There are many choices when it comes to a theme park day – what to ride first, which shows to watch, when to get there and when to leave! Once it comes time to eat, sorting through all of the options can be a bit overwhelming. While I would happily follow each and every one of you around to give you my personal recommendation while in a theme park, that’s just not feasible. Not because tons of people will read this but because me awkwardly tagging along a few feet behind on your vacation, waiting for you to call on me for a recommendation can’t be what you want. Instead, here’s a less personal and more convoluted way of giving options on where to eat! This series started with Magic Kingdom and Epcot, today we’re turning our attention to Hollywood Studios.
For the 3 of you that made it through that first paragraph, this series is here to give readers a quick look at where we frequent when we’re in a specific park. I set up a few rules to follow in these posts which will include somewhere between 5 and 10 restaurants each time. Each favorites list will have:
- At least one counter-service restaurant.
- At least one table-service restaurant.
- One restaurant (generally quick-service) that’s not in the park but is very quick and easy to get to.
Typically, I’ll include more than just one from each category! I’m going to try to stick to counter-service spots once outside of the park because it just takes up too much of the day otherwise. Even if it’s a short walk or ride away, eating at a counter-service spot, getting back through the gates and to the land you want will likely take more time than eating a slow meal inside that park.
If you’re looking for just a simple ranking of all the resort’s table-service and counter-service restaurants we’ve been to then there’s our Walt Disney World posts on the subject! This series isn’t about ranking though. I might mention if one is a favorite or something but this should serve more as a jumping off point.
A few years ago, Hollywood Studios held the unfavorable Disney’s worst theme park food championship belt. Then, two things happened. Magic Kingdom eagerly and ungracefully stumbled right into that honor. More importantly, Hollywood Studios had a meaningful upgrade in quality. A park that didn’t have any counter-service spots I liked overhauled the majority of their menus and it worked! There are still some bad restaurants in the park but, for the most part, Hollywood Studios has a decent dining scene.
Much like Sam Eagle before him, let me shout out my favorite pizza making rat, Rizzo. I’m proud of him making it in the restaurant biz, although I don’t know if PizzeRizzo is open on a daily business and I write about these places daily. It doesn’t make the list because, well, the pizza is terrible. But more Muppet representation in the world is needed so here’s the shout out, deserved or not. Also, there’s a giant dinosaur named Gertie who sometimes sells ice cream from her stomach but most of the time isn’t open. Just needed to say that. Let’s get to the list!
I won’t rank these but… this is at the top of the list for a reason. Whether you go with the delectable table-service version of the restaurant or the casual lounge, which is my preference, the food here is top notch and the atmosphere is unique. Inside of the restaurant is a vestige to old Hollywood with caricature drawings and décor that matches the theme. This is the only table-service restaurant on the list but we plan to update our opinions of restaurants (also known as dining at them) in the coming year. Sitting outside at the lounge will provide views of the Chinese Theater and main courtyard. No matter which one you choose, get the Cobb Salad and enjoy some excellent drinks!
There are a few more lounges and bars in this edition of Our Favorite Restaurants because that is one spot where Hollywood Studios really shines through! There were even a few tough omissions on that front. BaseLine leads the charge here with a variety of drinks and a great charcuterie board. The seating area is more enjoyable than some other options on the list, although it is a bit tight and outside. For a park that struggles in the atmosphere department, BaseLine is a great place to pull up a chair, grab a snack and drink, and relax for a while.
Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo
Speaking of atmosphere, this counter-service restaurant in Galaxy’s Edge has one of the best in the park. Add in that the food, especially the seasonal option, is quite good and you have a very strong counter-service restaurant. There have been times when I find Docking Bay’s food to be average but more often than not, I think it’s very good and that makes the restaurant the best counter-service option at Hollywood Studios.
ABC Commissary is ugly and has an absolutely terrible atmosphere. It was an afterthought for many years but then they redid the menu and I really like the food now! The Shrimp Tacos are really good and there’s an excellent arugula side salad here. I don’t think this place is particularly memorable but I do find the food to be good.
Another bar on the list, Oga’s is a must for Star Wars fans. There isn’t much in the way of snacking outside of a few options but a few of the drinks are fun and the atmosphere is great when you’re with the right people. Oga’s could be even more memorable if they added some characters and a few more savory snacks but it is an immersive and enjoyable experience.
We’re just jumping back and forth between great atmospheres without much food and good food with a lack of atmosphere. Woody’s Lunch Box is the latter, as I’ve eaten my meal here on top of a trash can several times. As much as that is a Disney rite of passage, I don’t think it’s anyone’s idea of fun. But grilled cheeses are having a decade long moment in our society and Woody’s Lunch Box has good grilled cheeses. Melissa really enjoys a few of the sandwiches here and I like the brisket option. If you love grilled cheese sandwiches, go here. If not, then go somewhere else that has other options and some shade and no top-of-trash-can dining.
Our off-site option for Hollywood Studios is the counter-service stop at the Riviera. This is just a short Skyliner ride away from the park and has one of the best quick-service breakfasts at Walt Disney World. Going out of your way to eat here is a good idea and I’m looking forward to trying the lunch/dinner menu in the coming year. Primo Piatto is one of several good options outside of the park, as I followed the rules and didn’t include Sebastian’s Bistro. Instead, I just mentioned it here which is definitely not cheating. We’ve got good food restaurants both in and out of the park!
Where are your favorite spots to eat in and around Epcot? Let us know, along with any questions you might have, in the comments below! If you are planning a trip to Disney World, then check out our planning guide. Looking for discount Walt Disney World tickets? Check out this site! If you enjoy what you are reading here on Wandering in Disney please share this post with your friends, as well as like our social media pages. You can also subscribe to the blog via WordPress or email. You can do all of that on the right side of this page. Thank you for reading, we really appreciate it!
Categories: Restaurant Reviews