What Makes the Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge Special?

What Makes the Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge Special?

If there is one thing that offers a unique experience at Disney World it’s Disney’s Lounges. Each with their own theme and specialty menu, you can find a Disney Lounge at Disney Resorts, and in the Parks. And at Hollywood Studios, there are several. However, it’s Disney’s Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge that really brings the classic Hollywood feel to the table. With options for alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, small plates and appetizers, you can just sit back and relax and enjoy the day. Here’s everything we tried at the Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge and if we think you should add it to your next trip!

Hollywood Studios Disney World Hollywoodland Sign

The Hollywood Brown Derby Restaurant is legendary. Not only in Hollywood Studios, but the world over. As one of the classic restaurants, frequented by the stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood, you can count on old school charm and traditional elegance here. So fancy, in fact, that the Brown Derby Hollywood Studios also houses the secret Club 33 Lounge, serviced by the same kitchen as the restaurant. As such, you know the food is gonna be great, the drinks properly mixed and the service world-class.

Hollywood Brown Derby Restaurant

The Hollywood Brown Derby Restaurant’s namesake, may have opened in 1926 on Wilshire Boulevard, but it wasn’t until it’s “Hollywood and Vine” location, opened in 1929, that it caught the soft focus attention of Hollywood’s rich and famous. And since the Hollywood Brown Derby Hollywood Studios is all about glitz and glamour, you can find many of the same menu items, and drinks that originally wooed the starlets of old. From classic drinks, available both inside the restaurant and at the walk up bar outside, there is plenty to help take you back to the good old days.

How are the Hollywood Brown Derby Restaurant and Lounge Different?

The Hollywood Brown Derby Restaurant offers indoor seating, requires a reservation and as a signature dining restaurant can be quite expensive. The Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge actually offers two types of experiences. You can simply get in line and walk up to the bar to order a drink, OR you can make a reservation to be seated at the Lounge. The Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge includes both an indoor and outdoor seating area, and is sometimes available by joining a walk up list. Note that you cannot get lounge seating simply by going to the bar, and you should still aim to get a reservation for the lounge.

Can you get Brown Derby Restaurant Food at the Lounge?

Some of it. While the Hollywood Brown Derby Restaurant and Lounge have separate menus, you can sometimes get restaurant specialties at the lounge as well. Just ask your server. Many signature items are the same across both menus, so you don’t have to worry about missing out on the good stuff. Of course if you saw something on the main menu that you’d prefer, simply ask.

Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge

The Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge is inside the Hollywood Studios Theme Park. As such you will need a Park Ticket. And if you’re an Annual Passholder, you’ll also need a park pass reservation as well. The lounge at the Brown Derby Restaurant offers a variety of drinks, and traditional foods with a unique twist. Offering a truly elevated dining experience, you can expect to pay for the higher quality of everything.

  • Location: Hollywood Studios Park, Hollywood Boulevard
  • Hours: 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM
  • Reservations: Recommended. Also Available by Join Walk up List, intermittently.
  • Disney Dining Plan: Accepted, Uses 2 Dining Credits per person

Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge Atmosphere

One of the best parts about the Hollywood Studios Brown Derby Lounge is the atmosphere. If you’re inside the restaurant, you’re seated in a gallery area with French doors that open onto the patio, surrounded by dark woods and brick, and plants in a very cozy setting. If you’re seated outside, then you get a table with an umbrella  on the patio. And as the whole area is shaded by trees, you’re protected from the Florida sun a bit here. Such a blessing. The main view from the outdoor patio lounge is of the people passing by on their way to do theme park things. As such, its a great time for people watching, and we saw several couples simply passing the time with drinks in hand. It’s also such a leisurely setting that you don’t have to worry about racing through your meal.

Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge Menu

As one of the best restaurants in Disney World, the Brown Derby Restaurant menu features elegant twists on classic foods. And of course with specialties like grapefruit cake, there are some unique dishes too. The Disney Hollywood Studios Brown Derby Menu is pretty extensive and includes starters, entrees, desserts, a kid’s menu and drinks. If you are dining at the lounge then the menu is limited. You can check out all the foods that are available at the lounge on the Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge Menu.

Honey Spoon Bread at Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge

Spoon Bread

This appetizer at the Hollywood Brown Derby at Hollywood Studios, features a soft bread cooked in a cast iron pan. Served with a Lavender-Honey Butter this spoon bread was a nice starter to share. Almost the consistency of a bread pudding, if you’re looking for something light then this is a good choice.

BLT Sliders at Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge

BLT Sliders

These BLT sliders included a twist on the classic combining tomato jam and pork, instead of tomatoes and bacon. Chipotle-glazed Pork Belly, Pea Shoots, Tomato Jam, Pickled Red Onions and Microgreens make up this appetizer, with an elegant twist.

Shepherds Pie at Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge Vegan

Shepherd’s Pie (Plant Based)

If you’re ever had a shepherds pie then you know that it usually involves lots of potatoes and meat. In this plant based version the black lentils take center stage. With tufts of mashed potato, and carrot puree, this a dish was wonderful, without being too filling. Including Black Lentils, Truffled Mashed Potatoes, and Glazed Root Vegetables (Plant-based). A great dish, with tons of protein, it was nice to see a plant based dish that was more unique than we’ve seen at other Disney restaurants.

Free Range Chicken and Dumplings

Free-Range Chicken and Dumplings

This unexpected chicken dish included a single piece of chicken, dressed in cream, and apple jus, along with gnudi, which is a gnocchi like dumpling. And in this case, made with pumpkin and mascarpone. Pumpkin-Mascarpone Gnudi, Chicken Confit, Sorrel Oil Cream, Apple Jus. While this was not the regular chicken and dumplings  we’re used to, it was still very good, and featured sweet and savory flavors worth trying. This dish was definitely more about the quality than the quantity.

Chocolate Cake at Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge

Decadent Chocolate Cake

We’ve been pretty focused on finding all the best desserts at Disney World, and cakes are always a favorite. And even though we knew were going to try the famous Grapefruit Cake, this cake was recommended to us by our server. Incidentally, we were already kind of partial to the 15 layer, whiskey soaked cake at Steakhouse 71. Nevertheless after tasting this chocolate cake at the Hollywood Brown Derby, we could see why she was so adamant about it! This is a 4-layer, Towering Chocolate Cake, Dark Chocolate Mousse, with Whipped Ganache. Served with a raspberry reduction, this cake was very rich, and would definitely warrant an espresso. Highly recommended. Spoiler: We liked it better than the grapefruit cake!

Grapefruit Cake at Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Brown Derby Grapefruit Cake

A Brown Derby Original, the Grapefruit Cake includes layers of Vanilla Sponge Cake, Grapefruit Syrup and Cream Cheese Icing. While grapefruit is recognized as a great weight loss food, it adds a sourness to this cake, that is slightly offset by the rich cream cheese frosting. And not necessarily in a good way, like a lemon cake. To be honest, we didn’t love the Grapefruit Cake and would simply recommend you skip it.

The grapefruit cake is famous because, well, every cake recipe comes from somewhere. And the Hollywood Brown Derby Grapefruit Cake has a slew of interesting lore that warrants retelling. As the story goes, Louella Parsons, a gossip columnist that worked for William Randolph Hearst’s Los Angeles Examiner, was in the habit of telling the right stories, and burying the wrong ones. ( Namely, Thomas Ince’s mysterious death aboard Hearst’s yacht the night he was entertaining Charlie Chaplin, Marion Davis, and Louella Parsons onboard, among others.)  And as a valued employee of one of the richest men in the country, when Louella asked Brown Derby co-founder, Robert H. Cobb, to create a dessert that wouldn’t ruin her diet, her complied. Thus was born, the Grapefruit Cake.

Margarita Flight at Disney Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge

Hollywood Brown Derby Margarita Flight

Did you know that the Hollywood Brown Derby serves flights? You can get a flight of Margaritas or Martinis! At about $15 for all three, this little Margarita Flight is a bargain! And we absolutely loved it! Fresh, and beautifully balanced, these tasted gorgeous. In fact, if you knew you were going to stay, we’d recommend getting a full size one. They were all delicious.

  • Classic: Sauza Conmemorativo Tequila, Cointreau, Lime Juice, Sweet and Sour with a Grand Mariner Float.
  • Mango: Sauza Conmemorativo Tequila, Cointreau, Mango Juice, and Sweet and Sour.
  • Pomegranate: Sauza Conmemorativo Tequila, Stirrings Pomegranate Liqueur, and Sweet and Sour.

Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge Prices

The Hollywood Brown Derby at Hollywood Studios is a signature restaurant. This means that it’s generally expensive. With a range of $35-$50 dollars per entree, you can expect to spend a lot here. However, it may be more manageable than you think! The Brown Derby Menu prices for appetizers typically run less than $20 each. And they are sharable. As a result, if you’re just grabbing something light, you would only have to pay for drinks and appetizers. Drinks at Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge cost about $15- $30 on average. For instance a Grapefruit Cake Martini is $16, and its a specialty of this restaurant. Of course, a Dessert Wine Flight is for about $28 which is not bad if you’re sharing. Take a look at the Hollywood Studios Brown Derby Lounge Menu for all the dishes, drinks and prices.

Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge Review

There are also other favorite Disney Lounges and Bars in Hollywood Studios Park to try! Baseline Taphouse, located on Grand Avenue, offers up a great non-alcoholic Barrilitos Strawberry Hibiscus Soda on Tap. Plus a sharable soft Bavarian Pretzel that makes our regular snacking list.  Oga’s Cantina in Galaxy’s Edge serves up unique drinks worth trying, and photographing! And Tune In Lounge at Echo Lake lets you settle into mom’s living room with classic drinks, and the Donna Reed show. For even more ideas on where to get your next drink, or mocktail, check out the Best Disney Lounges across Disney World Property. From rooftop views, to live music, elegant settings to pineapple drinks by the pool, we hope you find your signature lounge somewhere in the list.

Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge Disney

Co-Founder and Director at Polka Dot Pixie Co LLC | Website | + posts

Rochelle Mariah is a writer, designer and photographer with an MLIS in Information Science and a B.S. in Arch and Design. Determined to make Planning a DIY Disney Vacation easier she makes lots of lists and drinks lots of coffee. When not designing apparel at Polka Dot Pixie Shop, she's watching old movies and planning the holidays. She has been traveling to Disney destinations since 2010.