Disney World is known for wonderful themed environments. As you cross the bridge from the Hub into Adventureland, you disappear into lush foliage and an overgrown area of excitement. Venturing into Frontierland, you experience the dustiness of the Old West. Stepping into the Biergarten transports you into an outdoor Oktoberfest celebration in Germany. Hollywood Studios is the home to one of the best-themed restaurants in the parks: the Sci-Fi Dine In! Here is our list of the six things that we love about it:
6. The seating – while dining here, you’ll be seated in a car. Most “tables” are cars that feature three rows of seats with two people to a row. There is a random assortment of tables that have a basic table sandwiched between the bumper and the fender. Sitting in the classic car tables adds to the ambiance and feel of being at a drive-in movie. You’re sitting facing the movie screen and the lights are dimmed to create the impression that you are sitting outside enjoying the movie and your meal.
5. The wait staff – be careful to watch your hands while watching the movie. True to the feel of being at the drive-in during the 1950s and 1960s, the wait staff will warn you that there will be no necking while parked in the car. The only thing they could do to add to the ambiance more is if they delivered the food on platters you can hang from your window.
4. The entertainment – during your meal, a constant reel is shown on the screen. You’ll see clips from Disney’s “Tomorrowland” series from the Wonderful World of Disney. Also included are clips from classic science fiction B-movies. You’ll also see previews of upcoming attractions, classic cartoons, and our favorite, the intervening dancing snack foods beckoning you to the snack stand!
3. The food – Sci-Fi Dine In features classic American fare. Burgers, hot dogs, fried pickles. They’ve recently also added fresher, healthier options if that is for you (my mother-in- law recently sampled the Salmon BLT and I had the leftovers – it was surprisingly delicious and the salmon was well-prepared). I’ve eaten here several times and I always get the same thing: fried pickles and the picnic burger (a burger with a grilled, split hot dog and all the toppings)! Be sure to save some room for dessert or an amazingly thick milkshake!
2. The little details – the dining room is enclosed in a ramshackle wood fence to add to the feeling that you are in a dusty drive-in. The headlights on the “tables” are off and there are signs to remind you to turn them back on when you leave after the show. Imagineers painted a post-sunset vista above the fence line with powerlines, palm trees, and stars. It is easy to overlook all of the details because the entire space feels very immersive.
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1. The price – Sci-Fi Dine In is one of the more reasonably priced options at Hollywood Studios. Some may feel it is overpriced for what it is, but when compared to Hollywood and Vine or the Brown Derby, it is very cheap. Sci-Fi also accepts Tables in Wonderland (this discount card is available only to Annual Passholders and Florida Residents and will give you a total discount on the meal of 20%).
Sci-Fi Dine In is a wonderfully themed restaurant that features dining options the entire family can love, be sure to make a reservation for here. In recent history, it has been a little difficult to get a reservation inside of 30 days or so, but you can always walk up in the morning to see if you can get in at lunch or dinner. Things might be getting better soon with all of the recent closures at the Studios, but this dining option is definitely a reason to go to Hollywood Studios! Have you been to Sci-Fi Dine In? What is your favorite menu item?
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