Review: Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe at Magic Kingdom

We are heading to one of Walt Disney World’s busiest park counter service locations to see what’s new for lunch — Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe.

Located on the edge of Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland near where it transitions to Fantasyland (it’s just to the right of the castle), Cosmic Ray’s is an excellent bet for finding something to please everyone, especially if your party includes members who are less adventurous in their tastes.

But if you do like more interesting fare, don’t be afraid of this intergalactic hotspot! In addition to tried and true favorites like Chicken Nuggets and Bacon Cheeseburgers, you’ll usually find some outta this world (see what I did there?) options as well.

Besides, Cosmic Ray’s is home to one of Disney’s legendary toppings bars. And you KNOW how much I love a good toppings bar.

Wanna see what I’m talking about? Let’s head in.

Atmosphere

Much like the rest of Tomorrowland, Cosmic Ray’s is at once retro and futuristic — although the retro vibe is more 1980s than anything. Purple, teal, and silver will send you searching for your Swatch Watch.

Cosmic Ray's Sign

Cosmic Ray’s Sign

We’ll get to the ordering set up in just a sec, but first, let’s check out the seating. There’s a reason I want you to see this area first — one of the galaxy’s most famous acts takes center stage while you enjoy your meal. [Read more…]

New! Exclusive Treats and Complimentary Eats At Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party!

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year! And it’s DOUBLY so if you’ve booked your tickets (like I just did!!!!) for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

This party is TOPS for ushering in your holiday celebration. It’s not Christmas until we’ve experienced snow on Main Street and watched the Once Upon a Christmastime Parade — complete with Santa himself!

Once Upon a Christmastime Parade

Once Upon a Christmastime Parade

And you can’t forget the dazzling lights that turn Cinderella Castle into one of the most beautiful spectacles of the season. [Read more…]

Review: New Items at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe in Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland

Who’s up for a little retro-futuristic dining at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe?

Cosmic Ray’s remains your best Magic Kingdom bet for Counter Service staples like Bacon Cheeseburgers and Chicken Breast Nuggets (especially since the Mexican fare menu revamp at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe that took place last fall). It’s your basic go-to when you’re looking for a menu that’s bound to have something that will appeal to just about everyone in your traveling party.

Even so, that doesn’t mean Cosmic Ray’s can’t change things up from time to time, as evidenced by a few new menu items we spotted recently and thought we’d check out with our review today.

And even if they didn’t alter their menu as extensively as the nearby Tomorrowland Terrace recently did, we’ll take pretty much any excuse to pay a visit to our old pal, Sonny Eclipse!

Sonny Eclipse entertains at Cosmic Ray's

Sonny Eclipse entertains at Cosmic Ray’s

Now that we’ve said “Hello” to Sonny, let’s check out what else is happening at the Starlight Cafe… [Read more…]

Review: New Cherry Slush with Lemon-Lime Fomz at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe

Looking for the latest icy beverage to help you cool down during your day in the Magic Kingdom? Then head on over to Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe in Tomorrowland for the new Cherry Slush with Lemon-Lime Fomz!

Cosmic Ray's Sign

Cosmic Ray’s Sign

cherry slush topped with lemon lime fomz cosmic rays starlight cafe

Cherry Slush with Lemon Lime Fomz sign

Honestly, I thought “Fomz” was just a cute name since this drink is found in Tomorrowland, and there is something kind of retro-future-y about it. You can easily imagine Sonny Eclipse starting his day with a sip of some iridescent alien beverage topped with a heaping helping of “FOMZ.”

Sonny Eclipse entertains at Cosmic Ray's

Sonny Eclipse entertains at Cosmic Ray’s

As it turns out, “Fomz” is actually the brand of fruit-flavored foam used to top this bright red beverage.

Cherry Slush topped with Lemon Lime Fomz

Cherry Slush topped with Lemon Lime Fomz

Not familiar with the foam-topped beverage craze? From Lemonade topped with Wild Berry Foam found at Sunshine Tree Terrace, to LeFou’s Brew at Gaston’s Tavern, these foamy drinks are not too hard to find.

Lemonade with Wild Berry Foam at Sunshine Tree Terrace

Lemonade with Wild Berry Foam at Sunshine Tree Terrace

LeFou's Brew at Gaston's Tavern (topped with Passion fruit and Mango foam)

LeFou’s Brew at Gaston’s Tavern (topped with Passion fruit and Mango foam)

So, the foam-topped beverage trend continues with the Cherry Slush, and I must say, I [Read more…]

DFB Food Challenge: The Walt Disney World Gelato Crawl!

There’s not a lot that I love better on a hot day in Florida than a little ice cream. But leave it to Disney World to kick ice cream up a notch by offering Gelato!

Disney World Gelato Crawl

And we’re seeing it in a lot of different spots across Walt Disney World, and even in Disneyland. If you are a fan of this richer, more dense version of that snack we all scream for, then you’re in luck.

Today, we thought it was high-time to offer some inspiration for another DFB Food Challenge, and so we are going in search of all things gelato we can get our hands on with the Walt Disney World Gelato Crawl!

Since you can only enjoy so many desserts in a 24 hour period, feel free to bring along friends to split all the goodies, or pace yourself on the crawl by spreading out the stops over several days.

I hope you came hungry. Let’s get started!

Gelato Bars

Since our very first visit, Landscape of Flavors at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort has been one of our favorite counter service destinations. And one of the biggest reasons for that is their killer Gelato Bar!

If you’re lucky enough to be staying at Art of Animation, this first stop on the Gelato Crawl will be a snap! Check ‘em out!

Gelato at Disney's Art of Animation Resort

Gelato at Landscape of Flavors in Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

But my favorite thing about the Gelato Bar here — aside from the variety of flavors — is that you can also add toppings for a perfectly customized treat.

Toppings! Woo!

Toppings! Woo!

Pick your scoops, pick your sprinkles, and off you go!

My Favorite Combo -- Raspberry and Chocolate

My Favorite Combo — Raspberry and Chocolate

A couple of other Disney resorts also have gelato available. If you’re staying at Disney’s Coronado Resort, feel free to amend your crawl and start your gelato journey at Cafe Rix.

Gelato Flavors and Pricing at Cafe Rix

Gelato Flavors and Pricing at Cafe Rix

You can also check out a pretty awesome selection at End Zone Food Court over at All Star Sports!

End Zone Gelato Bar

End Zone Gelato Bar

Ahhhh…don’t you just love having options??

Gelato Cookie Sandwiches in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion

After polishing off your first gelato of the day, head straight for Epcot, where you’ll have lots of different ways to enjoy your frozen favorite! Next stop: the Italy Pavilion.

View from Epcot's Italy Pavilion

View from Epcot’s Italy Pavilion

For your next foray into gelato, stop by the little [Read more…]

Top 12 Salty Snacks in Walt Disney World — What’s Your Favorite?

We talk a lot around here about Disney’s sweet snacks, and with good reason: nothing says indulgence like a bit of Disney ice cream or a monster cupcake.

But everyone knows that sweet snacks are even better with a salty chaser! ;-)

Salty indulgences abound at Disney World, too! And we think it’s time to give them their day in the spotlight!

So without further adieu, we’d like to take a brief look at some of our favorites in our salute to the Top 12 Salty Snacks in Walt Disney World!

Disney Popcorn

Alrighty, folks, we have to start with the obvious one: Popcorn.

How can you discuss Disney World salty snacks and not mention it? In fact, how can you go to a Disney park and not end up munching on this snack favorite?

We love popcorn in all its personalities — from the standard bucket you buy as soon as you walk into Magic Kingdom, to caramel corn at Big Top Treats or Karamell-Küche. And when popcorn started popping up on Disney menus a while back, we were all for it!

NEW Disney Parks Popcorn Boxes!

But the best version remains that classic Disney popcorn box full of buttery (flavored) yellow kernels of fluffy goodness. Do yourself a favor and don’t leave without trying a box.

Chicken Waffle Sandwich

Over at Sleepy Hollow Refreshments, you’ll find a lovely little assortment of waffles to satisfy your salt craving.

What? You ask. Waffles = salt? When they’re in the form of waffle sandwiches — they sure can be!

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Waffle Sandwich in Disney World

And my favorite when I’m satisfying a savory craving is the Spicy Chicken Sandwich. Sweet/spicy chicken with a touch of coleslaw offers a treat with complicated flavors, but a sure comfort food factor.

The perfect combo of sweet, salty, and slightly spicy, this sandwich will leave you full, happy, and ready to tackle the rest of those Disney miles! Just know that this thing can be uber messy, so bring lots of napkins!

Nachos

I dearly love a plate of nachos, don’t you? And when I’m in the mood for this Tex-Mex treat, I head to La Cantina de San Angel in the Mexico Pavilion at Epcot.

Nachos with Cheese, Beef, and Jalapenos at Cantina de San Angel

The salty trifecta of chips, plastic cheese, and seasoned ground beef is perfection! And if you’re looking to add to it — try washing them down with a margarita, of course!

Want some less-fussy nachos? Head over to Casey’s Corner for an awesome version with just nacho cheese — or with chili and cheese! We’re also fans of the versions at Big River Grill and ESPN Club on the Boadwalk. Where do you find your favorite nachos in Disney World?

Tomato Basil Soup

If you’re in the mood for a good bowl of soup (fitting during the relatively cold Orlando days this past weekend), then head to Pinocchio Village Haus for their [Read more…]

Review: Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe at Magic Kingdom

Today, we head to Tomorrowland for a visit to an “out-of-this-world” dining spot — 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 Starlight Cafe

Atmosphere

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!

Cosmic Rays -- Sonny View Seating

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.

Sonny Eclipse entertains at Cosmic Ray's

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.

Inside Seating -- Away from Sonny's Floorshow

The restaurant also boasts lots of [Read more…]

News: WDW Restaurants Open for “One More Disney Day,” February 29th

The restaurant list has been posted for One More Disney Day! On February 29th, Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and Disneyland Park will be open for a full 24 hours, and dining options will be available the whole time.

Here are the restaurants that will be open in the Magic Kingdom, along with the times of [Read more…]

Top 5 Disney Dining Plan Quick-Service Values for 2012

It’s time to re-visit our Top 5 Quick-Service 2012 Disney Dining Plan* Values! Last year, our choices were great bargains because they offered good portions and quality food — and they were less attractive when paying out-of-pocket!

Since then, prices and options have changed, so it’s time to re-evaluate for 2012!

Wolfgang Puck Express at Downtown Disney

While shopping at Downtown Disney, use your quick service credit at Wolfgang Puck Express! The Pennette Chicken Alfredo with peas, bacon and parmesan at $15 is very filling (an easy meal to split)!

Pennette Chicken Alfredo

Here are some other smart choices:
Spaghetti & Meatballs with tomato-basil-garlic sauce and fresh herbs $16; Oven Roasted Salmon served with fennel, tomatoes, arugula, roasted potatoes and horseradish cream $18; or the Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf accompanied by mashed potatoes, port wine sauce and crispy onion rings $15.

Quality and quantity make WPE the place at Downtown Disney to get the best value with your DDP credit!

Katsura Grill

We’re assuming that Katsura Grill, which opens TODAY at the Japan Pavilion in Epcot, is on the Dining Plan as a counter-service location. If we’re right, it will be a great value for a counter-service credit. (By the way, since it’s replacing the Yakitori House, we’re guessing that it will be on the Dining Plan; but we don’t know yet for sure!)

On the new menu the Sushi Combos, including the California Roll and the Spicy Tuna Roll, top out at $12.99, as does the Tonosama combo, with comes with teriyaki beef, chicken, and salmon. The Teriyaki Salmon is $11.99, while the [Read more…]

Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe Installs Electronic Menu Boards

Disney continues to move technology forward in it’s dining systems and restaurants. Just recently, Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe in the Magic Kingdom installed LCD screens to feature menu items.

We’ve seen screens like this at some food courts and counter-service restaurants for a while, but making the change in some of the theme park restaurants is new for Disney.

Don’t forget to look at Bay 1, 2, and 3 for all of your dining options, including [Read more…]