Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café

Sonny Eclipse entertains the Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe. Get your food at one of three bays and then enjoy the show while you eat.

Sonny Eclipse entertains the Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe. Get your food at one of three bays and then enjoy the show while you eat.

If you are looking for a place to eat in the Magic Kingdom then Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe is an excellent choice. Located in Tomorrowland across from the Tomorrowland Speedway, Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe is the largest counter service restaurant in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. It also offers one of the largest choice of selections in the Magic Kingdom unless you want to do a much more expensive table service buffet. There is a catch to that variety, however, which will be covered later.

Keeping with the retro future feel that predominates Tomorrowland, Ray’s looks like something out of a 1950′s sci-fi movie. In this case the premise seems to be that guests are in a spaceport. Looking for food as well as entertainment to pass the time on one of those dreaded lay-overs between planetary destinations guests find themselves at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe.

The entertainment comes in the form of an intergalactic lounge singer named Sonny Eclipse. Sonny is an animatronic alien who performs on a regular basis throughout the day. If you eat a meal here you can be guaranteed at least one performance. He act ranges from music to jokes and while it may not tickle the fancy of the average adult it does entertain smaller children.

The seating at Cosmic Ray’s, again this is the largest quick service eatery in the Magic Kingdom, can be divided up into three distinct areas. There is outdoor seating. The tables are shaded by the large overhang from the restaurant itself and also have ceiling fans so while not air-conditioned you at least can be out of the sun with a little breeze. There is also an area that is mostly out of reach of Sunny’s entertainment. It is on a higher level than the show and separated by glass. You can still here it but it is not so overpowering. Finally there is the seating in the main, and largest, area where you are fully exposed to Sunny and his antics. This can be a very loud area when the alien is performing and crowds are high.

Cosmic Rays Starlight Cafe Menu

The menu may change but this gives you an idea of the set up.

While Comic Ray’s boasts the largest menu of the counter service restaurants that variety comes at a price. There are three different ordering counters each of which is serviced by multiple registers. These counters, designated Bays to keep with the feel of a space port, each have their own menu and while there are a few items offered at more than one bay when it comes to the main course they are pretty exclusive. There is no ordering from one bay’s menu at another bays register. Side dishes are pretty much common across all three bays. When it comes to Ray’s and ordering it might be easier of it think of a food court. There are really three restaurants sharing a common seating area.

The food itself is pretty good. I don’t remember ever being disappointed by my entrée or side (always french fries) but the desert was really a lot like a Hostess or Little Debbie snack cake, nothing impressive about it. Of course I was full already so that might have contributed to my lack of enthusiasm.

The main items on the menu are hot dogs, cheeseburgers, wraps (including a vegetarian one), BBQ chicken, grilled chicken sandwich and chicken nuggets. A full menu is available below.

One of the best things about Cosmic Ray’s is the “fixin’s bar.” After you pick up your food head over to the condiments bar to add ketchup, mustard and the normal sandwich toppings to your meal. Of course that is not exciting. What is exciting is the sautéed mushrooms and onions. They make a real difference on your, especially on a burger.

While Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe is not my first choice for counter service at the Magic Kingdom (Pecos Bill’s is) I don’t complain when that is where everyone else wants to go.

Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe Menu (Updated April 2013)

Soups/Salads

Chicken noodle soup $3.49

Cucumber Salad – $2.99

Entrée/Main Course

Angus Bacon Cheeseburger, served with apple slices, french fries or cucumber salad-$9.99

Hot Dog, served with your choice of French fries or apple slices (add bacon $0.79)-$7.59

BBQ Pork Sandwich, served with your choice of french fries or apple slices. – $9.59

Chicken Nuggets,served with French fries or apple slices.-$8.69

Chili Cheese Dog, served with your choice of French fries or apple slices (add bacon $0.79)-$9.59

Greek Salad-$7.99

Grilled Chicken Sandwich. served with your choice of apple slices, French fries or cucumber salad – $9.59

Half Rotisserie Chicken, served with mashed potatoes and a seasonal vegetable. – $9.99

Turkey Sandwich, served with your choice of apple slices, french fries or cucumber salad – $9.59

Vegetable sandwich, served with your choice of apple slices, french fries or cucumber salad – $9.59

Vegetarian Burger, served with French fries or apple slices. – $8.39

Kosher Meals

 Glatt Kosher meals available upon request. Price varies.

 Side Dish

Side of French fries. – $2.49

Dessert

No sugar added Brownie – $2.39

Carrot Cake – $3.59

Gelato:Chocolate or no sugar added mango – $3.29

Strawberry Yogurt – $1.99

 Triple Chocolate Cake – $3.59

Drinks

Coffee -$2.09

Dasani bottled water – $2.50

Iced Coffee: French Vanilla, mocha or latte – $3.89

Milk: Whole or low-fat milk $1.49 and Nesquik chocolate milk $2.19

Minute Maid Orange Juice-$2.39

Nestle Hot Cocoa or Hot Tea- $2.09

Selection of Soft Drinks: Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, Fanta Orange, Nestea Ice Tea, or Light Lemonade $2.59& $2.89

Menu is subject to change!

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Eat Free at Disney!

In years past Disney has offered many perks to get guests into their resorts. The last time Mrs Grumpy and I went it was buy four days get three days free plus we got a $200 gift card. One of the most popular promotions, however, is the free dining program. This was a mainstay of the Disney incentive program for some time but then it went away for a while. Well it’s back now for a very limited time and only to guests who use a Disney Visa card to pay their deposit. Reservations must be made by May 18th, 2012.

So what is free dining? I am glad you asked! Free dining means that Disney will give you one of their Dining Plans for free.  As you might imagine this can save you quite a bit of money.

Unfortunately the number of rooms available and the dates that are open are limited.  The dates are limited to check-in between August 25-September 29, 2012. Three resorts are not included, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s All Star Music Family Suites, and the campsites at Fort Wilderness.

Disney offers a variety of dining plans from the very basic to the very extravagant. For those who are staying at the value resorts the dining plan is the Quick Service variety which includes: Two quick-service meals per person, per night (ages 3+); one snack per person, per night (ages 3+); and one Resort-refillable drink mug. For those staying at a moderate resort or better the plan is the Dining Plan which includes: One table-service meal per person, per night (ages 3+); one quick-service meal per person, per night (ages 3+); one snack per person, per night (ages 3+); and one Resort-refillable drink mug.

As you can imagine this can save quite a bit of money and you can get some great food at the same time, especially if you are staying at a Moderate or Deluxe Resort.

 


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Thinking about skipping your dinner reservation…something to consider

Disney is going to start charging you if you fail to cancel your reservation 24 hours in advance and don’t show up. The charge is $10 per person. While I don’t like the idea of the charge I do understand it. When my wife and I took our last Disney trip there were some places we just couldn’t get a reservation for, like Boma. Who knows how many people, if any, had reservations there but decided not to eat there. Could have been a table for us!

Details here

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/the-daily-disney/os-cfb-tourism-disney-1017-20111016,0,694387.story


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Eating At Disney-Part One

Food may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Disney World. It is not number one on my list either but hey you have to eat and if you have to eat why not at Disney World!

There are a lot of options for eating in the various parks at Disney World, the resorts and Downtown Disney. Some of them are relatively inexpensive and some of them come with a royal price tag, like Cinderella’s Royal Table.

Your eating options are broken down into three main categories: snack, counter service and table service. Snacks range from popcorn to fresh fruit with my personal favorite funnel cakes thrown in. Then there are the favorites Mickey shaped ice cream and dole whips. Counter service is mostly typical fast food fare but in the Animal Kingdom also includes bbq chicken and ribs that are very tasty. Table service means everything from buffets to the aforementioned Cinderella’s Table. Table service may also include opportunities to meet different Disney characters including the Big Cheese himself.

To help keep costs down Disney offers dining plans.  Those plans go from very basic burger and fries plans to the very luxurious. The prices, as you might expect, correspond. The plans are listed below for your convenience:

My wife I took a trip in 2009. At the time we had no children and decent jobs. It was also off peak season so we got very good rates on our hotel and perks like extra days on our theme tickets and a gift card. Since it was our anniversary gift to each other we decided to splurge and get the 2012 Magic Your Way Package Plus Dining package as well. That meant we got one snack, one counter service and one table service meal per day for each of us. We kept track and we really did save money this way. The only down side was we had to have reservations for all the table service meals and though we did save money on what it would have cost had we paid separately, we would have saved even more if we had skipped some of the table service meals and ate at counter service instead. That being said, we did have some great meals we probably would not have splurged on if we were paying for each of them individually. So before you go all out with a dining package, I recommend really weighing the pros and cons. If you have any questions, be sure to ask. I will be glad to give my opinion.

Now that we have looked at what types of meals are offered as well as an option to pay for them lets talk about the food itself.

I have eaten at a lot of Disney establishments but by no means all of them. There’s just too many places to eat and to be honest I am not the adventurous type, when I find something I like I go back again and again.

At the Magic Kingdom I recommend Peco’s Bills Cafe. Its just standard burgers and fries but they have a fixings bar that includes sauteed onions and mushrooms. Maybe it’s just me but that makes all the difference. My niece’s birthday is very close to mine and on more than one occasion when asked what we want for our big day, we have both answered Peco’s Bills! I am not sure how much the food has to do with it as opposed being in the Magic Kingdom. (Note: We have never gotten what we wanted!) If you are looking for something more sit down I recommend the Liberty Tree Inn for those families who are not interested in characters. The food is typical American with roasted beef, pork and ham for entrees and stuffing, mashed potatoes and mac and cheese for sides.  A salad and dessert are included. The food is served family style and brought out till you can’t stuff any more in! If you do want characters, Crystal Palace is hard to beat. The characters are Pooh and his friends. The food is great, several carved meats and all the sides you can imagine. The food here is served buffet style but its much better than the typical buffet you might find in the real world. The characters come right to your table and will pose for pictures as well sign autograph books.



To be continued!


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