Restaurant Review

5 Reasons We Loved Disney Hollywood Studios’ Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano

There are only 5 sit down restaurants to choose from at Disney World’s Hollywood Studios. It is almost unfathomable that there are so few choices. Especially when you are comparing it to Epcot, which hosts 14 restaurants. Your five choices are:

Mama Melrose is an Italian restaurant and is found in the Grand Avenue area of Hollywood Studios. This area is on the Southern side of the park, near the exit of Muppet 3D and just past PizzeRizzo’s.

We dined at Mama Melrose for the first time during our last vacation in January. We chose this restaurant for a couple of reasons: our kids love Italian food and we’d never been here before. We love ticking off restaurants we’ve never dined at before. Discovering new favourites. Despite arriving here for dinner at the end of a very early day, we’d arrived at Hollywood Studios at 7am to get into Galaxy’s Edge, for all the details on that click here, we had a really good meal. This could have been the tipping point of a frustrating day of let downs and disappointments. But Mama Melrose held up to exactly what we needed, when we needed it.

Here are five reasons we really loved our meal at Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano:

Location

Mama Melrose’s is off the main path. The other four restaurants are in the middle of the madness that is the centre of Hollywood Studios. With thousands of people constantly passing, the chaos can be infectious. Mama’s is found on Grand Avenue, which is tucked away and not the most popular area of the park. This gives you a well deserved break from the busyness of Hollywood Studios.

Food

When we eat at Disney we are hungry with a capital “H”. We need food, food that is going to fill us and give us much needed energy. And did Mama Melrose deliver. First off, they gave us our starter bread practically the moment we sat down. Which we pretty much inhaled. Secondly, we were impressed that the kids were able to share their meal of pasta because it came with two sides. I had the Chicken Campanelle, which had sundried tomatoes, fresh spinach and fresh onions. It was tasty and satisfying. The hardest part was trying to be okay with sharing some of it with our 1 year old. It was a meal that left each of us feeling nourished and well fed, without feeling bloated from over indulging in fries and burgers.

Price

On this vacation, for some crazy reason, we opted to pay out of pocket in lieu of one of the dining plans. Not one of our wisest decisions we’ve ever made, for more on that click here. It was an experiment we will never do again. So for the first time ever, we found ourselves looking at the prices of our meals when ordering, and allowing that to sway some of our decisions. What was nice about the options at Mama Melrose’s, they are were all around the same price. The price from one dish to another didn’t vary more than 10 dollars, with the exception of the steak. It made the cost less of a deciding factor. I was able to be skewed more by my taste instead of dollars.

Seating

Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano has a lot of tables and chairs and large booths. One of my favourite parts about dining here was how large the tables were. When dining at a restaurant at Disney World, that is not a buffet restaurant, the table gets filled with drinks, children’s menus, bread, butter, phones. Then try to add the main dishes on top of that can make for very little space. This was not the case at Mama Melrose’s, the table was large, with more than enough space to bring out all the things to keep the kids entertained until their meals arrived. This certainly is an issue at Sci-Fi Dine In Theatre and 50’s Prime Time Cafe.

Relaxed Atmosphere

Our day needed some down time. With the early day, the running from one end of the park to the other to get to Rise of the Resistance when it opened, me loosing my phone!!! We needed some time to unwind and relax. Mama Melrose’s is perfect for that, it was not another production. At 50’s Prime Time, you’re constantly interacting with the server. At Sci-Fi Dine In Theatre, you’re bombarded with creatures from outer space. At Hollywood & Vine, you’re making sure your kids get their autograph albums signed and pictures taken. Mama Melrose’s gave us a chance to take a load off. I can only imagine how relaxing it would be if you were vacationing with older kids, instead of our youngsters. There is always a time for extra hype and extra fun, but on this particular park day we needed time to ourselves. And that’s exactly what we got.

I would strongly recommend dining here during your visit to Hollywood Studios. Make sure to get your reservations ahead of time, and book an earlier reservation than you actually want because they do get backed up. I don’t know when we’ll be back here, because really we don’t know exactly when we’ll be back at Hollywood Studios. We had planned a trip to Disney for December but are unsure whether we’ll end up going or not. When we do return to Mama Melrose I can’t wait to be on the dining plan and indulge in the Cappuccino Affugato dessert they have, along with the Double Espresso Martini. Who would like to join me???

Here are some of the specific details you’re probably looking for…

Hours: 11:30am until park close.

Dining Plan: 1 Table Service Meal Credit

Check out these other restaurant reviews to get an idea of where you’d like to dine for your next Disney vacation whether it’s this year or in 2021:

Magic Kingdom’s Tony’s Town Square Restaurant

Epcot’s Le Cellier Steakhouse

Magic Kingdom’s Be Our Guest

Boardwalk’s Trattoria al Forno

Animal Kingdom’s Yak & Yeti Restaurant