Today, we are headed into Disney’s Hollywood Studios for a bite to eat at one of the park’s Sunset Ranch Market counter service locations, Rosie’s All American Cafe.
Sunset Ranch Market is a little food court that specializes in some awesome themeing and some pretty “meh” food. 😉
But it’s super convenient — especially if you’re headed toward or back from two of the park’s most popular attractions: Tower of Terror and Rock n Roller Coaster! (Not to mention Fantasmic!) Let’s take a look.
Rosie’s All American Cafe
is located in a primo spot at the crossroads that separate Tower of Terror and Rock n’ Roller Coaster. If you’re looking for a bite to eat while you wait for your FastPass time, you couldn’t ask for a more convenient location.
Sunset Ranch Market is an outdoor food court-type set up, themed after LA’s Farmer’s Market. As a result, you have the added benefit of lots of variety here, which is perfect if your group can’t come to consensus about food choices.
The feel of this area continues the vintage vibe of the park. The setting is World War II-era America, which fits right in with the Studios’ depiction of Hollywood’s Golden Age.
“Rosie” in the restaurant’s name is a reference to Rosie the Riveter, the wartime cultural icon that represented the women who kept the workforce fortified (often in factories) while men were off fighting the war.
Signs on the walls echo the wartime spirit of perseverance.
One of the most interesting spots in Sunset Ranch Market is the Victory Garden, which is located adjacent to Rosie’s (and happens to be one of the very first restaurant theme elements I wrote about when I started this blog way back in 2009!).
The plot of land pays tribute to the real victory gardens that civilians planted during World War II. The government called upon citizens to plant these gardens in order to supplement food rations, which were necessary to feed servicemen and women stationed all over the globe.
And this is the real deal! You see real, produce-bearing plants here, like pineapples and peppers. It’s a fantastic visual illustration of history, and a great way that the Studios educates as it entertains.
There’s even a scarecrow, complete with gas mask! This is honestly pretty scary to me, never mind the crows…kind of horror film-ish, eh?
Seating for Rosie’s is shared with other Sunset Ranch eateries, like Toluca Legs Turkey Co., Catalina Eddie’s, Anaheim Produce, and Fairfax Fare.
It’s mostly made up of tables under pavilions and umbrellas. You won’t find any indoor seating, but at least you can dodge the direct sun for a bit.
Next, I have to show you the cool condiment bar at Rosie’s.
Normally, I like to show you shots of the condiment bar for a restaurant a little lower in the review so that you can get a feel for the “flow” of a location. And actually, I’ll post a picture there so you can see what’s available.
But since the themeing of the condiment station at Rosie’s is so extraordinary, it definitely deserves a spot up here in the atmosphere section.
Above the packets of sauces and plastic cutlery, you find a glass-enclosed space that houses tiny military figures, as well as other wartime memorabilia. Some of the soldiers are wounded, and others are engaged in battle. There are authentic postcards, pictures, and letters to round out the collection.
These figures are fascinating to me, and I could spend some serious time here taking in all the detail. Be sure to stop and take in the scene. But now that I’ve shown you around a bit, let’s check out what Rosie’s has to offer.
The menu at Rosie’s is limited, but there’s a decent selection for both burger lovers as well as those looking for another option. The restaurant does not serve breakfast (you can get breakfast next door at Fairfax Fare), so stop here for lunch and dinner.
Once you order at the walk-up window, take some time to check out even more themeing details that are carried through inside the actual building.
Decor inside the ordering area continues the airplane factory theme. You’ll even spot a few familiar faces like Mickey and Donald in the memorabilia!
A collage under glass shows more fascinating artifacts from the era. I could spend hours looking at this stuff, and I think these are the themeing details that many Disney guests miss!
Once you collect your goodies, it’s time to head to the condiment bar for plastic cutlery, napkins, and a variety of sauces. Everything is in packets here, rather than in pump dispensers. Plan on grabbing barbecue sauce, ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, relish, and salt, pepper, and sugar.
I was in the mood for a burger, so I chose the 1/3 Pound Fresh Angus Onion Straw Cheddar Cheeseburger for my lunch on this hot Spring day!
The loaded burger comes with cheddar cheese and onion straws, which were basically like onion rings, just not round. And it’s interesting to note — the burger was built really well. the cheese and onion straws were beneath the patty, while the cold toppings — lettuce, tomato, and pickle — were on top. This is pretty cool, I think. It keeps all of the contents from sliding around and smooshing out into your lap, and separates the cold from the hot.
There was a topping of sauce that tasted a lot like a remoulade, which worked well with the other ingredients. Be aware of this, in case you aren’t a fan of creamy sauces. It’s not noted on the menu as being part of the burger.
This was a big burger! Since it was a counter service spot, I knew that the patty would be well-cooked, so I wasn’t too disappointed with the fact.
The Fries that came with the burger were just right, too. The skins gave them that little rustic touch that I love, and they were thick-cut enough to be crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. They were a great, classic side for the burger.
And it was awesome to have the flavors of both fries and onion rings, since the burger came with the onion straws.
We skipped dessert, knowing that ice cream cones and Butterfinger cupcakes were mere steps away!
The food at Rosie’s is solid and acceptable, if boring. There are definitely better places in the Studios to eat, but if this spot is convenient for your ride schedule, a burger from Rosie’s will fill you up in tasty fashion. Sometimes convenience trumps food quality when you’re in Disney World!
But even if you decide to eat somewhere else, I hope that you’ll stroll through Sunset Ranch Market just to take in the detail here. Imagineers have created a place for you to stop and enjoy the surroundings, and I think too many Disney guests miss these little touches.
It’s not Michelin star food. It’s not a fast thrill ride. It’s just a hamburger stand. But with the thoughtful touches, there’s still magic here.
Have you grabbed a bite at Rosie’s? Leave a comment and tell us your favorite menu item!
I have to be honest, I’ve been to this area approximately a bajillion times (give or take) and I’ve never noticed most of this. And I was a history major in college, I love this stuff! Thanks for pointing it out, I’ll look more closely next time 🙂
Prof. Brainard says
The scarecrow is terrifying. The condiment bar is splendid (we Americans may not manufacture much anymore, but we definitely know how to do a fast-food condiment bar up properly)! I think the burger with the onion straws actually looks quite delicious; I wonder if the onion straws are supposed to represent rivets. My grandmother was a “Rosie the Riveter” during the war, working for the duration in a factory that made parts for airplanes–and raising six kids at the same time (five of them boys)!
My husband and I ate here after the Tower of Terror 10 miler last year, mostly because it was the first thing we found that was open. My husband has to eat gluten free and they were very accomodating. He got chicken fingers and fries, not bad for 2 am!
That scarecrow is truly terrifying – I’m so glad I never noticed it! My husband has eaten here once (I did not), and we didn’t really look around much. We just kind of grabbed his food and went to sit down. I’ll have to look around a little more this fall. Hopefully, without seeing the scarecrow!
Never eaten at Rosie’s, but my family did hit the Sunset Ranch Market after the Beauty & the Beast Stage Show. Really nice area, and there’s nothing like eating a big ole’ chili dog amidst all that atmosphere (though all of WDW’s hot dog buns leave a little something to be desired).
John Grigas says
This is terrific; I just added it to my end of year “WDW Explore” list. Like Nicole above, I have never noticed this . . . I can’t wait to check it out!
Re: the scarecrow–less horror movie, more “Doctor Who”.
“…are you my mommy?”
Jess Ater says
My family and I ate there recently you can go to http://marriedatdisney.blogspot.com/2013/05/star-wars-weekends-2013-week-one.html to read my little review on the place. I called Disney to report how terrible our experience was and still have not got a return phone call or apology. We didn’t let it ruin our day but I reported it hoping the next time we dare to try it we don’t have to FIGHT for the things we paid for. I mean I stood there for over 30 mins flies all around my family’s food yuck, calling staff to give us all the menu items we paid for, finally getting someone to help me and them arguing with me that I got everything I ordered when I did not.
Tank, I said the exact same thing!!! Creepy.
I think the only time I ate a meal in this counter area was while waiting for Fantasmic to open it’s gates. It was the night before the Millennial celebration. I think I ate a hot dog but it was in the previous millennium so I may have remembered it wrong. As there are so many great restaurants in Hollywood Studios we usually avoid the counter service restaurants. But the meal brings back good memories.
Alissa N says
I have eaten at this little counter service restaurant several times and never noticed all this awesome theming! I am really glad you featured it because I was always too hungry and distracted to notice. I have a small obsession with victory gardens and I can’t believe I missed that they had a small garden right there!! I actually really love the veggie burger here, and look forward to grabbing it while over on this side of the park. It’s a simple menu, but sometimes I like not having to make decisions! 🙂
The scarecrow is actually a rough approximation of a World War 2 era US Army Air Corps pilot, with flying helmet, flight goggles, oxygen mask, and inflatable life vest. So, not scary at all!
Prof. Brainard says
Ryan, that’s exactly what the scarecrow wants you to think, that it’s a WWII US Army Air Corps pilot with flying helmet, flight goggles, oxygen mask, and inflatable life vest. That’s all part of its evil ruse. It’s really a demon-possessed, soul-sucking, returned-from-the-dead, evil scarecrow, and just when you think it’s an American GI come to save you from the Nazis, that’s when it comes down from its pole and chases you through the cornfields so that it can suck the soul right out of you! After all, why do you think this place is so close to the haunted Hollywood Tower Hotel?
Maria M says
Rosie’s was one of my favorite quick service restaurants at HS – until they did away with the fried green tomato sandwich. That sandwich was a fan favorite – especially with my family and we are very disappointed to see it go. They have replaced it was a toasted “lobster” roll which isn’t lobster but instead marinated hearts of palm, celery, apples. I am all for healthy alternatives and vegetarian options (like I said, we loved the fried green tomato sandwich) but I hope Disney soon abandons this “vegetables pretending to be meat” and “impossible foods” thing they seem so into lately. I prefer the “fantasy” portion of my trip to be the attractions, not the food.
My hubby and I stumbled on Rosies. I ordered a side of fries and a side of the chili, dumped it all on the fries and !!!!!! it was so yummy and really budget friendly. I’d recommend for anyone looking for a filling, convenient munch