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50s Prime Time Cafe – Disney Dining Review

Imagine walking into your Mom’s kitchen back in the 1950s.  You’re probably being told to set the table, while the smell of Mom’s pot roast swirls around you.  Dad may be sitting in his chair in the living room, watching Father Knows Best on the black and white TV.  Then Mom yells, “Kids, come and eat!”, and the family gathers around the laminate topped table with the chrome chairs to dig in to the delicious meal Mom has slaved over all day.  This is the same thing you’ll experience at 50s Prime Time Cafe at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Entrance to 50s Prime Time Cafe at Disney's Hollywood Studios
Entrance to 50s Prime Time Cafe at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Whether you enter into the lounge area – where you’ll find a full bar and some retro furniture to relax in while you wait for your table – or through the main entrance, you are transported to that era when life was as simple, families ate dinner together, and the food was made with love and home in mind.  All the servers here are your relatives, and you’ll find some are like the mean older sister, bossing you around, telling you to set the table; others are the helpful younger brother, reminding you to keep your elbows off the table so you don’t get in trouble with Mom.

Dining room, featuring black and white TV
Dining room, featuring black and white TV

The menu is heavy on American comfort food favorites.  A tender and delicious pot roast, swimming in a gravy with carrots and celery, accompanied by creamy mashed potatoes; a crunchy on the outside, moist on the inside homestyle fried chicken; even meatloaf the way you remember it – sliced thick, covered with gravy, and with a healthy helping of mashed potatoes on the side.  This is not gourmet cuisine, it’s comfort cuisine, and it’s done absolutely perfectly.

Mom's Pot Roast
Mom’s Pot Roast

Menu favorites include the peanut butter and jelly milkshake – a creamy and cold blend of your two favorite childhood flavors, served in an old fashioned milkshake glass with the extra on the side.  Beer battered onion rings are a crispy and delicious throw back to 50s diner food, and a great way to start your meal.  And if you can’t choose among the flashback entree favorites, try the sample platter that gives you a taste of the meatloaf, fried chicken, and pot roast.  There is even a daily blue plate special that can offer a delicious menu alternative to the traditional favorites.


This is a must do meal for our family each time we visit Walt Disney World.  They do accept the Disney Dining Plan, and your meal here is one table service entitlement.  The restaurant also participates with Tables in Wonderland.

Daily Blue Plate Special of shrimp and grits
Daily Blue Plate Special of shrimp and grits


My Grandmother’s Green Bowl

One of my most favorite shows is Mo Rocca’s “My Grandmother’s Ravioli”.  If you haven’t seen the show, Mo visits other people’s grandmothers, where they share stories, recipes, and delicious food.  I laugh during the show sometimes, but just as often, I tear up, thinking of my own grandmoms.

Both of my grandmothers were Irish, and as you might imagine, boiled potatoes were about as creative as either of them got in the kitchen.  But everything that came out of their kitchens was simple, comforting, and always tasted like they were made with a grandmother’s love.

My Grandmom Bilbrough had a green glass bowl.  I remember seeing that bowl often through the years.  Sometimes, there would be a salad in the bowl, but more often than not, there was something wonderful being made in there.  Grandmom would mix her famous Irish soda bread in that bowl.  The bread – with a few small tweaks from my stepmom – went on to win awards, appreciated by family and culinary judges alike.  She would mix peaches or apples in that bowl with sugar and vanilla, on their way to becoming the most delicious peach or apple pandowdy.


But then there was her signature dish.  For every birthday in our family, my grandmother would make a pudding cake.  Back before cake mixes had pudding in the box already, my grandmother was making pudding cake – moist, delicious cakes that she made in a tube pan.  They were boxed cake mixes, boxed pudding mix, and even icing from a can, but I so looked forward to the birthday parties my grandmom would have so that we could have that cake.

Somehow, I acquired that bowl.  I don’t use it much anymore to mix cakes, both out of fear of something happening to the bowl and because of the stand mixer I now own.  But I love the bowl.  I love that some of my best childhood memories originated in that green bowl in my grandmother’s kitchen.

Grandmom B 2