A few years ago my family dined for the first time at the 50’s Prime Time Café, located in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It quickly became one of our favorite restaurants. During that visit we had already dined at ‘Ohana, Bistro de France, California Grill and Cinderella’s Table, so the relaxed atmosphere and comfort food offered by this restaurant was a perfect change of pace. Since that visit in 2014 we have returned every year to this throwback-in-time restaurant. Here, eating with your elbows on the table undoubtedly will result in a scolding from the Cast Member, and the Dick Van Dyke Show plays in black in white on the nearby television.
My husband and I still remember fondly the 2014 visit. The particular attention that was given to my then 11-year-old son by the Cast Member was some of the best amusement we had all day. Nothing like making an 11-year-old blush as the Cast Member asked the group of girls at the next table to help him get my son to eat his vegetables!
During our visit this past April I was the subject of multiple Cast Members’ attention, much to the delight of my kids and husband. Like any foodblogger I was taking pictures of our dinner and posting to Instagram. Trust me, nothing provokes the ridicule of the Cast Members more than “playing with those electronic toys” at the dinner table!
I wholeheartedly recommend this restaurant to anyone wanting to add a little humor to your meal (just be able to laugh at yourself if needed!), while experiencing some delicious comfort food and watching classic 1950’s black and white prime time shows on the television at your table. And don’t forget the milkshakes – this is definitely a must-have for everyone in our family when we visit!
As a food allergy family with severe peanut and tree nut allergies, we love the care and concern Walt Disney World Resort pays to Guests with special dietary needs. My food allergic kids really love being able to order milkshakes, and this past trip we also tried the S’mores dessert.
I snapped these pictures of the Allergy-Friendly Menus for the 50’s Prime Time Café.
What better way to recreate these memories at home than with Cousin Ann’s Traditional Meat Loaf? My husband had this meatloaf as part of the Sampling of Mom’s Favorite Recipes (served with the crispy fried chicken and tender pot roast) and declared it “almost as good” as the meat loaf I regularly make at home. The recipe for this dish appears in one of the recent Disney Parks cookbooks, Kitchen Magic with Mickey by Pam Brandon and the Disney Chefs. I decided to give it a try to see how it compared to what I regularly prepare for our family.
I have to admit – this is the best meat loaf I have ever made, and trust me, I have tried probably close to 20 different meat loaf recipes, including one with the entire meat loaf wrapped in bacon. In this recipe, there is a mixture of ground beef and sausage, which I believe adds to the flavor and moistness of this dish. The onion soup mix and added water also contribute to keeping the meat loaf incredibly flavorful and complex. To retain the moistness of the dish and avoid ending up with a dry hockey puck, I recommend a ground beef no more than 92% lean. Let’s face it, the fat gives the meat flavor and keeps it moist and yummy. I used an 85% lean beef, and balanced the fat from the beef with turkey sausage. I used an Italian turkey sausage rather than regular sausage, but any type of sausage will work. You also can load up on vegetables to round out the meal if you want to balance the fat in the main dish.
Everyone in the family declared it to be delicious, and most importantly, the kids ate dinner without complaining!
This is a very easy recipe to prepare, and I am all about easy and fast dinners. Rather than placing the meat loaf in a 9 X 5 X 3 pan, I made several smaller round meat loaves and baked them in a 9 X 13 Pyrex dish. I also added just a small amount of the sauce to the top of each of the meat loaves before baking to give the dish some additional flavor as it baked.
The best thing about this recipe? It comes together quickly and then you leave it in the oven to cook while you move on to putting together your vegetables and other accompaniments. It is extremely hands off which is one of the things I look for in a recipe, especially on weeknights when I have limited time to get dinner together.
I served the meat loaf with roasted fresh green beans, homemade macaroni and cheese, and sautéed carrots. And a dose of teasing my son, now 13 years old, about his experience several years ago – it wouldn’t be a true 50’s Prime Time Café experience without that! Not only did we all eat dinner together that night and reminisce about one of our favorite Walt Disney World Resort restaurants, but that night, there were no elbows on the table and everyone ate their vegetables!