Out and About: Planet Hollywood Observatory at Disney Springs Brings Flavortown to Orlando

Planet Hollywood Observatory at Disney Springs

Planet Hollywood has been an iconic restaurant on Disney property since it opened, but many wondered if the recent remodel and revamp would change the great food and fun atmosphere.

It did…and for the better, in my opinion.

The finished version of the Planet Hollywood Observatory features three floors of seating inside, with a new outside screened terrace that offers a great view of Disney Springs.

The interior has a more open feel to it, with a dome wall playing the latest music videos and Disney clips at a decent volume. I just hate when restaurant music is so loud you can’t hear your friends across the table. The Observatory still has displays of Hollywood memorabilia throughout, too.

THE FOOD

The menu got a revamp, with special assistance from celebrity chef Guy Fieri, who created the burger and sandwich dishes for the restaurant.

We had a chance to try a few items off this new menu when we attended a media night at the restaurant, and all I can say is bring a very hearty appetite!

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Perfect for the whole table, the High Roller appetizer features several dishes served up in a mock metal ferris wheel. Points for presentation, but how did it taste? Our table of four loved every single item, which included the popular Chicken Crunch (yes! it’s still on the menu!), Texas Tostados, Buffalo Wings (which were inhaled by our wings expert), extra spicy Peri-Peri Shrimp, and a Five Cheese Dip served with pita bread slices and tortilla chips.

There was so much food, we almost didn’t have room for the entrees. Almost.

For the event we were offered a choice of five entrees, and since there were four dining at our table, we each chose a different dish.

Planet Hollywood Observatory at Disney Springs - Bacon Mac-N-Cheese Burger

I tried Fieri’s award-winning Bacon Mac-N-Cheese Burger, which featured Applewood smoked bacon, six cheese mac-n-cheese, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickle, onions AND crispy onion straws, and a schmear of Fieri’s signature Donkey sauce on a garlic-buttered brioche bun. Oh, and it also came with a side of “triple” fries (a combo of three different cuts of fries).

My eyes were telling me that was a lot of food, but my taste buds and tummy were saying they were game, so I dug in. It’s a messy burger, and I had to smoosh it down to fit it in my mouth, but it was full of flavor – I could see why this burger had won awards.

I also nibbled on each of the other three dishes, and they were all on point for flavor and huge portions.

Planet Hollywood Observatory at Disney Springs - Turkey Pic-A-Nic

Fieri’s signature sandwich, the Turkey Pic-A-Nic, featured house roasted turkey breast, cranberry relish, Swiss cheese, BBQ kettle chips (for texture), along with the usual lettuce, onion, tomato, and Donkey sauce, all served on a garlic-buttered hoagie-sized pretzel bun. It was tasty, and served with the triple fries, was big enough to feed two.

Planet Hollywood Observatory at Disney Springs - L.A. Lasagna

The L.A. Lasagna deconstructs the dish by standing fresh pasta tubes on their end in a shallow bowl, stuffed with ricotta and a Bolognese meat sauce, and surrounding them with a mini-lake of roasted garlic cream and tomato basil sauces. If you’re craving Italian, this is the dish you need to order.

But the best presentation award goes to the BBQ Ribs. The criss-cross pile of meaty succulent saucy ribs come not on a plate, but on a mini wood picnic table. For real. I mean it just made the already tasty-looking dish that much more irresistible.

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And then there was dessert.

For the table, we were brought a dish called Planet Meltdown that arrived as a chocolate ball surrounded by strawberry slices. The server then poured hot chocolate sauce over the top, melting the ball to reveal a double chocolate fudge cake inside.

Planet Hollywood Observatory at Disney Springs - Supernova Shake - Planet Meltdown

While the chocoholics at the table were digging in, I opted to try one of Planet Hollywood’s new Supernova Shakes. I went for the Cosmic Cotton Candy because it just sounded so sugary and decadent. And it was.

Before I could even get to the cotton candy-flavored milkshake in the mug, I had to eat my way through a tuft of actual cotton candy, as well as a huge lollipop (which I saved for later). The glass is also covered in jellybeans, white chocolate-covered pretzels, and sprinkles. There’s a lot to these shakes, but that makes them perfect for sharing, I think.

THE DRINKS

During the meal, our table also enjoyed an assortment of drinks both alcoholic and non. The Stellar Margarita lived up to its name with a blend of blanco tequila, Cointreau, and Disaronno, in a house margarita mix. The margarita also comes in a Skinny version.

The big hit was the Space Monkey, a creamy mix of coconut rum, banana liqueur, coconut puree, and chocolate milk. It was like a tropical milkshake for adults.

I also tried Pluto’s Tea, a refreshing non-alcoholic mixture of peach tea, and lemon/lime juices. Bonus – it comes served in a pilsner glass with a light-up bottom that you can take home.

Planet Hollywood Observatory at Disney Springs - Space Monkey - Stellar Margarita

BOTTOM LINE

Readers…I really tried to find some fault with the meal. But honestly the worst thing I can say is the portion sizes are huge. Locals will be taking some home, and visitors can probably split one dish among two light eaters.

I enjoyed our meal at Planet Hollywood way more than expected. The food was delicious, and the atmosphere was open and inviting. This would be a great place for a family dinner after the parks, or drinks and apps with friends. I even loved the new space-themed PH merchandise, but then I’m a sucker for galaxies and steampunk.

Planet Hollywood Observatory gets two big thumbs up from us at CitySurfing Orlando.

DETAILS

Planet Hollywood Observatory is located at Disney Springs. Parking is free at the garages. The Orange garage is closest to the restaurant. The GPS address is 1506 E. Buena Vista Drive, Orlando, FL 32836.

Hours are Sunday – Thursday from 11am – midnight, and 11am to 1am Friday and Saturday. The bar is open one hour later each night. Reservations are recommended, as there can be lines during peak dining hours.

For more information, including making online reservations, visit planethollywoodintl.com/restaurants/orlando.

Disclaimer: CitySurfing Orlando was hosted for the meal during a media night event. As always, my opinions are my own, and they are honest.

About Michelle Snow

Michelle is the owner and editor of CitySurfing Orlando. She also owns Zengrrl.com, is a freelance writer specializing in travel and entertainment, and has authored/co-authored four guidebooks on Orlando and Florida. She lives in Orlando near Disney, and hears Magic Kingdom fireworks every night.
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