Review: 50’s Prime Time Cafe at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

One of my family’s favorite restaurants at Walt Disney World, 50s Prime Time Cafe, is what my teen son deems a great, immersive experience! It’s been one of his favorite places to dine for many years and apparently it still gets a thumbs up. ;)

While the entertaining servers will draw you into the “show,” you’ll also be digging into some comfort food. You’ll find hearty portions and tasty eats from appetizers to desserts.

This place is popular so be sure to make your advance dining reservation ahead of your vacation.

We always request a TV table; this request is easier to fill if you are one of the first diners of the day. Make an early lunch reservation!

Atmosphere

As you enter this restaurant in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you’ll be transported back to the 1950s. You’ll be immersed in kitschy decor and slapstick humor, and you’ll be served by your “family” members. In fact, it won’t be long before your “cousins” are seated near you (but not WITH you).

Right from the start, you’ll be greeted by costumed Cast Members.

Cast Members

Cast Members

Hosts and Servers

Hosts and Servers

In the “lobby,” the waiting area sets the tone for the restaurant’s theme. Take a seat in Dad’s Living Room and wait for your family to be called. “LaPaglia Kids, hurry up. It’s lunch time!”

Waiting Area

Waiting Area

50s Decor in Lobby

50s Decor in Lobby

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There’s even a Hidden Mickey on the coffee table!

Hidden Mickey

Hidden Mickey

Situated right inside the lobby, don’t hesitate to check out the Tune-In Lounge bar — you can order from the full menu here!

Tune In Lounge

Tune In Lounge

Decor Details at the Tune-In Lounge

Decor Details at the Tune-In Lounge

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50sPrimeTime_15-010

Once inside the dining area, you’ll find small rooms sectioned off for an intimate, home-style kitchen feel.

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Dining Areas

Dining Areas

Don’t be surprised if someone at the table starts reminiscing about the knickknacks. Did your grandma or favorite aunt have some of these items in their kitchen?! Maybe your mom — or even YOU!

Knickknacks

Knickknacks

If your kids are asked to set the table, they’ll probably do so with a smile. Enjoy the moment!

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50sPrimeTime_15-020

Setting the Table

Setting the Table

TV tables are entertaining for the young and young-at-heart.

TV Shows at your 50s Prime Time TV Table

TV Shows at your 50s Prime Time TV Table

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Eats

I wanted to try some appetizers so I went with two for my meal so that I could have dessert. (Sorry, I just can’t pass up dessert here. You’ll see why when you read on.)

FYI, usually I opt for the Fried Chicken here, which is great!

Aunt Liz's Golden Fried Chicken

Aunt Liz’s Golden Fried Chicken

Cousin Amy’s Iceberg Lettuce Wedge was beautifully presented.

Lettuce Wedge

Lettuce Wedge

The lettuce was fresh and crisp. Most importantly, although the blue cheese dressing was pre-poured, it was just the right amount.

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The bacon crumbles added some salty flavor to the mix.

LettuceWedge_50sPrimeTime_15-001

As you know, AJ raves about the Fried Herb and Garlic Cheese.

Fried Herb and Garlic Cheese

Fried Herb and Garlic Cheese

Well, we should have ordered more as the family all wanted a taste (or two)!

FriedHerbAndGarlicCheese_50sPrimeTime_15-002

My husband and teen son, Nic, ordered Cousin Ann’s Traditional Meatloaf. This is a dish that they both have ordered on numerous visits. The meatloaf and garlic mashed potatoes are consistently well-prepared and delicious.

Cousin Ann's Traditional Meatloaf

Cousin Ann’s Traditional Meatloaf

Remember that if you’d like to try all three of the restaurant’s most popular dishes, you CAN order the trio — appetizer sized portions of meatloaf, fried chicken, and pot roast!

A Sampling of Mom's Favorites

A Sampling of Mom’s Favorites

There are a few places where dessert can be skipped. This is NOT one of them. While Dad’s Brownie Sundae has always been a favorite choice on past visits, this time Nic and I couldn’t pass up Mom’s Favorite Chocolate Peanut Butter Layers Cake.

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Mom's Favorite Chocolate-Peanut Butter Layers Cake_50sPrimeTime_15-001

This cake wasn’t just pretty; it was perfectly moist with a palate-pleasing blend of PB and Chocolate.

Mom's Favorite Chocolate Peanut Butter Layers Cake

Mom’s Favorite Chocolate Peanut Butter Layers Cake

This one was ENORMOUS, and delicious!

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I just can’t pass up any treat that has peanut butter.

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The hubs went with coffee and our old-time favorite — Dad’s Brownie Sundae.

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On past visits, it’s been served on a plate (and more easily shared!!). This time, it was in a glass dish. No matter how it’s served, it’s delicious.

Dad's Brownie Sundae

Dad’s Brownie Sundae

Overall

There are some restaurants that our family dines at frequently while at Walt Disney World and this is one of them. 50’s Prime Time Cafe has been a great restaurant for multi-generational visits, too. Grandparents, aunts, uncles — this is a great location to have fun while you are fueling up for your next WDW attraction. Our son has requested to dine here from a very young age and at 16, it’s still one of his favorite meals. Hey, what kid wouldn’t like to see his parents being admonished for having their elbows on the table?!

Yes, there are servers that really perform better than others when it comes to dishing out the antics. However, we’ve rarely had a dull moment here and always leave full of food and laughter.

Whether you go for the homestyle cooking, entertainment, or decor, 50’s Prime Time Cafe will likely be a memorable meal for your family.

What’s your favorite thing about 50’s Prime Time Cafe? If you haven’t dined here yet, what do you think you’d like best about this restaurant? Let us know in the comments below!

Comments

  1. Marie says

    I ate here on a solo trip and my server was so lovely. She made me feel right at home, I would love to go again!

    Stupid question, how do you get a seat at Tune In Lounge? Do you have to ask at the check in counter, or do you just walk up and sit down?

  2. Carolyn from the UK says

    Oh, we love this place! The fried chicken is amazing, our absolute favourite meal at the Studios. Last November, our server bustled towards us and I immediately removed my elbows from the table and folded my hands neatly in my lap. “Oh”, she said, “did you think I was going to tell you off for putting your elbows on the table?” Nod, nod. “Well I’m not – I’m going to tell you off for not using enough sunscreen!” (I was a bit sunburnt that day).

    The servers are absolutely wonderful, so funny! There was my husband and I sat on one side of our table, and my sister and my grown-up son on the other side – our server kept calling them ‘the kids’! Hubby was quite hungry and had wolfed his dinner down. She took one look at his plate, which he was discretely trying to wipe up of every last bite of his “mom’s platter” with a finger, and told me off for not feeding him enough – “don’t you know that boys needs to be fed every 45 minutes?”

  3. Justin says

    Fun place, but since it’s typically just me, I prefer to just order at the Tune-In Lounge. Having all the schtick directed at just me would get tiring. My usual entree of choice is the sampler.

    I love the Dad’s Brownie Sundae, but I feel like I get diabeetus from just looking at it!

  4. says

    50’s Prime Time is a tradition for us. We eat there every trip. It’s not Disney until we have had pot roast at the 50s PTC. While service was spotty on one visit, the food has always been good and the meal always entertaining.

  5. Jennifer says

    We are going to try it this summer when we go. My kids have heard and seen videos about it and are super excited. They are well prepared to sing “I’m a little teapot” etc. Cannot wait until simmer gets here.

  6. Richard says

    While we love eating there many times it a late lunch or early dinner and we are tired and not interested in the silliness. Once a CM bumped my wife for her elbow and my wife got load of mashed potatoes in her lap and her sling dislodged, she had a sprained elbow and need to rest it on the table. She was so upset we just put money on the table to pay for the meal we had just started and left and we haven’t been back since…

    It would be so nice if they had flip cards to show game interest like Whispering Canyon Cafe does!

  7. Lee says

    @ Marie- There’s no checking in for the lounge. You just go and sit down at the bar, although I have noticed that the bartenders are more chatty and give better service to regulars.

  8. Sandra says

    While the menu is appealing, having the cast bothering us while we try to eat is a complete turnoff. Two of the three of us are on the autism spectrum and don’t do well with disturbances like that. In fact, we only just did our first ever character meal two years ago (after two dozen visits) at Tusker House. I agree with Richard that there should be a way to indicate you are just there to eat.

  9. Jessica says

    @Richard, I love your idea of the flip cards like at Whispering Canyon. While the antics seem like they might be fun for a little while, I haven’t rushed to eat at Prime Time because I’m not convinced I’ll enjoy them for my entire meal.

  10. Cathy McClusky says

    I wonder if when you checked in if you could just tell the hostess that you would prefer not to have all the antics of your wait staff? Disney always goes out of their way to please guests and this would be a pretty easy thing for them to do

  11. Gillian says

    We always have pretty good experiences with the food, but on our last trip in November, our server admitted to us that they weren’t really allowed to do the schtick anymore, which is kind of a deal-breaker for us unless we absolutely have to eat at this park because the counter service options are atrocious! It’s a shame if that’s the case; a trend we’ve also noticed at Haunted Mansion and Tower of Terror. The homogenization of all the things we enjoy about those unique attractions is really a bummer.

  12. R.S. Bohn says

    What kind of adhesive do they use? DH & I have only gone into the lobby to check it out and we adored the hundreds of kitschy details. But we couldn’t pick up a single one, LOL!

    It’s on the list for our next trip. So many choices! This is a great review though.

  13. Patricia says

    This is a standard for our family on every trip. My dad cannot miss that fried chicken, and we love the jokes. Brought my BF (a Disney nay-sayer at first) a year ago and even he loved everything about this place. It was actually him who said its a must-do when we are all there this September (I converted him, he’s all in now)!

  14. Alyssa says

    I love those TV tables! Do they only seat 4? My family is eating there next month but we are a family of five.

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