My daughter’s birthday request: dinner at Planet Hollywood followed by Cirque du Soleil Show. Mind you, no epicurean would willingly step into a world of glamorous ‘junk’ food. That said, at times I do have to remove the chef’s hat and heed to my family’s desires.
I was warned to make reservations since Downtown Disney Restaurants are notoriously packed. Not a fan of automated answering service, still I stayed on the phone long enough to confirm my reservations for a Friday evening.
Fortunately Downtown Disney parking is right in front of the craziness; that was a relief. Parked few feet from Planet Hollywood and walked right at the accurate time 7 pm for our dinner reservations. We were given a piece of paper and asked to wait our names were called. Then we proceeded up the long flight of stairs to the entrance for the Restaurant.
The first thing that struck me when I entered the actual restaurant (aside from the swarm of people) was the over the top Hollywood style decor. Hollywood costumes, props from blockbuster movies and classic TV shows, giant TVs, live DJ, and more movie themed memorabilia. It is sensory overload at its best.I couldn’t help noticing how awe-struck my daughter was. While I was stewing over the fact that in spite of ‘reservations’ one had to wait upstairs for a table to clear; my daughter was totally digging the glam scene.After an approximate 15 minute wait we finally reached our table. I promptly informed our server even before being seated that we had a show to catch. Fortunately, he was pleasantly friendly and more than willing to be adaptable to our time restraints.
Even though everyone on our table was totally mesmerized with the decor and music; I managed to order food and drinks. Our meal consisted of Zucchini Chips, NY Strip Steak (medium rare), Baby Back Ribs, and Mahi-Mahi. They do have an extensive liquor list with Hollywood themed cocktails, though the menu per se is a glorified version of Applebees/TGIF/Chili’s.
The portions are huge; surprisingly the food quality was decent. It is a notch above your typical chain restaurants.
The highlight of the evening of course was the live DJ who was continually playing requests for the audience. They even wished my daughter Happy Birthday and announced it all their TV screens.
Planet Hollywood has successfully created an interactive dining experience to please all ages. Don’t be surprised if regardless of your age, you end up on the floor dancing. It is just that kind of place.
You can check out their various locations on their website.