There has been one thing holding me back from ever dining at 50’s Prime Time Cafe in Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Fear (capital F). I am made so completely anxious and nervous by any type of crowd participation, that the fear of being told to get my elbows off the table, or to clear my plate has kept me away from this DHS mainstay. Even when I heard tell of vegan meatballs on the menu, I kept my distance to avoid any playful interaction that might await me.
The few times I have visited DHS in recent months, I have always looked longingly at 50’s Prime Time Cafe. I knew the decor and theming of the restaurant was right up my alley (starburst clocks! Danish-made end tables!), and those vegan meatballs were an actual menu item. Still, I stayed away, until very recently when I decided it was time to face my fear.
I sucked it up, and walked inside, sheepishly being prepared to be yelled at by my server for not holding my fork properly. It was a rainy night at DHS, so the Tune In Lounge was crowded but I love the atmosphere in there anyway. When the hostess called, or yelled my party’s name, we followed her to a table in a room that is themed just how I’d love my whole apartment to look, perfectly 50’s.
Much to my surprise, the server gave me no guff at all, about anything, not even when I asked if the Spaghetti and Meatless Meatballs (on the menu as Sissy’s Vegetarian Favorite Multigrain Spaghetti) was vegan. He got the chef from the kitchen, who was also really really nice, and the chef confirmed the dish was, in fact, vegan and he even said he could make me a vegan milkshake. What the what!? A vegan milkshake? At a Disney Park? Yes please!
The entree arrived, looking delicious, and the portion was huge! It tasted amazing. The pasta was well cooked, the sauce was particularly tomato-ey without being too salty, the meatless meatballs were fantastic, and there were even some mushrooms hidden on my 50’s inspired boomerang plate! The entree was very worth the $16.99, and offered too much food for me to finish.
Though I barely had the ability to eat another bite, when someone says “vegan milkshake” I can’t help but nod my head with an affirmative ‘yes.’ I was torn between two options, plain vanilla (to be safe and boring), or peanut butter and jelly. It was the jelly that made me wary, but then our server promised the shake wouldn’t have a jelly taste to it, and the choice was clear. Oh my god. I’m so happy I opted for the PB&J. It was essentially a peanut butter shake, and heaven in a cup. I will brave any Frozen-themed singalong to venture back to 50’s Prime Time for this shake.
Even if you’re not vegan or vegetarian, I suggest giving this dish, or at least the vegan PB&J shake a try. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
Emily Woesthoff is the General Manager of BabycakesNYC – Orlando. Babycakes supplies vegan, gluten-free baked goods to Walt Disney World resorts and parks, and can be ordered for delivery in the Orlando area for your special occasion.