I have a strong bias towards The Hollywood Brown Derby — it’s the first Disney restaurant I can remember eating at when I was a child, and it has my father’s favorite filet, so we went there every trip on our yearly Disney pilgrimage. I remember feeling like I was actually dropping back in time to the golden age of Hollywood. Some people might find the decor of the Brown Derby plain, but for me, it was pure Disney Magic. I loved the sunken floor plan, the brass lighting, the deep booths, the famous caricatures on the walls, and the atmosphere of glamor that seemed to encase the restaurant. I still do, as The Brown Derby has remained high on my list of WDW’s must-eats.

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The original Hollywood Brown Derby, which was around in the 1920s, played a prominent part in Hollywood history. It’s allegedly where Clark Gable proposed to Carole Lombard, and episodes of ‘I Love Lucy’ were filmed there.

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Far more importantly though, the original Hollywood Brown Derby is where the Cobb Salad was invented — a masterpiece that I shall forever be grateful for. Disney’s version of The Brown Derby still serves the Cobb Salad chopped fine, just like the original. You can order an entree portion or an appetizer portion, but regardless of the size, it’s a must-do for any meal at the Brown Derby to be complete.

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We’ve never had a bad meal at The Brown Derby, but we do recommend some items more than others. The Cobb Salad we’ve already mentioned is always a winner (unless you try to share it). The pork tenderloin with goat cheese grits gets two thumbs up, and they do filet better than almost anywhere else at WDW. Right now they’re doing a choice of three mini desserts, which we are always happy with.

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Spend the night pretending to be Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant in the Golden Years of Hollywood, dining at The Hollywood Brown Derby. The impeccable ambiance, great food, and Disney magic that helps recall yesteryear will be the perfect ending to your day at Hollywood Studios.