Posts Tagged ‘restaurants’

Top Ten Disneyland Dining Tips

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

Looking to get the best dining value and experience during your Disneyland Resort vacation? Here are our top 10 tips for making your Disneyland dining supercaloriefragiledeliciousexpenseanddessertious!

1. Get a priority seating

If there’s a particular restaurant you want to experience at a particular time without much of a wait, then getting a priority seating is incredibly important. Just call Disney Dining line (714-781-EGOD) exactly 60 days before you want to eat and let them know when you’d like to visit, how many adults and children will be in your party, what you’ll be eating, what you’re celebrating, any special food needs you have, where you’d like to sit, and how generously you tip. That’s all there is to it!

Remember, you can get a priority seating for any of the table-service restaurants, and can also order food ahead for pickup at counter-service restaurants and food carts. There’s nothing like walking up to a popcorn cart knowing that the popcorn’s already made and waiting for you!

2. Do your research

There’s nothing worse than knowing that mealtime is approaching but you have no idea where you want to go to eat. Before making your meal plans, research what restaurants are near to the attractions you want to experience around meal time. Then select the restaurant that sounds best to you, think about the people in your party, and ask yourself these questions? Is there something here that everyone can eat? Will everyone enjoy the theme? Will the atmosphere match our mood? What will everyone say when I tell them where we are eating? Does it matter all that much what everyone else thinks? Do they really have a right to complain when I’m the one planning everything? Why are they all such a bunch of complainers?

3. Eat at unpopular times

This is our favorite tip of them all (which is why we put it in the coveted third position)! You can have a more carefree dining experience if you avoid the crowds by eating at unpopular times. For example, have breakfast before any of the restaurants open, have lunch for dinner, and then have breakfast again for lunch! You can also visit a crowded restaurant during the dinner rush and only order soft drinks — that’s definitely unpopular!

4. Coordinate dining with park hours, early entry, and FASTPASS times

Timing is so important that we have to mention it twice! To fine-tune your meal timing make sure you:

  • Avoid making in-park dining reservations for times that the park is closed.
  • If early entry is available, you can have breakfast while other guests are either unable to get into the park or are wasting their time in lines that haven’t even had time to become entertainingly long.
  • Trick other guests by getting a FASTPASS for a popular attraction and then eating during the FASTPASS return window when everyone else expects you to be on a ride.

5. Lie about your age

If you don’t have a priority seating, you might be able to get a castmember to let you skip the line (or at least convince other guests to give you “cuts” in line) by claiming that you are either near death or a little baby.

You can also save money by claiming that you are young enough to order off the children’s menu (although you may need to pretend that you are several children in order to get enough food to feel full).

6. Eat on the go

Avoid the wait for a table by ordering your Blue Bayou Cajun monte cristo sandwich or Club 33 panda-fillet sliders in a handy “to go” bag.

7. Bring money

It’s a well-known fact that massive bribery can get you better food, better service, and a better table. Unfortunately, it’s also well known that the previous rule doesn’t apply to Disneyland where everything is fair and incorruptible. Even so, it is suggested that you bring plenty of money when dining in the resort in order to avoid delays caused by searching for your wallet, being chased down by a recently stiffed member of the wait staff, and filling out boring police reports.

8. Look for discounts

You likely won’t find them, but looking can be fun.

9. Remember the freebies!

If money’s tight, remember that there are plenty of free items available in or near Disneyland eateries, including water, condiments, coffee additives, napkins, and things people you wish aren’t going to finish.

10. Try new or “under the radar” restaurants

When popular eateries are overcrowded, try some of the lesser-known resort dining offerings, such as the Jungle Dinner Cruise, Cars Land’s Grease Rack, and the trunk of your car where you left the cooler full of Subway sandwiches.

’50s Prime Time Cafe: Menu

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

To give you an idea of what’s available when you dine at Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ ’50s Prime Time Cafe, here are a few sample items from a recent menu.


  • Lightning McQueen Raceway Punch: Raspberry lemonade served by your “older brother” who gives you a punch in the arm for ordering “a sissy drink with a light toy stuck in it.”
  • Mickey’s Bee Bop: Cherry soda served with an ice cube that has a bee frozen in it.
  • Flavored Sodas: Coke blended with vanilla, cherry, or maple syrup, “depending on what what ol’ cousin Buford whipped up in the bathtub.”


  • Chicken Noodle Soup: Served “just like Mama used to make” (to sick guests only).
  • Mixed Green Salad: Served with house dressing that tastes a little off but if you take a bite and make a face, “your face is going to freeze like that.”
  • Onion Rings for Two: Because you don’t need to be a pig and eat all of them yourself.

Main Course

  • Grandma’s Chicken Pot Pie: Just like Grandma used to make, but without the complaining, lame old-time stories, and occasional incontinence.
  • Mom’s Old-Fashioned Pot Roast: Proving that, even though it’s the ’50s, Mom was a child of the ’60s.
  • Crazy Cousin Buford’s Stuffed Pepper: Nobody has any idea what’s in this thing.
  • Trendy Little Sister’s Fish Sandwich: We’re guessing that she doesn’t understand that fish isn’t vegetarian.
  • Dad’s Traditional Meatloaf: Thick ground beef with thick sauce and a mound of mashed potatoes. (Not recommended for individuals with heart conditions.)
  • Stacked like the Cheerleader Next Door Sandwich: Mounds of chicken breast wrapped tight in a fried-dough “sweater.”


  • Dad’s Brownie Sundae: No, you can’t have a bite.
  • Grandma’s Bread Pudding: Seriously, get your own.
  • Baby Brother’s Ice Cream Sundae: Sorry, he’s not going to share.
  • Mom’s Fruit and Cottage Cheese Plate: This you can have.

When we visited, we checked out the menu and decided to order a Diet Coke. Here it is:

'50s Prime Time Diet Coke

The Diet Coke was delicious and nicely matched the restaurant’s decor and atmosphere. It also went well with the rest of our meal, which was quite good.

’50s Prime Time Cafe

Monday, May 11th, 2009

’50s Prime Time Cafe is a unique, atmosphere-rich eatery found in Disney’s Hollywood Studios (it was moved there from Disney MGM Studios in 2008). The restaurant is decorated like a gigantic stereotypical 1950’s family sitcom house, from the plastic flowers to the tacky knickknacks, to the ankle-height end tables, just made for wacky slapstick antics.

There are no cast members here, but rather family members. If your server is a woman, she isn’t a waitress, she’s “Mom,” ready to make sure you eat your peas, clean your plate, and feel guilty for not calling her more often. If you’ve got “Dad” waiting on you, he’s wearing a suit, smoking a pipe, giving out advice, and calling “Mom” over from another table whenever actual work needs to be done. And of course there’s “Brother,” bussing tables, giving out random wedgies to unsuspecting diners, and saying “good boy!” to Fido, who is constantly underfoot.

Each table (either a Formica counter or a TV tray) has a small television on or near it, showing clips from old black-and-white family sitcoms. Observant guests will notice that every show has a common theme — something wacky or embarrassing that happens to someone who harasses or under-tips a waiter or waitress.

The dining experience is quite unique. Mom makes you set your own table and gives you “homework” to do while you wait for your food to arrive. (For example, she might ask you to calculate the corporate profit on an annual pass or list the atomic weights of everything on the table.)

We’ll talk more about the food in a future post, but suffice to say it has a heavy emphasis on comfort and sitcom-like fun. For example, here’s the meatloaf, a popular entree:

'50s Prime Time meatloaf

After you eat and Mom has confirmed that you cleaned your plate (because there are children starving in China), you bring your dirty dishes to the kitchen and wash them before you are allowed to pay your bill, brush your teeth, and “go out to play until bed time.”

A few entertaining bits of dialogue overheard in the Cafe:

  • You want what they’re having? If they jumped off a bridge, would you do that, too?
  • That napkin isn’t going to pick itself up.
  • I’m not going to ask you again — what would you like to order?
  • How do you know you don’t like it if you haven’t tasted it?
  • You want me to take that back? What am I, your maid?
  • What part of “we don’t serve Pepsi” don’t you understand?
  • It’s no use crying over spilled Lightning McQueen Raceway Punch.
  • Don’t put that in your mouth; you don’t know where it’s been.
  • If you’re going to the restroom, call me when you get there, just so I know you’re okay.
  • Why are glowing ice cubes extra? Because I said so, that’s why.
  • If I told you once I told you a thousand times, appetizers aren’t included.
  • I know it isn’t fair that the dining plan no longer includes a tip. Well, life isn’t fair.
  • This bill is going to hurt me more than it hurts you.
  • I brought you into Disney World and I can take you back out!
  • Don’t eat that — you’ll get worms!
  • You call that a tip? Do you think I’m made of money?
  • Everyone got clean underwear?

WDW Restaurant Reservations — Online!

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

Those WDW guests who have suffered through having to set their alarm and get on the phone promptly at 7 a.m., 180 days before their vacation to try and snag a hard-to-come-by Tomorrowland Terrace Noodle Station reservation will be pleased to know that Disney is moving away from the call-in-only system. Beginning in October, guests will be able to log onto the Disney World Web site promptly at 7 a.m., 180 days before their vacation and make dining priority seating requests from the comfort of their own computer without having to deal with a friendly, helpful Disney cast member.

Not only will guests be able to decide what restaurant they will want to eat at in six months, they will also be encouraged to pre-order specific meals, schedule drink refills, and fill out surveys indicating how pleased they expect to be with service and how much of a tip they will leave. Guests who expect that they will encounter difficulty with a server may arrange to meet with a lead cast member at a specified time after their meal.