REVIEW: New Full-Sized Desserts and Heirloom Tomato Salad at The Hollywood Brown Derby in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

We’re stepping back into the golden age of cinema and dining at the great and glamorous Hollywood Brown Derby restaurant at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This is a go-to spot for us, and casually stopping by for a Cobb Salad or some cocktails always proves to be a welcome respite from the heat and crowds.

The restaurant tries to stay on par with seasonal flavors and recent trends in contemporary American trends, and in doing so, it’s recently gone back to serving full-sized desserts, and it’s also introduced a new heirloom tomato salad appetizer. Read on to check out all the latest menu changes, as well as what we thought about the new additions.

Thankfully, the decor of the restaurant remains relatively untouched.

You’ll always find this autograph book turned to a different page depending on when you drop in.

And now, for the menu:

The Hollywood Brown Derby Summer Menu 2019

If you go today or onward, you’ll notice that a new Chocolate-Coconut cake has been added, also for $12.00.

Heirloom Tomato and Mozzarella Salad – $13.00

Shaved Onions, Thai Basil, Gremolata, Calamansi, Vinaigrette

Overall, this mozzarella tomato stack is solid, but not great. Despite being billed as heirloom tomatoes (and I mean, they also look the part), they’re generally flavorless. The mozzarella is solid too (as wads of fresh cheese tend to be) but it otherwise isn’t memorable. This is a good summer dish, and we appreciate them trying to bring on fresher flavors for the hotter months, but if you want a salad, just get the Cobb.

Over on the dessert side of things, new full-sized desserts have returned to the menu. Back when the Disney Dining Plan was introduced, most restaurants switched over to mini dessert samplers or cake shooters, but that trend is stuck in the early 2000s.

You’ll recall that the last time we saw full-sized grapefruit cake was as a special during the park’s 30th anniversary celebration back in May:

Grapefruit Cake – $12.00

Vanilla Sponge Cake with Grapefruit Syrup, Grapefruit Cheesecake, and Grapefruit Jam. A Brown Derby Original!

Well, the grapefruit cake is back, but they’re making it a very different way. This is the biggest change in flavor this cake has had since it debuted back in 1989. The cake is decidedly more sweet now, with less of a sharp tartness coming through.

It also went up in price to a whopping $12.00. For a slice. Of cake. If you’re on Disney Dining Plan, then it’s a great value for you, but if you’re not, keep in mind the higher pricing on this famous dessert.

Chocolate Mousse Cake – $12.00

Dark Chocolate Sponge Cake, Dark Chocolate Mousse, Chocolate Sauce, Amarena Black Cherries

The chocolate mousse is basically just very good chocolate mousse. It’ll hit the spot if you like chocolate, but it isn’t remarkable in any way. The presentation is arguably the best part about this dessert, but even then, it isn’t even that Instagram-worthy. Try to get bites with the black cherries for optimal flavor.

Overall, the restaurant is still trying to find its ground after years of mini dessert trios, but at least it still has its staple, the grapefruit cake, as the sweet stand-by guests crave.

For more information on booking your next trip with our official travel agent sponsor, the Vacationeer, visit

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 year ago

Will they let you eat at the Brown Derby if you just order a dessert? I’ve never been there.

Tom Corless
1 year ago
Reply to  Doug

For sure