It wasn\’t too long ago that I realized Disney had a very special dining opportunity that was perfect for three of our family members. If you\’ve never heard of Dining with a Disney Imagineer, then you really need to read this article, especially if you have a Disney geek or two in your next travel party!
Dining with a Disney Imagineer is available at the Hollywood Brown Derby in Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. As far as I know, this is the only place where you have the opportunity to speak one-on-one with an actual Disney Imagineer! For my husband, our oldest son, and me, this was the highlight of our trip!
We booked this experience in October 2012 , and immediately upon arrival at the Hollywood Brown Derby, we were checked in and received our very own Walt Disney World name badges. Hayes was already in his glory. His face says it all! This experience is recommended for those 15 and over, but as an overachieving science geek, foodie, and Disney expert, he was the perfect guest even at age 11. We knew he would enjoy a four-course gourmet meal and have thoughtful reflective questions for whoever our Imagineer would be.
We were seated at a table in a private dining room with 9 other Disney geeks, given a souvenir menu and met our Disney Imagineer. We were lucky enough to be dining with Bernadette Mosher, or Bernie as she liked to be called. Her position at the time was Director of Creative Development Services. We heard all about her work solving the challenge of making Spaceship Earth a reality as no one had been able to construct a complete geodesic sphere prior to EPCOT being built. She talked about the development of Disneyland Paris where she was the lead Imagineer for the Haunted Mansion and the Grand Canyon Diorama. She had a lot of great stories to tell and was very engaging!
The end of our meal came all too soon, but we were each given a souvenir plate, autographed by Bernie, as a keepsake of our experience, as well as a photograph, our name badges, and the menus, too. But the best take-away for our family was the conversation! We were inspired and awed by the stories we heard and Hayes was ready to sign up then and there to work for Disney (aren\’t we all?)!
If you want to book this experience, you’ll need to reserve it for a Monday, Wednesday, or Friday at noon. I recommend booking on your 180-day mark as I wasn\’t able to find any seats available at the time of this writing! The cost is roughly $60 per person. As of this writing, the Disney Dining plan is NOT accepted for this event. Currently, only the Hollywood Brown Derby is participating in this program. In years past, other restaurants were included, but that appears to have gone away. Overall, it was an amazing experience, and I highly recommend it!
Amy Harrison is a Disney loving mom of three with a passion for all manner of DIY projects, and a constant craving for Dole Whips. You can contact Amy at firstname.lastname@example.org to book your next Disney vacation!