Dine with An Imagineer: Disney Dining Review - PassPorter.com
PassPorter.com
Award-winning travel guidebooks

   guidebooks   |   news   |   podcasts   |   boards   |   blog   |   worksheets   |   photos   |   articles   |   updates   |   register   |  


Dine with An Imagineer: Disney Dining Review

by Bernie Edwards, PassPorter Guest Contributor
Last modified 03-30-2012
  



PassPorter.com > Articles > Walt Disney World > Dining  

As a member of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel, I sometimes receive questions about unique experiences that most guests haven't done. One of my favorites is "Dine with an Imagineer," which takes place on select days at Walt Disney World.


It gives guests an opportunity to dine with one of the magic makers from Walt Disney Imagineering.

Dine with an Imagineer takes place during lunch at the Hollywood Brown Derby in Disney's Hollywood Studios, or during dinner at the Flying Fish Cafe at Disney's BoardWalk. In both cases, a member of Walt Disney Imagineering will be there for an informal discussion about developing attractions, resorts, shops, restaurants, or cruise ships for Disney Parks and Resorts during the course of the meal. I had the privilege of experiencing this over lunch at the Brown Derby.

At the Brown Derby, the event takes place at 11:30 am and is usually offered on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. It is typically a little over two and a half hours long. When I did this, I went to the Brown Derby lobby where I received my Dine with an Imagineer name tag and was asked to wait. Shortly after 11:30, we were give a short but awesome tour of the Brown Derby and then led to the Bamboo Room. The Bamboo Room is a secluded private dining room and is gorgeous. It's almost a perfect setting for the event and has one long table; the only thing bad about the location is that when there is a loud show going on outside by the Sorcerer’s Hat the music and noise can be heard inside. When I went, the Disney Imagineer sat at one end of the table but I was told that some Disney Imagineers sit in the middle of the table (which I think would work best).

Lunch was a four course meal consisting of soup, salad, an entree, and a dessert. Soup was a Portsmouth lobster bisque, though guests could also order chicken noodle soup if desired. The salad was a small serving of the Brown Derby's famous Cobb Salad. For the entree, guests had a choice of:


• Char-grilled filet of beef with Cotswold butter over fingerling potatoes, asparagus, Ugly Ripe tomatoes, and a broken Carbernet-shallot vinaigrette
• Noodle bowl with a grilled breast of chicken, soy beans, sugar snap peas, bok choy, and Shitake mushrooms in a red curry broth
• Coriander-dusted grouper, cauliflower risotto, fresh English peas, crunchy sunchokes, and a yellow tomato coulis

Hollywood Studios - The Hollywood Brown Derby photo
Hollywood Studios - The Hollywood Brown Derby

The Hollywood Brown Derby entrance. - photo by home4us123

For dessert, guests could choose either the Brown Derby's famous grapefruit cake or a double vanilla bean creme brulee. I went with what was basically a filet mignon and the grapefruit cake. The filet mignon was absolutely wonderful and I enjoyed every bite. I wasn't a fan of the grapefruit cake and wished I had gotten the creme brulee; however, most guests at the table ordered the cake and seemed to absolutely love it.

The food, except for the grapefruit cake, was excellent. I have to also say that the service was exceptional! However, the highlight of the meal was interacting with the Disney Imagineer. My group had the privilege of having lunch with Disney Imagineer Dan Flynn, a Show Program Manager. Dan started with the Disney Company in 1989 on the Walt Disney World College Program; he worked in Downtown Disney, the Magic Kingdom, and Epcot. In 1998 he joined Walt Disney Imagineering and first worked on the construction of Test Track. Besides Test Track, some of the other attractions he has worked on include Mission Space, Journey into Imagination with Figment, Mickey’s PhilharMagic, Expedition Everest, Turtle Talk with Crush, and Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor. He was also heavily involved in the development of Disney’s new resort, Aulani, and he spent a lot of time in Hawaii away from his family in Orlando.

Dan was charming, enthusiastic, and witty. He told us that a Show Program Manager for Walt Disney Imagineering provides management of the show design, production, and installation and provides a conduit to the Facility and Ride teams on the project. He shared his experiences working at Disney and told us about the many projects he worked on at all of the parks in Walt Disney World and at Aulani in Hawaii. For example, he told us how Expedition Everest has no elevators in it, and how he constantlyhad to climb up to 17 stories, throughout his work on the attraction. He also spent a lot of time talking about Walt Disney Imagineering in general and the path that some people take to become Disney Imagineers. It was interesting to find out that Walt Disney Imagineering is made up of over 140 disciplines, each with its own set of responsibilities when it comes to completing a project.

Although Dan could not share any trade secrets or talk about any future projects, he answered all of our questions. In my lunch group, all of the other guests were Disney fanatics like me, which led to a very enjoyable lunch interacting with Dan and everyone else at the table. At the end of our meal, each guest received a commemorative plate depicting Sorcerer Mickey signed by Dan, in addition to a personalized menu and the name tag I previously mentioned.

I highly recommend experiencing Dine with an Imagineer if you are interested in learning a little bit about how the magic is brought to life. The meal is absolutely delicious and the opportunity to interact with a Disney Imagineer over a couple of hours is fantastic, especially if you are a fan of Disney Parks and Resorts. Guests of all ages can attend (there was a baby at the session I went to), but I personally think this experiences is best for teenagers and up. The Disney Imagineer won’t speculate about anything that might come to Walt Disney World in the future, but he or she will be able to share a lot of information on current and past attractions and the development of them. Since the group size is very limited for each opportunity, you will definitely want to make a reservation as soon as possible. Reservations can be made by calling 407-WDW-DINE or by booking online.




Disney Hollywood Studios- Brown Derby photo
Disney Hollywood Studios- Brown Derby

The Hollywood Brown Derby - photo by Dopey007





TING!
You've discovered a PassPorter's Club Concierge Tip!
Ting the bell to read your tip and save it in your Concierge Desk!
About the Author:
Bernie Edwards lives in Maryland with his wife and two children. He is an engineer for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and a member of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel. He enjoys visiting both Walt Disney World and Disneyland, and sailing on the Disney Cruise Line.


Recent Walt Disney World Articles:
D23 Expo Recap, Part 2: Announcements Galore - A Disney Parks Planning Article last updated 08-27-2015
Avoiding Exhaustion at Walt Disney World, Part 2: Do Less, Enjoy More - A Walt Disney World Special Needs Article last updated 08-27-2015
Avoiding Exhaustion at Walt Disney World, Part 1: Plan for Success - A Walt Disney World Special Needs Article last updated 08-20-2015
D23 Expo Recap, Part 1: Announcements Galore - A Disney Parks Planning Article last updated 08-20-2015
Olivia's Cafe at Disney's Old Key West - A Walt Disney World Dining Review last updated 08-13-2015

More Related Links:
Veggie Dining At Disney - Table Service Locations last updated 12/11/2008
Veggie Dining At Disney - Counter Service Locations last updated 12/04/2008
The Kosher Traveler At Walt Disney World - A Guide last updated 02/05/2009
Dining at Walt Disney World - An Introduction last updated 2/5/2009
Yachtsman Steakhouse From a Vegetarian's Point of View - A Dining Review last updated 5/14/2009




Reader Comments:


I enjoyed every moment of this experience. I also believe that this is a more bang for your buck experience. Rather that use a dining credit from the free DDP or as a paying customer I will choose this experience. Well worth the time and money.

The food was excellent. The Imagineer was great. Hands down one of the best "backstage experiences" that I have participated in.

For those that want to know. Dive Quest is my #1. To be able to be part of the show and put a smile on a child's face is very rewarding!

     Chkultr on March 30, 2012 @ 9:32 pm
View all 1 comments in forum thread

So what do you think? Click here to share your comments, feedback, and experiences on this article and topic!

(Note: You must be a member of our PassPorter Message Board Community to leave comments. Join today for free!)




Updated 03-30-2012 - Article #789 



Read additional articles from PassPorter.com

Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter, PassPorter News, published for more than 58,000 opt-in subscribers worldwide. As an added bonus for subscribing, you will receive a 20% discount coupon for the PassPorter Store -- no catch!

E-mail Address:

First Name:

E-mail Format:
-Text/Don't Know  

-HTML

 
 

We respect your privacy and never sell or rent our subscriber list. Subscribing will not result in more spam! We guarantee it.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Copyright 1999-2015
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.

       SEARCH
       LEARN MORE
Learn More With Our Award-Winning Guidebooks


 


RSS General PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel - Feasting and Snacking: The Eateries at Walt Disney World
PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disn...
Bring your dining questions, tips, and experiences to this table.


Friars Nook
by disneycast89
31 Aug 2015 at 12:37am
Hi All ive been reading about the Pot Roast and Mac and Cheese Dish at the Nook. It looks fantasic. Have any of you had this dish? What are your...
(click title above to view replies)

Artificial sweetners
by Kellymel
30 Aug 2015 at 7:44pm
Are Splenda and Sweet n Low available at WDW? I can't remember from our last trip.
(click title above to view replies)

confused about dining plan credits
by paintedpony
30 Aug 2015 at 5:35pm
We will be going back to WDW next June:thewave::thewave::thewave: I've used the dining plan before, but it's been too many years. We will be...
(click title above to view replies)

Best Steakhouse?
by Bman
29 Aug 2015 at 10:46pm
I'll be celebrating my birthday over our trip in March and would like some good steakhouse recommendations. I've heard a lot about Le Cellier, are...
(click title above to view replies)

Husbands 50th birthday celebration at Ohana (Dinner) vs. Garden Grill?
by DISNEY03
28 Aug 2015 at 9:57pm
Celebrating my husbands 50th birthday and want to know where would be the best place? It will be us and our 2 children (11&12). We haven't been there...
(click title above to view replies)



Total Visits: 7003


PassPorter ~ 1998-2015 ~ 17 Years of Making Dreams Come True!
Publishers of bestselling travel guidebooks and proud recipients of 13 national book awards
About PassPorter
About Us
Site Map
Press
Privacy Policy
Images & Artwork
Guidebooks
About
Previews
Buy
Reviews
Updates
Features
News & Updates
Articles
Podcasts
Photos
Message Boards
Newsletter
Concierge Desk
Desktop
Trips
Books & E-Books
Tips
Settings
Customs Office
Register Books
Book Updates
Contests
Checklists
Help & Info
Finding Answers to Questions
Help Desk
Using Your PassPorter Forum
Store Customer Service
E-Mail Us
Follow Us
PassPorter.com Front Page (Updated Daily!)
PassPorter Newsletter (weekly and free)
Latest Posts
Facebook
Pinterest
YouTube Channel
Questions? Check our Site Map and visit our Help Desk to learn how to contact us online, by e-mail, and by phone.
Please feel free to link to this page so that other vacationers can find it.