I have fond memories of dining at 50’s Prime Time Café as a child with my family in 1990/91 just after the Disney-MGM Studios opened. The great vignettes of homes that were filled with things I found in my grandparents’ basements and kitchens, the TV shows and of course the servers in character all worked together to make me a fan of this restaurant for life. When I brought my children back Walt Disney World for the first time this was a must eat destination. Here are some things I think you’ll love about 50’s Prime Time Café at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
8. The Tune In Lounge
Don’t have a reservation? Don’t want a full meal? You will want to check out the Tune-In Lounge which is located inside the waiting area for 50’s Prime Time—you can enter from 2 outside doors. This lounge/bar is popular so it may be as hard to find a seat here as in the restaurant. Here you can find a nice drink menu along with the full menu from the restaurant. If you are a single traveler or a couple and want to try 50’s without a reservation this could be a great option for you. I’ve also been able to order some drinks to go from the lounge—if you are walking around the park and get a hankering for a milkshake.
7. The Lobby
50’s Prime Time is one restaurant I don’t mind the wait for my table. The waiting area is set up in sections each one with its own take on the 1950’s mid-century mod décor. The details are impeccable and I like to walk around and look at all of the tchotchkes and bric a brac that decorate the shelves, walls and tables. It is nostalgic for me as an adult (even though I was not alive in the 50s) because many of the same items were in the homes of my grandparents. And if you go during the holiday season the waiting area is decorated for Christmas in a 1950s style complete with tinsel tree.
6. Special Drink Options
I know it is crazy because you can get it anywhere, but one thing I love about 50’s Prime Time Café is the vanilla coke. Not like the canned vanilla Coke, but a real one. My friend Lara and I look forward to that as much as the meal. I guess it is because it fits in with that 1950s theme like a soda shop so well. You can also get the cherry version (& this is one of the things I’ve ordered from the lounge while walking around the park). Or the theme appropriate coke or root beer float. They also have the fun non-alcoholic kids specialty drinks too. For the mature audience there are cocktails from Dad’s Liquor Cabinet like Dad’s Electric Lemonade.
5. The TV Shows
50’s Prime Time provides entertainment in the lobby waiting area and right at your table. TV’s throughout the restaurant broadcast a loop of black & white clips from mid-century shows to make you feel even more like you are in Mom’s kitchen. These are fun for adults to reminisce and helps keep kids patient while waiting on their dinner. Just another aspect of the attention to theming.
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4. The Home Cooking
It is hard to find someone who would not be able to find something they like on the menu at 50’s Prime Time. It is all of your favorites from home prepared fresh and very tasty. My personal favorite is Aunt Liz’s Golden Fried Chicken, but I hear great reviews on the meatloaf and pot roast. If you can’t make up your mind Mom does offer a sampler platter made up of these 3. And if you are looking for something on the healthier side there are those options too including a sustainable fish and a Blue Plate Special that changes seasonally.
Here is another item I’ve gone to the lounge to get and walk around the parks. 50’s Prime Time has some great milkshakes! Sure, you can get your usual suspects: chocolate, vanilla & strawberry. But, the best option is the Peanut Butter & Jelly. Perfect for the theme of the restaurant and so, so good! The milkshakes served in the restaurant come in generous portions so you might even be able to share (but I don’t recommend it).
2. The Decor
You are going to love the details in 50’s Prime Time Café. I know I’ve already talked about this with the lounge and the lobby, but the kitschy décor is all throughout the restaurant. The seating areas are made to look like kitchens with various seating options—including the coveted kitchen counter/bar seating. Chrome wrapped tables have a Formica service with a 50’s inspired pattern. More accessories and knick knacks fill the restaurant so everywhere you look there is something new to see. I love the attention to detail, and I bet it was a ton of fun to design the space, purchase the décor and pull it all together.
1. The Wait Staff
Hands down the thing I love about 50’s Prime Time Café is the wait staff. Each person has a role in your family whether they are your aunt, your cousin, your little brother, or that uncle no one talks about. Some servers get into the role and theme more than others but they all make it a very fun & interactive experience. I think they also do a good job of reading their table and can tell if your family really doesn’t want to participate in the antics. My son, however, eggs them on. They’ll tell you to set the table, beware of having your elbows or your electronics on the table, sharpen your My Little Tea Pot routine, and make sure you like your vegetables!
What do you love about 50’s Prime Time Café?