T-Rex Cafe

Apr 16, 2015

Loving Husband is like a little kid when it comes to dinosaurs; he loves to watch them on television, he likes to see them in films, we go to museums to learn about them, we even went to see Walking with Dinosaurs Live! Having read on several Disney blogs that the T-Rex Cafe at Disney Springs has one of the top 10 most difficult reservations to get on property, we had put off trying to make one for a couple of weeks. We eventually tried anyway, and somehow, we managed to score same night dinner reservations on the first attempt! When we walked up, I was pretty excited because there is a huge reproduction of a dino skeleton at the front door. You hear loud roaring and see lights flashing before you are even properly in the restaurant. It is a lot to take in and I DO NOT recommend this place for anyone with sensitive hearing OR especially for epileptics. That being said, the atmosphere here is VERY cool! The animatronics are a little stiff so if you are expecting the million-dollar-each life-like figures that you see in the parks, you’ll be disappointed. We thought it was still fun, though, and the kids running around seemed to enjoy it.

Wooly mammoth and babies at T-Rex Cafe at Disney Springs
Parasaurolophus and baby at T-Rex Cafe at Disney Springs

We were seated in the section between the wooly mammoths (above) and the “Kitchen of Fire” (below), right in front of the entrance to the Ice cave (gallery). This was a really good spot for seeing all of the action. Every 15-20 minutes they run the “extinction event”, which I assume is meant to replicate a comet hitting the Earth, the lights flash, the background sound gets loud and crashing then the animals all buck and thrash around. This display lasts about a minute. Once it is over, everything goes back to normal, which isn’t necessarily to say quiet, as the restaurant is very loud as it is. In other words, don’t expect to come here and have a conversation. The environment might be quieter in the bar seating area, I didn’t go over there until it was almost closing time. The ice cave, however, is NOT quiet, it seems like the sound in there magnifies. It was also very bright, yet dark at the same time. I can’t describe it. I was able to walk through it on my way to wash my hands and felt like I was at a rave. While in a more subdued and visually quiet vein, the restroom does carry on the prehistoric theme with walls that are adorned with authentic fossil samples! There are even huge amethyst geodes flanking the entrance to the lavs.

The Kitchen of Fire at T-Rex Cafe at Disney Springs
My dinner at T-Rex Cafe at Disney Springs

Back at the table, I ordered the Neanderthal New York Strip (above) and LH had the Mega Mes-O-Bones (Ribs). The food wasn’t bad, but if I’m being honest, I wouldn’t actually rate it any higher than I would a Chili’s. At a theme dining establishment like this you aren’t paying for the outstanding food, though, are you? You are paying for the atmosphere and the experience. So, I don’t have any complaints about paying $35 for my $20 Applebee’s steak, because we had such a great time just looking around and watching everything go crazy every few minutes. I wanted meat and to be amazed, and I got it. After dinner, we walked around and examined all of the different areas. Don’t sell yourself short by just going straight to your table, then straight out when you are done. We loved getting to see the various dinosaurs and once we reached the bar, I was almost overwhelmed by the saturation of colors and the motion of it all. In the center of the lounge is a large saltwater aquarium on top of which are large, bright, moving tentacles! This area is decorated to look like a coral reef, the walls are covered in glowing sprigs of faux coral, light gels project water movement everywhere, various sizes, shapes and colors of jellyfish lights hang from the ceiling, the bar itself glows brilliant blue! It makes me feel like I jumped into the ocean!

Coral reef seating area at T-Rex Cafe at Disney Springs
Saltwater fish tank bar at T-Rex Cafe at Disney Springs

The last area to look at was the gift shop. I thought the shelving and displays were so creative, being made to look like giant old bones! The light-up solar system on the ceiling is awesome, as is the star of the show, a 15 foot tall animatronic Tyrannosaurus Rex!

Was T-Rex Cafe worth the cost? Yes, but solely based on the atmosphere, I wouldn’t pay these prices for the food or service alone. Would I eat there again? Yes, but I would ask to be seated in the “reef” lounge and I would probably try one of the chicken dishes. They cook their chicken rotisserie style and it looked and smelled delicious.

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