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The 50's Prime Time Cafe at Disney's Hollywood Studios: A Walt Disney World Dining Reviewby Kim Roe, PassPorter Guest Contributor
Last modified 12-04-2017
My husband and I recently returned from a week at Walt Disney World where we enjoyed meals at a variety of wonderful restaurants. We had the free dining plan and decided to try a bunch of restaurants where we have never eaten – Mama Melrose, Homecomin’, Skipper Canteen, Chefs de France and Liberty Tree Tavern. But we also HAD to eat at a couple of our favorites including 50’s Prime Time Café.
Our plans for the week included one full day at Hollywood Studios. We have never been crazy about the counter service locations at this park, so we decided to make both lunch and dinner reservations at table service restaurants. We decided to eat lunch at 50’s Prime Time Café and dinner at Mama Melrose.
50’s Prime Time Café is located in the Echo Lake area of the park. When you enter Hollywood Studios, take your first left and you’ll see the sign on your left. The restaurant is next door to Hollywood & Vine.
Like any Disney table service restaurant, you will check in with a cast member as soon as you enter the restaurant to confirm your reservation. I would HIGHLY recommend making reservations for this restaurant, as it is very popular. Tip: If you have your heart set on eating here and can’t get a reservation, you can sit at the bar and order food from the menu.
After checking in, have a seat in the Tune-In Lounge. There is a great bar, lots of seating, and black and white TVs playing clips of sitcoms from that era. Take a look around at the wonderful decorations all around the room. It really feels like you’ve just stepped back into the 1950’s! And if you’re lucky enough to visit at Christmas time, check out the 50’s era tinsel tree.
Soon your party will be called – and here’s where the fun begins. The hostess yelled “Roe kids” and had us follow her to our table. Check out the restaurant décor along the way to your table. The details are really amazing. It almost feels like you’re walking through Grandma’s house on the way to your table.
We have eaten here many times and our waiters and waitresses have varied from fun and competent to absolutely hilarious. Our waitress on this occasion was pretty funny and nice but not over the top. On our last trip, we had Gary as our waiter, and he was our absolute favorite of all time.
The premise is that Mom is cooking dinner in the kitchen. You’re being served by a family member, and the other diners around you are your cousins. You’re handed napkins and silverware in a basket and you’re asked to set the table. Make sure you finish setting the table before your waiter or waitress gets back with your drinks, or you may get in trouble. And you definitely don’t want to put your elbows on the Formica table, or play with your cell phone ("walkie-talkie") or you might get sent to time out in the corner.
The menu includes lots of great comfort food options. They also have delicious milk shakes and a bunch of wonderful cocktails “From Dad’s Liquor Cabinet,” as well as flavored sodas, floats and a large selection of wines and beers.
On this trip, we decided to get a few appetizers to share, as well as an entrée. We’ve had the Beer-battered Onion Rings before and really liked them, so we ordered those. We also decided to try the Fried Herb and Garlic Cheese, which I’d heard good things about.
The Onion Rings, which are served with horseradish sauce, were great as usual, but the Fried Herb and Garlic Cheese was amazing! It is served with raspberry sauce, grapes, and apples, along with a few small slices of toast. Yes, it sounds like a really strange combination, but it works! Salty and sweet. And yes, I’m going to try to make this again at home, it was that good!
My husband and I decided to split an entrée for lunch, since we had ordered two appetizers and had dinner reservations at Mama Melrose later that evening. We decided to get the “Sampling of Mom’s Favorite Recipes,” which included three of our favorite items from the menu: fried chicken, pot roast, and meatloaf. The food was delicious as always!
The fried chicken, which is called Aunt Liz’s Golden Fried Chicken on the menu, is my husband’s favorite entrée here. It is served with mashed potatoes, gravy and vegetables, and it is always crispy and flavorful. Mom’s Old-fashioned Pot Roast is served with mashed potatoes, gravy and veggies, and it is my favorite. The meat is always so tender and the gravy is delicious! Cousin Megan’s Traditional Meatloaf is also a solid choice for an entrée. It reminds me of the meatloaf my Mom made growing up.
On our last trip, my daughter tried Grandma’s Chicken Pot Pie. She liked it but not as much as the fried chicken. She also picked out most of the peas in it and pushed them to the side of her plate. Big mistake! Our favorite waiter Gary came over and asked all the cousins in the room if they liked John Lennon. He then put the peas on my daughter’s fork, and had us all sing, “Give Peas a Chance,” while feeding them to my daughter. It was hilarious. And yes, if you don’t eat your vegetables here, you can’t have dessert!
Another funny thing happened on our last trip. My son was really thirsty and Gary kept bringing him soda refills. Well, he finally just brought a whole pitcher of soda with a huge straw in it for my son. At the end of the meal, Gary brought over a park map which had all of the bathrooms circled on it and handed it to my son, saying, “You’re going to need this.” So fun!
Dessert has changed a bunch over our many visits here. This visit we enjoyed the Traditional Warm Apple Crisp a la Mode. It was very good! I can also recommend getting a milk shake for dessert. The Peanut Butter and Jelly Milk Shake is another item on the menu that sounds a little strange, but is wonderful! My daughter and I love to split this, since we love anything with peanut butter in it. My husband loves the chocolate shake here. You can also get these shakes to go.
I really can’t recommend 50’s Prime Time Café enough. It is really fun for the whole family. Prices are very reasonable for a Disney table service restaurant. It is comfort food at its best, along with great atmosphere, theming, and entertainment. Give it a try on your next visit to Hollywood Studios (and try the Fried Cheese!)
About the Author: Kim Roe lives in Roanoke, Virginia and has been a Disney fan all her life. Her dream is to work for Disney one day. Visiting all of the international Disney parks is on her bucket list.
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