Yesterday Husband and I had lunch at a place with a dinosaur decor, a coral reef themed bar, and a haunted ladies room.

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Yes, we ventured into the T-Rex Cafe at Downtown Disney.

This place is always packed and you have to make reservations for dinner. We’re usually only in the area when we’re foraging for dinner and drinks or headed to a movie so we’ve never even bothered to go inside. Yesterday, we happened to be killing a little time, looking for lunch before heading to the airport. The bar was empty when we walked in since the restaurant was just opening for the day. We were glad we did – it was awesomely tacky.

It was no Dinosaurland, though. You just can’t replicate that kind of roadside charm, but we enjoyed it anyway.

Whenever the “meteor shower” lightshow would start, the Pterodactyl, dinosaurs and mammoths (I know, I know) came to life and started roaring and pitching a fit. This was noisy. I’m betting even when the place is packed with children you can’t hear any of their fussing or screaming over the din, so that might be okay.

Husband and I are both certain that the dinosaur roars used on Land of the Lost for Big Alice and Grumpy’s vocalizations are part of the T-Rex Cafe soundscape, but I’m too lazy to look into it.

A giant octopus formed a canopy over the bar and it would periodically menace us with it’s tentacles. I never got any video of this, but it amused me every time.

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Oh yeah, about those ghosts – I was the only one in the ladies room and I was standing at the sink washing my hands when the door to an empty stall suddenly slammed shut. It was probably a problem with an air conditioning vent or maybe an animatronic effect gone horribly wrong, but let’s chalk it up to ghosts just because we can.

A sister establishment, the Rainforest Cafe, has a similarly elaborate concept design. I found a short article by the sound designers, Frattalone & Associations about the concept design and installation of Rainforest Cafe system.

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