ABC Commissary Review
ABC Commissary in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World is a quick service restaurant serving traditional American menu items and some items with international twists. The restaurant is open for both lunch and dinner, and offers indoor seating with an Art Deco-inspired interior, movie and television trailers on TV screens throughout the restaurant, film posters and ABC television show props on display.
Popular menu items include a vegetarian Asian salad, chicken curry, chicken bleu sandwich, fish and chips, Angus cheeseburgers, and chicken nuggets. ABC Commissary participates in the Disney Dining Plan as a counter service credit. It does not accept the Tables in Wonderland card for a 20% discount. As far as value goes, ABC Commissary is neither a good nor bad value on the Disney Dining Plan (see our ranking of the best value quick service restaurants here).
Before entering the restaurant itself, it must be said that this place gets major kudos based on its background music alone. Anyone who grew up in the 1980s and 90s will recognize a lot of their favorite theme songs in this loop, from Home Improvement to Doogie Howser.
Now let’s step inside and see how the ambiance and cuisine hold up at ABC Commissary…
As far as interior decor, ABC Commissary is really quite nice. The restaurant is clean and current-looking and has a nice Art Deco-look to it. It even has palm trees inside the main lobby! As mentioned above, ABC Commissary itself contains props from ABC shows, including many of our current of our favorites, like Modern Family. Modern Family is probably our favorite show on TV, and given that, it seems far too popular. Our other favorite shows (like Arrested Development) always seem to be incredibly unpopular, causing them to be canceled.
We have been hesitant to eat here in the past, not because of the way the place looks, but because we’ve read and heard some very negative things about this restaurant. In fact, this might be the most poorly reviewed of all Walt Disney World counter service restaurants. We don’t keep hard data on this sort of thing, but I’m sure NASA (or maybe other scientists) would know. It seems like an important-enough issue.
Out of all the Walt Disney World parks, Disney’s Hollywood Studios is the one that is slammed the most for its dining options. Given our stellar reviews of the Hollywood Brown Derby, 50’s Prime Time Cafe, and Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater, you may not know this from looking at our site. Those are all table service restaurants, but still, good options do exist at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Despite what we’ve heard, we decided to give ABC Commissary a chance.
I ordered the 1/3 lb Angus Cheeseburger & Fried Shrimp and Sarah got the Chicken Blue. I used to order nothing but burgers at Walt Disney World, but now I try to avoid them in favor of variety. In this case, though, the next-best menu item was the Chicken Blue, and Sarah had already ordered that. We try to keep some variety in our Walt Disney World dining orders for the sake of these reviews.
I’m glad I ordered the burger, as it was delicious. From the photo, it probably doesn’t look too appetizing–more like just another generic burger slapped on a patty–but it absolutely was! I wasn’t quite sure whether I should put the shrimp on the burger, so I just went for it. Between the special sauce and shrimp on the burger, it was quite good and different than the ordinary burgers found in other places on property.
The Angus beef was good and it was, overall, definitely one of the better counter service burgers I have had at Walt Disney World. I would definitely order it again, and I now have ABC Commissary on my short list of “places to get a burger” at Walt Disney World.
Sarah’s Chicken Blue wasn’t quite as good–I think it could have used more sauce and cheese–but it was still a decent sandwich. Nothing about which I’d rave, but it was far from bad. Hers was a pretty average meal.
Since the revised food pyramid calls for 7 servings of cupcakes per day, and since it was (almost) a holiday, we also ordered the Valentine’s Day red velvet cupcake while we were there. Don’t expect to find this when you visit (there are other normal desserts here, though), unless you happen to visit over Valentine’s Day. It was pretty good, but nothing out-of-this-world.
Overall, ABC Commissary was a pleasant surprise, but mostly in that we were dreading to try it given things we had heard, but actually found it to be reasonably good. The inside of the restaurant looked nice, there were cool CURRENT clips from Modern Family and other Disney and ABC properties playing on the TV, and it wasn’t too busy. That alone would have put ABC Commissary into the “more than we expected” category. The food, while not amazing, was decent. I enjoy counter service burgers at Walt Disney World, and this was a better burger specimen than most Disney counter service restaurants offer. Disney’s Hollywood Studios really has no standout counter service restaurant (unless you count the bakeries), and ABC Commissary ranks right up with Studio Catering Company as our favorite Disney’s Hollywood Studios pick for counter service. It wasn’t one of our overall favorite counter service restaurants at Walt Disney World, but it’s a restaurant we’d visit again.
Want more dining tips? Check out our 101 Delicious Walt Disney World Dining Tips. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews.
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ABC Commissary is often considered one of the worst counter service restaurants at Walt Disney World; do you agree with that, or think our review is fair? How do you rank the Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ counter service restaurants? Planning on going? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Have you tried the breakfast? Is it good? And is it crowded like the rest of the parks?
At Dinner time they serve the best Salmon in Disney world @ a reasonable price.comes with green beans & cous cous.
We dined at ABC in 4/15. Stopping here was on a whim, but it had AC and lots of empty seats, so that was all we needed. I had the burger with shrimp, my husband had the steak (he took a big chance, I know), and our kids had the standard chicken & burgers. We were on the dining plan & got cupcakes.
The burger was excellent, much more impressive than it looked, and my husband reported that, for a quick service location, the steak was pretty good. His came with fries and a generous portion of steamed broccoli that was enough to share and even the kids liked it. The cupcakes were the full big enough to share. We had an Anna’s birthday cupcake and a worms in dirt cupcake. They were delicious. The worms in dirt was so impressive that it was one of our favorite desserts of the trip (and that’s saying something; we ate at ohana, too!)
ABC is one of our top choices at HS because it has such broad appeal and lots of space to spread out and cool off.
When I went to ABC it was in december last year, during the low season, and we were looking for somewhere to eat for a quick service credit and the backlot express wasn’t open yet so we gave ABC a try, I had a surf and turf burger and Frozen’s Olaf cupcake, and was pleasantly surprised with the taste of the burger and fried shrimp, the cupcake was not the best I’ve had at disney but overall, I had a very positive experience there. Ambiance there was not my favorite, but to stop in for a quick refueling before hitting the tower of terror and rockin roller coaster, it works well,
I love the Cuban sandwich hopefully they still serve this…I am a vegetarian…but willing to break it for that sammy!!!
We usually eat at table service at DHS but when we do counter service this is our favorite. I’ve never had a bad meal. Love the aesthetics of ABC but even more I go to get out of the hustle. It always seems less stressful an environment. Perhaps it’s the way the seating is arranged & the live plants or the Art Deco design or the lighting or maybe all of the above. The menu is geared towards adults a little better than your standard fair (there is a child’s menu of course). If we had a large group with varying likes it might not be the place to go. I’m not interested in having a gazzilion choices because all to often that translate into many things done poorly. Been going forever & will continue.
We enjoy ABC Commissary, especially in the summer. It’s very large so you can usually find a seat, the food is decent counter service food, the atmosphere is lovely & the t.v. shows keep the kids from being bored ;). Love the music outside, as you said–my husband & I have heard several theme songs from the 70’s as well (the boys are always embarrassed when we sing along to them, lol).
We were there this past week and tried it for the first time. I had the salmon & quinoa salad. It was very good. My husband had the veggie burger and was pleased. I’m glad was glad to see some relatively healthy food options at quick service restaurants!
Way back in 1998 when I was interning at WDI I was asked to do the design and construction drawings for all the televisions that hang in front of the columns. I had to go to the archive where they keep copies of all the construction drawings for all of WDW and find the ones for the Commissary then come up with a way to attach the TV mounts to the columns. I ended up going up through the soffit above the TVs because the finish material on the columns was too difficult to match when cut. When they were originally installed the TVs were not flat screens and I had to require aircraft cable be attached to be used as a way to keep the TV from falling if the mount broke. This was one of the projects I did while I was there for the summer in 1998. I had the time of my life working there and wish I could have landed a permanent job there but that was not meant to be.
I totally agree Tom! We had such a good experience here, it was Columbus weekend and Hollywood Studios was PACKED, they didn’t even had any ADR at Brown and Derby. We had tried every restaurant at Hollywood Studios without success and we passed across ABC Commissary, it wasn’t that packed and you had lots or air conditioned. Our cheeseburger was really good!
This restaurant gets a lot of negative press. For that reason, I have never visited. I might have to give it a go next time.
I adore the Backlot and eat there every time (I am obsessed with their grilled veggie sandwich and love how you can get drink refills) but that burger looks so good that I might have to give it a try on my next trip!
I agree- the best part about walking through that area is listening to the loop of tv theme show songs- I have the entire loop on my iPod!
I have that loop, too. It’s a fun dose of the 80s and 90s!
i have been forunate enough to visit “disney world” twice . some of my happiest memories were of my many visits to the “abc commissary” ! ! ! it’s one of my favorite restaurants ! ! ! i LOVE the glamorous art deco decor ! ! ! i LOVE the abc memorabilia ! ! ! i LOVE the food ! ! !
Good to hear that someone else enjoys this place!
On my visit to the ABC Commissary on May 27, 2012 I found that the food options were very limited (geared towards children I believe); the kitchen was very backed up on any cooked food; and the chicken bleu had sauce that tasted awful. I would not recommend eating at this place.