50’s Prime Time Cafe Review at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

50’s Prime Time Cafe Review at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

It wasn’t until our 4th visit to Walt Disney World that we finally opened up a spot on our restaurant reservation dance card for 50’s Prime Time Cafe at Hollywood Studios. We were skeptical, to say the least of this 50s diner in Disney World. Because, really, how good could diner food be? Why would we want comfort food when it’s 90 degrees in Florida? Sure, it’s a unique dining experience but without Disney characters or gourmet bites to woo us there why would we go? Then a spot opened up and we decided to give it a chance. This is what we found out.

If You Want A Nice Quiet Dinner, Eat Somewhere Else

If you’re looking for food in Hollywood Studios, the chances are you’ll happen upon 50’s Prime Time Cafe. This Hollywood Studios restaurant features home cooking like you’d get at mom’s house. Meatloaf, Chocolate Cake, Pot Roast, how could you go wrong? If you love home cooked meals and family to share it with, then 50s Prime Time Cafe may be just what you’re looking for. 

This classic nostalgic diner is a throw back to the 1950’s, but not as classy as Mad Men. It’s a Diner atmosphere. It’s crowded and noisy. You’re not getting luxury dining here. You may get yelled at and smashed together with other guests in the living room while you wait. Strangely- this is part of the charm. Call it questionable, but actually, this is called immersion dining. IMMERSION. And yes, much like trying to learn Spanish by actually going to Spain, there will be lots of things you experience here that have nothing to do with food. However, for many this is one of the Best Places to Eat in Hollywood Studios, because the food, ain’t that bad! 

50’s Prime Time Cafe Restaurant

This Disney diner at Walt Disney World offers lunch and dinner at small diner like tables stuffed into the home kitchen. Decor includes vinyl chairs with Formica tables, and small televisions stuffed onto the kitchen counter. 

50s Prime Time Cafe Hours for Lunch and Dinner

  • Lunch – 10:45 AM to 3:55 PM
  • Dinner – 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Where is 50s Prime Time Cafe Located?

This Hollywood Studios Restaurant is located right next to Echo Lake in Hollywood Studios Park. In fact, if you head towards the Gertie the Dinosaur ice cream stand, 50’s Prime Time Cafe is right across from that. 

Do you Need Reservations for 50’s Prime Time Cafe?

Yes! We recommend Disney Dining Reservations for 50s Prime Time Cafe. While you can also head to the counter and see if there is a walk up waiting list, they are typically full. 

How Much Does 50s Prime Time Cafe Cost?

At about $15-$35 per plate you can typically eat lunch or dinner at 50s Prime Time Cafe for about $40-$50 per person depending on what you order. Check out the 50s Prime Time Cafe Menu for details on each dish.

Tune In Lounge at Hollywood Studios

50s Prime Time Cafe Atmosphere

So, as we stood near “Mom’s” kitchen waiting to be seated ( for quite a long time) we definitely rethought this restaurant choice! It was crowded (like fire-code violation crowded) and the hosts walk around yelling for your family when it’s your turn to be seated. And not like at Liberty Tree Tavern, where when they call your name, you feel the first family, it was different than that.

At first, we wanted to leave. Coming from a big, loud, Italian family, we could just hang out at our actual mom’s house, and receive this type of atmosphere for free! On any holiday! But we stayed and waited. And waited. Luckily, this waiting period gives you time to look at all the tchotchkes on the wall. Assortments of copper bundt pans, African statues, sunburst clocks, and more. And frankly, these are all the things you probably saw at your grandmother’s house from the ’50s. And while they didn’t have a JFK ceramic plate hanging on the wall next to a portrait of Jesus Christ, like our actual grandmas… we expected to see such a display around any corner. 

As immersion experiences go, remember, Your experience here has nothing to do with the food. It depends on the awesomeness of your server. Our server, Christian, was amazing! He hung out at the table, chatted about his life in Pennsylvania, tried to get us to vacation with the family next to us, complained about his job, and fussed about having to clean up all of our mess. Just. Like. Moms.

50’s Prime Time Cafe Rules

Did you know the 50’s Prime Time Cafe comes with a set of rules, all guests must follow? “Just make sure you wash your hands, put your napkin in your lap and keep your elbows off the table, unless you want a stern talking-to from Uncle Fred”

It’s All About Family

You get additional family members as soon as you’re seated. If you’re timid around the other Disney guests, find someplace else to eat. Much like Biergarten, half the fun is about being forced into awkward conversations with people you don’t know. ( Another throwback to get-togethers at mom’s in the ’50s, minus the huge amount of bar cart alcohol at the ready.). While you don’t have to share a table with strangers as you do at Biergarten, you can end up sitting pretty close to your “cousins”.  

Don’t expect peace and quiet. Like not at all. If you have personal business to discuss, plan to fight with your husband or need to reel in your kids, now is not the time. (Or maybe it is?) Your business is everyone’s business. Much like moms if there is a new person around, expect to be hooked up and talked into vacationing together. If you’re looking for some dinner date romance or if you’re feeling smoochy, prepare to just get made fun of- like moms. If you’re here with a picky eater- expect everyone to make a big deal about it.  Just like at home.

A huge perk of this restaurant is that each table gets a little TV that you can watch while you eat. Old School shows like Mickey Mouse Club, and The Donna Reed Show play on mini televisions set up right at your table. While you can get immersed in the television, your new cousins and server will still all expect you to talk and share how your life’s been going. Just like at moms—whether you like it or not. 

Tune in Lounge Disney Adult Lounge at Hollywood Studios

50’s Prime Time Cafe Lounge

Prime Time Cafe in Hollywood Studios has a lounge. Of course if this whole experience becomes too much and you’re just looking for drinks, then you can head right over to the bar at Tune In Lounge. Adjacent to the check in counter at 50’s Prime Time, the towering televisions, and loads of alcohol give this spot away. Very small, you can expect to lean up against the bar, and wait to be served. Note, they NO LONGER serve any food here. So, unfortunately you cannot order anything from the restaurant, the milkshake or any other food at this counter. Check out the Tune In Lounge Menu for specialty cocktails. As a true bar, you can order pretty much anything you can think up. 

50's Prime Time Cafe Tune in Lounge Moms Living Room

50’s Prime Time Cafe Menu

This Hollywood Studios Table Service restaurant Prime Time Cafe serves lunch and dinner and offers the same menu at each meal. As places to eat in Hollywood Studios go, the menu is filled with classic foods that mom would make. And if you’re looking for a cheap dinner in Hollywood Studios, you can eat for here for about $15-$35 dollars a plate. Plus, there’s a kid’s menu too. See everything to choose from on the 50s Prime Time Cafe Menu.


If you’re wanting to settle into your dinner at 50s Prime Time Cafe with an appetizer, you can choose from things like Battered Onion Rings, Tomato Soup, Herb and Garlic Cheese with fruit, Deviled Eggs, or an Iceberg Wedge. Prices range from $10-$13 dollars each. 


For both lunch and dinner at 50’s Prime Time Cafe you can get things like Fried Chicken, Salmon, and Cesar Salad with Chicken. Showstoppers on this menu include the Meatloaf, Pot Pie and Pot Roast. There is also a 50’s Prime Time Cafe Blue Plate Special that offers a seasonal dish with all the fixings. This could be pasta, shrimp and grits or anything else mom has cooked up.  

Mind you, there is only one plant based menu option here. And you don’t necessarily know what it is, much like the Blue Plate Special. Cousin Harold’s Vegetable Garden can be an array of anything plant based that the kitchen is serving up and the price remains a mystery until you order it. While this dish can be changed at anytime, the current Cousin Harold’s Vegetable Garden meals is kale, white beans, lentils, onion, tomatoes and a mushroom ragu, topped with tofu and a polenta cake. A very kitchen sink sort of vegan meal. 

All in all this place has pretty decent food for the price, and if you can endure being immersed into the lives of all you encounter, you’ll probably go away pretty happy with your food options and feeling full. Check out the 50’s Prime Time Cafe Menu.


The PB & J Milkshake is why people come here. Mind you, it’s not the only reason, but definitely a big one. While you can share your milkshake, you’ll regret it. Just make everyone order their own, they are that good and you will want it all for yourself. The only other place to get good milkshakes is at the Sci-Fi Drive-in, but mind you they don’t have the PB and J. 

Try the Chocolate-Peanut Butter Layered Cake. While the PB & J milkshake is really the headliner here, we LOVED this cake and actually find it to be one of our favorite desserts in WDW. While it’s nothing fancy, it will bring you back to childhood memories of eating cake at your grandma’s house. Sugar layer and all. 

50’s Prime Time Cafe Cost

As one of the most budget-friendly restaurants at Disney World, Prime Time Cafe offers lunch and dinner at between $15-$35 per plate. As one of the cheapest Disney Restaurants in Hollywood Studios, 50s Prime Time Cafe offers a decent meal in hearty portions. And the meal options here are good for both kids and adults. 

50’s Prime Time Cafe of Sci Fi Dine In?

While these two restaurants are nothing alike, people often try to pick between 50’s Prime Time Cafe and the Sci fi Dine In Restaurant. While 50’s Prime Time is an immersive dining experience where lots of interaction with your new family is part of the fun, Sci-fi Dine in, is completely different. Seated in a vintage car, you simply eat and watch horror film trailers from days of old, while you eat. Interaction with staff is pretty nonexistent. So, it’s really about what you’re in the mood for! Food at Sci-fi is your basic burgers and fries, and also milkshakes, as opposed to the home cooking found at 50s Prime Time. Check out our Sci Fi Dine In Review to get a feeling for what it’s like! 

50’s Prime Time Cafe Review

While this immersion experience for us was completely unexpected, it was slightly more toned down than Whispering Canyon Cafe. It does however leave you feeling vulnerable just by walking in, so as long as you’re ready for that, and can handle some chummy questions from your waiter, newfound friends at the table next to you, some pretty yummy homemade food, and the super budget-friendly check, you will love it. It’s definitely an experience we would recommend everyone try at least once. Enjoy!

50s prime time cafe restaurant

Co-Founder and Director at Polka Dot Pixie Co LLC | Website

Rochelle Mariah is a writer, designer and photographer with an MLIS in Information Science and a B.S. in Arch and Design. Determined to make Planning a DIY Disney Vacation easier she makes lots of lists and drinks lots of coffee. When not designing apparel at Polka Dot Pixie Shop, she's watching old movies and planning the holidays. She has been traveling to Disney destinations since 2010.

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