Best Res­tau­rant: Cos­mic Ray’s Starlight Cafe

WDW Magazine - - Content - BY KATHLEEN LOGAN WOLFE

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.

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