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!


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!


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 [Read more…]

Review: 1900 Park Fare Dinner at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa

Today, we’re back at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa to take in dinner at 1900 Park Fare!

You  may remember that the last time we were here, we were…nonplussed…unimpressed…frustrated…should I go on? Basically, we really didn’t have a great experience. But, as I always say, the only consistent thing about Disney restaurants is that they’re inconsistent. And some guests think this restaurant is fantastic — a great alternative to hard-to-get advance dining reservations like Cinderella’s Royal Table.

So we’re back at this character buffet for another try… . While breakfast at 1900 Park Fare left us flat, this time around we’re checking out the dinner spread and hoping for the best!


You’ll find 1900 Park Fare off of the ground floor lobby of the Grand Floridian Resort. As you walk in the hotel’s front doors, the restaurant is located to your left, just past the Concierge desk.

1900 Park Fare Sign

The antique carousel decor flows with the Victorian feel that you encounter throughout the resort. While you can’t see the individual items on this menu board that’s displayed out front of the restaurant, you can definitely see the attention to detail when it comes to theme.

Menu Board Outside of 1900 Park Fare

When you first arrive and check in for your reservation (you DID make a reservation, right?), you’ll be given a pager and told to wait in the Grand Floridian lobby to be called when your table is ready. Note: this often takes A. LONG. TIME. In my experience, I’ve never been seated at this restaurant within 10 minutes of my reservation time. I’m always waiting quite a while to be called to the table. So if you’ve got little ones who are starving, bring some snacks to tide them over just in case.

Once you’re called, you’ll be told to get in line to have your picture taken with this mural. No…you’re not getting your photo taken with a character. Just with the mural. This can be a fun memory for families, but you might want to skip the pic and head straight in for your meal. Be persistent and make sure they know you don’t want to take the photo. They’re pretty serious about getting you into that line.

Trompe l'Oeil Mural Outside of 1900 Park Fare

Once you head into the massive dining room, you’re greeted with more Victorian charm in pastel shades. Even without windows, the sheer size of the dining room makes it feel airy.

There is a main area with high ceilings in front of the buffet, and some smaller dining rooms surrounding it with lower ceilings. I prefer these areas for seating, since they tend to be slightly quieter.

Dining Area

Seating itself is fairly standard, with cushioned chairs and nondescript tables.


The main dining room makes the best use of the carousel theme. There are several large statues of fantasy carousel animals situated atop half walls and surrounded by plants. You should take a moment to look at these, because they’re really beautiful.

Calliope in the Background and Carousel Horse Statue

The wall overtop the entrance to the restaurant plays host to an enormous calliope, reminiscent of the intricate musical instruments that you find on antique carousels. This [Read more…]

Review: Chef Mickey’s Dinner at Disney World’s Contemporary Resort

It has been too long since I’ve taken a trip to Chef Mickey’s in Disney World’s Contemporary Resort!

We’ve shared with you our review of their breakfast buffet. But today, we’re heading there to see what’s new for dinner!

When many people think about a Disney character dining experience”, they immediately think of Chef Mickey’s. This one has it all — the Fab Five, a sprawling buffet of family-friendly foods, regular raucous celebrations, and monorails whizzing by.

But in the past, the food has had a reputation for being a little lackluster. Time to see how things are looking these days… . We have a lot to cover, so let’s get started!


One of the coolest things about Chef Mickey’s is its location. You’ll find this well-known character meal at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

Chef Mickey's Sign

This place is a stone’s throw from the Magic Kingdom in Disney World, which makes it a great place to stop and eat before heading into the park, or after a long day of rides and attractions.

Once you enter the hotel’s main floor lobby, take the elevator to the fourth floor. Chef Mickey’s is located on the south end of the concourse, right below where the Disney World monorail enters the building. (You can also arrive at the Contemporary via said monorail, of course — in which case you’d take an escalator down to the 4th floor).

The Grand Canyon Concourse at the Contemporary

Head to the central desk to let the hostess know that your party has arrived. You can’t miss it — Mickey is smiling down with his fork and spoon, ready to greet you!

Central Desk Check-In

If your table isn’t quite ready, you can wait until your party is paged in this comfortable seating area. This spot features a view of Bay Lake and the resort’s pool patio — and offers plenty of room for running off excess energy.

Waiting Area

Before you’re seated, your party will [Read more…]

Walt Disney World Pot Roast Throw Down

What makes for a good pot roast is a very subjective set of criteria in my opinion. What passes for Best! Pot Roast! Ever! for some might just be meh for others.

Dearly departed Sunday Roast at Rose & Crown

So today we are entering this hallowed comfort food ground. We are throwing down the gauntlet to decide, once and for all, where to find the BEST Pot Roast in all of Disney World! See what you think, and be ready to tell us all about your favorite!

50s Prime Time Cafe

Who makes it better than Mom? We have to kick off this homage to pot roast with a trip to 50s Prime Time Cafe!

The atmosphere here is pure 1950s sitcom kitsch, and servers are your cousins, demanding that you behave like the nice young person you were raised to be. That means NO elbows on the tables, and you had BETTER know the color of that soap if you go to the bathroom.

50s Prime Time Sign

To be sure, Mom’s Old-Fashioned Pot Roast is a reader favorite. This one is slow-cooked until there’s no need for a knife, and served on a bed of fluffy mashed potatoes. Smothered in a rich gravy, the roast is topped with carrots, celery, and onions for some good nutrition. And you best eat all your veggies!

Mom's Old-Fashioned Pot Roast

A way cool thing about the pot roast at 50s Prime Time is that you can [Read more…]

Guest Review: Trail’s End Restaurant at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort

Join me in welcoming back guest author Julie B.!

She returns with a review of Trail’s End Restaurant in the Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground. The journey to this restaurant is part of the experience, right?!

Howdy folks! Even though we’re on vacation, sometimes you just want the comforts of a home-cooked meal. Trail’s End Restaurant at Fort Wilderness Campground brings all the happiness of home to its dinner buffet.

Remember, this spot is a little distant from some parks and resorts. You can reach Trail’s End at Fort Wilderness by taking a boat from Magic Kingdom, Contemporary Resort, or Wilderness Lodge; or by taking a bus from any park or Downtown Disney to Fort Wilderness. Note that if you take a bus, you’ll have to transfer to the Fort Wilderness internal bus system to get to Trail’s End. (DFB recommends taking a boat if possible — so much easier.)

Trail's End Sign


Trail’s End is a cute little restaurant, featuring the theme of a cabin in the woods. It blends perfectly with the campground!

Welcome Mat

The walls are adorned with the best of the outdoors and the back country. Large wooden beams finish setting the scene for your meal in the wilderness.

Holiday Decor

Dining Room

On the lower level (just down a small half-flight of stairs), Trail’s End is also home to Crockett’s Tavern.

The bar is themed the same way as the restaurant and even features a [Read more…]

Review: Be Our Guest Restaurant Lunch

UPDATE: Please note that as of February 25, 2015, Be Our Guest Restaurant began to accept Advanced Dining Reservations for lunch. For further information, please click here

Last month I was so excited to bring you my “Everything on the Menu!!” review of dinner at Be Our Guest Restaurant.

Today, it’s time to head back into New Fantasyland for my very first taste of lunch at this must-do restaurant!

Be Our Guest Bridge Entrance

Because Be Our Guest Restaurant differs greatly from the run-of-the-mill counter service spots around Disney, I’m going structure this review according to how you progress through the restaurant. Follow the headlines, and it should all make sense. :-)

We have a ton of great detail to cover, so let’s get right to it!

In Line!

Amid a backdrop of rugged, austere mountains of New Fantasyland, you find the bridge and gateway that ushers you into Beast’s enchanted castle, home to Be Our Guest Restaurant.

Now that the enormous eatery is officially opened, there are still extraordinarily long lines for lunch on many days, as guests await their turn to see inside and sample the food.

Line to Get into Be Our Guest for Lunch

Line to Get in From My Perspective

We know that Disney is testing a fastpass like system and a pre-ordering for Be Our Guest, so the lines may soon be a thing of the past. But, in the meantime, be sure you know when they begin serving lunch (usually around 10am or 10:30am) so that you can get there early.

Regardless, the line did move quickly (it’s about a 30 minute wait from the back of the bridge); and soon, I was walking into the castle.

Ordering Process

Once inside, you find pretty much exactly what you would expect: low-lighted spaces with beamed ceilings reminiscent of medieval European castles. Enchanted suits of armor guard the long entryway. At the end of the hall, you see the stained glass window depicting Belle and Beast’s famous dancing scene.

Suits of Armor in Entry Hallway (c) Disney

Listen closely, and you’ll hear the suits of armor murmuring to each other in French accents!

As you enter the ordering area, thoughtful touches tell you that you’ve arrived in the beast’s library!!

Ordering Area

This ornate room is home to a cozy fireplace and Beast’s enormous chair. You’ll also find the automated ordering areas masquerading as [Read more…]

First Look! Food Photos and Tasting Review From Flo’s V-8 Cafe in Cars Land

Today I had the pleasure of walking behind the closed off walls of Cars Land in Disney California Adventure. This brand new land in the Disneyland Resort has been under construction for years, and I couldn’t believe I was actually going to get a sneak peek…and even get to sample some of the brand new menu items that will be served there and on Buena Vista Street when they open next month! 

Standing under the mountains of Ornament Valley with the Radiator Springs Racers whizzing by, I had to take a deep breath.  Goosebumps on my arms, tears in my eyes. What in the world was happening to me? I’ve watched the progress of Cars Land from day one, and now, it’s nearly done.

Flo's V-8 Cafe Under Construction in Cars Land

Just weeks away from the June 15th grand opening and there I stood, inside getting a sneak peek!  The only way for me to describe Cars Land is simple and true. You are IN Radiator Springs. You have stepped into Cars. 

After telling myself to get it together and wishing I could take a photo, I followed the other attendees into Flo’s V8 Cafe for a sampling of the menu!

Menu and Backstory of Flo's V-8 Cafe

Because Flo’s is not 100% complete, photos were not allowed, the pictures you see here were from a “preview” room that we were taken to beforehand. 


I’ll do my best to describe to you in detail the atmosphere of Flo’s. Flo’s is a counter service restaurant serving up breakfast, lunch & dinner.  Upon entering, be sure to look up. There is a giant light fixture made of shiny tail pipes

Flo’s caters to the growing number of Route 66 visitors and race fans coming to Radiator Springs, with a “showroom” dining area that overlooks the Radiator Springs Racers attraction. The cafe also is home to Flo’s personal memorabilia, collected during her glamorous career as a singer with the Motorama Girls.

The service area includes several walk-up kiosks (or food pods) divided by road barrier type blockades to keep you in your line. The main color of the cafe is turquoise. There is a giant juke box fixture at the counter.  Two main dining rooms make up the cafe, and there is both indoor (booths & tables) and outdoor seating.

Best of all? You can’t beat the view from the dining rooms. One side features a perfect view of Sally’s Cozy Cones and the other — a breathtaking view of [Read more…]

Review: Disney World Pirates and Pals Fireworks Voyage

Ahoy there, Mateys! Get your sea legs firmly in place, because today we’re sailing on the Pirates and Pals Fireworks Voyage in Disney World!

The Pirates and Pals Fireworks Voyage is available on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday nights, casting off from the Contemporary Resort. When the holiday season arrives, the cruise will sail every night from November 20, 2011 – January 1, 2012.

Currently, the fare for guests 10 and over is $53.99, and $30.99 for the 3-9 year olds with pre-payment required. To book, call 407-WDW-PLAY (407-939-7529) up to 180 days in advance.


Upon arrival at the Contemporary Resort, you’ll find the cruise meeting location on the Daily Events Board in the lobby. We knew we had found the right location when we bumped into this scraggly lookin’ fella. Clearly he has not yet discovered the Parmesan mashed potatoes at Chef Mickey’s!

Skeleton Pirate

While the room was filled with entertainment (music, characters, pirates), the pirate decor [Read more…]