Tag Archives | downtown disney restaurants

Spotlight: Bongos Cuban Café at Downtown Disney

Created by music superstar Gloria Estefan and her producer husband Emilio, Bongos Cuban Cafe transports you to a Miami hotspot.  This vibrant Orlando restaurant is a mosaic of colors and flavors set against infectious music. The internal architecture and mosaics were designed by the well known Luciano Franchi de Alfaro, and the outside was designed by Bernardo Fort Brescia.  Both the interior and exterior are exquisitely themed.  The ambiance is that of a lively 1950s Havana nightclub, and the bar is housed inside a 75-foot tall pineapple sculpture and features bongo drum bar stools. There’s lush greenery, a fantastic mosaic mural, and waterfall. There are two levels which offer indoor and outdoor seating.  The pulsing, Latin rhythms add to the great ambiance, however, sometimes it’s so loud, it can be difficult to have a conversation.  This tropical theme brings South Beach to Downtown Disney.

Each night, the official Desi Arnaz impersonator takes the stage and brings back old Havana.  Along with state of the art sound systems, there is a fascinating light show every Friday & Saturday night.  In addition to the two story restaurant, there are three bars featuring specialty drinks, including Mojitos, and an Express window. The Express window is open daily from 9:30am till midnight.  There are live bands on Friday and Saturday nights from 9:00 to 2:00pm. There may be an entertainment venue scheduled which requires separate cover at the door or pre arrival ticket purchase.

The food consists of traditional Cuban cuisine like the delicious paella de mariscos (seafood paella) Cubano (Cuban sandwich), pan con lechon (pork sandwich), pollo asado (roast chicken), and flan de leche (traditional flan).  Reservations are suggested, especially on the weekends.  Although the atmosphere is lively, the food and service get mixed reviews.

$$, casual dress, Cuban cuisine, full bar, Reservations suggested, lunch and dinner
Downtown Disney West Side, 1498 East Buena Vista Drive Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830-8422 – (407) 828-0999
Special & Unique Dining
A la Carte
Price Level:
$$ ($15 to $35.99)

Spotlight: T-Rex Restaurant at Downtown Disney

Disney sure knows how to create a memorable experience!  You’ll feel like you’ve gone back to the dinosaur era when you dine at the popular T-Rex at Downtown Disney. This Orlando family restaurant serves a variety of American fare for lunch and dinner, and even has its own Dino-store so you can bring home souvenirs for the family.   You’ll find “gifts fit for any paleontologist” and even Build-A-Dino® By Build-A-Bear Workshop®!

The dinosaur theme is great fun, and was created by the same people behind the Rainforest Café.  The life-size animatronic creatures include dinosaurs such as stegosaurus, triceratops, woolly mammoths, and the famous namesake, the T-Rex.  And, there are many other wondrous creatures within this elaborate décor that includes geysers, jungle greenery, and even massive flames spewing from the Kitchen of Fire!

The food features a great variety of dishes for all, from ‘prehistoric’ pizzas, Brachiosaurus Bruschetta, Giganotosaurus Burger, along with many other sandwich, steak, and seafood dishes.  There’s a kid’s menu, and if you have any special dietary needs or allergies, they are happy to accommodate you; just let them know when making your reservation, which can be made up to 180 days in advance.

Make sure you check out the interactive T-REX experience in the Paleo Zone.  This is one of the few restaurants where you can even get learn something – a pre-history lesson watching their Paleo Screens.  There’s also an opportunity to go on an archaeological Discovery Dig or pan for treasures in Discovery Creek.

At T-REX, you can eat, shop, explore and discover!

$$-$$$, casual dress, American cuisine, reservations recommended 407-828-8739, full bar, open for lunch and dinner
LOCATION: Downtown Disney Marketplace
ADDRESS: 1800 East Buena Vista Drive,Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830 – (407) 828-8739
Service Type: Full Service
Price Range: entrees from $15-$35.99