The 50s Prime Time Cafe is one of those restaurants on Walt Disney World property that just screams Disney
magic. The cafe can be found in Disney’s Hollywood Studios in the Echo Lake area. You’ll know you’ve found the eatery when you see the neon signs pointing you in the right direction. The decorations outside set the tone for the great theming and decor inside.
Upon entering the restaurant you will find a living room which looks like it came directly out of a 1950s sitcom. After checking in, make yourself cozy while you wait to be seated, but don’t put your feet on the coffee table. (Well maybe you should put your feet up on the coffee table to see what happens). There is also a bar in this area where you can order cocktails from “dad’s liquor cabinet.” If you could not secure an advanced dining reservation, the full menu is also available at the bar.
Once inside the dining areas the tables are made of Formica and seat cushions are covered in vinyl just like your grandma’s left over 1950s kitchen furniture. Old televisions are placed throughout the dining rooms broadcasting 1950s classic TV shows like the Mickey Mouse Club. This area is meant to feel as though you’ve stepped into mom’s kitchen at the height of the 50s with all of its pastel colors and knick knacks.
The menu here is full of comfort food favorites. Meatloaf, pot roast, and tuna casserole are featured at dinner reminding guests of good old days at mom’s house. I’ve also heard good things about the milkshakes at the 50s Prime Time Cafe, although I’ve never indulged in one. If you have a sweet tooth, but aren’t in the mood for a milkshake or malt, then check out the dessert menu that comes to your table on a view finder. Yup, the same toy you had as a kid. I certainly wouldn’t say the cafe serves the best food at WDW (or even in DHS), but it’s tasty and atmosphere is the star here. The lunch and dinner menus are very similar so try the cafe at either time.
What really makes this establishment special is the colorful cast members. If you are looking for a nice, quiet
meal this is not the place for you. The servers are referred to as cousins and they will tease and taunt you throughout your lunch or dinner, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. They will make sure guests maintain their table manners and eat their veggies. I have been scolded for putting my elbows on the table and I’ve heard tales of friends being forced to stand in the corner, being fed their vegetables, and general scolding for bad behavior.
I have been to the 50s Prime Time Cafe a few times and have had mixed experiences. I’m convinced your reaction to this eatery lies on your server. If your cast member is not into his or her roll, then it’s just not as much fun to eat here unless you really, really love meatloaf. The whole point is to be rowdy and silly, and if that doesn’t happen then what’s the point? The last time my friends an I ate here our waiter simply was not embracing his chance to play with guests. His lackluster “performance” did not leave me with the need to return any time soon. But, on my next trip in August a huge group of us will be dining here so I’m hoping for a lot of shenanigans.
A special thanks to reader Christine Lydon and this weeks guest blogger Ryan Kilpatrick for the photos used in this post!
So what do you think about this kitchy restaurant? Let me know what are some of your favorite menu items or cast member antics!
Next week I’ll take a closer look at one of my favorite attractions for my favorite holiday…