One of my favorite counter service locations in any of the parks is Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe in Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland. There are so many things to like about Cosmic Ray’s, like the large number of food choices available, the le seating areas, the uniquely Tomorrowland retro-futuristic theming. But most of all, I love Cosmic Ray’s for its headline performer, one Mr. Sonny Eclipse. But we’ll get to him soon, let’s cover the other reasons Cosmic Ray’s is a great place to get a meal first.
The sheer variety of food available at Cosmic Ray’s has few rivals within the parks. Perhaps Sunshine Seasons at Epcot can rival it, but certainly there is nowhere within the Magic Kingdom that can match it on that count. The options are organized into different “Bays”, where Bay 1 offers chicken-related items, Bay 2 offers burgers and related items like fries, and Bay 3 offers Sandwiches, Soups, and Salads. (Be advised, sometimes Bay 3 is closed off during low-traffic times of the year.) Each bay has an offering of dessert and side items, as well. If the different members of your party want items from different bays, you will have to go from bay to bay to order, which is a little bit of a bummer. It’s a small price to pay, really, to have access to so many different choices.
A fairly recent addition to Cosmic Ray’s is this Mango gelato I’ve had on two occasions now. I can tell you that it is indeed tasty and nicely refreshing when you are tired, overheated, or (as frequently happens at Walt Disney World) both.
This restaurant also boasts a fixin’s bar (though it is not quite as extensive as the bars you will find at some other locations, such as Pecos Bill’s) and several seating areas, both indoor and outdoor. There is a large amount of seating across from Bay 3, but trust me, you’re going to want to look for a large, enclosed room of seating across from Bay 2. You need to find this room, because this is where you will meet Sonny Eclipse and his invisible backup singers.
Sonny performs here tirelessly, song after song, terrible joke after terrible joke. He never takes a break while the place is open for business, because Sonny’s a pro through and through. He is a lounge singer taken directly from the old Vegas tradition of lounge singers, reminding me a little of the lounge singer character Bill Murray used to do on the old Saturday Night Live. (And I’m dating myself here, clearly, though I should tell you I’ve only seen those Bill Murray episodes in reruns.) You can sit and eat, taking in the Sonny-provided entertainment as you enjoy the A/C and recharge for your next assault on Tomorrowland or Fantasyland attractions. And when you do go, please give Mr. Eclipse my regards.