The Ultimate T-Rex Review
Nothing brings back memories of being 12 like dinosaurs. I watched Jurassic Park like it was my job, spent hours playing with my countless dinosaur figures, and always made it a point to stop into the Times Square Toys ‘R Us (RIP) to see the big T-Rex whenever I visited New York. If that doesn’t prove my dino adoration, how about this one: my love of dinosaurs was so strong that 12-year-old me would have easily chosen Universal Studios over Disney just because they had a section completely dedicated to Jurassic Park that let me live out my dino fantasies!
I’ve since matured, parted ways with most of my dino toys, and learned a thing or two about what makes a great theme park- but my passion for the prehistoric is one thing not even puberty was able to change. With all that said, I’m hoping you can picture the childish smile that spread across my face when I dined at T-REX in Disney Springs for the very first time!
The Triassic Era
It was a whimsical decision when my family and I decided to give T-REX a try, and being the “plan everything” people that we are, not having a reservation caused some concern when we walked up to the host stand. I expected to wait a long while for a table, but was pleasantly surprised to feel my pager buzzing me back to the host stand just 20 minutes after I checked in…not bad! When I stepped inside for the first time, I would have sworn I was in a Rainforest Café. The wide-open gift shop overlooking the restaurant combined with the giant aquariums holding colorful exotic fish give the two restaurants an extremely similar vibe.
T-REX has multiple themed rooms that separate the massive restaurant into smaller, intricately themed sections. When I dined, I was seated in the ocean section, which (to my slight disappointment) didn’t have a prominent dinosaur theme. At first I was a little put off, but a thorough look around convinced me that I had actually snagged one of the best tables in the restaurant! Brightly colored fish swam in huge aquariums all around me as the giant octopus-themed bar set the mood of the room. My table was right underneath one of the squid’s big tentacles, and a look past the octopus met my eye with a perfect view of the animatronic T-REX at the entry!
The Jurassic Era
After my mom reprimanded me like the 12-year old I am for wanting to buy a souvenir cup (it had a dinosaur toy included!), I placed an order for the omnivore’s delight with grilled chicken. All of the other members of my party ordered burgers. As soon as the waitress walked away, I jumped up to take a walk through the restaurant to check out the other rooms! My instincts led me to the room that had a dim purple hue emitting from its doorway.
Inside, the room is a massive ice cave! Walls of glowing blueish/purple ice stretch from floor to ceiling, and completely encapsulate you in the dead of the ice age! I had just noticed a huge skeleton of a frozen-in-time T-Rex embedded in the ice when it happened…the ice walls changed in color from blue to fiery orange, then to pink. It sounded like ice was breaking all around me, and I could see the lights flashing madly in other parts of the restaurant. Dinosaurs roared and I knew I was in the midst of a Jurassic-age meteor shower! Every 20 minutes, a passing meteor agitates the dinos, upsets the natural lighting, and causes quite the scene in the restaurant! I was entertained by the showers, and my little cousin counted the minutes until the next asteroid was set to pass overhead- both kids and adults will definitely love the entertainment aspect to this place!
The Cretaceous Era
I didn’t choose T-REX for the food. Similar to the Rainforest Café, I know that the draw is the atmosphere, so I didn’t have the highest of expectations when I saw my food coming. As I often do, I judged before I tasted…and my salad was really good! It was exactly like it was spelled out on the menu: strawberries, cranberries, candied pecans, and goat cheese sat atop a bed of greens, and slices of grilled chicken breast topped the plate. Everything in the salad tasted very fresh, and the chicken was seasoned and grilled perfectly.
I had to taste the burgers and fries that were doing a great job of tempting me- for research purposes of course. The Bronto Burger’s classic combo of cheese/lettuce/tomato/pickle was pretty good. It wasn’t amazing and it wasn’t bad; just a run of the mill burger you’d get served pretty much anywhere. If anything is worth writing about, it’s definitely the hot waffle fries that were served on the plate with the burgers. They were the perfect ratio of potato-y center to crisp, salty outside and are absolutely worth ordering as a side if your meal doesn’t already come with them! It was right about this time that we had all finished eating and were treated to another shower of falling meteors when we all decided our appetites weren’t quite extinct!
Warm, dense, fudgy cake. Rich, hand-scooped ice cream. Warm caramel sauce. Hot fudge. Whipped cream. Chopped Butterfinger. Put it all together, and you will have the Chocolate Extinction! In a cloud of smoke emitting from a dry-ice enduced ‘volcano’, our waitress delivered a huge plate bearing our dessert. Big enough for 4-6, the Chocolate Extinction would probably satisfy a real T-Rex for an entire day, and I was concerned that my party of 5 would need shovels to get through this thing! The cake is dense and fudgy and is an unbelievable contrast to the chocolate fudge and caramel- topped vanilla ice cream. No one at the table said very much during the dessert course, and plates went back to the kitchen completely cleared. Needless to say, my family and I would all give this dessert a thumbs up!
If you’ve got a dinosaur fan in your party, are looking for an atmospheric restaurant, or want a really good, really big dessert to finish your meal, T-REX is definitely for you! Like I said, this isn’t the place to go if you’re looking for phenomenal food, and really, the food is more than passable on its own. Trust me, the prehistoric giants and exciting meteor showers are the real draw here, the meticulous theming is done impeccably, and the roaring dinos set a prehistoric scene that will delight every generation. Have you dined at T-REX before, or do you plan on trying it out on your next visit? Let me know in the comments below!
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Special thanks to Maria Salerno for writing this article: Hiya pal! I am a NYC-based writer/musician thrilled to be bringing you all things Disney! I’m a WDW Annual Passholder, so you can find me in the parks regularly throughout the year. In addition to being a Disney Parks loving girl, I’m also a Disney toy and merchandise collector, a runDisney enthusiast, and Disney music and movie aficionado. You can follow me on Instagram: NYCtoAP and find me on YouTube: NYCtoAP. Thanks for reading, hope to see ya real soon!