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By Diva Vida

When I was a teenager, it was probably difficult for my parents to find a restaurant in Disney that would appeal to everyone in our family.  We frequently meet up with my two Great Aunts and their husbands who live in the Orlando area when we visit WDW, and on those days, a meal that works for all of us is a must.  Character meals are fun for photos, but not as appealing to teenagers, and don’t lend for time to spend chatting and enjoying the company of family.  Many of the more gourmet restaurants could be expensive with so many people and also take up more time.  Also, these can be tough choices for families with picky eaters.  Counter-service food is fast and more economical, but it is too rushed of a meal for my elderly Great Aunts and Great Uncles who needed a break to sit, relax, and enjoy family time. 


One year, my parents found the perfect solution, and it has now become a family favorite in all of our trips. 
The first time I ate at The 50’s Prime Time Café was with my two Great Aunts, my two Great Uncles, my parents, and my brother.  The eight of us were spending the day at Hollywood Studios so that my teenage brother and I could ride all the “scary” rides with my Great Uncles that my Great Aunts refused to ride.  We had spent the morning riding The Rockin’ Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror over and over again while my Great Aunts sat in a shady spot and enjoyed people watching and the Streetmosphere entertainment.  Mid-afternoon brought us back together as a family and we made our way to the restaurant.
As you enter The 50’s Prime Time Café, you are brought back in time to an American 1950’s house.  The waiting area is the “Living Room” with retro chairs, decorations, and TVs playing clips and advertisements from the 50’s.  The bar area is a 50’s style wet bar like those popular in living rooms and entertaining rooms during the time period where you can get one of “Dad’s special drinks”.  You and your family get to sit back, relax, and enjoy traveling to a different time.  My Great Aunts and parents were thrilled to look around the room and point out all the things that they used to have in their houses during the time, and it brought back great memories and stories that we were all able to share while waiting.  I have no idea how long we waited that first time, but I know that the time seemed to fly by and I was almost disappointed when our names were called and we had to leave the waiting area to go to our table. 

The tables are all metal with Formica pattern tops with vinyl chairs set in 50’s style kitchenette areas.  Every table has its own TV playing the same clips and ads, and all the seating areas are decorated in a different 50’s time period theme.  I suggest going to the bathroom and walking around to see some of the other seating areas, especially if you are of that age that you are looking for memorabilia from your past. 

We sat down, settled in, and enjoyed looking around our room, but the best was yet to come!  The very best part of any meal at the 50’s Prime Time Café is the service.  You won’t be served by a waiter, but instead, your “brother,” “uncle,” “sister,” “aunt,” or “cousin” will come over and start yelling at you to “sit-up straight,” “take your elbows off the table,” and “set the table” because obviously they don’t want to have to serve you.  They will tell you what “Mom” is making special in the kitchen that day and bombard you with family-style nagging and teasing.  If you put your elbows on the table, you’ll get it!  If you don’t eat all your food, you’ll get it!  If you become too high-maintenance or pushy, you’ll get it!  Be prepared to be teased and picked on, all in good fun. 

One of my Great Aunts ordered a beer with a glass on the side because she doesn’t like to drink from the bottle.  Our “brother” waiter said that there was no way he felt like doing extra dishes just because she wouldn’t drink from a bottle, so instead, he went and got two straws and stuck one within the other to make a super long straw for her to use in her beer.  It was hysterical for all of us to see her perplexed face as she tried to figure out what was going and then her total joy at the situation when she realized how fun it was to drink from this silly contraption.  My whole family got right into it, and we teased back and quickly felt just like we were at a family meal at home.  We loved the entire event. 

When it came time for dessert, we were handed View Master toy glasses that have the small disc of picture slides to click through with the dessert menu.  We choose a few orders of S’mores sundaes for us to share.  All the food was delicious and we were all dubbed members of the “Clean Plate Club.”  We all agreed that this was the best meal we had had together at Disney and have since returned on many future trips.
On one of those later trips, I was travelling alone at WDW with my college roommate, and though I was skeptical that The 50’s Prime Time Café could be as much fun with just two of us as it was with my whole family, I convinced her to go with me.  She is a picky eater, and therefore, made it another very memorable trip to the restaurant.  She did not finish all of her food, and did not become a member of the “Clean Plate Club” which forced our “uncle” to step in and “help” her finish her food.  Just like feeding a little kid, he took her fork full of her food and made an airplane noise as he zoomed the food to her mouth and made her “open wide” to take a big bite.  We had a blast!

The 50’s Prime Time Café is reasonably priced ($15-$25 per adult) with a full kids menu, non-stop entertainment, and a great atmosphere for the whole family.  It is less time consuming than other more formal sit-down meals and can be a great treat for you and your whole family (no matter what age they may be).

~ Diva Viva