One of my favorite things to do when my family and I visit Walt Disney World is to try a lot of new and different restaurants. We love to enjoy foods that we normally wouldn’t get to enjoy at home. Having said that, there’s also something about going to familiar places. For us, one of those places is the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater located at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Streets of America.
We made our first pilgrimage to Walt Disney World as a family in July of 2004. This was one of the first places we chose to eat and while the food is not exactly haute cuisine, the theming is some of the best of any restaurant on WDW property.
As you walk through the doors you are lead to the back of a faux soundstage. One you go around the corner, you find yourself in a recreation of a drive-in movie theater from the 1950s, complete with classic cars instead of tables.
As you are seated, the first thing you will notice is the large drive-in movie screen. This is perhaps my favorite part of this restaurant.
On the big screen, a 45 minute loop of B-movie “Coming Attractions” plays, complete with intermission sequences and space-themed cartoons. . .just like when we were growing up! Surrounding the perimeter of the “theater” area is a wooden fence and the interior is expectedly dark, just like it should be for a nighttime movie showing under the stars. Oh, and there are stars. . .hundreds of them.
The food is an interesting mix at Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater. While there is certainly “drive-in” fare, such as burgers and shakes, there is also a surprising bit of variety to the menu!
The Sci-Fi Appetizer Sampler, for example, comes with Honey-Barbecue Chicken Wings, Crispy Onion Rings, Fried Dill Pickles with Spicy Ranch and Horseradish dipping sauces. You can spring for a stand-alone appetizer of any of the aforementioned goodies or pick up an order of Spicy Buffalo Popcorn Chicken or maybe even some Spinach And Artichoke dip served with corn tortilla chips.
The entrées are more akin to a TGI Fridays than a drive-in, but the diversity of foods is welcome. Among those available are the following:
Flame-broiled New York Strip Steak: Topped with Blue Cheese Butter and served with Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Seasonal Vegetables, and crispy Onion Rings
Shrimp or Chicken Pasta: Whole-Grain Penne Pasta with garlic, Sauteed Shrimp with Olive Oil, Basil, Cream, and fresh Tomatoes topped with Parmesan, the Smoked Turkey Sandwich: Smoked Turkey, crispy Bacon, Lettuce, and Vine-ripened Tomatoes with Avocado Mayonnaise on Multigrain Bread served with Cucumber Salad
The Reuben: Corned Beef, Sauerkraut, Swiss, and Thousand Island Dressing on Marble Rye Bread served with Pickle Spear and choice of Cucumber Salad or French Fries
Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie: With fresh vegetables, black beans, and chipotle peppers blended to replicate the pie mom used to make, topped with mashed potatoes and cheddar cheese
Grilled Marinated Salmon Or Chicken Salad: On top of farm fresh greens, seasonal tomatoes, crispy bacon, chili-chive ranch dressing, topped with house-made crostini; with grilled chicken
House-smoked St. Louis-style Pork Ribs – Lightly-brushed with Barbecue Sauce served with Baked Beans and Coleslaw
Overall, the food is pretty good, but as you would expect with any Disney dining location, it’s also a bit pricier than you would expect to pay at home. But, Hey…you’re on vacation! Enjoy! There are also desserts and drinks to be had as well, both soft drink and grown-up varieties. I am especially fond of the Meteor. . .Coca-Cola or Sprite served in a souvenir cup with a Glow Cube!
As with most things in the Disney Parks, it really is all about the experience and less about the food, though readers on Allears.Net give the restaurant a respectable rating of 7.5 out of 10.
If you are at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and you are looking for a great place to eat with fantastic theming, then I highly recommend the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater!