Reviewed by: Mojomums Sarah
What they say: Planet Hollywood, America’s preeminent restaurant destination dedicated to celebrating the entertainment industry, has this year re-opened its Orlando flagship location, Planet Hollywood. Centrally located to all the nearby attractions, the restaurant overlooks the heart of Disney Springs, the dining, retail and entertainment district located at Walt Disney World Resort. Multi-million dollar renovations have transformed Planet Hollywood’s iconic globe into a four-story stargazing observatory with new spaces including an outdoor terrace and lounge, a new menu and an exciting new look and feel. The 36,000-square-foot restaurant invites patrons of all ages to “Dine Amongst the Stars” with an immersive theatrical dining experience unlike anything before.
Designed by Elkus Manfredi Architects, each floor was created to provide a different experience so guests can return again and again, discovering a new adventure each time. Walls and glass displays throughout the restaurant are adorned with imagery as well as a curated collection of memorabilia that pays homage to a long tradition of filmmaking and Planet Hollywood’s continued commitment to the new, rising stars of the entertainment industry. Along with a state-of-the-art 4,500-square-foot video wall, Planet Hollywood guests will be mesmerized by three-dimensional interiors that come to life through Trompe L’oeil 3D technology, an art technique that uses realistic imagery to create the optical illusion that the depicted objects exist not on the screen but in the space itself.
The Stargazers lounge, a 5,000-square-foot outdoor expansion overlooking Disney Springs, allows guests to relax under the stars while enjoying cocktails and live entertainment al fresco. A dedicated beverage menu, focused on Florida craft beers, touts 20 different taps as well as 10 signature cocktails infused with classic Floridian ingredients, such as the Stargazer with Stoli Blueberi vodka, lemonade, fresh blueberries and basil, and The Observatory with Stoli vodka, Limoncino Bottega, Monin Peach Tea and Candoni Prosecco.
An enhanced, yet timeless menu highlights Planet Hollywood’s classic dishes, introducing a savory selection of “Big Bite Burgers” and over the top Signature Sandwiches from dynamic chef, restaurateur and television personality Guy Fieri and new decadent sweets that include hand-dipped milkshakes and indulgent shareable desserts. A curated beverage program features a variety of wines, bottled and draft beers, as well as cocktails served in specialty glassware to cater to the needs of all guests, from groups with small children to young adults and seniors.
What we say: “We had a great family evening at Planet Hollywood Observatory in Disney Springs, Orlando; great service, large menu choice, more food than you can ever eat! An interesting experience with plenty going on in the restaurant and the Disney Springs area to keep you more than entertained.
I’ll start by saying I am most definitely not your typical Florida tourist! In fact I will usually avoid the whole Disney area, theme parks, and Florida holiday experience, but this was a really enjoyable night out.
The service in Planet Hollywood was great; a really attentive and friendly service was provided to all diners by the serving and managerial staff. Food and drink recommendations were made and not just to sell you something!! The staff took their time to understand what you liked and made their recommendations accordingly. There was plenty to choose from, a word of caution, the portions are massive, no I mean MASSIVE!! Despite the staff’s best efforts to get us to try desserts (like Gelato Challenge, 12 mystery ice cream flavours, guess them all and win a prize!), we just couldn’t manage it. I think I would go back and have just drinks and dessert, I challenge anybody to eat a 3 course meal here! Maybe because the starter (to share), a “High Roller Sampler”, was a ferris wheel of Nachos, Wings, Shrimps, dips, coleslaw and salads, is a meal in itself!
However, we then indulged in mains of Steak, LA Lasagne and my favourite, Fresh Florida Mahi Mahi, a lovely light grilled fish in a mango citrus salsa with cilantro rice & green beans.
We sat in the Observatory, surrounded by interesting film memorabilia, overlooking the ground floor restaurant. There’s plenty to keep you entertained going on in the big screen; films, images, birthday/congratulations announcements, music, spy cam (love this – keep an eye out for yourself as Spy Cam circulates the restaurant and laugh at everyone’s embarrassment when they suddenly spot themselves on the big screen!), and my personal favourite (particularly after a Planet Hollywood Cocktail or two!) Eighties Karaoke Night, fabulous darling!!
It’s easy to get here and there’s plenty of well-lit, secure free parking a few steps from the restaurants and shops of Disney Springs. After your meal, pop into the “in restaurant Planet Hollywood” shop for a little memento of your trip, you get a voucher for a free gift from your server when you pay the bill. On our trip it was a metal keyring, add to this if you wish t-shirts, caps, baseballs, footballs etc. but there is no pressure to do so!
After you leave, take the time to wander round the Disney Springs area, take in the various shops, bars, cinemas, bowling alleys, entertainment, living statues (how do they keep that still for so long!), music by the waterfront, dance the night away! Go up in the Aerophile and enjoy the view 400 foot above the ground day or night and in the daytime take an Amphicar out for a leisurely ride on the lake. For an extra special night out go watch Cirque du Soleil and don’t forget to look out for the NBA Experience, coming to Disney Springs in Summer 2019. There’s something for everyone and every budget, or you can just wander around taking it all in and not spend a penny, we did!!
So all I have to say is a big thank you to Mark, Brian and AJ for looking after us so well, it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience, you have converted a DisneyPhob! I can do a Disney area now and enjoy it!!!
Planet Hollywood is open daily from 11am until 1am.