50s Prime Time Cafe

Take a ride back in time to a decade where food was good, family was everything, and kitchens were retro!

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If you need to wait for your table to be ready, you can hang out in the attached Tune-In Lounge until your ‘babysitter’ seats you around your kitchen table.

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Choose from a wide selection of classic family recipes, from Aunt Liz’s fried chicken to Grandma’s pot pie, and be sure to eat all your vegetables, or your babysitter might just shout about it to the whole restaurant!

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If you’re into themed dining, then stopping by is completely necessary; kids will find the setting totally comical, and almost every adult will remember some relative that used to have a kitchen exactly like the set-up – my nan and gran in our family! The servers make everyone feel welcome, and while in my personal opinion the food left a little something to be desired, overall it was a fun family dining experience.

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Pizza Planet Arcade

Love Toy Story? Eat here.

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The Pizza Planet Arcade is a Quick Service restaurant, located in hollywood Studios, and is set up just like Pizza Planet from Pixar’s Toy Story.

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Once you’ve ordered your food from the counter, take a seat at a table, either on the ground floor, surrounded by arcade games to entertain the kids, or upstairs with the aliens!

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As the name suggests, the main item on the menu is pizza, but there’s also a few subs and salads available as well as a range of desserts; you can’t really go wrong!

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Fun for all the family and a great place to eat, don’t give it a miss!

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Sci Fi Dine In Theater

Disney is packed with unique dining experiences, but this one is fairly up there.

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Located in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the entire restaurant is set up as an old school drive in movie theater; you sit in classic cars, two by two, all pointed towards a huge projection screen playing a combination of black and white/colour movie clips, ads and classic cartoons.

Each row of the car has a little countertop style table across the row, just large enough for your meal, and comfortably fits two adults or three smaller bottoms. Sit back and enjoy the meal, the friendly diner staff take care of the rest!

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The food is classic American diner style – burgers, sandwiches etc. I had the steak, which came with garlic mash potato, vegetables and two fairly huge onion rings. Now I’m not a huge connoisseur of steak, but it was cooked to my liking and I enjoyed it very much, especially the blue cheese butter dressing, and the portion size didn’t leave me hungry – in fact, I could hardly touch my hot fudge ice cream sundae after all that.

There were a few cons though..

1. While it may work for some people, we found the atmosphere of the restaurant a little un-family friendly; while some tables are family style (where you sit around the table), most were in rows of two so felt a little unsociable, and as the whole room keeps fairly quiet so as not to disturb the reel on the screen, its difficult to feel part of a group, so I wouldn’t recommend it for families of smaller or more restless children.

2. The clips being played aren’t entirely kid-friendly. There were a few Tom and Jerry moments, but otherwise it was mainly adult sci-fi, which although part of the theme of the restaurant, didn’t appeal to the kids as much.

3. None of the tables are designed for groups of over 8. As a group of 9, we were given the option of trying to squeeze on a table of 8 (no chance would we have fitted seeing them), or to split between two cars. This meant that 2 of our group had to sit in a separate car, adding to the unsociable aspect.

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It was however a great meal, and while we, the adults, had our minor complaints, the kids didn’t seem to care too much, and in fact they thought it was the coolest place we ate!

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HS Tips and Secrets

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°o° Crowds tend to head to the big rides first (Toy Story Midway Mania, Rock’n’Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror etc), so if you don’t want to be stuck in hour long queues, save these for later in the day, or get your Fastpasses early as they’re snapped up quick.

°o° In midday heat or pouring rain, head to one of the many indoor attractions: Muppets 3D, Animation Academy etc.

°o° Try not to rush around, there are a tonne of tiny details you’ll miss otherwise!

°o° The gas pump when you enter the park represents the opening date of the park.

°o° Pull the rope of the well by Indiana Jones Stunt Show, you might just hear something!

°o° Watch out for the fire hydrant near Muppet Vision if you don’t want to get wet!

°o° Get a photo ‘Singing in the Rain’!

°o° Each limo in the Rock’n’Roller Coaster plays a different Aerosmith track.

°o° In Muppet Vision 3D, there is a sign saying ‘back in 5 minutes, key is under the mat’. Why don’t you check for the key?

°o° The nautical flags above Dockside Diner actually spell out Dockside Diner!

°o° The back of the Tower of Terror is designed so that when you see if from nearby Epcot, it blends in with the Morocco Pavilion.

°o° Outside The Great Movie Ride are a load of hand prints in the ground, have fun finding which famous person you match with.

°o° Young wannabe Jedis can try their skills out at Jedi Academy, and even face Darth Vader himself!

°o° The Fantasmic lake is only 18 inches deep.

Rainforest Cafe at Animal Kingdom

So you don’t have to visit Disney World to experience The Rainforest Cafe, but why not dine with the animals before/after visiting some real ones?!

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We planned to have breakfast here, as the Downtown Disney branch doesn’t open for lunch, but by the time we got there they were just about to open for lunch, so we had a bit of a browse of the huge gift shop area before being seated at our table.

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I’m no stranger to a Rainforest Cafe, but this one was enormous! They don’t even the whole restaurant for lunch its that big.

Without a doubt, it was the best meal I had during our stay. I had Parmesan Chicken; the portion size was huge, but if I had a bigger appetite I would have eaten every last bite!

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I cannot fault anything about this place; its so family friendly, our server was great, and the chimps sat next to us were great company!

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Festival of the Lion King

In a secluded corner of Africa in the Animal Kingdom is the harambe Theater, which is home to The Festival of the Lion King.

The 30 minute show combines fabulous live singers, dancers and acrobats with large animatronic floats of your favourite characters from the film, and involves the whole family with audience participation and an open invitation to sing along!

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The theater is set up in the round (or square, in this case), with each of the four sides being allocated an animal sound to pipe up during the performance. The layout of the set also means that everyone has a great view of the spectacular Tumble Monkeys, fire dancing and, not to mention, Timon strutting his stuff around the floor; he’s such a diva..

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Unlike the smash Broadway and West End musical, the show doesn’t actually tell the story of the Lion King, it just celebrates the best songs including The Circle of Life, Be Prepared and The Lion Sleeps Tonight, but with the showstopping cast, incredible costumes and amazing sets, you’re definitely missing out if you don’t check it out for yourself!

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Finding Nemo – the Musical

Yep, you read it right, Disney Pixar’s classic tale has been brought to the stage in the Animal Kingdom!

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The musical tells an abridged version of the movie story; it skips the unnecessary to cut the show down to a manageable 40 minutes, great for restless little ones.

Its staged like the hit Broadway and West End musical The Lion King, with actors handling incredible puppets and scenery, and a total phenomenal set.

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We got a Fastpass+, which got us seats about 1/3 of the way from the stage, but the theater seating is raised and staggered, and the large characters and props mean that no matter where you seat, you’re going to be able to see.

My one (very minor) criticism of the whole show it that the songs aren’t up to Disney’s usual standard; they’re not particularly catchy or memorable, but they serve fine during the performance. I guess for those who hate having songs stuck in their head for the rest of the day it would be a relief, but for me it took a little something away..

Aside from this super minor blip, Disney have well and truly hit another one out the park. A definite must see for anyone of any age!

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