Eating to Live on the Outside: Cosmic Ray's Starlight Café

Okay kiddies, this week’s Eating to Live on the Outside comes by special request. You remember last week’s review of Sammy T’s—you better say yes! Just kidding—you do remember, right? Nevertheless, I recently received a comment on that post from Mike. Mike’s going on vacation real soon and he’s worried about his dining options at a certain magic kingdom. Here, I’ll let him explain:
I am going on vacation to Disney World this summer, and a huge challenge will be finding healthy food there. I have heard that all the restaurants offer vegetarian offerings, so maybe that will help. Have you ever reviewed any of the Disney park restaurants?
For starters, kudos on the vacation destination Mike, I might be an adult, but I’m still gaga for all that Disney stuff—go ahead, laugh at the dorky twenty-something. Okay, back to business. Well Mike, an expert I’m not, but, a guinea pig I’m willing to be. So, I did a little Google search and found Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café, located in the Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland. Alright then, let me gear up. Copy of Eat to Live? Check. Mickey Mouse ears? Check. Sarcastic wisenheimer writing style? Check. Okay, I’m all set. Let’s see what we got.

Well, um, gee, hmm, oh boy—this is going to be rough. The menu reeks of standard American diet. Kind of ironic, the happiest place on earth is so very SAD. Here’s what I mean. Barbecued chicken and ribs—um, no. Fried chicken strips and French fries—heck no! Mini corn dogs and chicken nuggets—you’re kidding, right? Barbecued pork sandwiches and bacon cheeseburgers—okay, enough is enough! Guess what Eat to Livers? This place has all the trimmings of a dietary disaster, but, let’s stick with it, for Mike’s sake.

Okay, we’ve seen the ugly at Cosmic Ray's Starlight Café, but there’s got to be some good, right? No, not really. There’s very little I’d seriously consider ordering. And the stuff that seems kind of healthy comes with a price. Take the Vegetarian Wrap for example. To begin with, who knows what’s in it. You’ll have to ask the wait staff because the menu sonly says is that it’s served with, applesauce or pasta. Neither of which intrigue me. Pasta isn’t exactly nutrient-dense and I highly doubt that applesauce is sugar-free. Maybe if the wrap is made with a lot of veggies, no unhealthy dressing, and you’re able to get passed the flour tortilla it’s a good option, but, I’m not impressed. Although comparatively speaking, it might be your “best” option—go on, let out the big sigh you’ve been holding in all this time. How you doing Mike? Not shaking too nervously are you?

Now, if the wrap makes you want to assault one of the custom characters roaming the park, you might want to give the Earthly Delight Vegetarian Burger a try. Personally, these types of foods don’t get my mojo going. I prefer fresh food over processed food, and let’s face it, this stuff might be better than a hunk of red meat, but its still processed food and we know that stuff is hardly health food. The only redeeming thing about the veggie burger is that you can order it with a side of carrots instead of French fries. Honestly, I’m more excited about a bunch of raw characters than some faux-burger. Maybe you can get it on a whole-wheat bun, but given the standard American dietness of the menu—outlook not so good.

Well folks, that’s pretty much it. Other than these two items, I’d say avoid Cosmic Ray's. It might be paradise for the junk-food loving American, but, if you’re even the least bit health conscious, I don’t think it’s for you. With that being said, you might be able to convince them to make you a regular salad with no cheese, chicken, or other junk on it, but again, why bother. For being in a place called Tomorrowland, Cosmic Ray's Starlight Café isn’t really thinking about your future health. Maybe Goofy’s in charge? At the very least Huey, Dewey, and Louie have a hand in this.

So Mike, what do you think? Or will we be reading about a man getting arrested for trying to smuggle fruits and veggies into the Magic Kingdom? I hope not, but I do hope this helped. If it didn’t—which I’m leaning towards—at least you know to skip Cosmic Ray’s. Now what about the rest of you? Have you had any experience Eating to Live at Disney World? If you did, comment like crazy. Mike needs our help. Oh, and don’t forget to check out Cosmic Ray's menu. Why? I don’t know force of habit. And remember, email-email-email at diseaseproof@gmail.com. Good luck Mike. Give the Little Mermaid my regards—wink, wink.
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Comments (3) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
LLouise - June 10, 2007 8:16 PM

Hey Mike,

Check out these pages; I think you can do okay. Still, I'd eat before I leave or take some extras in the car with you for munching on the way.
Also, take along some nuts/seeds/dried fruit to snack on (gotone of those waist sacks? How about stowing away some fruit?) or leave in the car. You can't bring an icechest in the park; but who's to stop you from leaving it in the trunk filled with goodies?

Check this out: Phone numbers, information, and allowances for Us "special needs" folks who may be able to bring some food into the park.
Also, a number here allows you to call ahead and make special requests of the "chefs"! http://www.allearsnet.com/din/special.htm
That'll work. Just go easy on 'em -- I doubt they'd know what, "Whip me up a high-cruciferous-with-extra-phytonutrients-heavy on-the-flavonoids and polyphenols, blended salad on the fly" would be.

Go here for a quick restaurant glance: http://www.allearsnet.com/din/vegcsparks.htm

So have you a fantastic time! Say, "Hi" to Jiminey Cricket for me ;^)

Mike - June 12, 2007 11:20 AM

Gerald,

Thanks for doing a review on Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe' just for me :)

Your review didn't give me many warm fuzzies about the food in Disney World, however. At least I know of one place to avoid, but I suspect it may be all too typical of the food there in general. We're kind of locked into the Disney system, since DW already purchased the pre-paid meal plans. I'm sure I'll have to make some major concessions on this trip. I'll just have to run more, and eat better when we get back.

Thanks again, Gerald, I really enjoy your blog.

Louise,

Thanks for the ideas. Unfortunately, we will not have a car in which to stow nutrient dense goodies; we're flying in from California. Anyway, your idea about bringing in snacks in belt packs is a good idea; I'll plan on that.

All the best..........Mike

A - June 16, 2007 9:26 AM

As a frequent Disney visitor (twice a year, every year) I have some suggestions. The link LLouise suggested is a fantastic Disney resource and has information on vegetarian options and general food options. There are grocery delivery services if you do not rent a vehicle to go grocery shopping (for veggies and fruits for the room), and most of the Disney resorts have fridges in the rooms. I eat breakfast in the room and pack non-perishable snacks in my bag or purse for the parks. For lunch it is a salad or vegetable or tofu dish. The same for dinner. Also, because Disney is known for their customer service, you can call the restaurants (you have reservations at) ahead of time and make them aware of your dietary requirements and they will usually accomodate you. Repeat this at the restaurant, and one of the chefs will come out and speak to you about how to specially prepare your meal or tweak something on the menu to your liking. Have a magical time at the World, Mike!

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