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50's Prime Time Café


Transport yourself back to the booming 50s right here in Walt Disney World! In Disney's Hollywood Studios, right off of Echo Lake, you can step back in time as you enter an old-school suburban home. Don’t let the word “café” throw you off, this is a full table-service restaurant that is styled to be like a family dinner at your mom’s house, back in the day. Yes, there’s a backstory to this place!

When you first walk in, you’re greeted by a full bar that appears to be in a retro living/family room (this is the Tune-In Lounge). I’m talking funky wall décor, shiny linoleum, bright leather-clad furniture, the works. The tables you dine at are set up like an old kitchen, complete with CRT TVs showcasing popular black-and-white sitcom classics. As a young adult, I love this setting, as I never got to experience this style growing up myself. 
It doesn’t stop at the looks, though. Our mother knows how to craft a hearty meal! Any fan of classic American comfort food will love 50's Prime Time Café. They currently serve up specialties like meatloaf, fried chicken, chicken noodle soup, and tender pot roast. In the past, they’ve also offered dishes like chicken pot pie, lasagna, and stuffed pork chops, so keep on the lookout for these favorites to possibly return.
In my opinion, the pot roast is a brilliant choice. You can’t go wrong with slow-cooked beef, especially when it’s paired with garlic mashed potatoes and lovely vegetables. The rest of my family swears by the chicken pot pie, though, should that come back to the menu (hopefully!).

American dinner is not complete without indulgence. 50's Prime Time Café offers some incredible desserts: Ice Cream Sundae, Warm Apple Crisp, Warm Brownie, Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cake. These sweet treats aren’t reinventing the wheel, but if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it! Don’t forget that you can get these à la mode as well… yeah, you’re going to want to save room for dessert! 
This restaurant is wacky and out there, even for Disney. While there’s plenty of themed dining across the whole property, there’s really nothing that can compare to 50's Prime Time Café. When you step into this house, you should be prepared for theatre. No, it’s not a show, but there’s definitely acting involved. The servers play a role (your older family members), and some play it up a lot. They’re encouraged to remind you of “good manners”, mess with you a bit, and some may even try to spoon-feed you vegetables, just how mother used to do it (Note: some of the schticks the waitstaff ordinarily do are now toned down due to social-distancing regulations). Most of the time, they are funny and silly, and it’s all a good time. However, I’ve also witnessed the staff be sassy, sarcastic, and borderline rude. If you’re a fan of this type of heckling humor, then this can still be a great experience for you! Just remember that it’s all supposed to be in good fun. 
If you do not enjoy this type of theatre, but would still like to enjoy the tempting food and kitsch setting, then you can order from the full 50's Prime Time Café menu right there at the Tune-In Lounge! As of writing this, this bar is not re-opened yet, but when it does, it’s a great way to try the dishes in a calmer setting.

At the end of the day, it’s still Disney; they still have impeccable standards that they are always trying to meet, and that includes great service. The last time I was at 50's Prime Time Café, me and my then-fiancé (now husband) were waiting at the bar for our table to be ready. The bartender chatted us up and kept us entertained with banter, and eventually he realized we were celebrating our engagement. Without saying a word, he presented us with a pair of champagne glasses, on the house, as a congratulations. We didn’t expect it one bit, and it’s something fun and sweet that we look back on! 
Overall, I’ll just come out and say it, 50’s Prime Time Café is not for everyone. You either love it or you hate it. It’s a totally unique dining experience unlike anything else at Walt Disney World. Whether you’re pro-antics or not, we can all appreciate the creativity that brought this place to life in the first place. I don’t think this is a necessary stop on a first-timer’s visit, but if you’ve been to Disney a few times now, I would recommend trying it out for yourself one day.

*Photos were taken prior to COVID-19 safety guidelines. 


Mackenzie Kerste

Mackenzie is a world traveler who loves traveling anywhere in Europe, cruising and the Disney Parks. You can email Mackenzie at mackenzie2@kingdomkonsultant.com.


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