Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Mouse-Standing List: 50s Prime Time Café

This week marks the birthday of Disney’s Hollywood Studios and one of the best restaurants at the theme park (and I think a Top 10 Disney restaurant overall) is 50s Prime Time Café. The restaurant exudes what the park was originally trying to convey from the start; that nostalgic part of Hollywood and days gone by.  A view of dining in the 1950s with your mom or grandma cooking home-style dinner with great TV clips of black and white shows, all related some way to food. 

You enter the kitschy restaurant and you know that you are in for a treat. It has the authentic feel of a 1950s kitchen, right down to the wallpaper, cabinets, tables, chairs, and decorations on the walls.
After you check in at the podium (you’ll want to make sure to have an Advanced Dining Reservation here) you are asked to sit in the Tune-in Lounge. This seating area is just like you would expect the living room of a 50s home to look like, with the perks of Dad’s liquor cabinet, courtesy of the bar.  Guests who don’t have reservations can choose to sit and dine at the bar, however, space is limited. You aren’t going to be able seat a whole large family here, but a couple or those flying solo can tend to do well.  

Once you are seated, your “cousin,” “aunt,” “uncle,” etc, comes over to greet you and take your order. They also tell you that it’s up to you to set your own table and all about the house rules.  Keep your elbows off the table, no walkie talkies (cell phones), and make sure you eat your veggies.

The restaurant, as I mentioned features many down home dishes. They are most famous for 3 different meals—the meatloaf, the pot roast, and the fried chicken. All three are so popular that they have actually created A Sampling of Mom’s Favorites, which features small portions of all three.  The restaurant also features dishes like Dad’s Stuffed Pork Chop, Cousin Brandon’s Grilled Salmon, and Sissy’s Vegetarian Favorite Multigrain Spaghetti, to name a few. 

Of course, while you are waiting, part of the fun is to watch the fun programming played on the TVs. It’s also fun to look at the stuff hanging on the walls.  You never know what you may recognize from you mom or grandma’s kitchen!

While dining, make sure to eat all your food, because if you do, you’ll join the Clean Plate Club! If you don’t and you leave your vegetables, you may find that they will be “airplaned” in like your mom did when you were a kid.

The shtick is all part of the fun, so have fun with it yourself! It’s always better of an experience to really lean into the general merriment and frivolity.

In general, this is a great stop to come with your whole family.  Matter of fact, mine did enjoy a nice dinner here when we went back in September. It was a great meal where everyone got to bond together. It was great to have a family meal in a restaurant where dining together as a family reigns supreme. 

Of course, you can’t forget dessert. You have some real winners like Dad’s Hot Fudge Sundae and the Smores, however my favorite is the Warm Apple Crisp A la Mode. 

Trust me when I say that you will leave this place stuffed. It’s just all too good! 

50s Prime Time Café is a real treasure at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It offers great food, a fun and unique atmosphere, and good family bonding time. Is there anything better for a family vacation spot?

What are your thoughts about 50s Prime Time Café?

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