Downtown Disney Marketplace
new Downtown Disney Marketplace restaurant is more like a park
attraction than a restaurant, with food thrown in for good measure. It’s
worth a visit, even if only to walk through. From the exterior to the
various inside rooms, the theme is carried out in a spectacular way.
Although there are some similarities to the Rainforest Café, a
restaurant that’s been a part of Downtown Disney for some time, T-Rex
goes way beyond, bringing themed restaurants to a whole new level. These
restaurants are not Disney owned, but Landry’s Restaurants has created a
concept that fits right in with Disney.
The exterior is
attention grabbing with massive dinosaur bones adorning the building. A
small “dig site” area is off to the right, for little archeologists to
enjoy while waiting to be seated. The interior consists of several
different zones, each with a relevant theme.
The interior is unlike
anything we’ve ever seen. The atmosphere is colorful, interesting, and
highly stimulating. There are things to see everywhere, and it gets
really, really loud and chaotic in there. You’ll see guests walking
around to see the sights, and a large number of servers are zooming
around the floor at top speed. Periodically the dinosaurs “come alive”
with movement and roaring sounds. There was tremendous attention to
detail paid here. You’ll spot things everywhere you look, including
amethyst geodes embedded into the walls and furniture.
first encounter the store area where you can shop for clothes, toys and
other fun items. A large dinosaur greets you with occasional roaring and
head turning. Look up to see a giant sun along with planets on the
ceiling. Periodically the restaurant erupts with a “meteor shower” and
you can see shooting stars on the ceiling, along with other special
effects and lots of noise. Some of the rooms darken and there are
flashing lights when this happens.
To the left is the bar
that leads into a dining area. Both have an underwater
theme. Giant sea creatures, including a massive octopus and giant
jellyfish, hang from the ceiling and real aquariums display beautiful
tropical fish and coral. The bar glows with embedded lights, and there
are other lights that create a rippled water in motion effect.
The Undersea ceiling at
striking ice age room is to the right. Diners enter a cave made of
transparent “ice”, which changes colors periodically. The room is fairly
dark and the walls seem to glow from the inside. Huge dinosaur bones are
visible through the ice, and a couple of audio-animatronic “living”
dinosaurs are there as well. Every so often a baby dinosaur began
roaring for its mom right behind me. At one point the waitress was
trying to take my order but we had to wait for the dinosaur to stop
wailing so that she could hear me!
the back is a prehistoric forest area with a lot of foliage and a
variety of creatures, including some major dinosaurs.
Another room looks like
the interior of a regular cave. The kitchen is open and
guests have a view of the chefs, along with some open flames.
Disney Dining does not
take reservations for this restaurant. You can call them directly to get
priority seating. This works similarly to Disney’s priority seating
process. So for example, although you’ve called and booked for 8 PM,
even if you arrive at that time you may not be seated immediately.
However you’ll be put ahead of the walk-ins and you’ll have a much
shorter wait. It’s quite large inside, but at peak times there can be
long waits. Guests wait outside in a line that leads to the “dinostand”.
You’ll then be taken to your assigned seat.
booths are only available for parties of 6 or more, with the exception
of a couple locations that seat four. These tables have booth seating on
one side and chair seating on the other side. Most chairs are wood with
Our server was very
willing to make substitutions and to take our special requests. If you
have special dietary needs, you can call in advance. Also, the chef will
come out and speak with you if that’s necessary. Just let your server
know you need this.
Here are a couple of
unusual things that may be of interest to those with certain health
issues. For those with rapid flashing light sensitivities, this may not
be the place for you. In addition to the special effects, there are
drinks served here that feature cups with flashing lights. There’s a
dessert that puffs out smoke from the center of the dish, but it’s only
There was plenty of room
to ride a wheelchair or scooter.
The menu is varied with
salads, burgers, pasta, sandwiches, chicken, fish, beef and pork. Some
items include a ½ of a fire roasted rotisserie chicken, Mega Mes-o-bones
(ribs), triceratops filet (steak tenderloin), tribal tacos, tar pit
fried shrimp, Mesozoic Mahi Mahi.
We enjoyed our visit,
and it's certainly worth it to drop in if you have the time. Keep in
mind that the prices are a bit higher than some of the other Downtown
Disney restaurants, but you're really paying for the show. For a look at
menu for T-Rex click here.
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