Hello, friends! Welcome back for another exclusive peek into an oft-visited but rarely-contemplated side of Walt Disney World! This review promises action, adventure, romance ... and Sonny Eclipse's lounge act! You guessed it: this week, we're visiting the loos at Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe!
Cosmic Ray's is one huge counter service restaurant. Seriously, this place is gigantic (even the Death Star doesn't have three bays for taking food orders -- ed). With seating inside on multiple levels and tons of outdoor seating as well, this retro-spacehip-cool-themed venue can hold hundreds of hungry space travelers. One would assume, therefore, the restrooms would be able to accommodate an equally large number of galaxy-hoppers? Let's find out!
Cosmic Ray's ordering scheme is pretty unique amongst its peers, with diners lining up in one of three large "bays" (think counters) for food item ordering purposes. Check out the photo below for a view of Bay 1 (Oh, and take note of that little red sign waaay off in the distance. -- ed), then imagine two more bays just like this one, and you'll get an idea of this restaurant's size.
Tons of bays from which to choose at Cosmic Ray's (I can't help but notice, there's no sign pointing toward Michael Bay. Maybe nobody wants to find him? -- ed).
Target acquired ....
Boom! This sign, again, sits adjacent to Bay 1. There's another sign -- almost identical in construct -- on the opposite side of the restaurant, adjacent to Bay 3. Both signs mark a singular hallway which runs behind the 3 counter service bays and which leads to Cosmic Ray's restrooms.
Here's a peek down that long hallway which leads to the loos.
We're thinking this sign (found in the hallway) refers to the restaurant, itself (if it refers to the loos, we're going to need a lot more toilet paper).
Here's a close-up of the sign marking the women's loo. Now, this is entirely befitting a women's restroom snuggled deep in Tomorrowland. It closely matches the style of restroom signs at the previously reviewed Tomorrowland Terrace Loo.
Not to be outdone, here's the men's room sign (We remarked this guy looked an awful lot like the Tin Man of Oz in our Tomorrowland Terrace review. He still does. No wonder, though: Disney owns the Oz intellectual property! -- ed).
Finally, here's a look at the companion loo sign. We're a little disappointed the figure in the wheelchair wasn't given a futuristic look. That said, we're pleased Cosmic Ray's offers a companion loo -- this is a feature something many restaurants on property don't have.
Now, check this out. We've seen a lot of unusual designs in our years of WDW Loo research, but this was a first for our Loo Review Crew. The men's loo has doors exclusively marked for entrance and exit, typically something one would see used for a busy kitchen, not a restroom. This feature definitely eliminates those uncomfortable moments when the incoming loo user accidentally comes nose-to-nose with an outgoing customer. We wonder, though, if this was ever used as a kitchen?
Also, check out the backside of these doors. They're a different color! Lime green on the exterior side, Tomorrowland purple on the inside. It's a small detail, but one that shows someone put a little extra thought into their design. Bravo!
Also, this photo features the wall tile pattern. It's not terribly exciting: large squares, grey tile with a purple/stainless steel stripe closer to the ceiling . The stainless squares almost have a Lego block appearance. They're fairly bland in this photo, but check out the following ....
Look how those steel tiles shine in the light of the sink vanity lights! We love the tile pattern much more in this context. This loo features 4 basins. By the way, check out the brushed steel of the paper towel holders, noticing how it matches the pattern of the doors to and from the loo.
Five urinals sit separated by -- you guessed it -- brushed stainless dividers. There's more steel in here than in all 43 pairs of metal underwear in The Hall of Presidents.
The floor pattern, though uninspired, does a good job pulling together all of this loo's colors. It's the nearly same tile, by the way, as the floor in Tomorrowland's Aunty Gravity Loo.
Oh, and check out this monstrosity: a double-decker, wall-mounted paper towel dispenser/wastebin, clothed in the same patterned stainless as the rest this loo. It's magnificent!
There are four stalls, including this ADA one, situated in this loo. That's a relatively small number of toilets for such a large restaurant. We think that's one of the reasons we simply couldn't get a photo of all of the stalls for you (typically, we try to include a shot featuring the "wall of stalls" -- but this restroom was so busy, we couldn't get one without snagging a photo of a restroom user, which is a big no-no -- ed). Perhaps this is also why this stall is trashed -- it sees a lot of traffic. There's no auditorium-sized ADA stall in this loo -- it's only slightly wider than the rest of the stalls and simply features handrails.
Finally, here's a peek at the baby changing station. In a room so heavily favoring stainless steel, we were convinced this changing platform would feature the same. Fortunately for bare baby buttocks, this is not the case. A synthetic (much warmer) material makes up the baby changing station (Can we get an "amen" from all the infants in the audience!?!?!).
Here's another view of Sonny to help us wrap up another intergalactic Loo Review.
WDW Loo Review Recap of Magic Kingdom's Tomorrowland Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe Loo:
Capacity: Medium (five urinals, four stalls -- one ADA-compliant)
Cleanliness: Fairly dirty on the date of our visit (but hey, this is a relatively small loo for such a large venue).
Theming: Moonraker, anyone?
Changing Station: Yes!
Companion Restroom: Yes
OVERALL RATING: 3/5 urinal wafers
Look, we love Cosmic Ray's and, especially, Sonny's lounge act. Oh, and we love some aspects of this loo, too: the cool men's room entrance/exit doors, the brushed stainless features. This loo, however, is waaay too small for its corresponding restaurant. As such, it's heavily trafficked and doesn't stay clean for long after custodial staff makes its pass. If you're eating in the restaurant and really need to go, this is an acceptable pit stop. If you aren't, however, try the Cheshire Cafe loo less than 100 yards away -- it's a much nicer venue and less-traveled.
It seems the folks at WDW got wind of our concerns and beat us to our press date with an announcement of their own! On January 31, 2017, WDW announced Cosmic Ray's restrooms will be undergoing both a remodel and an expansion (along with expanded outdoor seating areas as well). These restrooms will be closed throughout the renovation, though, and all users will be routed to the loo outside Aunty Gravity's (which is already a super busy restroom -- so you'll definitely want to consider a visit to the Cheshire Cafe Loo during the remodel). Stay tuned to the blog as we're sure to revisit this loo after the remodel is complete later this summer!
Big thanks, once again, for taking a few moments to visit our blog. We love that you love this aspect of WDW, and we so appreciate all your support! Thanks for all the likes and shares on Facebook, the supportive comments on the website and the participation in our recent contest! You guys are the best! Stick with us -- another exclusive loo review will be published soon!
Until then, bottoms down and thumbs up!