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Opening Magic Kingdom

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Monday, July 30, 2012

Dining at T-Rex Cafe in Downtown Disney




Meteor showers, ice caves, and a giant octopus.  What do these have in common?  They can all be found at T-Rex Café in Downtown Disney.

We have dined at the T-Rex Café in Kansas Cityclick here to read more—the only other T-Rex Café so we wanted to give the almost new T-Rex Café in Downtown Disney a try. 

T-Rex Café is a part of Landry Restaurants—think Rainforest Café, Aquarium, Saltgrass Steak House, The Chart House, etc. and has restaurants across the U.S.  Rainforest Café already has two locations at Walt Disney World—Animal Kingdom and Downtown Disney.  T-Rex Café gives guests another unique dining experience among the varied restaurants at Downtown Disney.

We made an Advanced Dining Reservation for lunch at the 180 day mark prior to our trip.  You can do this through Disney’s Advance Dining Reservations system on-line, by phone, or by calling the restaurant directly.  Our reservation was for after 1:00 pm, but we started to get hungry around noon and it started to sprinkle, so we headed to the restaurant a bit early for both food and shelter.  No problem, we were seated within minutes after checking in at the podium near the entrance. (The rain is also why we did not take any pictures outside the restaurant—but be sure to do this when you visit!)


The Ice Cave was our seating assignment for lunch.  We received menus and service quickly.  After we ordered, the boy and I wandered throughout the restaurant taking photos and talking about the various dinosaurs, wooly mammoths, and sea life found in the restaurant.  Guests are encouraged to do this, as it is a site to behold.  The servers are pretty good at dodging wandering guests.

Our meal arrived quickly and we were graced with a meteor shower.  The Ice Cave changed colors from its more constant hue of blue.  We were smiling and enjoying the experience.  Much different than our first encounter at T-Rex Café in Minneapolis when the boy was small and he ended up on my lap, head in my chest, for most of the meal—though he remembers it fondly now.  The meteor shower happens about every 20-30 minutes and includes loud noises and roars from the dinosaurs. 



The boy had been talking about having dessert at T-Rex Café since our ADR day.  He wanted the Chocolate Extinction which is served with a dry ice volcano and is enough to share.  We had said yes, but when the time came to order dessert, he wasn’t hungry so we passed.  The memory or thought of it must have been enough.

There are enough varied items on the menu—burgers, steak, seafood, pizza, pasta, and appetizers to appease most guests.  Prices are aligned with other Landry restaurants and Downtown Disney restaurants—about $20 per person including drink and tax on average or more if adding on dessert or alcoholic beverages.

We were using the Disney Dining Plan, but paid out of pocket for our lunch at T-Rex Café as we had more reservations than restaurant credits and had planned to pay out of pocket for two table service meals.  The plan was that T-Rex Café would be one of our least expensive table service meals and we were right.  So, money wise, it was a good decision to pay out of pocket for this meal and get more for our money with the Dining Plan by using it at more expensive restaurants.

Another way to save money at T-Rex Café or any Landry Restaurant is to join the Landry Select Club.  Our server offered it to us during our meal.  Simply pay a one-time $25 enrollment fee and receive benefits including a $25 reward to use on your next visit to any Landry Restaurant, a $25 birthday reward, priority seating, $25 reward for every $250 you spend, exclusive offers, retail benefits, etc.  We passed, as we were not planning on returning to a Landry Restaurant anytime soon.  I played around on the Landry web-site to see if you could join on-line rather than at a restaurant and couldn’t find this option.

T-Rex Café includes a shop full of dinosaur and T-Rex Café themed merchandise.  Guests can also build their own stuffed dinosaur to take home.  There is also an area for kids to dig for dinosaur bones, though we didn’t use it.  There may be an additional charge for that experience.  You are welcome to browse the store even if you aren’t planning to eat at the restaurant.  Guests can experience the meteor shower from the store as well!

Dining at T-Rex Café is an experience, a unique experience.  If you haven’t tried it, go for it at least once!

4 comments:

  1. Do you think it would be possible to get seating at T-rex without ADR? We were able to pull together a last minute surprise trip for late Feb/early March (first time for my 7yr son & 4yr daughter!) but with less than 45 days notice we can't get reservations anywhere (we were hoping for t-rex and something with princess - akershus or similar). They won't know that they are missing anything, but I would love to see his face if we could go here :)

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    1. Kristy,
      Yes, I do think it will be possible to get a seating. I would recommend calling the restaurant directly at 407-828-8739. Often the restaurant has more openings. Also, if you are a member of the Landry Select Club, you get priority seating when checking in at the podium. Good luck and have a great time!

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