Hands down, the most fun we had at dinner was at the 50’s Prime Time Cafe at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We had heard that it was a fun experience to dine here, and those stories weren’t exaggerated. When we arrived, we were asked to have a seat in Dad’s Den; the place was packed! At first, it was SRO, but eventually, as people were seated, we were able to take a seat. Shortly thereafter, we were shown to our table.
The entire restaurant is decorated as if you’re in someone’s home….in the 1950s. There are TVs everywhere you look, airing sitcoms that were popular in the 1950s… Dennis the Menace, I Married Joan, The Dick Van Dyke Show, and The Real McCoys. The tables are formica with matching pattern chairs. We were seated in an area where the tables were close together, so it was as if we were dining together. Not quite as close quarters as what we found at the Biergarten, so it was much more enjoyable. The server introduced us to the couple next to us as being from Champaign, IL. They were there to celebrate their 37th anniversary….said that their secret was “not going to be mad and keeping up with communication”.
The servers are dressed just like Grandma used to dress in the 1950s, and were often heard to exclaim, “No dessert for you if you don’t clean your plate!” or “Get your elbows off the table!”. In fact, our server, Melissa, said that she’ll never be able to waitress anywhere else because people just wouldn’t t like it if she were to bark out these orders.
Chef John was just marvelous! He said that he could make about anything on the menu gluten-free, including Dad’s Traditional Meat Loaf, Mom’s Old-Fashioned Pot Roast or Aunt Liz’s Golden Fried Chicken. I chose the fried chicken – something that I’d not had in a restaurant in 14 years. He told me that there’d be a 20-minute wait for the chicken, but we told him we didn’t mind as the atmosphere was more than entertaining. I received a wing, thigh, breast and drumstick – I ate it all except the wing. They also served mashed potatoes and Southern Greens. The mashed potatoes were seasoned with something that I couldn’t quite put my finger on (pan drippings of some sort, perhaps?); it just wasn’t my preference. The Southern Greens appeared to be a mix of kale and either spinach or collard greens. They were seasoned, too, possibly with bacon drippings…again, not my preference, but both expertly prepared.
As you can see, the servings were ample, so there was no way that I could clear my plate. True to form, I was told that I would receive no dessert if I didn’t finish my dinner! I pleaded and cajoled, though, and Melissa took pity on me and let me have dessert. Gluten-free choices for dessert was a sugarless cheesecake, strawberry, chocolate or caramel ice cream sundaes, or a gluten-free brownie. I chose a chocolate sundae, complete with whipped cream and a cherry on top. It came in a glass that reminded you of what was served in the 1950s diners. It looked so tantalizing that I completely forgot about taking photos of it for this review!
And again I say, this was the most entertaining dinner of our vacation. We would definitely go back again, but next time, we’d be sure to keep our elbows off the table.