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Guest Review: Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe in the Magic Kingdom

Join me in welcoming guest author Katie McFarland Roth with a review of Cosmic Ray’s – a futuristic eatery in the Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland. Enjoy!

Atmosphere

Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café is a great counter-service option available in the Magic Kingdom. The portions are heaping and the food is pretty good (for quick-service).

In general, Cosmic Ray’s is a pretty chaotic place to eat. There are always people zooming in and out; and trying to get to the toppings bar with your tray of food is sometimes more dangerous than when Simba was running with the wildebeests.

Word of advice: if you’re traveling in a party with more than 1 person, send 1 person off to find a table for everyone!

Cosmic Ray's Sign

It can be nuts trying to find a place to sit during busy mealtime hours. Almost as nuts-y as trying to find the entrance doors to this restaurant!

Cosmic Ray's Seating -- and Sonny Eclipse!

Something new to me was the graffiti wall in the restaurant that patrons liked writing their hometowns on! I wonder if they start fresh every day? Maybe every hour with the traffic this place gets!

Graffiti "Wall" ...with very surprised photo subject!

Eats

There are three different areas, or “bays,” which people can order from; Chicken (#1), Burgers (#2), and Sandwiches (#3).

Ordering Area at Cosmic Rays

There aren’t very many main dish options at each station (4-5), but considering there are 3 different bays to order from there are at least 10 different main dishes available (since some repeat between bays).

Cosmic Ray's Bay 1 Chicken

Cosmic Ray's Burgers

Cosmic Ray's Sandwiches

Both my dining guest and I decided to dine from the Chicken Bay. We both ordered the ½ Roasted Chicken because it has always been delicious in the past.

The ½ Roasted Chicken is served with a vegetable and a starch (to switch it up, one of us got mashed potatoes and the other ordered French fries).

Roasted Chicken with Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans

The heaping amount of chicken was very tender and easy to cut. It had a good flavor, but in our opinions could have had a bit more seasoning and a little less butter.

Roasted Chicken

It really is amazing how much chicken they give you for this counter-service meal though! The green beans were tender, not squeaky, and really buttery. Again, we would have preferred less butter. In the past, the beans have been perfect…must have been a newbie on board. The mashed potatoes were creamy, flavorful with the right amount of butter and spices, and comfort-food warm.

The French fries were crunchy on the outside, tender on the inside, with the right amount of salt …but I like mine a little salty, so they may be too salty for some.

Roasted Chicken with French Fries and Green Beans

I wish I could say that the desserts were as wonderful as the entrée. My dining partner opted for the chocolate cake. It’s moist, super chocolate-y cake, thick fudgy rich icing, and rainbow Mickey sprinkles. It’s really, really tasty; however, it is extremely rich and probably doesn’t sit well in the stomach on a hot and sticky day.

Chocolate Cake can be found all around Disney World!

My dessert…I’m getting chills just thinking about it….was the mango gelato. The dessert sounded delicious and refreshing when I ordered it and I had such high hopes for it! When I took the lid off, it was already somewhat liquefied.

We had mixed opinions on the consistency: I said gelatinous high fructose corn syrup & my dining partner said runny baby food. The taste was super sweet and had an aspartame aftertaste. The mango flavor tasted highly artificial; it was thick and goopy and just not good.

Mango Gelato at Cosmic Ray's

Next time…I’m going with chocolate cake! Bring on da’ Mickey sprinkles!

Overall

All in all, we think that this counter-service locale is one of the best deals in the World because of this particular entrée. The chicken is delicious and always hugely portioned – probably even enough to split between two people. I will always go to Cosmic Ray’s on every trip to Disney World for the Rotisserie Chicken!

What’s your favorite (or not-so-favorite) eats at Cosmic Ray’s? Chime in below!

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14 Comments

  1. CanadiansLoveWDW says:

    this is one of the must go places for us.. if you are on dining plan its for sure.. they have a chicken and rib combo (dinner only) we get 2 and feeds the 4 of us…

  2. Brittany says:

    Cosmic Rays has been my families go to lunch spot at MK for 20 yrs.
    The toppings bar is incredible. Actually this is the home to my favorite Disney meal. Frenchfries w hot melted cheddar cheeses sauce (from toppings bar) and dill pickles. Sounds unhealthy and gross, but it’s incredibly unhealthy and delicious. In Disney terms “slimey yet satisfying”. I’m quite a healthy eater so I save and really indulge on my pickled cheese fries creation. Haha

    Take note this place is super crowded. It’s best to split your party. One is on the lookout for a table while the other gets in line for the food. * You want a table in the pit of the restaurant. There is an ongoing show performed by a crooner, Sinatra like Alien. His name is Sonny Eclipse haha. A fun show for while you eat. The kids will be amazed by the Alien playing, while the Adults can sit back and enjoy the the tunes and hilarious, cheesy jokes.

    On rare occurences throughout the yrs I’ve seen characters come in there. In my opinion it’s a big draw bc the atmosphere can appear as a typical tourist amusement park restaurant. However, your family can turn Cosmic Rays into a great memory. Also- such a convienient location on the boarder of Tomorrowland and Fantasyland. I’ve read many Disney books and blogs and all the Disney Park Veterans mention the soft spot love for Cosmic Rays.

  3. Dan Heaton says:

    I used to be a fan of Cosmic Ray’s, but that was before we had kids. Trying to navigate the bays and work everything out is chaotic to say the least. I also think the crowds can get crazy there, even during the off-season. We’ve been avoiding it during our last few trips, and I think that’s been a wise move. I like having Sonny Eclipse in there, but it’s too crazy to really enjoy it. Nice review!

  4. Bill Evans says:

    Anyone remember when they had Michael Iceberg here? I’ve been there hundreds of times.

    - Bill

  5. Ashley says:

    We ate there twice on our last trip. The bbq sandwich was good (although it is the same as at Pecos Bills).

    That gelato looks like the fake cheeze dip!

  6. Grace says:

    What (or who?) is Sonny Eclipse?

  7. Mark says:

    Quite enjoy a low cost lunch here. Here’s a tip. Bring you own sandwich and just buy desert and drink.

  8. Essie says:

    I’ve been wanting to try the rotisserie chicken here. It looks delicious as do the green beans, and for a QS meal it has to be a really great deal. It’s on my to do list. Nice report and photos.

  9. Alan says:

    Decent food and the chicken is a good bargain, it reminds me of the meal they used to serve at the Tusker House before it became a TS restaurant. Just try to eat early before the crowds and to avoid the “agita”.

  10. Tracy says:

    Yes I remember Michael Iceberg! That was waaaay back. My father was a cast member in the 70′s and my family loved to catch his show whenever we visited the MK.

  11. Beth says:

    I thought the gelato looked like fake cheese too!

  12. Aldo says:

    I totally agree with what Dan says about the multiple bays. If you have a couple of kids the chances are you will need to go to at least 2 and possibly all 3 of the bays. The last couple of times I have dined at Cosmic Rays most of my family had finished their food as I was just sitting down with mine.

  13. Marcos Valenca says:

    Grace, Sonny Eclipse is an audio animatronic alien crooner who sings Sinatra-like songs inside Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe in the Magic Kingdom. In there you dine watching his show and listening to his jokes.

  14. Ashley W says:

    Another nice thing about sitting in the pit is sometimes there are performances by high school groups. I took my high school band to WDW and my jazz band played at Cosmic Ray’s. Pretty cool too; we loaded the stage from the utilidors, and were lifted up to the restaurant.

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