Here’s something that will bring out the kid in you. My husband had to fly across the country for business, so I accompanied him on the trip. While there, I was invited to join him to meet his business associate and his wife and children at the Marketplace, in Downtown Disney, as he had his family at Disney World again. (I think they like this place!) A late evening dinner was planned for the four of us without the children later that evening, but we were invited to have drinks with them earlier at a themed restaurant called T-Rex Cafe. We thought about it, hesitated a bit, then decided we should go. So off we went. What we discovered when we got there was surprising to say the least.
Upon our initial approach, I admired the artistry that went into this colorful and unique establishment. With the gigantic T-Rex being the center of attention here (of course), we found that the intricate details that were painstakingly intertwined in the creation of the restaurant were meticulous. Plentiful foliage existed everywhere the eye could see, making every visitor feel as though they were really in a jungle environment with waterfalls flowing off of rock formations at the entry, earth-shattering meteor showers indoors, and other surprises unexpected by new patrons both young, and young at heart. I later found out that this prehistoric based cafe is owned by the popular and well-known Landry’s group and was built in 2008, having used a part of the existing parking lot at the Disney Marketplace for the space that is now T-Rex Cafe.
Lava Flow & View Of The Restaurant
Serving American fare for lunch, dinner, and snacks amongst roaring dinosaurs and other prehistoric resemblances and adult libations at the large indoor ‘Shark Bar’, T-Rex Cafe offers a variety of themes inside including an underwater theme which encompasses a gigantic aquarium that is encircled by a full bar, a thirteen-foot octopus overhead with moving arms, and jellyfish hanging from the ceiling that seem to virtually float overhead. Another section of this indoor fantasy includes a Woolly Mammoth atop a rocky cliff inside an ice cave, which seemingly melts when a meteor shower hits every few minutes creating quite a stir in the place. It’s quite a spectacle actually to be in the middle of it all.
The ‘Shark Bar’ surrounds an enormous aquarium and is back-lit by a soothing blue light which makes the bar appear to glow. We all sat at the large aquatic bar while the children played nearby. I found that I nearly fell into a sort of mystical trance from the beauty of the tropical fish swimming past. I found myself ordering the above pink sensation…the Lava Flow. The Lava Flow is described as a smooth “flow” of Malibu Coconut Rum and Pina Colada mix topped off with strawberry puree. REALLY incredible with its tropical essence of coconut, pink hue, and extremely intoxicating as well.
Some examples of the food options with prehistoric connotations to their names include the Omnivore’s Delight salad, the Neanderthal New York Strip steak, a side of Raptor Rice, Layers Of The Earth Lasagna, the Bronto Burger, Fossil Fish-N-Chips, and desserts like the Ice Age Indulgence and the Chocolate Extinction. All very clever names indeed.
Here’s a larger photo of the aquarium in the center of the bar, my husband and I talked about how something like this would make an amazing conversation piece in our home (on a much smaller scale, of course!)
…and yes, that is indeed, a huge octopus tentacle at the top of the photo…which moved…and was incredibly enormous. Our bartender mentioned that it spanned nearly twenty feet wide, which was believable because it was really massive. Among the other attractions and treats to amaze the visual perceptions were jellyfish hanging from the ceiling by nearly invisible wires seemingly floating overhead, a woolly mammoth sitting quietly atop a mountain cliff with elongated tusks as he moved its head back and forth. Colored lights changed in the background every few minutes, making the mood and tone of the entire area change minute to minute. As I looked around, I noticed more than a handful of adults were mesmerized by the wonderment and intricate details that went into the planning and eventual construction of this cafe.
The first T-Rex Cafe opened in Kansas City with this Orlando venue being the next establishment to follow. I was astounded by the simulated ‘meteor shower’ every few minutes. The animals roar and whine, the lighting changes and a fiery theme is enhanced until all goes quiet again. After the first meteor shower, I got used to it. But it was pretty spectacular.
Though T-Rex Cafe caters to a younger crowd, I thought it interesting to visualize what was offered in terms of creativity, animated creatures from another time, and my cocktail was pleasurable as well. I would suggest at least visiting once to step back in time and enjoy a refreshing libation in front of the stunning aquarium. Overall, I would definitely recommend it for kids of all ages.
- ESTABLISHMENT / DECOR: I’ll let the photos speak for themselves, but in a word, the establishment is pretty amazing in itself. It can get very loud between the large crowds and roaring dinosaurs, so if you’re looking for an exciting, fun and LOUD atmosphere, this is where you should be.
- FOOD / DRINK: We did not dine at this location, however my Lava Flow cocktail was refreshing, cold, flavorful and definitely packed a delightful punch.
- LOCATION: T-Rex Cafe is located in Downtown Disney in the Marketplace at 1676 East Buena Vista Drive in Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830.
- HOURS: T-Rex cafe is open Sunday through Thursday from 11 AM to 11 PM, and on Friday and Saturday from 11 AM to Midnight.
- SERVICE / STAFF: Our bartender was pleasant and was well-informed about the cafe and the beverage menu.
- PRICE / VALUE: A glance at the dining menu seemed a tad higher than most venues, but you have to remember that it’s Disney World and you’re in a theme park atmosphere. Prices will tend to be higher.
- CORKAGE FEE: Outside alcohol is not allowed inside the cafe. However, there is a wide array of delicious libations to satisfy your adult beverage cravings.
- CONTACT INFO: Phone: (407) 828-8739, Website: www.trexcafe.com
- PARKING: Private parking is available in the large parking lot in front of the establishment.
- TOTAL BILL: Most signature T-Rex cocktails were $13.99 each at the bar.