Finding ourselves at Downtown Disney with time on our hands, my daughters and I decided to take in a film at the AMC theater there. I must confess that our secondary reason for this decision was the desire to see a film. The primary reason we decided to go there was to check out the AMC’s new concession situation.
I had read about the new snack set-up here on the Food Blog and we had a sneak peek at the incredible Coke Freestyle machine during a quick visit to the (gasp) Universal Studios counter service restaurant Richter’s Burgers, so we were excited to dive in.
Concession Stand Overhaul
The revamped food service concept at the AMC is different from anything I had previously encountered at a movie theater. Here you do not walk up to a counter, place your order, and have a clerk hand you items. Instead, with a few small exceptions, you gather your own snacks and then carry them to a single payment line.
The first thing you encounter upon entering is a case of “Better for You” healthy snack items including water, juices, fruit chips and Food Should Taste Good brand snacks. Since we were there with a sweet tooth, we admired the effort and kept on moving.
On the right of the entrance is popcorn station where you grab the size bag you want. There are workers behind the display filling bags. We felt ours was quite fresh and did not suffer from being slightly prematurely scooped. This is also where you pick up nachos and plastic cheese.
Further down that row you select your protein, hot pretzels, and condiments.
Of course there is packaged candy of the regular movie theater sort, as well as some more gourmet-style offerings.
On the other side of the snack line is ice cream, both packaged and hand-scooped. They’ll even make you a shake!
Next to the ice cream is the gourmet popcorn station. This is totally separate from the regular popcorn. The gourmet popcorn tied with the Coke Freestyle machines as my daughters’, and my, favorite part of the concession stand. The gourmet popcorn area includes a choice of caramel, cheese, or kettle popcorn, or any combination of those, plus mix-ins.
The mix-ins are the same choices available to top the ice cream: gummy bears, sprinkles, tiny peanut butter cups, chopped nuts, Reeses pieces, crumbled Oreos, etc. My girls chose to get the caramel corn with peanut butter cup mix-ins. We got the large bucket and shared that among three of us. VERY satisfying. Next time I’ll get that combo, plus some chopped peanuts for my own version of Cracker Jacks.
AMC has not skimped on beverage options here. There are numerous hot and cold alcoholic and non-alcoholic choices – and even a full bar.
The far back of the concession area features about half a dozen of the totally fab Coke Freestyle machines. There is a giant sign that says the machines dispense 106 varieties of soda, but this is just the number of flavors the machine can create.
Assuming there is no one behind you waiting to their turn at beverage creation, you can take as much time as you want blending any of those 106 varieties into the absolute perfect soft drink mixture for you. These were our special brews:
Me – Dasani Lime, Dasani Sensations Lemon, Minute Maid Lemonde, Diet Sprite
Josie – Diet Raspberry Coke, Fanta Zero Raspberry
Louisa – Vanilla Diet Coke, Diet Coke
Charlie – Strawberry Powerade Zero, Strawberry Fanta Zero, Orange Fanta Zero
We each LOVED our own and absolutely detested the others :-).
My single complaint about the new AMC concession stand is that is only accessible to guests with movie tickets. How cool would it be to be able to stroll around Downtown Disney while sipping on your secret recipe soda and popcorn? I have a feeling that the next time we’re at Walt Disney World, my girls are going to ask to see a movie, whether there’s anything playing that they want to see or not.