One of my favorite aspects of Walt Disney World is the ability to be transported by the sights and sounds surrounding me. There are times that I forget that I’m in a park, immersed in the details. When asked by Melissa Sue and Estelle to participate in their festivities to celebrate Dapper Day, not only was I honored, but my mind was completely swimming with ideas! I could certainly note several areas in each park where I become engrossed in the experience, but in thinking about the meaning of the event, I could only truly get that “dapper” feeling from one park: Hollywood Studios.
While the park could certainly use some TLC (and the removal of certain hat), some of my favorite moments have been spent in the table service restaurants of the park. Of course, the classic Hollywood Brown Derby is the first to catch your eye while walking down Hollywood Boulevard. The first guests of the restaurant each day even get the star treatment, being chosen as the “Celebrities of the Day.” Alongside the more formal dining experience is a more developed menu, thanks to its status as a Signature Restaurant; the only one located in the Studios. While I haven’t visited in a while, our last visit was fantastic. My biggest surprise was returning to my table to find a folded napkin waiting. You don’t find those details everywhere on property! It would be a great choice for a romantic date night on Dapper Day.
50’s Prime Time Café and the adjacent Tune-In Lounge are favorites of mine. A visit to the Studios just doesn’t seem complete without at least a beer from Tune-In. Yes, the waiting area in the “living room” is loud, especially when one of your aunts comes looking for you to get yourself to the dinner table, but it certainly adds to the theme. From the attire of the cast members to the retro-everything décor, you might feel a bit like Marty McFly. Not many places will make you eat your vegetables before you can have dessert, but with comfort food like fried chicken, meatloaf, pot roast, and mashed potatoes with gravy, it shouldn’t be too difficult. For a Dapper Day selection, you’re sure to feel right at home!
While the food is not necessarily the best, I absolutely love visiting Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater. Between sitting in the car and watching the kitschy movie reel, I always have a fantastic time (which might have something to do with my inner MST3K wanting to play along). While far from being terrifying by today’s standards, there’s no harm in pretending those monsters and aliens actually are scary, if nothing more than to cuddle up with your dapper date while sharing a spiked milkshake.
You can smell Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano from down the block before you get to its doors. Whenever I visit, it’s like returning to a favorite, go-to restaurant where my same stand-by dish is always ordered: the Carne de Italia Flatbread. Ask my boyfriend, and he’ll suggest the Penne alla Vodka. Service is a bit lackluster in past experiences, but it does seem to transport you to a favorite neighborhood dinner spot. It’s the more casual place you visit when you and your significant other can’t decide where to go for Dapper Day.
The best part of enjoying a meal at the Studios on Dapper Day is the stroll back down Hollywood Boulevard at the end of the evening. The street is alive with neon lights, and the music adds to the ambiance. And, should you feel so inclined, grab a to-go cocktail from Tune-In Lounge to enjoy during some window shopping as you close out your night. It’s Dapper Day and you’re in Walt Disney World! That’s more than enough reason to celebrate!
Amanda from Wonderland Nerds is royally hanging out at Mouse on the Mind today for another Dapper Day post!