|Headquarters 🏙️||Houston, Texas|
Area served 🗺️
Number of employees
ABOUT: T-Rex Cafe is a prehistoric themed restaurant that includes a gift shop, along with animatronic dinosaurs that move and roar. T-Rex Cafe has differently-themed restaurant sections, such as prehistoric insects (which includes enlarged animatronic insects), ice age (which includes ice caves and animatronic mammoths), and under the sea (complete with jellyfish ceiling and large aquarium). In the dinosaur-themed area, a gift shop allows customers to "Build-A-Dino", which is provided by Build-A-Bear Workshop, who works in partnership with T-Rex.
T-Rex Cafe is owned by Landry's, Inc., which started back in 1980 in Katy, Texas. Landry's went private in 2010 when Tilman Fertitta, the CEO of Landry's and a large shareholder, made an offer to buy all shares. Landry's is no longer traded on the NYSE.
HISTORY: The first T-Rex Cafe restaurant opened in The Legends Outlets Kansas City in Kansas City, Kansas in 2006, followed by the opening of another at Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney) in Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando, Florida on October 17, 2008. (It appears to have been themed around The Rite of Spring segment of Fantasia.)
T-Rex Café was inspired by the creation and success of the Rainforest Café. The Rainforest Café concept was used in creating the T-Rex café restaurant and was first launched in June of 1997 in London, England. Both restaurants were founded by Steven Schussler of Schussler Creative, Inc. Schussler Creative, Inc. sold 80% of the of the restaurants concept to Laundry’s Restaurant, Inc. in 2000, leaving 20% to Schussler Creative, Inc. In 2006, T-Rex opened in Downtown Disney, which is now known as Disney Springs, in an attempt to expand the companies Disney operations. Laundry’s President, Chairman and CEO Tilman J. Fertitta, says that the three Rainforest Café locations brought in approximately $80.0 Million in revenue which in turn inspired him to open T-Rex Café.
Menu: T-Rex Café has an American fare menu with an Asian twist. The menu offers traditional American style entrees that pull in Asian themed flavors. One of the most popular cocktails at this restaurant is the “Tropical Cotton-Tini” which is a martini made of dissolved cotton candy. The Tropical Cotton-Tini, along with other drink choices, is included in the “Buy the drink, keep the glass” promotion that the restaurant offers. Several pasta options and carnivore entrees make up the food portion of the menu, as well as some seafood dishes like the “Whiskey Salmon.” T-Rex Cafe also participates in the Disney Dinning offered to Disney guest.
Education and Animatronics: The animatronic, dinosaur themed restaurant is a huge hit for the little ones and adults. T-Rex Café offers educational tours 7 days a week, with prior scheduling. The tours can be customized to met certain age groups and special needs for the guest. Upon finishing the tour, all guest enjoy lunch at the Café. The moving dinosaurs bring in thousands of guest. It features Tyrannosaurus rex, Apatosaurus, Albertosaurus, Triceratops, mammoths, Stegosaurus, Parasaurolophus, Arthropleura, pterosaurs (Including Pteranodon and Rhamphorhynchus), sea jellies, large insect models, alongside a Pachycephalosaurus, 13-foot wide octopus, and 2 fish tanks. There is a 2-min. meteor shower with various sized asteroids, and the ice cave turns from a blue or purple-pink color to orange to give the feeling it is melting, and all animals hoot, roar, and go berserk. T-Rex has a fossil dig in which kids can uncover a T-Rex or find their own fossils to keep and/or split a geode open. They have interactive touch screens that have games, toon clips, and things to learn about several of the creatures at the restaurant. Outside there is an Argentinosaurus skeleton and on the other side a Parasaurolophus sits in a pond fed by a waterfall with some plants by it. The restaurant looks like a forest with snowy mountains in the middle.
Activities: Dinning isn’t the only thing you can do at the T-Rex Café. T-Rex Café has several interactive attractions including the Discovery Dig Fossil Sandpit and Build-A-Dino. Disney wait times can be extremely high and T-Rex Café has created a solution for it’s waiting guest. While waiting for a table, families can dig for fossils in the sandpit, shop in the phenomenal gift shop and even build their very own stuffed dinosaur.
Events: T-Rex Café caters many events such as birthday parties, corporate gatherings, educational tours and a hands-on prehistorical experience.
- Smith, Joyce (August 13, 2017). "T-Rex Cafe closes, and other updates from the Legends Outlets in KCK". Kansas City Star.
- Kaberline, Brian (August 14, 2017). "T-Rex Cafe goes extinct in KCK". Kansas City Business Journal.
- "T Rex restaurant opens at Downtown Disney".
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