Today, Doc McStuffins and Sofia the First joined Handy Manny and Jake at Hollywood and Vine for the Disney Junior Play ‘n Dine character buffet. They have permanently replaced Special Agent Oso and June from the Little Einsteins. Neither replaced character will be making appearances anywhere else at the Disney Parks. The Disney Under 3 gang had the privilege of attending, and here’s our thoughts if you will be visiting with your infant or toddler.
The restaurant is divided into two halves, each with an identical buffet area, and a single dessert area. The decor is fairly plain, offering large windows with a view of outside, and a few murals themed with a California motif. Water is available through self service while waiting outside to be seated.
Disney Junior Play ‘n Dine is a buffet meal. The offerings include a salad bar with caesar salad and italian sub sandwich salad, along with a few cold pasta salads, beef and barley soup or tomato florentine soup, and a variety of breads. A plentiful offering of meats include BBQ meatballs, chipotle citrus chicken, garlic and herb crusted slow roasted pork, baked chicken, asiago creamy ranch chicken breast, maple mustard glazed salmon, and ale braised beef. Side dishes include: multigrain penne with meat sauce, lobster macaroni and cheese, green beans, buttered corn, bean cassoulet, garlic smashed potatoes, and plantains. A separate kids buffet area features chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese, and broccoli. A miniature “create your own pasta” area features a small selection of pastas and meats, however, the line for this pasta was quite long the entire time we were there. Lastly, a dessert buffet features fruits and marshmallows dipped in a chocolate fountain (you do not dip them yourself), along with a small offering of cakes, cookies, and soft serve ice cream. Non alcoholic beverages are included in the price of the buffet.
Keep in mind before you go that this meal is geared towards families with young children, and it is LOUD. Each character walks around to each table and spends a few minutes signing autographs and taking pictures. Today, we found that the character interactions were more rushed than at other character meals we have attended. There is also singing and dancing of the theme songs and other songs from Disney Junior. And, twice throughout our meal there was a quick character parade around the restaurant. Our toddlers clapped, danced, and stared in awe, but were too distracted to eat much.
The Location and Cost:
The Disney Junior Play ‘n Dine at Hollywood Studios is located at Hollywood & Vine and is available as a breakfast or lunch buffet. Depending on time of year, pricing ranges from $15 to $59.99. This buffet is available to those on the Disney dining plan, and costs one meal credit per person. Like other buffets, children under 3 eat free. You are welcome to get them their own plate, there is no need to share from your own.
- If you have Doc McStuffins fans at your house, this character meal is the ONLY PLACE you can meet and greet with Doc McStuffins.
- Seat your infants or toddlers at the end of the table, closest to the aisle to make character interactions easier.
- Have your autograph book open to a blank page and your pen ready for the characters to sign.
- Have your camera on the table and ready to use, as the characters only remain at each table for a few minutes.
- With the popularity of Doc McStuffins and Sofia the First, I anticipate that reservations to this character meal may become harder to get. Be sure to reserve your space 180 days before your reservation. Reservations can be made online or by calling (407) 939-5277.
Would I recommend it with a child under age 3?
The food was better than we had anticipated, the atmosphere was loud and entertaining, and there were a lot of toddler and preschool aged children. If you have toddlers who love Disney Junior, I’d definitely recommend it. If you are traveling with only an infant or older children, I’d skip it.
Stay tuned for more restaurant reviews coming to Disney Under 3 soon!