the disney food blog Rotating Header Image

Sci-Fi Dine-In

I wanted to give you more construction pics for today, but DH said you’d prefer some food porn, so here we go! We’re headed to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the Sci-Fi Dine-In! Sci-Fi Dine-IN Sci-Fi Dine-in in Disney’s Hollywood Studios is a quintessential Disney experience. It’s imagineering and restauranteur-ing at its collaborative best: drive-in movies and good eats mixed together on a big ol’ sound stage in the middle of a theme park! The next time you bring someone new to Disney World and want to knock their socks off with something they’ve never seen before, book a reservation here. Atmosphere You’ll enter through what looks like a movie theater entrance, but find yourself here, in a soundstage-esque reservation area. The floors are concrete and you’re surrounded by movie posters for mid-century b-movies: Attack of the 50-ft Woman, The Blob, etc… .

Entrance and Reservations Area

Entrance and Reservations Area

Movie Posters in Entrance Area

Movie Posters in Entrance Area

There’s rickety, plywood movie-set scaffolding around and old drive-in movie speakers take up residence in the corners. Look above you and you might even see an old bowl of…eyeballs? Well how ’bout that.

B-Movie Props

B-Movie Props

That’s right, your lunch isn’t going to highlight sweet, sensible movies; you’re eating with aliens, mummies, robots, and all of your other favorite sci-fi movie stars. You’re eating in a mid-century drive-in! But wait, you say, I don’t have a car, I’m not outside, this isn’t mid-century anything! True, but as soon as you’re called to your table, you’ll feel otherwise. You’ll be led down a dark hall into an even darker room. There’s a huge screen to one side, and you’re surrounded by…trees? Yep, trees, the night sky, and rows upon rows of convertible cars.

Walt Disney Introduces You to His Robot Friend on the Screen

Walt Disney Introduces You to His Robot Friend on the Screen

Carhops Glide Throughout the Cars Taking Orders

Carhops Glide Throughout the Cars Taking Orders

A Family Enjoys Their Meal

A Family Enjoys Their Meal

Your Table

Your Table

In the back of the room, you see a vintage-looking snack bar with umbrella-ed tables beside it. These are options for seating as well! If you’d like to sit in a convertible, be sure to request it!

Snack Bar -- Concession Stand

Snack Bar -- Concession Stand

Other Table Option

Other Table Option

Once you’re settled into your table, drag out a flashlight to read your menu ’cause this place is DARK! Luckily, you have a few lights in your car…

Menu by Dashboard Light

Menu by Dashboard Light

But if you don’t want to strain your eyes, here’s the menu for a preliminary perusal. Eats We were pretty wrapped up in the monster movies on screen, but quickly turned our attention to our appetizer when it arrived! DH and I consider ourselves spinach dip connoisseurs, so we ordered the chips platter with chili and artichoke-spinach dip. It was quite good, and I’m afraid I traded DH my portion of the chili for more spinach dip…

Chili and Artichoke Spinach Dip Platter Appetizer

Chili and Artichoke Spinach Dip Platter Appetizer

From there, we went on to the bacon cheeseburger and the ribs. I’ve heard great things about the cheeseburger, and it didn’t disappoint. The ribs were a bit embarrassing to eat with no light anywhere — I had no idea how much sauce I had all over me until I went to the restroom later!

Bacon Cheeseburger and Fries

Bacon Cheeseburger and Fries

Smoked St. Louis Style Ribs with Baked Beans and Fries

Smoked St. Louis Style Ribs with Baked Beans and Fries

And, even though we were too full to stand, we had to order dessert; I write a food blog, after all. ;-) So today it was the Celebration Cheesecake with Caramel Sauce and Treats, and the apple crumble — DH and I are suckers for a good apple crumble.

Cheesecake with Caramel Sauce and Treats

Cheesecake with Caramel Sauce and Treats

Apple Crumble

Apple Crumble

Both desserts were delicious. The cheesecake resembled the cheesecake at Mama Melrose’s restaurant (natch), and the apple crumble thankfully didn’t taste canned (unfortunately, that gooey, canned-apple taste has become an all-too-common occurrence in Disney’s apple desserts). Overall, we were happy with our Sci-Fi meal, but we knew what to expect. Some folks might find it too dark in here; others might find the movies to be too scary for some kiddos (they’re more cheesy than scary, but sometimes kids can’t tell the difference yet). Some people might prefer to eat their meals while NOT watching The Blob and/or Zombies. But, if you want a decent meal in an out-of-this-world setting, give Sci-Fi Dine-In a try. It’s like nothing you’ve ever experienced, I’ll promise that!

Other Posts You May Enjoy:

19 Comments

  1. amanda says:

    This is one of my family’s favorites, and we try and go on every trip! The cartoons keep the kids entertained, and it’s nice to be inside and get out of the weather, if it’s hot or cold, and the food is pretty decent.

  2. Shayne says:

    Sci-Fi is one of our favorites! Their milkshakes are to-die-for and the burgers are good too. We get such a laugh out of watching the old B-movie trailers, and the kids think eating in a car is so cool!

  3. Heather I. says:

    What, no milkshake?! Haha, that apple crumble looks so, so good! My family always has to make a stop here, mostly for the atmosphere, but the food is quite tasty :)

  4. Janna says:

    Sci-Fi is one the places we ate at on our honeymoon in 1993. It was awful.

    Fast forward to our trip in January of 2009…We decided to try Sci-Fi again. YUMM-O!! It is now on our must-do list. (To make sure it wasn’t a fluke, we ate here again in July – not a fluke, it was still good!)

    My favorite (and my then 2yo son’s) is the Beef and Blue Salad. As long as it’s on the menu, I’ll probably never have a burger!

  5. AJ says:

    Amanda — Good point that it’s a great stop to get out of the heat or cold — whatever the Orlando weather’s throwing at you!

    Shayne — Heck, *I* think eating in a car is so cool! :-) And I always wonder how those servers don’t trip over things all the time; it’s so dark in there!

    Heather — I KNOW! I forgot. I might have to steal the photo from my best milkshakes post!

    Janna — I had the same experience. When I went in the late 90′s, Sci-Fi was really bad! When I tried it again recently, it was pretty decent! Thanks for the rec on the beef and blue salad.

  6. Chip says:

    Look forward to eating here next week..I think I will pass on the ribs though..lol

  7. Ro says:

    AJ, how were the ribs? They look really good.

  8. AJ says:

    Chip — It’s not that bad! :-)

    Ro — The ribs were great; I really enjoyed them! Tough to cut in the dark, too, though…

  9. Sara says:

    We love the Sci-Fi! It’s just so Disney to us! The other thing I love about it is how peaceful it is in there – it’s so surprisingly quiet and dark and cool which makes it a nice retreat from the parks! We will be eating there in just a couple more weeks and I can’t wait!

  10. AJ says:

    Have a great time, Sara!!

  11. John says:

    We’ll be trying the Sci-Fi for the first time in February. I see on the menu published at allears.net that the burger is no longer offered on the dinner menu! Seeing as how this is pretty much the most highly recommended item on the menu, I wanted to try it. Do you think they’ll indulge me and let me order one? Of course mention that it came highly recommended by the prestigious Disney Food Blog! Thanks!

  12. AJ says:

    John — it does look like the dinner menu no longer includes the burger! Yikes! I don’t think mentioning the Disney Food Blog will help at all, but requesting a burger isn’t out of the question. Perhaps call the restaurant ahead of time to see if that might be possible (sometimes the Disney switchboard will transfer you to the podium at a particular restaurant)?

  13. [ this is jerry ] says:

    I’m gonna be the odd-one-out and say that the food here (at lunch) was pretty disappointing. The food was bland and uninspired, it’s very awkward to speak to anyone you’re not sitting next to (if you’re in a ‘car’) and it’s a more ‘rushed’ atmosphere than any of the other restaurants we went to during our time in the parks.

    It wasn’t nearly up to the level of some of the better eateries at at AK or Epcot; and certainly not to some of the better resort restaurants.

    Maybe it was an off day, but I’d give it a ‘C’.

  14. Lori says:

    Would LOVE to eat here but…..being a vegetarian really limits our restaurants. The Tufu dish sounds great for the adults but what about the kids? They should consider offering both the Smoked Turkey Sandwich and a Veggie Patty with the same toppings on the multigrain bun, (minus the bacon). Yummy!

  15. Ro says:

    Thanks, AJ. I’ll remember to pack a head lamp, if I eat there. : )

  16. AJ says:

    Jerry — It can definitely feel rushed, especially when the movie reel starts over all too soon!

    Lori — Good point. Thanks for chiming in with suggestions; hopefully a veggie burger will be on the menu at some point. You CAN contact Disney ahead of time to have off-the-menu offerings ready when you dine at Sci-Fi. It’s a not-to-be-missed experience.

    Ro — Yes. Head lamp is a good idea! Then leave it at the table for the next group! Or take it to Shula’s where you also need a head lamp to see anything.

  17. Jeff C. says:

    Under-rated, I say! We hadn’t been here for several years, and last year decided we needed to give it another shot. And I am so glad we did! Our car hop (Barb!!) was sooo nice and friendly, and this was just classic Disney. I ordered the ribs after watching my car0neighbor devouring hers, and it was very good.

    But man, that apple crumble – holy cow! I had no idea what I was missing! That was awesome. We really went for the atmosphere, but were pleasantly surprised with the entree and wow-ed by the dessert!

  18. AJ says:

    Jeff — I love the name Barb for a 50′s carhop! Sounds like you had the same meal I did — ribs and that delicious apple crumble. Kudos to Disney, eh? This place was so-so for a while, but I really did enjoy the meal on our last visit. Definitely worth a trip to the drive-in.

  19. Amy says:

    I love the Sci-Fi! I can remember my very first visit to this restaurant and I have been back there on almost every visit. I also enjoy taking people in there for their first experience. It’s dining with an atmosphere that you are hard-pressed to find anywhere else. And, I find that the menu is safe for picky eaters. How can you go wrong with a burger and fries?

Leave a Reply

Current month ye@r day *