Dining with the Dreamers: Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe

By: Amy Kawa

There are very few things that bring us more joy than Disney food.  I mean, who doesn’t love Dole Whips, Mickey Bars, PB&J milkshakes, and Disney popcorn?  We have been all over the map when it comes to food options in the parks, resorts, and Disney Springs – table service, character dining, quick service, signature dining, snack carts – you name it. As we begin to craft our reviews of the places where we’ve enjoyed some delicious Disney delicacies, we’ll give you our opinions on the atmosphere, service, and quality of the food we ordered.

We know that every Disney dining experience may be different, so please let us know if you’ve eaten at these places, and tell us your experience!

*Disclaimer: Cosmic Ray’s is my favorite restaurant in ALL of Walt Disney World… actually, in the entire world.  I have some personal reasons for that statement that may slant my review, but also, at the end of the day, the food is REALLY REALLY good.  I go to this restaurant at least three times a trip.  I will literally mobile order, walk here, say “hey” to Sonny, pick up my food, and then take my food to the other quick service spot the rest of my party is enjoying their food at if the entire party chooses not to eat at Cosmic Ray’s on a given day.  That’s the kind of love and dedication we’re dealing with here.  I mean, it’s a next-level kind of love that involves Cosmic Ray’s t-shirts and photo ops, so please, enjoy this review:

Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe

Location: Magic Kingdom Park – Tomorrowland

Reservation Info: This is a quick service restaurant for both lunch and dinner, so no reservations are accepted.

Meal, Time, Party Size: Dinner, 7:00 p.m., 4

Crowd Level: Located in Walt Disney World’s most popular park and able to accommodate large numbers of guests thanks to plentiful indoor and outdoor seating, Cosmic Ray’s is oftentimes the busiest restaurant in all of WDW.  It has been said that Comic Ray’s serves more people per year than any other restaurant in the world.  Therefore, this restaurant can be pretty crazy at peak times of the year, especially if you’re also dining during peak meal times (i.e. 12:00-1:00 p.m. for lunch and 6:00-7:00 p.m. for dinner).  However, if you’re willing to be a little flexible and eat outside these standard times, you can’t beat Cosmic Ray’s.

Atmosphere: In keeping with the other futuristic elements of Tomorrowland, Cosmic Ray’s fits the aesthetic.  A purple, teal, and silver color scheme permeates the restaurant.  Guests order from three separate “Bays” that appear to be almost encapsulated by a chrome decor.  (Yes, the menus are all the same at each Bay, so head to Bay 3, which is the least crowded because it is the furthest from the main entrance.)  There are three separate indoor seating areas – two smaller ones and then the main dining room – and a newly-refurbished outdoor seating area as well.  One of the smaller seating areas offers a great view of Cinderella Castle, but the main draw of this amazing eatery can be found in the main dining room – the intergalactic lounge singer himself, Sonny Eclipse.

Sonny Eclipse is not just an audio animatronic space lizard from Yew Nork on the planet Zork, he is also the best lounge singer in the history of forever.  With classics like “The Planetary Boogie,” “Yew Nork, Yew Nork,” and “Gravity” and some funny jokes about his mother-in-law, Sonny has cultivated a cult-like fanbase, and I would consider myself a founding member.

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To the Menu: Like all true Disney food enthusiasts, we scour menus before we make reservations, so we have a pretty good idea of what we are going to order before we even get to the restaurant.  In this case, members of our party ordered:

  1. 1/2 Rotisserie Chicken with Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans… $11.49
    • Comments from diner 1: “This is my favorite meal on Disney property.  You literally get half a chicken – it’s HUGE and high quality.  The mashed potatoes are real, not the fake ones that come from a box.  I’m also not sure what Disney does to their green beans, but EVERYONE should do that same thing to their green beans.  I dream about Cosmic Ray’s green beans, and will get them as a side to whatever I order off of this menu.”
    • Comments from diner 2: “This is really one of the best-value meals you can get in Walt Disney World, particularly if you are on the dining plan.  For one quick service meal credit, you can get a meal that could essentially serve two smaller eaters.  It’s economical and just really really delicious.  It is the perfect alternative to the usual fries and burger scenario must people associate with theme park food.  It’s relatively healthy, good food that won’t weigh you down in a greasy mess.
  2. Pulled Pork Sandwich with Slaw – Barbecue Pulled Pork Sandwich topped with Slaw and served with French Fries… $12.99
    • Comments from diner 3: “I’m not really sure how Disney makes pulled pork on such a massive scale, but they do a wonderful job!  The pork is always flavorful and doesn’t become complete mush.”
    • Important tip: Swap the fries for green beans! Yes, THOSE green beans 😛
  3. Grilled Chicken Club – Herb-marinated Chicken Breast topped with American Cheese and Bacon and served with French Fries, Green Beans or Mashed Potatoes… $11.99
    • Comments from diner 4: This is my go-to option if I’ve already had the rotisserie chicken once on our current trip, and I want to change it up.  The chicken itself is marinated in some ridiculously delicious stuff, and it’s a really good size.  The bun always stands out to me because it’s super fresh and soft.  Cosmic Ray’s also has a Toppings Bar, so you can really add to your sandwich and take it to another level.
    • Yep, you guessed it, get the green beans.

Food MVP: Rotisserie Chicken, but the real MVP is Sonny Eclipse.

  • An important note: As previously mentioned, Cosmic Ray’s has a toppings bar.  This bar has lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, peppers, onions, ketchup mayonnaise, mustard, and bbq sauce.  While I am sure Disney intended this toppings bar to be used solely to enhance a burger or sandwich, they do put out these little paper containers, which are the perfect size for a nice, little side salad if you ask me.  There’s a “Dining with the Dreamers” hack for you.

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Overall Review: 10/10

#CosmicRays4Life  #SaveSonny

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