I know a lot of people want to go to a character breakfast when they visit Disney, but I’ve never found it much fun to have my meal interrupted by a college student in a fur outfit who wants to interact but is not allowed to speak. For me, the best two dining experiences are both at Disney MGM. The Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater features a bunch of booths shaped like 50s cars and dim lighting, so you can watch the giant screen showing classic schlocky film trailers and promotional cartoons urging you to run to the snack bar. The food is all comforting, the staff is sometimes on rollerskates, and the trailers are a riot.
Meanwhile, if you don’t behave in the 50s Prime Time CafÃ©, you will suffer the hilarious wrath of the waitress. Mom’s in the kitchen in this homestyle diner, leaving you to watch clips from I Married Joan and The Real McCoys (along with a little Mickey Mouse Club dance number) while your aunt waits on you. Elbows on the table? You’ll be scolded in front of all your “cousins” in the restaurant. If you clean your plate, they draw your name and a smiley face in ketchup on your plate and show everyone else, asking them to be more like you. Some friends ate here years back and got into a mild food fight, blamed it on an innocent in their party, and the waitress made him stand in the corner. Awesome – though Kat pointed out that this place will only be successful as long as people remember table manners in the first place. “Some of the kids that come to this place may have never experienced discipline during a meal before,” she noted. That scared me but she’s right.
The food is great, home-cooked stuff like pot roast and this fantastic fried cheese that made the perfect appetizer. My meatloaf came with green beans, and I’d heard our server Cindy – who I’d been sucking up to with compliments, Eddie Haskell-style, all night – get on the dad at the table next to me for not finishing his. She actually made him eat some by forking some into his mouth while everyone nearby made airplane sounds. I hate green beans so I knew I was doomed. I’d downed a lovely concoction called Dad’s Electric Lemonade, which emboldened my cunning plan: I was going to run to the men’s room, scrape all the beans into the trash, and return with a clean plate. Why not cheat?
In a fit of giggles, I grabbed my plate and headed for the restrooms. Problem was, they were located near the entrance to the kitchen, and who do I run into not five steps from freedom? Cindy, bussing a stack of dirty dishes from another table. She realizes it’s me, backs up, and says “Where do you think you’re going with that, mister?” I exploded in laughter and ran back to my seat – I actually returned with the beans. Everybody around me was stunned; I just kept laughing and repeating “I’m so dead.”
Sure enough, Cindy came back and scolded me rather loudly. I said I was going out back to give my leftovers to Spot. “Don’t give the beans to Spot,” she said, “they give him gas!” A ha, my out! “Well, actually, they give me gas too.” “Well, why didn’t you say something? I wouldn’t have tried to make you eat ’em in the first place.” Success! I was off the hook! Kat looked at me with horror – she could not believe I was going to get away with this travesty of dinner justice, but there it was. I gave her my s’mores to make up for it.
The next group that came in was a group of legitimately bratty kids. We gave Cindy a really good tip.