Hooray for Hollywood! Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge that is. Like a fine wine, the Hollywood Brown Derby gets better with age. An opening day dining location back when Hollywood Studios was called MGM studios, the restaurant is a classic nod to the Golden Age of Hollywood. Fast forward to today and the restaurant has expanded beyond its original footprint to include an outdoor patio lounge. Let’s take a break from setting records on Toy Story Mania to enjoy the classic stylings and cocktails, of the Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge!
Taking A Step Back
We’re not going back to the future, we’re just going back in time. Quick, to the time rover! Before 1989 there was only one Hollywood Brown Derby and that was in, you guessed it – Hollywood. When Walt Disney World opened its replica of the famed restaurant, or as Nate calls it, the Cobb salad mecca, it brought a piece of history to the east coast. As of today, it is the last Hollywood Brown Derby, as the original has closed up shop.
Home to the Cobb salad, that’s right the Cobb salad was created at the Hollywood Brown Derby, let’s all say thank you, the restaurant takes guests back in time. In October of 2013, Disney World expanded the restaurant to include the Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge, which in all accounts is more of an outdoor patio than lounge in its truest sense.
Passholder Insights: The lounge is first come first serve, as they do not have advanced dining reservations.
People Watching Galore
There is only one thing that Serena likes more than a good meal, and that’s people watching. The Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge is perfectly situated for people watching, as it overlooks one of the main thoroughfares at Hollywood Studios. The lounge is a narrow patio with high top tables and umbrellas to shield you from that blazing Florida sun.
Passholder Insights: For the Star Wars fans out there, the Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge is a good place to enjoy a drink and catch the March of the First order and Star Wars stage show.
Classic Place, Classic Drinks
Every Disney Lounge is known for something, whether it’s the tropical drinks of Tambu Lounge or the African wines at Nomad Lounge. The Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge is no different. Here, they celebrate flights – no, we’re not talking about flights of wine or beer or even Flight of Passage, we’re talking about margarita flights and martini flights. They know us too well, Nate will take the margarita flight and Serena will have the martini flight. We’ll be Soarin’ before you know it! Both are solid choices, it all depends on what you prefer.
Beyond the flights, the Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge is serving up their take on the classics. From the sidecar to the gin mule, and even the rarely seen Tom Collins, it’s a classic place for those of us who enjoy classic cocktails. If you’re looking for a drink for the road, the bar at the end of the lounge is your place to go.
If wine or beer are more your go to’s, the Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge has a solid selection of both.
Passholder Insights: If you’re on the Disney Dining Plan you’ll want to dine in the restaurant, as the lounge is not part of the plan. The restaurant is considered Signature Dining.
It’s About The Salad
Words that we never thought we would say, but it’s true! The Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge and restaurant are known for the Cobb salad. Whether you’re a Cobb salad super fan or looking to try one for the first time, this is the place to go. It’s like eating a hamburger at Louis Lunch in New Haven, CT (it’s where the hamburger was arguably created). What’s great about the Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge is they offer a smaller version of the salad, compared to the restaurant menu. Even though it’s smaller it still tastes just as good. From the tangy blue cheese to the salty crispy bacon bits, cut with a nice acidic vinaigrette, it’s a masterpiece of salad creations.
The small plate menu at the Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge has something for everyone in your group. Our favorite has to be the Derby Sliders. The plate comes with two sliders. The first is the Wagyu beef with bacon, gouda, and homemade mustard, yes, just yes! The second is duck confit with avocado, taleggio cheese, chipotle-vegetable slaw, sweet onion-orange conserve, and crispy leeks. The duck steals the spotlight on this one, it’s tender and melts in your mouth. The tang from the sweet-onion orange conserve perfectly balances out the gameness of the duck.
Wrapping up the menu are the desserts. Like the cobb salad, the Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge has a famous dessert as well, the grapefruit cake. If you like grapefruit the cake is a must try, as the sweetness from cake pairs well with the tartness of the grapefruit.
Passholder Insights: You can ask your server for two of the same sliders if you would prefer one over another.
From where we sit, on the patio of the Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge, the lounge is the best food in Hollywood Studios. Add in the atmosphere and perfectly crafted classic cocktails and it’s a home run. If you’re someone who enjoys classics dishes and classic drinks, this your place. Well, our flights are here, cheers!