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.
Now that we’ve said “Hello” to Sonny, let’s check out what else is happening at the Starlight Cafe…
There are three elements that are key to setting the vibe at Cosmic Ray’s. One is the general color scheme of silver, purple and teal that is commonplace throughout Tomorrowland.
Second: the stage show by the one and only Sonny Eclipse! He provides some swingin’ alien lounge tunes to accompany your meal.
And finally, Comic Ray’s has its own unique Bay system. While most Counter Service spots in the parks have one primary menu and ordering area, Cosmic Ray’s features three different ordering Bays, with some variation as to what they serve.
And while we’re on that topic…
The Bay system is referenced on the handout menus that you often receive from a Cast Member upon entering, saving you a little time visiting each area to find out which serves what. Bay 1 offers primarily Chicken entrees (you gotta love the 1/2 Rotisserie Chicken and the return of the 1/2 Rotisserie Chicken and Ribs Combo). On our last visit there was not really any variation between Bays 2 and 3, where you can find Burgers (including a Veggie version), Hot Dogs, a Greek Salad, and the same Barbecued Pork Sandwich that Bay 1 serves.
The new arrivals are, essentially, twists on already-existing classics: you’ll find the new Barbecued Pork Bacon Cheeseburger at all three Bays, and the Bacon Cheddar Dog at Bays 2 and 3. Finally, the Greek Salad is now served with Chicken (though it can still be ordered without chicken by request, which will lower the price to $10.29).
Check out the back of the menu to find beverages, desserts, and Kids’ Meals.
Stepping up to Bay 2 to place my order, I became pretty excited when I spotted this sign by the registers…
But sadly, this is not the return of plastic cheese (not yet, anyway… find out more of the current status of plastic cheese by checking out our recent review of The Plaza Restaurant). It’s the same side of Ortega cheese that you can find served along with the Mickey Pretzels throughout the park.
Before digging in, you’ll want to know about the Toppings Bar, which is important to note since — due to the unique setup at Cosmic Ray’s — it doesn’t have the same kind of center-of-the-room prominence as the better known Fixins’ Bar at Pecos Bill’s. You could accidentally bypass it, and then you’d miss the chance to top your entree with shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes, and pickles for the cold selections.
Which admittedly aren’t quite as interesting as the hot selections, which include sautéed onions and sautéed mushrooms.
As expected, there’s also plenty of the basics: ketchup, yellow mustard and mayo.
You could add any of those to the new Bacon Cheddar Hot Dog, even though it’s fairly well stacked already.
French Fries automatically come with the Hot Dog, served on the side in their own paper boat.
With lots of bacon (real, not bacon bits) and cheese, it’s hard to go wrong with a classic combo like this.
Though personally, I think I would’ve enjoyed it more if the shredded cheese had been melted.
The Greek Salad — pretty unique to Cosmic Ray’s — now comes with Chicken (as mentioned, though, just say the word to the Cast Member taking your order if you’d prefer it without meat).
This one’s a true entree-sized salad. It’s HUGE — especially with the large piece of baked chicken on top.
I thought the chicken had some really nice seasoning to it.
But it was the fresh veggies that stood out to me the most, including the unexpected (for a Greek Salad) pico de gallo.
And I really enjoyed the kalamata olives and sliced mild banana peppers..
… along with lots of feta cheese.
The Greek Salad at Cosmic Ray’s is — I think — an underrated, little known dish. Mine was very fresh and flavorful, especially thanks to the pico de gallo and banana pepper adding a hint of spiciness.
Even so, we just had to try the new Barbecued Pork Bacon Cheeseburger for a complete 180, which comes with your choice of French Fries or green beans.
It’s topped with a massive amount of shredded pork, three pieces of bacon, and cheese (which you maaaay have guessed based on its name, Barbecued Pork Bacon Cheeseburger 😉 ). The pork lends some great barbecued flavor without being too overwhelming, allowing the beef and bacon to make their presence known in the flavors as well.
Again, this is simply a LOT of food, so if you have more than one member in your group interested in trying this burger I would really recommend sharing, especially when you have a long day in the parks ahead of you!
Though the new menu items at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe may not be wildly inventive, it’s still fun to find a change-up to the classics every now and then — especially when you’re trying to please a large group but still hoping to find something a little bit outside the norm. Come for the classics, stay for Sonny… overall not a bad visit to Cosmic Ray’s!
Oh, and if the green beans are available as a side item here, get them! They’re SOOO good!
Will you be trying any of the new items on your next visit to Cosmic Ray’s? Let us know in the comments below!