Today our culinary adventure is taking us to T-REX Cafe at Disney Springs. Before we get into this, I want to say that I might be biased in this review. Eating at this restaurant was a tradition I had with my best friend. We would eat here each time we visited, and I loved it. Now that I got that out of the way let’s talk about the dining location.
If you love dinosaurs, this is the place to be. It’s a very immersive space, just like Rainforest Cafe, which isn’t surprising because the same company, Landry’s, owns them. Instead of being transported to the rainforest, guests will be taken to a prehistoric world. Prehistoric sounds, dinosaurs, and hands-on discovery zones surround you. Like Rainforest Cafe, there’s a merchandise location at the front of the restaurant with themed shirts, plush toys, jewelry, and a Build-A-Dino area.
The menu is extensive. There are options for everyone, but the common theme is that the dishes are pricey. On the bright side, the serving sizes are enormous, meaning most of the food is perfect for sharing.
For this dining review, we skipped appetizers because this was an early lunch. It was just too hot and too early for heavy, cheesy appetizers. Plus, I wouldn’t have been able to participate in that course. Craig, Ryno, and I decided to jump into the entrees.
I ordered the Grain Bowl with Shrimp ($28.49), Barley, wheat berries, wild rice, red and white quinoa, oven-roasted vegetables, and citrus vinaigrette dressing. I think out of everyone at the table, I’m the only one that enjoyed my meal, sadly. Back in the day, when this was Downtown Disney, there was a pulled pork sandwich that I absolutely loved, but that is no longer on the menu. Because my favorite item is gone, I decided to order something on the lighter side.
The shrimp was cooked and seasoned well. It wasn’t the freshest shrimp I’ve ever had, but it was on par with what you’d find at Chilis or Outback Steakhouse. The rice and quinoa mix was delicious, especially with the fresh vegetables that were mixed in. My only complaint was that I wish the citrus vinaigrette dressing wasn’t sitting at the bottom of the bowl. The flavor of that dressing was so good, and once it was all mixed, the dish was great.
Ryno ordered the Paleozoic Chicken Sandwich ($22.49), Crispy panko lemon chicken, pesto-mayo, arugula, tomatoes, and sourdough bun served with seasoned fries. This was a huge letdown. From the first bite, he strongly disliked it. He mentioned that the lemon flavor was too strong. After tasting the chicken independently, he realized that the strong flavor came from the pesto-mayo, not the lemon chicken. He used to order this in the good old days, but it came with different bread and flavors. Unfortunately, this was a miss.
Craig ordered the Boneyard Buffet ($34.49), including, Fire-Roasted Rotisserie Chicken, slow-roasted St. Louis-style pork spareribs, seasoned fries, and coleslaw. The price of this can be shocking, but he did point out that there’s a lot of food on the plate, enough to share with another person. Craig didn’t love that the ribs were doused in barbecue sauce. They could’ve instead put it on the side or lightly coated the ribs. He also mentioned he prefers when ribs are smoked, not slow roasted, because they fall apart so easily. The ribs didn’t lack flavor, and he said the pork was seasoned decently, but the sauce was overwhelming.
Now on to the rotisserie chicken. It wasn’t horrible; I tried a piece and thought it was decent. It reminded me of the rotisserie chicken found at Publix (a local grocery store) or Costco. Most of the flavor lived in the skin of the chicken, which was crispy. Overall this dish was not the best, but the best part was the chicken.
Listen, I used to love this place so much, and I still like it, but I can admit it’s gone downhill. After seeing what Ryno and Craig ordered and hearing how they felt, I can say this restaurant isn’t worth a visit. I think it’s only worth it if you love dinosaurs and plan on sharing a plate with someone. I do have to say they did a great job taking care of my allergy. They sent someone out to talk to me that had an allergy ticket. They walked me through each item I wanted to order and told me what was safe. I appreciate how on top of that they were.
We got sat in the ice age room, which is very overstimulating, extremely loud, and the frequent change in lighting can be nauseating. I think our experience would’ve been better if we sat near one of the fish tanks or in the forest section of the restaurant. Seating plays a huge part in the dining experience. I do understand that dining here is more so for the kids. Where else can you eat with dinosaurs?
All in all, I know I’ll be back one day, but this is not my go-to restaurant at Disney Springs. It’s actually pretty far from that, but it used to be. I think I am starting to outgrow this dining location, but I will always love it because of the memories and nostalgia that come with it.
Hi, I'm Erica, and I write about all things Disney. Before working for The DIS, I was a theme park performer at SeaWorld, but I also performed at Disney. I have such an immense love for theme parks to the point I studied them in college.