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Sunday, March 1, 2009

Restaurant Review: Hollywood & Vine - breakfast

It's time for another restaurant review. This time, I'll take a look at the Hollywood & Vine restaurant at Disney's Hollywood Studios (DHS).
This is a character breakfast and lunch, featuring characters from Playhouse Disney. You can meet Jo-Jo and Goliath from "Jo-Jo's Circus," as well as Leo and June from "Little Einsteins. Hollywood & Vine does participate in the Disney Dining Plan. This restaurant requires one table service credit per person.

For us, this was another "before the park opens" reservation, which I highly recommend. As you approach the entrance to DHS, a cast member will be at a special gate for those with dining reservations. Once you confirm your reservation with this cast member, you may enter the park (with a valid ticket, of course).

The beauty of these early reservations is you have time to leisurely stroll up a portion of Hollywood Boulevard with very few people in the way (you can't go past Hollywood & Vine). This also gives you some great photo opportunities with the Sorcerer's Hat in the distance.

This restaurant is situated very similarly to the Crystal Palace at the Magic Kingdom. There are two identical buffet lines that begin at the outside edges and come together in the center where you can get some made-to-order items, such as omelets. The food was pretty good - it is the same you would find at the Crystal Palace or Tusker House (various pastries, scrambled eggs, link sausage, bacon, biscuits, sausage gravy, fruit, cereals, etc.).

At times during the morning (and lunch), two hosts will come out and invite younger guests to come to the middle for a little bit Playhouse Disney fun (one host plays to the left side, while the other plays to the right). This gives kids an opportunity to sing different Playhouse Disney dongs (i.e. songs from the "Wiggles," "Mickey Mouse Playhouse," "Jo-Jo's Circus" and more) and dance with the different characters who also come to the center to dance with the host. This happens about every 30-45 minutes.

We had a wonderful cast member for a waiter who had a lot of fun playing with the different kids and was very attentive to our needs with refills, clearing plates, etc.
As character meals go, this was pretty nice. It certainly is tailored to younger kids, though adults will appreciate the dining fare if they're looking for a nice breakfast before heading into the main areas of the park.
If you're at DHS with little kids, this is a must, especially if the kids are fans of the Playhouse Disney shows. Have fun and remember: "Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggity dog!"

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