The Disney World Dessert That's Basically Its Own Attraction

Deep in the heart of Orlando, Florida's Disney World is Disney Springs, a shopping, dining, and entertainment destination replete with event venues, retail stores, and nearly 70 restaurants. Disney World tickets are not required to enter Disney Springs where both the admission and the parking are free. That's great news for intrepid dessert hunters because there is a sweet treat to be had there that is so mammoth in scale that it's an entire adventure unto itself. But to try it, you'll need to travel back in time.

Located in the Springs' Marketplace district is T-Rex, a dinosaur-themed restaurant that serves family-friendly American classics in an immersive Jurassic environment. Larger-than-life animatronic dinosaurs tower over the tables and roar to life while pterosaurs squawk from the air above. There is an enormous undulating octopus surrounded by giant aquariums of colorful fish, a primordial ice cave, and a fern forest — and you can even dine inside the giant skeleton of a triceratops ... which is the perfect vantage point from where to watch the meteor shower light show that takes place every 20 minutes. 

As incredibly fun as it is to visit the land before time and enjoy a meal there, T-Rex's dessert menu is where you'll behold the main attraction. The Chocolate Extinction is a massive cake and ice cream platter that comes enveloped in a volcanic eruption of dry ice fog — a showy opening number worthy of the dessert's "dino-mite" explosion of deliciousness.

Eat like there's no tomorrow

The colossal Chocolate Extinction serves four and costs $23.99 as of publication. It arrives in a cloud of billowing white smoke emitting from a keepsake cocktail shaker. Surrounding the dramatic volcanic centerpiece are four gigantic slices of chocolate brownie cake, interspersed with heaping scoops of vanilla ice cream and creamy whipped topping. The whole shebang is drizzled in hot chocolate fudge and caramel sauce and then sprinkled with Butterfinger crumbs. The contrast of decadent cake with ice cream getting melty under warm sauces and peanut butter candy is the stuff of dessert dreams — and a reason to add T-Rex to your bucket list of experience-based restaurants to visit at least once. Named appropriately for the catastrophic event that likely destroyed the dinosaurs, the Chocolate Explosion is truly to die for.

Of course, there are lunch and dinner menus too. Carnivorous favorites include the Caesar-Saurus salad, Paleozoic chicken sandwich, Megasaurus burger, and there are two plant-based burgers for herbivores. For ravenous appetites, there's the Crustacean Trio with coconut shrimp, scampi, and whiskey-glazed shrimp, or you can devour the Boneyard Buffet of fire-roasted rotisserie chicken with slow-roasted St. Louis-style pork spareribs.

The restaurant also features a Build-A-Dino By Build-A-Bear Workshop where kids customize their own plush pet dinosaurs while adults enjoy the Watering Hole bar, serving on-brand cocktails like Caveman Punch, Journey to the Center, and the Lava Flow.

Where and how to get the epic Chocolate Extinction

If T-Rex reminds you of the jungle-themed Rainforest Cafe, that is because Landry's Inc. owns both restaurants. There are two Rainforest Cafes at Disney World — one in Disney Springs, and another in Disney's Animal Kingdom. This is where a few tips can help hook you up with the incredible Chocolate Extinction dessert faster than you can say woolly mammoth.

The first pro-move is to join Landry's Select Club. This rewards program includes the benefit of priority seating, allowing you to get seated faster any day of the week, even without a reservation. Disney World reservations book up quickly, so having this membership advantage is like a FastPass to the head of the line at T-Rex (and most of the other 600 Landry locations too). Also, keep in mind that T-Rex does not list all its available tables online in Disney Parks' restaurant dining reservation system. Although the website may not show any open reservations available, calling the restaurant can likely still score you a table.

Another similarity between T-Rex and Rainforest Cafe is their menus. It turns out that Rainforest Cafe has its own version of the Chocolate Extinction. It's called the Sparkling Volcano and is made with all the same scrumptious ingredients, except for a glittering firework instead of dry ice. We're all for pyrotechnics and paleontology, but it's the chocolate cake and ice cream we're after, and the same gargantuan dessert is $2.50 less at Rainforest Cafe.