My younger daughter, Aeris, attended Family Child Care in an affluent neighborhood where all the surrounding homes dropped off boxes of their children’s toys as happens at the end of Toy Story 3. One afternoon she came home with a toy Tyrannosaurus Rex, a figure with soft rubbery brown skin over hard plastic bones she named “Rexy”, and he quickly became her constant companion.
This OG Rexy was the first of many figures and plushes and robotic dinos she picked up over the years, nearly all named Rexy. Most kids love dinosaurs but Aeris was enamored, describing Rexy as her “soulmate” and planning to go back in time to get an egg and raise her own Tyrannosaur “to be good and not eat people”.
Over the years we’ve visited Rexy and his friends at the Yale Peabody Museum in New Haven, the Boston Museum of Science, Dinosaur State Park, the American Museum of Natural History in NYC, the Connecticut Science Center, and the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in Washington DC. We’ve attended Dino Con, and a Meet-and-Greet with Buddy the Dinosaur. And when it turned out we’d be at Disney World for her seventh birthday, we made a reservation at T-Rex Café in Disney Springs.
For this exciting occasion Aeris wore a dress based on her own design and made my brother, her Uncle John. We spent the day at Animal Kingdom, where she especially loved Dinoland and then headed to T-Rex in the evening.
Pixie Travel Tip: Celebrate!
To make your event extra magical you can pick up celebration pins – for birthdays, anniversaries, engagements, graduations, etc. – from your Disney Resort or at Guest Relations in the Park. All the cast members will wish you well – and at certain restaurants you’ll receive a card signed by the characters or other special treats!
Pixie Travel Tip: Herbivores Welcome
I’ve been a vegetarian since I was seven and it used to be hard to eat out, especially at mainstream theme restaurants where even the salads weren’t made for herbivores. But now most restaurants have vegetarian options or even whole pages in the menu, and Disney in particular is very accommodating for any dietary restrictions and/or allergies. If you don’t see something on the menu, ask your server, I’ve never been disappointed.
Last December we returned to T-Rex as part of our family trip for the holidays – which included my birthday, and thanks to my pin I was celebrated at every table service meal we had! Aeris is older, taller, and has much brighter hair – but Rexy is still her favorite and she was thrilled to pose with him once again. Theme restaurants are a wonderful place to make memories and build on your own family traditions. And Disney has hundreds of theme restaurants across their kingdoms and beyond!
Pixie Trivia: T-Rex Café
- T-Rex, from the same company that created the Rainforest Café, opened in 2006. It is located in Disney Springs so no park admission is required to attend.
- Themed rooms include an Ice Cave, Octopus Bar, and prehistoric forests with various families of dinosaurs and sparkly geodes.
- Every 20 minutes or so a ‘meteor shower’ hits the whole restaurant with flashing lights, animatronics, and lots of noise. It’s great fun but be sure to warn little ones, or anyone with sensory issues.
- Kids are invited to play and learn in the Paleo Zone, with educational kiosks, a mining attraction, and a fossil sand pit. Guests of all ages can make their own plush friend at Build-A-Dino (from Build-A-Bear) in the gift shop.
- T-Rex is a part of the Disney Dining Plan. Reservations are available up to 180 days prior to arrival and are highly recommended!