This is a review for Planet Hollywood at Disney Springs, we dined here on September 2017.
Planet Hollywood has been a "staple restaurant" for us for many, many years. We usually spend our first night eating here as we venture to Disney Springs in our first evening, eat and drink up, then head to the parks first thing the next morning once the jet lag wears off.
Planet Hollywood had rather negative reviews in the past, but we've never really seen why. We tend to have the BBQ ribs, and they were always so delicious and not like ribs we've had anywhere at home. It was always a lot of fun. One year our entire party were clapping to the song 'Happy' and we got put on the big screen camera.
When we heard that Planet Hollywood was closing for a refurbishment, we were a little concerned. "Don't change the ribs, don't change the ribs" we'd be telling ourselves. They were due to re-open in summer 2016, and for those who paid attention, that never happened. We went on our 2016 trip in September and there was no sign of opening. It didn't open until December.
So this year we were eager to get back and tuck into our ribs like the animals we are.
We liked the new look from the outside. With a new building section by the entrance and no more detached merch store, we need longer had to stand in the rain while waiting for a table.
We walked in the door and walked to the stairs and noticed people queuing each side. We were a little confused where to go as it wasn't made clear. Turns out there was a check-in desk hiding behind us.
This is where the madness begins. So, we waited at the check-in desk at the bottom of the stairs, and once checked-in we were then directed up the right hand side of the stairs. At the top of the stairs there was a queue. We get into line. But, I notice people holding blue tickets - I had an orange one. I waited a little bit, but then decided to head over to the the little desk on the left with a cast member and ask if I should be waiting in this line. She tells me to just wait by this desk and we'll be seated shortly. Fair enough, good thing I asked! I'd also like to point out at this time the music is very loud and I could barely hear her say that. Maybe I’m just getting old?
We stood next to the desk for a bit and the cast member was using the microphone calling out names. The quality of the speakers they used were awful. You couldn't understand a word she was saying, and the music in the background didn't help either. Each time she read out a list of names I just went back over and flashed my ticket to see if that was me.
When it finally was us, we were told to go up the second floor and we'll be seated. We go upstairs, take a quick gander at all the props, and then we reach another queue at the top. Another queue? Awesome. We wait until we're at the front, and we're told to take a step to the side and wait for our table to be ready.
By this time I'm already geting a little annoyed. We've waited at the check-in deck, went up the stairs and got in line for a little bit, found out we didn't need to be in there. Then we were told to wait by the desk, then told to move upstairs, to wait in a queue, to them wait by the desk to be seated. (And I'm a guy who's happy to wait 2 hours for Flights Of Passage if he has to).
These ribs better still be fantastic, I thought to myself.
The two cast members sat at the desk were having a bit of a chin wag to themselves, but the cast member who saw us to our table was friendly enough. We were sat down and given some very dirty menus. Lovely.
The new look of the restaurant received a lot negative reviews. We didn't mind the new minimalist "modern" look, although it did seem that there were a lot less props than there used to be. We were sat next to the Star Wars props, and as I love Star Wars I didn't mind one bit. The downside to being next to these ones is we had a lot of people come over us to take pictures - using their flash - which was annoying but it is what it is. The new screen pretty much takes up the entire wall which is impressive.
We ordered - as you may have already guessed - the BBQ ribs. They look just as delicious as before! To drink I had an orange juice which came in a tiny little glass, but thankfully they do refill it. It’s worth mentioning we did order a pink lemonade which they didn’t seem to have, but she did offer to make a bit of a concoction for us with lemonade and grenadine which was actually delicious and the refills kept coming.
The ribs came out and they were displayed on a ... bench. I was a taken a little by surprised and were certainly got a few intriguing looks from the tables around us. Sadly, they were nothing like they used to be. I'm not one of those "George Lucas destroyed my childhood" kind of guys, but these were really disappointing. They were fatty, the sauce wasn't as nice, nor was there much of it. And the cocktails of fries, waffle chips etc weren't very good either. The first ribs were edible, and after a few you get sick of all the fatty bits and the fact they were rather dry. Notice the picture different below and above?
After leaving most of our main meals, it was dessert time. We saw that they were doing these over-the-top milkshake desserts, and although I don't care for that much of a sugar rush, they weren't included as a dining plan dessert anyway. But, they did have some less dramatic ones which I wanted to try. We had the Key Lime Pie and the Brownie Cheesecake Star Jar. The Key Lime Pie was absolutely delicious, it was sweeter than other places however this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and the brownie jar was just as good. Not at all sickly, just good chocolate covered ice cream.
Im summary - We had a great server, so the service was very good. The desserts were stunning, but with all the queuing to get seated (can't imagine what it's like at prime time, weekends or if you don't have a reservation), and the bad food this trip really disappointed us.
To much regret and sadness, Planet Hollywood has been removed from our "staple restaurant" list and we will most likely not visit again for a few years.
Our Score 2/5
Is it worth the money? Only If there are no better options
Is it worth the dining plan credit? Again, only If there are no better options
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