I haven’t posted about Disney in a while around here. I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to be guest posting at Sparkly Ever After twice a month and share my Disney smarts there. I’m sharing my Special Diet Review today in coordination with Nicole of Designs by Nicolina. We both share a Disney obsession as well as special diet needs when we visit the parks. Nicole and her husband Cameron are both gluten free while I experience special diet needs from the no peanuts, tree nuts, and shellfish perspective. This past year, we both tried the ever popular 50s Prime Time Cafe at Hollywood Studios for lunch. Nicole in October and me in December.
Here’s my experience::
Here’s the Basics::
Location:: Echo Lake area of Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida
Prices:: Ranging from $14-$24 for entrees
Reservations start at 11 AM. Lunch and dinner are served
Check out a great menu run-down here from allears.net
Part of the charm of 50s Prime Time is that it is supposed to compare to “momma’s” cooking. They serve things like fried chicken, meat loaf, and pot pie. Corey ordered the Sampling of Mom’s Favorite Recipes, which included fried chicken, pot roast, and meatloaf. I ordered Aunt Liz’s Golden Fried Chicken.
Here’s the plated food::
Though my fried chicken was delicious, it was the only thing that came hot and fresh and wasn’t overly salty. While the collards were probably very good when warm, both sides were brought out lukewarm. The mashed potatoes were too salty for me to even touch. Corey’s entire platter was well on the way to lukewarm by the time it arrived at the table with the exception of his fried chicken. The meatloaf might’ve been exceptional if served warm. It definitely had the makings of a great meal, it just missed the mark.
The restaurant is known for creating an atmosphere that feels like eating with family, which is what I’m specifically commenting on here. We checked in a little early for our 1:40 PM lunch reservation in December and were seated immediately despite how busy it was. It had started raining, so the restaurant and lounge were very crowded. The wait staff jokes around with patrons, “punishing” them if they don’t eat their vegetables and making you set the table. After having a great time at another Walt Disney World Resort restaurant known for their antics, we were looking forward to the shenanigans here. While our waitress did spend time with us, kidding us at first, she then had five other tables sat in her section and a sixth in a completely different section. Though I don’t think it excuses her almost forgetting about us, we could clearly see that the other tables of larger parties numbering between 6-8 people took more of her time and at some points, wouldn’t let her leave because they were bantering with her. It was quite the bummer for us to not get the fun that others rave about at this restaurant.
While busy, the chef himself still came to the table and took my order. Shellfish was easily avoided as the chef notified me that the fried chicken has a dedicated frier separate from the crab cakes offered on the appetizers menu. Both sides of mashed potatoes and collards were safe, as was Corey’s order. The chef was patient and was willing to go ahead and take my dessert order, though I always pass on dessert. I could have also had a milkshake since the peanut butter milkshake on the menu was made on a dedicated mixer as well. My allergies were well cared for and I didn’t react to anything.
The theming is top notch. I feel like I could have easily been sitting right in a Leave it to Beaver episode and had our waitress been a little more excited I could’ve excused the lukewarm food and given the restaurant another shot, but I feel like this is a once and done experience. Corey and I both agreed that we enjoyed our meals at Mama Melrose in September and the multiple meals from Sci-Fi over the past four years much more than our 50s Prime Time meals.