REVIEW: Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ 50’s Prime Time Cafe
Eat your vegetables!
Get your elbows off the table!
Chew with your mouth closed!
The Disney Park Nerds weren’t looking for this type of nagging on vacation and the 50’s Prime Time Cafe was not on our early “must experience” list when we first started visiting Disney World.
Ironically, it was encouragement from our Aunt (ironic because all of the waitresses take on the persona of “Aunt” during your meal) and $50 to cover the meal that got us to dine at this restaurant the first time. We’re glad we did and we are good little Nerds and visit our Aunties nearly every time we go to Disney World.
You cannot miss the giant neon sign for the 50’s Prime Time Cafe near Echo Lake at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
As soon as you walk in, you are greeted by TVs and living rooms straight out of television’s Golden Age. Black and white TV classics show on the numerous televisions throughout the lobby. When your name finally gets called, it’s a lot of excitement (fried chicken is just around the corner!) and a little bit of dread as to what your Aunt or Cousin might say to embarrass you.
Watching TV while eating was an American birthright in the mid 20th century and the 50’s Prime Time Cafe brings this to full color (well…black and white).
Each table is nestled in a 1950s kitchen complete with laminated tables, 50s-style chairs and, of course, a black and white television. The waitress drops off the cutlery and napkins and demands you set the table…now you are in for treat.
The wait staff is playful and fun and they often engage the guests in games and trivia to keep them busy while waiting for their food. Who knew there were so many one-word titles to Disney and Pixar movies??
Like the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant, the 50’s Prime Time Cafe is an immersive experience. Comparatively less so from the surroundings and more so from the staff…the are great! This is definitely one of the best dining experiences Disney World has to offer.
50’s Prime Time Cafe food is down home cooking!
It’s like eating at Grandma’s house – or at least how the Nerd grew up – with options like chicken noodle soup, meatloaf and fried chicken. Their lunch menu and dinner menu are pretty similar with entrees ranging from $17-$26 or one credit on the Disney Dining Plan.
The food is good and the waitstaff keep you entertained. The television shows are more of a distraction than actually holding your attention, but the vibe is good and the interaction can be a lot of fun (as with many things in life, it is what you make of it).
Advanced reservations required and not too difficult if you plan ahead.
With pre-COVID Disney World guests mapping out their dining strategy 180 days prior to check-in, it was generally pretty easy to secure a 50’s Prime Time Cafe reservation. Now, in the midst of COVID, it is still not too bad even a week or two ahead of your visit.
NOTE: They do take walk-ins currently, so even if you are unable to score a reservation, you may still get seated in a reasonable time.
As we discussed in our Walt Disney World dining reservations post, we are a fan of Mouse Dining and this is our top strategy to secure a reservation.
Don’t forget the peanut butter and jelly milkshake (or do).
50’s Prime Time Cafe offers a number of deserts and shakes and the one on which the Disney Park Nerds remain divided (but mostly not…we don’t think we like it) is the peanut butter and jelly milkshake. The Nerd loves (LOVES!) a good peanut butter and jelly sandwich. But having them blended together with ice cream is interesting. It’s definitely a try it once and order it with a spoon so each person can try it.
We expect some of you will feel much different – it’s pretty divisive as desserts go. In either case, do dine here, have fun here and make some family memories!