Food Type: American – A great variety of burgers, salads, sandwiches, seafood, steaks, chicken, and pasta
Location: Marketplace in between Wide World of Disney and Fulton’s/Portobello
Dining Plan: 1 Table Service
Cost: Appetizers: $7-$17. Entrée: $14-$33. Kids: $7 – $8.
Discounts: 10% Annual Passholder; 10% Disney Vacation Club.
Bar: One near the entrance, though I’m not real sure why you would pick this spot without kids. Any conversation will be drowned out by a brontosaurus fight, drinks are on the weak and fruity side, and food prices are high considering the quality.
Setting: T-Rex Cafe is brought to you by Landry’s, the same people behind the popular Rainforest Cafe franchise, which has locations here at Downtown Disney and in front of Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park. Instead of the jungle theme, T-Rex features life-size animatronic dinosaurs, meteor showers, and plenty of bombastic color-changing lights and sounds. Theming is more intense than Rainforest Café and there is also a play area for children to learn about dinosaurs and dig for “prehistoric” fossils.
- Unlike just about any other restaurant on the planet in the sheer lavishness of the theming. T-Rex Cafe is Rainforest Cafe hopped on steroids so powerful they would make Alex Rodriguez blush.
- Diverse menu with plenty of choices.
- Basic burgers and sandwiches are large, moderately priced, and taste good.
- The play area for children is fun and slightly educational.
- You can walk around the restaurant without sitting down for a meal.
- T-Rex is probably the loudest restaurant at Disney and possibly the world. Studio 54 club goers would have likely asked management to turn down the volume. The dinosaurs are constantly making noises and the “meteor shower” can be deafening.
- Higher-end entrees are overpriced considering the quality.
- T-Rex can be scary for young children, to the point where they may want to leave. This is best skipped by anyone apprehensive about It’s Tough To Be A Bug, Haunted Mansion, DINOSAUR, and others.
- 30+ waits from 5pm – 9pm without a reservation.
Tips: If reservations aren’t available online, call the restaurant directly at 407-828-8739. Only part of the inventory is released online. Consider Landry’s Select Club if you’re planning to dine here or Rainforest Cafe. The $25 annual fee includes an instant $25 credit in addition to retail discounts and an additional $25 credit to use during your birthday month.
Value: Depends. T-Rex is a restaurant for those who want to enjoy a fun atmosphere and don’t mind paying a slight premium for it. “Foodies” or those looking for a high quality meal should dine elsewhere or lower their expectations to TGI Friday’s level. Stick with the low end burgers and you’re set for an experience that shouldn’t disappoint.
Reputation: T-Rex has a fantastic, immersive atmosphere and it’s obvious that the owners expanded on the best ideas from the Rainforest Café chain. The food is better than the Rainforest Café, but still on par with TGI Friday’s or Applebee’s. Service is usually fine, but won’t be on par with the fancier restaurants at Disney. The other downside is that the dinosaurs, lights, and sounds may scare young children to the point where they want to leave the restaurant. If your child is of the more fearful variety, consider checking out the restaurant quickly before committing to a meal. Rainforest Cafe is less intense, but there are far fewer T-Rex Cafes and you won’t run into anther opportunity to visit unless you happen to be in Kansas City, Missouri.