Best Restaurant: Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe
If you’re looking for a counter service dining experience that is out-of-this-world, yet still features a down-to-earth menu covering all the basic food favorites, then Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café is the restaurant for you!
Located in Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom, Cosmic Ray’s (its more commonly used, shorter name) is popular and recommended for families and guests looking for both standard theme park fare—for those with simpler tastes—and some solid options for those with a slightly more sophisticated palette… Slightly.
Featuring three different serving/ordering “Bays,” each offering a unique menu, the choices are what I would call “safe” and pleasing to most appetites. With selections that range from Rotisserie Chicken with Mashed Potatoes (personal favorite) and Pulled Pork, to Chicken Breast Nuggets and Angus Cheeseburgers, as well as Greek Salad and a Falafel Burger—with a few other options in between—you’ll be hard pressed not to find something for everyone to eat and be happy. Side items are scarce but include French Fries, Green Beans (so good!) and Cheese Dip. This is not the hot cheese from the dispenser but rather a pre-packaged serving of room temperature Ortega® brand cheese dip.
In addition to the variety of menu items, Cosmic Ray’s has a generous toppings bar as well, which allows guests to dress their meals with lettuce, tomatoes, sautéed onions, pickles, and sautéed mushrooms. Even the kiddos have a nice selection of Salad with Turkey, Chicken Breast Nuggets, Mac & Cheese, or Uncrustables® from which to choose. The average cost of an adult meal here is about $14, and a kid’s meal will set you back about $7. Of course, the Disney Dining Plan is also accepted here.
Be advised, you may not want to skip dessert. In addition to a Triple-chocolate Cake and Greek Yogurt, S’mores are on the menu!
But is it really the food that draws people to this café? Or is it the far-out crooning and musical talents of none other than Sonny Eclipse! That’s right, it’s lunch or dinner with a show
(if you choose) at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café. The alien entertainer plays a 25-minute set of tunes and talk in the lower level dining area of this restaurant, inside the glass enclosure of the Starlight Lounge. It’s kitschy, fun, and certainly unique.
There is ample seating for all the Sonny fans downstairs in the Starlight Lounge. For those not interested in being entertained, there is plenty of seating elsewhere. You will find a generous amount of dining space upstairs near the ordering bays, as well as outdoors at tables with umbrellas. It’s important to note that you may get the occasional whiff of exhaust from the Tomorrowland Speedway. If you’re sensitive to smell, stay inside.
While the three unique bays are a great idea, it does make ordering for various appetites a bit tough. You’ll need to divide and conquer if all of your party’s selections aren’t on the same menu. This can be a challenge, particularly with little ones in tow.
Cosmic Ray’s happens to be my daughter, Hannah’s favorite Magic Kingdom Quick Service spot. She’s a mashed potato junky and they don’t disappoint here. We come for the food; we enjoy Sonny, and get our fill of both in about 30 minutes, before we head off to another galaxy.