What’s New at 50s Prime Time Cafe in Disney’s Hollywood Studios?

Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World has always been a destination for movie (and TV) magic.

And even though the park is in the throes of dramatic re-imagining, we’re happy that some favorite dining experiences have remained. One such favorite is 50s Prime Time Cafe, the totally immersive, throwback-Thursday-everyday table service restaurant where your Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins berate you for putting your elbows on the table and the menu is packed with comfort food.

We’ve visited 50s Prime Time Cafe several times over the years (most recently in 2016), and one of the best parts of the experience here is the consistency of the food. If you enjoy American comfort food, you won’t be disappointed by the offerings at 50s.

And if you’re not a fan of heavy classics like meatloaf and fried chicken, there are actually still some decent options for you — and you’ll get to experience the fun of mid-century family life straight out of a sitcom.

So set the table, keep those elbows off the table, and get ready to clean your plates!

50s Prime Time Sign

50s Prime Time Sign

Atmosphere

The immersive experience at 50s Prime Time Cafe is evident from wall to wall — and we mean that literally. You’ll find old timey collectibles ev.er.y.where. And we can’t get enough of them!

Open shelving and tchotchkes galore!

Open shelving and tchotchkes galore!

Retro busts and figurines

Retro busts and figurines

Everyone should have a Cookie Trolley.

Everyone should have a Cookie Trolley.

Every shelf is packed full of fun stuff — so you’ve got to take a stroll to check it all out. Seating is in the family kitchen, where shelves of retro items are on display and everyone gets a television — black and white and flashing clips of old programs! (And yes, these are the SAME clips you saw on your last trip…even if it was in, like, 2005.)

Seating at 50s Prime Time Cafe

Seating at 50s Prime Time Cafe

The wallpaper is seriously serious, with its classic black-and-white checkerboard pattern.

50s Prime Time Cafe Seating

50s Prime Time Cafe Seating

And the TV styling? Space age, baby!

Someone adjust the bunny ears!

They should sell these things.

But here at 50s Prime Time Cafe, there are rules, family!

Stay out of Mom's kitchen!

Stay out of Mom’s kitchen!

Remember that dining here, you’re being served by your cousin most likely, and they’re pretty straightforward! No special treatment for you, and if you can’t tell them what color the soap was in the restroom you may end up standing in the corner for not washing your hands. If you don’t want to take part in the shenanigans (like singing “I’m a little teapot” in front of the whole restaurant when you didn’t finish your veggies), let your server know when you are seated.

If you’d like to see some of the fun antics, click here!

So what’s Mom cookin’ up in there? Let’s check it out!

Eats

The menu at 50s Prime Time Cafe is a laundry list of classic American comfort food — with a few nods here and there to healthier eats that probably weren’t on Grandma’s table. But you’ll want to start with a glance at the Drink Menu, where you can pilfer something From Dad’s Liquor Cabinet (or select a Sparkling Wine or Craft Beer).

50s Prime Time Cafe Drink Menu

50s Prime Time Cafe Drink Menu

Beverages at 50s Prime Time Cafe

Beverages at 50s Prime Time Cafe

While these adult beverages are a fun addition to the meal (and included in the 2018 Disney Dining Plan!), there’s really one drink you’ve got to try — and it’s family friendly! The Peanut Butter and Jelly Milk Shake is front and center on the full menu, and it’s delicious!

50s Prime Time Cafe Menu

50s Prime Time Cafe Menu

It’s served in a tall glass with the stainless milkshake cup so you can top off your shake throughout your meal. And you’re going to want to drink every last drop!

PB and J Milkshake at 50s Prime Time

PB and J Milkshake at 50s Prime Time

On this visit, I asked to see the Allergy-Friendly Menu and received this two-page menu with allergens clearly listed in red.

50s Prime Time Cafe Allergy Friendly Menu

50s Prime Time Cafe Allergy Friendly Menu

50s Prime Time Cafe Allergy Friendly Menu

50s Prime Time Cafe Allergy Friendly Menu

The Fried Herb and Garlic Cheese is one of my favorite things on any menu anywhere in the World — and we celebrated hard when it returned to the menu years ago after disappearing for a period! It’s a wheel of fried cheese served with fruit, raspberry sauce, and a piece of crusty bread. You have to get this!

Fried Cheese Appetizer

Fried Herb and Garlic Cheese Appetizer

Next up, entrees! Dad’s Stuffed Pork Chop was a miss on my visit. I love the concept — and the flavors are good.

Dad's Stuffed Pork Chop

Dad’s Stuffed Pork Chop

There’s great color on the outside of the chop, and the accompaniments are colorful and tasty.

Dad's Stuffed Pork Chop

Dad’s Stuffed Pork Chop

But this pork chop was way too tough and a challenge to cut through — to say nothing of actually chewing it! Hopefully it was just poorly executed on my visit and is actually awesome for everyone else. But I wouldn’t chance it again.

Dad's Stuffed Pork Chop Interior

Dad’s Stuffed Pork Chop Interior

Rather, I’d go for a Sampling of Mom’s Favorite Recipes! This is a definite yes if you enjoy the three components: Roast Beef, Fried Chicken, and Meatloaf (complete with ketchup squiggle).

Sampling of Mom's Favorites

Sampling of Mom’s Favorites

If you’re looking to choose just one of the three, though, the Fried Chicken is the bomb, followed closely by the Roast Beef. You can’t go wrong with either one!

Sampling of Mom's Favorites

Sampling of Mom’s Favorites

The Sustainable Verlasso Salmon is one of those menu items that likely wasn’t on everyone’s gran’s table. But it’s a terrific option for those looking to eat a little lighter (and more sustainably). This was well prepared and served with a great assortment of veggies.

Sustainable Verlasso Salmon

Sustainable Verlasso Salmon

The final entrees of the day are actually two versions of the same dish: Adult and Kids’ Chicken Pot Pie. This creamy mix is a combo of chicken, mushrooms, carrots, celery, onions, and peas. It’s topped with a flaky pastry — which seems to be pretty much the only difference between the two sizes. The grown up version comes with a square of pastry…

Adult Chicken Pot Pie

Adult Chicken Pot Pie

…while the (way more fun) kids’ version comes with Mickey-shaped pastry! Really, the portion size was so similar that it’s worth it to go with the kids’ just for the fun factor!

Kids' Chicken Pot Pie

Kids’ Chicken Pot Pie

The flavor on this is a little bit bland, but I’m not a huge chicken pot pie fan. If you LOVE pot pie, you’ll likely enjoy this one. It has several guest devotees.

Of course, there’s also a Dessert Menu, where Mom and Dad have listed some of their favorite sweets.

Desserts at 50s Prime Time Cafe

Desserts at 50s Prime Time Cafe

Dessert at 50s Prime Time Cafe features some classics — and we do love a classic dessert! Unfortunately, these were not really up to par. The Traditional Warm Apple Crisp was covered in plenty of sweet/buttery crisp.

Traditional Warm Apple Crisp

Traditional Warm Apple Crisp

But the filling is a generic canned apple pie-type filling. So it was tasty, but it wasn’t special.

Traditional Warm Apple Crisp

Traditional Warm Apple Crisp

Dad’s Favorite Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer Cake was disappointing (especially for lovers of chocolate/PB combos!). This was dry and unremarkable. Get the Peanut Butter and Jelly Shake instead!

Dad's Favorite Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer Cake

Dad’s Favorite Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer Cake

Nosh or Not?

Pull up a chair in Mom’s kitchen if: 

  • The idea of dining in a different decade sounds fun!
  • You like comfort food and want to eat some good renditions of old favorites!
  • You’re looking for a table service dining experience that’s casual and even a little irreverent.

Change the dining channel if: 

  • You prefer not to be pulled into hijinks while you dine.
  • You want to eat food that’s a bit more innovative and adventurous.
  • Table service doesn’t interest you — you’ve got rides to ride and attractions to enjoy.

Overall

Family, 50s Prime Time Cafe is still the bee’s knees, with tasty eats and some of the best atmosphere you’ll find in the World! On my visit the service was truly amazing (shout-out to Mark and Elaine). It’s a must-do at least once in your travels to Hollywood Studios. And don’t forget: if you can’t score an Advance Dining Reservation for 50s (or the walk-up time is too long a wait for you), you can get the full menu in neighboring Tune-In Lounge!

Want to know how 50s Prime Time Cafe ranks among Hollywood Studios restaurants? Check out our DFB YouTube video of the best (and worst) of the Studios!

Is 50s Prime Time Cafe on your Disney must-do list? Tell us what you love the most! 

Disneyland Must-Eats: Fried Chicken at the Plaza Inn

I’m not sure how to emphasize how good the Plaza Inn‘s Fried Chicken is. Let me just say this: it is the best fried chicken I have ever eaten. (Yes, that includes Homecomin’, which is incredibly tasty as well.)

Fact: Plaza Inn’s Fried Chicken — literally — is the best.

Plaza Inn Sign

Plaza Inn Sign

Plaza Inn is located on Disneyland’s Main Street, U.S.A., and its exterior is quintessentially Disney. So many great details on the awning and posts, not to mention the swirls of wrought iron on the sign. [Read more…]

Review: New Sandwiches at The Mara in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Jambo from The Mara in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge!

It wasn’t all that long ago that we were here, pointing out three Must-Eat Snacks at the Lodge’s Counter Service option and sipping on some new-to-The-Mara Frozen Jungle Juice. But the Jungle Juice wasn’t the only new thing we found on that visit, which is what we’re excited to share with you today.

Longtime standouts at The Mara for lunch and dinner include unique items such as African Potjie Stew and tasty Soups of the Day alongside classic Burgers, Flatbreads, and Chicken Breast Nuggets.

That said, they aren’t afraid to switch things up every once in a while — and that’s a VERY good thing! Every so often, your basic Hot Dog or sandwich gets a bit of an African-inspired twist, as is the case with two of the three new items we’re trying today.

The Mara at Animal Kingdom Lodge

The Mara at Animal Kingdom Lodge

So, come right back into The Mara with us!

Atmosphere

The Mara gets its name from the Masai Mara National Reserve, located in southwestern Kenya on the border of Tanzania.  The small food court is only accessible from outside the resort, on the lower level and near the pool. Once inside, you’ll immediately notice the ceiling artfully mimicking the tree tops and some soft ambient lighting that creates interesting shadows. [Read more…]

News and Review: Fried Chicken at Prince Eric’s Village Market in New Fantasyland

We love a Disney Prince who knows his way around a kitchen, so when we spotted a new menu item at Prince Eric’s in Disney World’s New Fantasyland, we were all over it.

Prince Eric’s Village Market is a small counter service spot located — no surprise! — across from the Under the Sea — Journey of the Little Mermaid attraction in Magic Kingdom’s New Fantasyland. This tucked-away location is a bit off the beaten path when it comes to seeking out some eats.

Here’s the thing: the Village Market started out as a better-for-you-fare stand focusing primarily on grab-and-go fruits along with ice cold bottled drinks and Shaved Ice, which you can currently find in Tomorrowland instead.

And though the Prince is still dishing out grapes, pineapple chunks, pickle spears and bottled beverages, we’ve learned more recently to expect the unexpected from this small snack location.

Prince Eric's Village Market

Prince Eric’s Village Market

Case in point: our this-week discovery of Honey-Breaded Fried Chicken! [Read more…]

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We’re back at Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ Florida Kitchen for another visit today!

So…I’m noticing we’ve been there kind of a lot. It’s turning into my go-to restaurant — the place that pops to mind if I have a meeting, or a date night, or just get kind of hungry. And, you know…that’s saying something.

From the surroundings, to the service, to the food (and drinks!), this place is…pretty great.  They offer fantastic cocktails and a decent counter service menu; and their table service options are some of the best in Walt Disney World.

I was recently in Disney Springs on a family trip, and decided that my traveling companions needed to check out this place for themselves. Wanna come along? I thought you might. :-)

Atmosphere

And oh, hey, it’s Homecomin’ now, y’all. Not Homecoming. To drive home that down-home, rural Florida feeling, Chef Art Smith officially decided to drop the “g”. Just FYI.

Outside View

Outside View

We’ve shown you around a couple of times, so I’ll just give you the highlights during this visit. For a full look at the space, inside and out, be sure to check out our very first review of Homecomin’ that shares our first impressions from our first two visits. [Read more…]

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We’re so excited to share that one of our favorite new restaurants in Disney World — Chef Art Smith’s (awesome!) Homecomin’offers grab-and-go options! (Oh, and yes, apparently the name has changed from “Homecoming” to “Homecomin’.” Just FYI.)

Y’all know that Disney Springs has added lots of quality food stops, including Top Chef Master (and master of Mexican cuisine in America) Rick Bayless’ Frontera Cocina and the fully updated Paddlefish. But even before its opening, Homecomin': Florida Kitchen and Southern Shine — the official full name of Art Smith’s labor of love in Disney Springs — captured our attention.

The backstory here is that Chef Art is originally from Florida, and the restaurant is a charming homage to the state of his birth. From colorful murals depicting Florida agricultural life to booths reminiscent of church pews, Homecomin’ is clearly full of Art’s very big love.

Chef Art Smith on Opening Day

Chef Art Smith on Opening Day

[Read more…]

New DFB Video: Where to Find the BEST Disney Fried Chicken

Who doesn’t love really great Fried Chicken!?!

It’s one of my favorites! And fortunately, there are some fantastic spots to get it at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. And we’re telling you all about some of our favorites in our next DFB YouTube Channel Video!

Fried Chicken

Fried Chicken

I’ll admit it — Fried Chicken is one of my favorite comfort food guilty pleasures. But it’s also one of those foods that restaurants don’t always do a great job executing. But we’ve found some great spots to share with you! [Read more…]

Review: Chef Art Smith’s Homecoming Florida Kitchen at Disney Springs

We’re back at Chef Art Smith’s Homecoming Florida Kitchen for another visit today!

You might be scratching your head and wondering, “But AJ, you guys were just there a little bit ago. Why a return so soon?” Well, lots of reasons, actually. But the primary one is this: Once is never enough when it comes to reviewing Disney restaurants. Restaurants in the ‘World are notoriously inconsistent, and while Homecoming impressed us initially, I always like to duck into a new spot after it’s been open for a bit, just to see if the shine and sheen are still around. In fact, we review spots over and over, so we can always make the best recommendations for our readers.

In addition, dear friends of mine invited me to tag along for a catch up session, and Homecoming was the agreed upon choice for dinner. And like I’m gonna say no to Fried Chicken? Not likely.

Besides, there’s plenty to cover on this menu, and a follow up visit gave me a chance to show you a few new things.

Let’s check out how Homecoming is doing, a few months along in the journey.

Atmosphere

The premise of Homecoming Florida Kitchen (HFK) is pretty cool, actually. Chef Art Smith is a native Floridian, who even spent some of the early years of his career as a Cast Member at Disney. So it’s befitting that the restaurant’s name is Homecoming, as he returns to his home state.

Sign

Sign

The restaurant is a celebration of Old-Meets-New Florida in so many ways. The architecture echoes Florida Vernacular style, with lots of windows to let the light in, and deep overhangs from the hip roof to keep the heat out. [Read more…]

Guest Review: Cross-Country Disney Day — Iconic Treats from Six Disney Parks in One Day

Wow!!! Guest author (and an awesome friend who always sends me the best photos of Disney food!) Lori Fries, takes us on a whirlwind, coast-to-coast tour of six parks in one day. Let’s see what food she sampled!

If you are like me, you love BOTH Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort. I achieved my top item on my bucket-list and went to all 6 parks — four in Disney World and two in Disneyland — on the same day!

Six Parks, One Day Treats

Six Parks, One Day Treats

Picking one snack in each park brings with it a unique set of challenges. For the first time in modern memory, I didn’t want to go to a park and pick what I felt like eating at the time. Seasonal treats have always held a special place on my Must Do Disney Food List, but I wanted to go with iconic treats.

There is an entirely different set of things I love to eat on both coasts. I could go to Epcot and fill my stomach around World Showcase. My trip was even during the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival! That is a different challenge.

Would I pick things only served on a stick to make an easy getaway to the next destination? Nope. That would rule out some classics like the Mickey pretzel.

Here is what I did. My first stop was Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Animal Kingdom

Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar
To me, vanilla ice cream covered in chocolate in the shape of Mickey Mouse’s silhouette screams Disney snack at its finest.
You can find them at ice cream carts and restaurants throughout the parks in both Walt Disney World and Disneyland. Not only can you get them from all the parks but all the resorts as well. I also knew that the carts are opened before the official park opening.

[Read more…]

Review and Preview: The Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic Causeway Booths

We’re gearing up for one of our favorite weekends of the year — the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic!

The Causeway

The Causeway

The event is in its seventh consecutive year, and promises to be bigger and better than ever. In 2016, the Food and Wine Classic will include 50 food and wine stations, 10 seminars, fun themed areas, and opportunities to meet some of the award-winning chefs who bring their artistry to life in the resort’s 17 restaurants! [Read more…]