Hi! Morgan here, with Neverland Navigation Co., your personal guides to everything Walt Disney World and Beyond. Today I want to talk to you about Hollywood Studios’ 50’s Prime Time Cafe! Jake and I also did a Vlog that you can check out on YouTube!
This might sound a little bonkers, but before going on this adventure, I had to decide if I was brave enough to face a childhood fear. You see, the first time I went to 50’s Prime Time Cafe was when I was a child. As a child I was nervous about the “mean waitresses” at Prime Time Cafe. It was like a family friendly version of "Dick’s Last Resort", or one of those insult comedy type restaurants. I was not a fan. Even as an adult I don't frequent comedy clubs often.. I did not want some stranger waitress yelling at me, and the waitress said we would be in "BIG TROUBLE" if we did not clean our plates. Terrifying. I was not a big eater as a child, so I knew trouble was coming. I recently asked my little brother what he remembered about dining at Prime Time Cafe as a child and he said he just remembered that the waitress was scary. So there you go. The scary waitress overshadowed any possible food memory that we may have had. I don’t remember what I ordered, or if it was good, I remember being nervous.
Of course that was a different time and things could be different now. That was back when Hollywood Studios was called MGM Studios. The good ole days, when that park was all about the making of movies. I appreciate what the park has become, but I definitely miss the way it was. For me just hearing the letters “MGM” evokes memories of the Backlot Tour and Catastrophe Canyon, The Great Movie Ride and the Earffel Tower. I was a sucker for the “Streets of America” area where they had sets that looked like New York City and San Francisco. Especially during Christmas. The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights that was the Christmas Lights SPECTACULAR that was located in (and all over) the Streets of America during Christmas time is, bar none, what I miss most about old school MGM. But I digress. So, anyway, I wasn’t adverse, per se, to going back to Prime Time as an adult, but I wasn’t going to suggest it myself. As luck has it, Jake and I have a friend who wanted to go there for her birthday dinner. So we did. I am so glad that we did. I will be perfectly honest, I was not psyched when I checked out their menu online. It is comfort food, which perfectly fits the theme, but the menu is limited. I am something of a foodie, so when I think of meatloaf, pot roast, and fried chicken made at a restaurant that is 50s themed, I don’t get super excited. I assumed it would be more bland than the food that I usually really enjoy. But I was wrong! The food was exceptional! It was comfort food, but they did season it well. In my humble opinion, comfort food can be really good if it is done right, it just often isn’t done right. However, Prime Time Cafe did it right! They weren’t afraid of seasoning and salt!
The theming was also SUPER FUN! Little retro TVs were at most tables playing clips from “I Love Lucy” and “The Mickey Mouse Club” and the decor was all very 50s. I would call this restaurant very immersive. Which is something Disney is known for, but sometimes the food seems like it was an afterthought. It seems like sometimes they think that the food doesn’t have to be great because the atmosphere is so immersive. An amazing atmosphere is wonderful, but the food needs to be amazing too in our opinion! After all, you are spending a pretty penny on a Disney Meal! Shouldn’t you be impressed on all fronts? This is why Jake and I started Neverland Navigation Co. We want to help fellow Disney enthusiasts to not waste their money on dining locations that need work, and to help direct you to the ones where we left feeling like the meal we just had was worth our hard earned money.
So let’s get into the “meat and potatoes” of this review. The individual things we ordered and how we liked them.
We started off with a Peanut Butter and Jelly Milkshake. YUM. It was somehow like a PB&J sandwich in milkshake form. Which is what you would expect, but somehow it also tasted like the bread was blended in there. I don't really know how to explain it but It was awesome. Took me right back to my childhood. It was served in a milkshake tin. No fancy glass here. I assume that is because the whole thing is set up to make it seem like you are eating at your Mom’s or your Aunt’s house and that it is the 1950s. I guess Mom isn’t going to bother with a fancy glass. I’m not sure milk shake spinner was an at home staple in common houses in the 1950s, but all in all the presentation made sense.
Jake and I also splurged on another childhood drink favorite, the Shirley Temple. It wasn’t called that here of course, but it was sprite and grenadine. They called it a bee-bop and it was served in a souvenir plastic Prime Time Cafe branded cup with a lid and a super fun glow cube. It was a fun and worthwhile splurge, especially since you get to keep the cup and glow cube. There is a button on the bottom of the glow cube so you can change the color and turn it off so you can use it again at home. (Which we did! Adding a glow cube to your drink for game night or even a boring weekday meal really can put you in a festive mood.)
For an appetizer we got the Fried Herb and Garlic Cheese, which was served with a raspberry sauce. This was my favorite thing that I tried. It was Jake’s favorite too. It was kind of like a mozzarella stick, except that it was more flavorful and that raspberry dipping sauce was so so so good! When I read the menu description I was not sure what to expect from those flavor combinations. I am pretty creative in the kitchen but I would not have previously put these flavor profiles together, but I definitely will now!
My second favorite thing was yet another appetizer from the menu! The onion ring appetizer was really impressive. Thick cut onion rings, freshly fried with a creamy horseradish dipping sauce. Another win from an unexpected sauce! I usually dip onion rings in ketchup. Yes, it’s basic, but it works for me. A homemade ranch or a remoulade are other great options in my book. But I never considered a creamy horseradish sauce and I was blown away by how great of a combination it was! The horseradish wasn’t too strong or overpowering, but it gave it enough of a bold and unique flavor to really impress us.
We also tried a bunch of entrees! We ordered “a Sampling of Mom’s Favorite Recipes” to give us a bunch of things to try and report back on. The sampling included: Golden fried chicken, Fork tender Pot Roast, and Traditional Meatloaf with all the Fixin’s. First off, great job to whoever wrote this menu. The descriptions in the titles alone have my mouth watering. The golden fried chicken had a crispy breading and was really delicious. For me, it’s all about the breading and they definitely succeeded with this crispy and delicious breading. I am from the south, so fried chicken (fried anything maybe?) is comfort food for me and this was the entree I was most excited for. The meatloaf was my least favorite entree, but I am not really a fan of meatloaf in the first place. Jake is a fan of meatloaf and still wasn’t blown away by this offering. Not to say some wouldn’t enjoy it, but neither of us would order the meatloaf when we come back. The pot roast was fantastic. Fork tender, as promised. I am all about the sauces (as you may have figured out) and the gravy that this pot roast was clearly slow cooked in was creamy and rich and wonderful.
For desserts we tried the Traditional Warm Apple Crisp and Dad’s Favorite Chocolate - Peanut Butter Layer Cake. They were good! The cake was a creamy and very sweet finish to our meal. I like the touch of salt that the peanut butter adds to the treat. The apple crisp was not as rich, but in a good way. It was moderately sweet, lightly tart, crunchy and had a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top to finish it off perfectly.
I will wrap this up by saying the Prime Time gets a strong recommendation from us! The ambiance is so fun and the food was delicious. Please make sure to check out our YouTube video review of Prime Time Cafe and pretty please with sugar on top subscribe to our YouTube channel so that we can keep making these videos to help you with your Walt Disney World planing!