Today, we head to Tomorrowland for a visit to an “out-of-this-world” dining spot — Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe!
Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe
Situated on the corner between Fantasyland and Tomorrowland, this spot actually boasts views of Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, Main Street USA, and the Castle Hub!
With plenty of standard American fast food offerings, you’ll find lots of options to please pickier eaters here. And while at first glance the atmosphere isn’t all that interesting, it holds a few surprises.
Let’s head in and see what Cosmic Ray’s has to offer these days!
Cosmic Ray’s takes up a huge chunk of real estate right on the edge of Tomorrowland. The vibe is retro-future, much like the rest of the land. If you are a big fan of The Jetsons, Lost in Space, and the People Mover, this is the place for you!
Inside, you’ll find ample indoor and outdoor seating on a couple of different levels. And here’s a surprise — if you’re a newbie to Cosmic Ray’s: there’s a floor show!
Throughout the day, animatronic alien lounge singer Sonny Eclipse comes to life and entertains you with his signature disco-blues style that is both futuristic and retro at once. Listen closely to the songs to get a few laughs.
The area where Sonny performs does tend to be a little loud, so if you aren’t a fan of talking over music while you eat, there is also inside seating on the upper level that’s a bit set apart from the noise.
The restaurant also boasts lots of outside seating on its terrace, which features ceiling fans and is all nicely shaded.
This is where you want to sit for sweeping views of Cinderella’s Castle, the Castle Hub area, and Main Street. It’s a rare blending of lands that you don’t normally see in Magic Kingdom, but it’s really nice — especially when it comes time to find a spot for viewing Wishes.
Ordering areas are divided into “bays” here, so be sure to view all of the menus before deciding which queue to join.
And speaking of joining food lines, let’s head to the bays and check out our selections!
Cosmic Ray’s has one of the most extensive counter service menus in all of Magic Kingdom. While it doesn’t quite rival the variety of spots like Sunshine Seasons or resort food court-type offerings, you still find a more diverse menu here, including some vegetarian options.
And like many other counter service spots, Cosmic Ray’s now features flatscreen menu boards for the overhead menus.
These will flash through pictures of the items on the menu, to take a moment to watch if seeing a photo of the food first might help you decide.
Before joining a queue, you can take a look at all of the menu items available via a laminated menu that a cast member will hand to you as you walk in the door. This is much easier than wandering throughout the restaurant to look at all three bay menus.
Don’t forget — you can get your Poncho here at Cosmic Ray’s! (Mmmmm….ponchos…. .)
Once you get your food all ordered and picked up, it’s time to head over to the Condiment Bar! Yep, this is another one of those great Disney counter service locations that offers a wealth of goodies to top off your eats.
You’ll find the normal ketchup-mustard-mayo-ketchup combo…
And the guest favorites, like lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and sauteed onions and mushrooms, that make your entrees a little more special.
And, of course, they do still offer my favorite — plastic cheese!
We got our goodies and headed off to find a quiet table.
I started my meal with a side order of the Chicken Noodle Soup. This was delicious, and so much fun with the Mickey-shaped pasta! Kids, whether they’re 4 or 34, will like this fun find, and it’s a great snack to tide you over to the next meal.
For my entree, I chose the Barbecue Pork Sandwich, and went with fries as my side (you can also choose apple slices.)
The helping was hearty and the flavor was decent — definitely not too sweet or too spicy.
I’d choose the fresh, add-your-own-sauce version at Flametree Barbecue in Animal Kingdom over this one. But if you’re craving a pulled pork sandwich, this should fill the bill.
The large pieces of meat were a plus. There was definitely more pork than sauce here.
We also tried Cosmic Ray’s Turkey Sandwich on this visit.
A cold deli-type option, this sucker was pre-loaded with toppings above and below, and there was a ton of turkey on the oblong artisan roll. However, the turkey didn’t provide a ton of flavor.
This was a crisp, un-soggy sandwich, and two lightly hungry people could easily split it, especially if they added a cup of that awesome soup.
We were both a little puzzled by the Cucumber Salad, however. With no discernible herbs or spices, this was really more like cucumbers in vinegar. Which makes them pickles. Not salad.
But if you’re looking for a healthy option, or you’re choosing to skip the fries at this meal, you might find the bright crunch to be a nice option.
We decided to share a Gelato for dessert. There are two offerings here: chocolate and mango. We went with the No-Sugar-Added Mango, which is actually a sorbet. It was quite refreshing with a strong flavor.
A peek at the label shows that the gelato, like many others at Walt Disney World, is made off-property. Also note that this is not only no-sugar-added, but it contains artificial sweeteners. It is dairy-free, though.
It was a terrific, lighter way to end a meal, which meant I had plenty of room for another treat later!
Also on offer here at Cosmic Ray’s are the awesome Chocolate Cake, and the Strawberry Yogurt.
Will the gourmand in your party find something fabulous at Cosmic Ray’s? Probably not. Still, if you’re feeding a hungry group of people, and this one wants hot dogs, that one wants hamburgers, she’s a vegetarian, and he wants a “sit-down” experience, it’s one of your better options in Magic Kingdom.
Everyone will find at least one thing that he or she will eat. And with pretty views of the castle and a kitschy floor show, it’s an interesting spot to dine.
Besides, Cosmic Ray’s has become a touchstone for some, who consider a Disney trip incomplete without at least one meal here.
Do you make it a point to stop at Cosmic Ray’s? Share with us your favorites below!