fantasmic with the little ones? I would be fine with seeing it during our next trip as long as it doesn't look like this is something we might miss out on forever if we don't see it this time.
3. As far as having dinner at Boma goes, should we find room for it in the dinner schedule? We will be eating at Tusker House for lunch one day and some have called it "Boma lite". Will they be that different?
Have a great trip! Here's my answers. Be sure to check out my dining review (link below) from 2010.

1. I had dinner in 2008... Although that's 3 years ago, the reviews don't look any different. It was bad then. I've had better food at the lowest of the budget buffets that I won't go to anymore (think Golden Corral, Country Buffet... but worse). Lunch was no better, but at least the characters were a LOT of fun. Breakfast was decent. Go for breakfast and enjoy the characters... Your children are the perfect age for dancing with the characters at Hollywood and Vine. And the food was decent. For lunch and dinner, Sci Fi Diner and 50s Prime Time are much better choices. For the fantasmic package, we like Brown Derby.

2. DS 1st went to Fantasmic at age 4 (just turned 4). He liked it very much. At age 3, I think he would have been amazed.... At 1 1/2, not sure. I've heard of some kids getting scared. You could always sit in the back (top) row if you needed to step out for a bit or leave. I liked Fantasmic a lot. Awesome show. Must do. So go for you, buy the kids some popcorn or something...

3. Don't know about Boma. But I've heard it's about the same as Tusker House. I wouldn't go out of my way to eat at Boma unless I was staying at AK Lodge or wanted to check it out for a future possible resort stay.
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Old 09-17-2011, 10:00 PM   #7
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Hollywood & Vine is one of two places at Disney we will never eat again (the other being Whispering Canyon Cafe). Absolutely horrible food, bad service, filthy restaurant and restroom.
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Old 09-17-2011, 10:39 PM   #8
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H & V is the only restaurant at Disney we will never return too. The food was just gross- cold, bland, nothing tasted like it had been seasoned. This is one place I dont agree with the 'every restaurant has a bad night'. It consistently gets really bad reviews.
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Old 09-18-2011, 12:42 AM   #9
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my wife and i had reservations there, but when we got there we didn't like the looks of the place so we just went back to magic kingdom and got some burgers

what i want to know, is there any decent place to have dinner in hollywood studios other than brown derby? brown derby is awesome but i don't know if i want to use 2 meal plans on it again this year.
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Old 09-18-2011, 01:37 AM   #10
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H&V's dinner is not good at all. We've gone a few times now and it's never improved. Breakfast is 1000X better.

My kids are not adventurous; the older two were scared of F! until about ages 5-6 and, at 17 months, my middle DS was very frightened by it. It really depends on the child, of course, but, if you think you'll be back to Disney, I don't think it's a huge deal to miss it.

We like TH's lunch better than Boma's dinner so we don't make special trips to AKL for Boma anymore. I guess we're freaks like that.
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Old 09-18-2011, 06:28 AM   #11
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H & V is one of only 2 restaurants in all of WDW we will never return to.
The hot food was not hot, the cold food was not cold, and nothing other than desserts tasted good. We were surrounded by dirty, unbussed tables. The waitress was RUDE. And the Ladies Room was filthy.
Never again.
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Old 09-18-2011, 07:27 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xrobx View Post
my wife and i had reservations there, but when we got there we didn't like the looks of the place so we just went back to magic kingdom and got some burgers

what i want to know, is there any decent place to have dinner in hollywood studios other than brown derby? brown derby is awesome but i don't know if i want to use 2 meal plans on it again this year.
50s Prime Time Cafe and Sci Fi Diner are both good. The menus just changed slightly so both have just one menu (not a different lunch and dinner menu). Both have some fun... We like the decor and fun kidding around at 50s Prime and DS loves sitting in the cars and the old video clips at SciFi. We were at 50s once in 2010 and Sci Fi 2009 and 2010.

The food at 50s was like comfy diner food and as good or better than any other diner I've been to. The desserts and milkshakes were incredibly good. Just be sure to eat all your vegetables, keep your elbows off the table, and put your walkie talkies away during dinner (some of you younger folk here don't even know what a walkie talkie is...).

The food at Sci Fi was good enough. I did NOT like the ribs at all in 2009 (now many people do) but off the menu and a rib eye steak was added. The burgers were decent, nothing outstanding...just a burger. I had a reuben that was good... I can't compare it to our best deli...but still a good sandwich.

We only ate at Mama Melrose once in 2009, and while it was OK... It was just like any other Italian chain place.... I like 50s Prime Time and Sci Fi better for the added fun that comes with the meal.

50s Prime and Sci Fi are in my 2010 dining review with pictures (link below).
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Old 09-18-2011, 09:31 AM   #13
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We ignored the bad reviews we'd seen posted and went there on our August trip a few weeks ago. By far, the worst dinner we had on property.

Not only was the food not good but the service was horrendous as well. To top it off the attitude of the other diners was poor as well. The couple next to me let their daughter, probably 3 or 4, lean on me the entire meal even though I kept asking her to get off me. There were others who let their kids run around like the place was a playground.

I understand this is a buffet and people will be walking back and forth to fill their plates. But jumping over the booths and chairs is simply not acceptable. And management allowed this all to happen without a word.
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Old 09-18-2011, 09:37 AM   #14
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1. We didn't think it was that bad. I went there just to see for myself. There were plenty of things we liked and some we did not. The down side for us was the service was slow and it was noisy. The food was okay but there are other choices that we decided to try this last trip.

2. As a PP said it depends on your children. My DD saw it when she was 3 and was fine. My DS saw it when he was 3 and we had to leave. There is a dragon and they set the lake on fire at one point and that just put him over the edge. Know your kids and the show and make your decision from that.

3. Boma is different than Tusker House. Some similarities (I love Bobotie) but didn't care for Boma. It was okay but not something I would do again.

If you are interested there are some pictures and my thoughts on Boma
here.


Also, there are some pictures and thoughts on Hollywood & Vine here if you are interested.

Hope this helps some.
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Old 09-18-2011, 09:44 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DisneyFamily123 View Post
50s Prime Time Cafe and Sci Fi Diner are both good. The menus just changed slightly so both have just one menu (not a different lunch and dinner menu). Both have some fun... We like the decor and fun kidding around at 50s Prime and DS loves sitting in the cars and the old video clips at SciFi. We were at 50s once in 2010 and Sci Fi 2009 and 2010.

The food at 50s was like comfy diner food and as good or better than any other diner I've been to. The desserts and milkshakes were incredibly good. Just be sure to eat all your vegetables, keep your elbows off the table, and put your walkie talkies away during dinner (some of you younger folk here don't even know what a walkie talkie is...).

The food at Sci Fi was good enough. I did NOT like the ribs at all in 2009 (now many people do) but off the menu and a rib eye steak was added. The burgers were decent, nothing outstanding...just a burger. I had a reuben that was good... I can't compare it to our best deli...but still a good sandwich.

We only ate at Mama Melrose once in 2009, and while it was OK... It was just like any other Italian chain place.... I like 50s Prime Time and Sci Fi better for the added fun that comes with the meal.

50s Prime and Sci Fi are in my 2010 dining review with pictures (link below).
We have only eaten at 50's Prime Time Cafe at HS, but it was good fun. I would say the food is basic diner stuff, not bad but not amazing either. We ate there with my parents, hubby and then 9 month old son. My dad still talks about it because he had a blast. The waitress (Mom) asked him what he spent all of his allowance on and he said (having fully experienced the 60's) "drugs". She totally stopped in her tracks and then was all like "that figures"! We were all cracking up. Good times.
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