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Florida Guide > Dining

T- Rex Café at Downtown Disney – just opened!

Trust Disney, those experts at the art of the magical and unpredictable, to come up with the ultimate restaurant experience. Newly opened at Downtown Disney is the amazing and almost (there is one in Kansas) unique 30, 000 sq ft T-Rex Café, which seats 620 diners. This restaurant is just the start of Disney’s big new plans for the development of Downtown Disney, as it commences a

2 year replacement of the night clubs of Pleasure Island with more family-orientated attractions, including shopping and dining. It will also help to increase the numbers of dining spaces, which in recent years has been a problem, with places such as Planet Hollywood being crowded at peak times.

Now if you have ever visited the Rainforest Café, then you will already have an inkling of what is in store for eager guests, as you will have been amazed at the moving animals and sudden deluges that are part and parcel of this particular experience. However, Disney, in conjunction with Landrys, who own both restaurants, has come up with a winning formula, a Prehistoric Family Adventure - a restaurant with a dinosaur theme and every possible high tech idea, to ensure that guests not only have a meal to remember, but even learn something in the process. Now if you have little boys (or big ones come to that), you will know that there are few who do not love dinosaurs, so you will definitely have to take a trip to this amazing restaurant. At the moment, T-Rex will be open for lunch and dinner, but there may be the possibility of breakfast parties. As many as one million people will dine here each year, at an average of 2, 500-3, 000 per day.

What child could resist digging about in the dirt before he eats? But that is exactly what is on offer, as children are encouraged to dig in the fossil dig pit, where a complete set of replica T-Rex bones lie buried beneath what we are assured is ‘clean’ dirt. Shoes have to be removed, of course, and brushes are provided for the amateur palaeontologists. However, their first glimpse of the restaurant is likely to evoke a big ‘wow’ as they see the huge life size replica outside of an Argentinosaurus, which is 140 ft long. Stepping through the doors, diners will be wowed by the Shark Bar, made of glass, and with a 5, 000 gallon shark tank. Even the lights are in the shape of jellyfish. Above there is a life-size robotic tyrannosaurus rex (of course! ) and a giant robotic octopus with moving tentacles.

The dining areas are themed, and include the Geo Tech Room with flaming walls, and the Ice Cave with glowing walls which change colour from ice cold blue to purple and red. There is also the Fern Forest, the Coral Reef Dining Room and the Sequoia Room, so you will have a choice, and can experience a different one each time you visit. As you would expect, there are moving dinosaurs everywhere! And if you should need to visit the restrooms then look out for He-Rex!

There is, of course, a gift shop where you can buy T-Rex T-shirts for about $17, but my personal favourite is the Build A Dino shop, based on the popular Build a Bear format, where kids of all ages can build their own dinosaur. As you would expect, Dexter the Dinosaur roams, so there are photo opportunities. The food, too, has a prehistoric feel, with Pterodactyls’ wings (chicken of course! ), Triassic Tortellini, Bronto Burgers and Gigantosaurus Burgers. With regular meteor showers you can bet that your dining experience will be like nothing on earth.

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Page added on: 20 October 2008
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