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Review: AMC Dine-In Theater at Walt Disney World’s Downtown Disney

Have you ever been at Walt Disney World and thought, “Gee, dinner and a movie sounds like a fun night out.” Well, in true Disney style, they have this entertainment option covered as well, with AMC Dine-In Theater.

One of only a handful of AMC theaters across the country that offer the “Fork and Screen” option, I think it’s an intriguing addition to the Downtown Disney landscape.

Vacay is the perfect time to indulge in stuff like that. But for the Disney warriors out there, it’s also a great option for fun multitasking! I mean, why settle for dinner + a movie, when you can have dinner WITH your movie?

Atmosphere

You enter the Dine-In portion of AMC from what I think of as the “far side” of the building — the side nearest Planet Hollywood. It’s actually kind of confusing. I’ve gotten lost before. And with parking being the nightmare that it is at Downtown Disney right now, thanks to the construction for Disney Springs, plan for a few extra minutes before meeting your friends. ;-)

Entrance

Entrance

Upon entering the bright, airy lobby, you’ll first notice the bar area, McGuffins. It’s named for a plot device term coined by Alfred Hitchcock. (See? You learned something new, didn’t you?) The space is bright and inviting, a perfect spot for chilling before your show starts.

Bar

Bar

And that brings me to the first half of this equation — the movie. Let’s talk a little bit about how the movie + eating thing goes together.

First off, you can order your movie tickets ahead of time, or you can place your order at a kiosk in the lobby.

Ticket Kiosks

Ticket Kiosks

Once you order your tickets, a screen will pop up for you to select your seats.

Seating Diagram on Ordering Kiosk

Seating Diagram on Ordering Kiosk

Tickets in hand, I set about to explore a bit.

The lobby is more than just a place to wait for your movie to start. You can order a drink or appetizer while you wait, or you can even order a full meal here and skip the movie experience altogether.

Seating is mixed. You can settle in at a place by the bar, choose from high tables and chairs like this, or select regular tables. There are also comfy couches to continue on with the feeling that you’re in an upscale lounge.

Additional Bar Seating

Additional Bar Seating

The Dine-In Theaters are separated from the rest of the theaters, so it’s easy to find your way around.

Entrance to Dine-In Theaters

Entrance to Dine-In Theaters

You’re advised to arrive about 30 minutes before your movie starts. That way, you have plenty of time to find your seats, take a look at the menu, and order your food before the lights go down.

Soon, it was time to head into the theater. Our server showed us to our seats, and we settled in. The first thing I noticed about our Dine-In Theater was its small size. These aren’t your big, stadium-sized jobs.

Movie Theater Screen

Movie Theater Screen

So how does this work anyway? Flip up TV tables like on an airplane? Actually, no. You start to get a sense of the set up from these photos. Tables are fixed and have low lights that don’t interfere with your movie watching, but do reveal where your cup and fork are.

Dine-In Theater

Dine-In Theater

Cloth napkins are a nice touch! And seats are big and plush. If you’re worried about comfort, don’t be.

And for those who, like me, need seventeen refills on their drink before they even finish their appetizer, there’s a little “service button” there in the middle of the table to press if needed. I can’t promise that the server will visit anytime soon, but at least you’ll feel like you’ve done something to speed the process along.

Table -- Up Close

Table — Up Close

The menu is extensive, so let’s take a look at what they have to offer.

Eats

Okay…so the food for your Dinner and a Movie Experience isn’t really haute cuisine. Far from it. But there’s certainly plenty to choose from.

To begin, we absolutely lurve the Coke Freestyle option here! You can choose from more than 100 different Coke flavors, and you can customize to your heart’s content!

Coke Freestyle Menu 1 -- Click to Enlarge

Coke Freestyle Menu 1 — Click to Enlarge

And the choices are mind-boggling! It’s hard to decide, actually. :-) Note that you don’t get to fill your own cup, so if you want to mix flavors, you’re at the mercy of your server. (That whole mixing flavors thing didn’t go so well with my server, but maybe you’ll have better luck.)

Coke Freestyle 2 -- Click to Enlarge

Coke Freestyle 2 — Click to Enlarge

The menu features several Signature Selections throughout. They’re gathered together here, or you can keep an eye out for the little gold fork as you go through the sections.

Menu -- Signature Items -- Click to Enlarge

Menu — Signature Items — Click to Enlarge

As I mentioned, you can arrive early so that you have a chance to look at the menu and make your selections. But the cool thing is that you can order at any time during the movie. Just press that call button at your seat, and your server will appear to take your order.

A few Salads kick off the menu.

Menu -- Salads -- Click to Enlarge

How Ordering Works and Menu — Salads — Click to Enlarge

Appetizers include some single choices, plus a few different platters and samplers for guests who like variety.

Menu -- Appetizers -- Click to Enlarge

Menu — Appetizers — Click to Enlarge

It’s interesting to note that there are some better-for-you choices among the other pub grub-type offerings, like the Veggie Triple Feature.

Menu -- More Appetizers -- Click to Enlarge

Menu — More Appetizers — Click to Enlarge

Entrees run the gamut, from Pastas and a Rice Bowl, to Salmon and Beef Tips.

Menu -- Entrees -- Click to Enlarge

Menu — Entrees — Click to Enlarge

But that’s just the beginning! Because the menu also devotes several pages to “genres” of food. For instance, did you know that there are whole lists of Chicken Tenders to be enjoyed? (That will give you, in a nutshell, the kind of food that’s available here.)

Menu -- A Whole Section Devoted to Quesadillas, Tacos, and Tenders & Fish -- Click to Enlarge

Menu — Quesadillas, Tacos, Tenders, and Fish — Click to Enlarge

The offerings continue with a list of mostly traditional Sandwiches, plus something called Pizzettas, which sound like flatbreads, or thin-crust pizzas, from the descriptions.

Menu -- Sandwiches and Pizzettas -- Click to Enlarge

Menu — Sandwiches and Pizzettas — Click to Enlarge

But then, there’s something completely different here that they’re calling Flatbreads, which look more like a sort of wrap-meets-panini. There are also several Burgers, all of which sound pretty tasty.

Menu -- Flatbread Melts and Burgers -- Click to Enlarge

Menu — Flatbread Melts and Burgers — Click to Enlarge

The menu wraps up with Popcorn, the Kids’ Menu, and some additional Drink Options.

The Popcorn has a steep price tag — $8.50 — but take note that the sticker price includes a free refill. So there’s that. Actually, I guess it’s not all that steep. And there’s your deal for the day. :-)

You can also have a selection of Candy delivered to your seat. Beats missing the big scene in the movie because you have to make a Goober run, eh?

If you’re interested in some of the innovative concession options at AMC, check out this review by Erin Foster, our Disney Food for Families columnist.

Menu -- Popcorn, Kids, and Beverages -- Click to Enlarge

Menu — Popcorn, Kids, and Beverages — Click to Enlarge

Whew!! That’s a whole lotta menu!

But finally, we’ve made it to the real, live, actual food.

We started off with the Wings Things and Sampler. Billed as “a little of everything”, the platter included Buffalo Chicken Wings, Fried Mozzarella Cheese Sticks, Onion Rings, and House Made Ripple Chips. Blue Cheese Dressing and Marinara Sauce were served on the side for dipping.

The quality was your standard frozen-and-fried — better than your local gas station food, but about the same as what you’ll get at the Costco or Sam’s Club bulk freezer section.

Appetizer Sampler

Wings Things and Sampler

Next, we couldn’t resist sampling a couple of options from the “Tenders” portion of the menu. First up, we sampled the English-Style Fish and Chips. (Is there another style that I’ve been missing out on?)

The Fish was fine, although the portion was a bit small. It was served with Lemon Wedges and plenty of Tartar Sauce. I would hope they’d have Malt Vinegar upon request for fish and chips purists.

But the persnickety part of me did note that these were not Chips — i.e. the thick cut, pillowy potato portions that I consider different from fries. Nope; these are the same french fries you’ll get with any other option on the menu. A minor point, but worth noting if you expect English-Style Chips to go with your English-Style Fish.

Fish and Chips

English-Style Fish and Chips

Next, I went for the Buffalo Chicken Tenders because, well, I love them!

They came with the spicy Buffalo Sauce on the side, and also included Blue Cheese Dressing. Celery Sticks rounded out the garnishes.

The menu also allows you to swap out the regular fries for either Onion Rings or Truffle Parmesan Fries for an additional charge. I went for the upgrade and enjoyed the dressed up fries alongside my chicken.

The tenders were good. Not quite as good as the Disney version, which I dearly love. But, again, as long as you’re not expecting anything more than frozen-to-fried, you’ll be perfectly happy with these.

Buffalo Chicken Tenders

Buffalo Chicken Tenders

We weren’t about to leave without something sweet, though! And surprisingly, there are some interesting, out-of-the-box options. Doesn’t that Pumpkin Spice Cake Sundae sound like the epitome of comfort food goodness?

As the menu suggested, I did order the dessert ahead of time, and it arrived after we had finished our other courses.

Menu 8 Dine-In Theater

Menu — Desserts — Click to Enlarge

And ultimately, I opted for a tried-and-true combination, and chose the Warm Brownie Sundae. They’d advertised it in the lobby and it looked awesome. The final product didn’t look at all like the advertisement, but surprisingly, it was very good!

Brownie Sundae

Warm Brownie Sundae

You can’t really go wrong with this classic in my opinion, but the super flavorful, fudgy Brownie stood up nicely to the Vanilla Ice Cream.

Overall

I think that AMC Dine-In’s Fork and Screen is a good addition to the diverse offerings at Disney World. We’ve been big fans of the AMC at Pleasure Island since it arrived — it’s a great place to see the latest films. But now, to know that you can enjoy a movie while eating dinner…well, it’s just a good use of your Disney time budget, I think.

Sure, the food is a bit expensive for what it is, and I think that overall, Disney’s food is better than AMC’s. Still, it’s a fun and unique experience, even if I wouldn’t include it in every visit.

Have you enjoyed the Dine-In Theater at Downtown Disney’s AMC? Leave a comment and weigh in with your thoughts about the experience!

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18 Comments

  1. Joni says:

    Love the concept.
    Kind of expensive but what isn’t at Disney.
    Wish you could pull the table up closer to you when you ate. For kids and adults it is hard to relax and watch the movie and try not to get your meal all over you.
    Maybe a Fork and Screen bib lol

  2. Brenda Kim says:

    I have had the Toasted S”mores Pizzetta and OMG the chocolate and marshmallow are perfectly melted and the crust has the firm texture and holds up really well. The added sauces (chocolate and caramel) enhanced the dessert so much so, that now just a plain old s’more won’t cut it any longer.

    Also just be aware the ticket prices are a little more than the normal theater ticket on the other side of the building. You can purchase your tickets on either side of the AMC building but can only get to the dine in theater through the entrance on the side close to Planet Hollywood, as mentioned in the article.

    One other tip. AMC has a reward card, you do have to pay annually for it. I believe it is $12.00 a year currently. The reward card offers upgrades on popcorn and drinks from medium to large (you pay the medium price.) Plus if you purchase your tickets online, the card waives the extra online fee. Plus as an added bonus for every $100.00 you spend AMC will give you a $10.00 credit. This is good for tickets, food and drinks, including Alcohol.

  3. Leslie says:

    We have a place similar to this where I live and it is fun; it takes the stress out having to finish dinner in time to make the movie. One thing I would note is that you kind of have to go into this with a chill attitude. You may wait 20 minutes before anyone approaches you to order, and the person who just walked in may get served immediately. You just kind of have to accept that the service won’t be what you would expect in a normal restaurant. Also, if your server forgets your drinks until after you’ve eaten your meals or gets your order wrong, it’s hard to get a quick resolution on that given the atmosphere. I still think it’s worth it, but it can be a little frustrating at times.

  4. Jeff says:

    You forgot the most important benefit of the Fork and Screen: less chance of a teenager texting during the movie!

  5. Jan says:

    Question: is it literally DINNER and a movie, or is this part of the cinema also open for lunch? I was thinking this would be a great way to cool off on a hot summer day.

  6. cherie says:

    Thanks for the review :) We’re getting one of these not far from me I hear tell . . . will have to give it a shot – I’ve not been willing to give up disney time to visit that one! Glad you broke trail for us all

  7. Bethan says:

    It’s Alfred Hitchcock not Albert Hitchcock, just an FYI! :o)

  8. Rachel says:

    This was one of our favorite things we did at Disney World! Our small town has a pretty dumpy theater so we were really excited to try out the Dine-In and we were not disappointed! It was quite cold this past winter at WDW so we saw 2 movies here during our visit to recharge and be warm for awhile. *Sigh* I can still remember the amazing smell of the truffle parmesean fries!

  9. Lynn says:

    Can an adult order from the kid’s menu? Lots of times, if I want a smaller portion, I order from the kids menu in Disney CS places. Not sure if that’s allowed at the AMC Dine-In? I’m thinking probably not because it’s sort of table service?

  10. rosemary says:

    It’s not gourmet foods, but it has much more than just your typical theater.

    That being said I liked the chipotle chicken and bacon flat bread melt. Very good.

    It’s casual fare, but good.

  11. CH says:

    OK, but just how distracting is it to have servers running up and down the aisles while you’re trying to watch the movie? Do they pass food over you to people down the row? I get annoyed when people arrive late or start walking back and forth to use the restroom at a regular movie—I feel like this experience would drive me NUTS!

  12. Diana says:

    These AMC dine-in theaters are being built all across the country. There are 2 within 30mins of where I live. I think that the look of this theater is much different from the one’s I am used to. For one at both AMC dine-in’s around me they have individual tray tables per chair set-up in sets of twos. The chairs look like larger rockers and actually do move back. Some in the upgrade “suites” recline. Between every two seats is an area where they have the call button, condiments, napkins, utensils and menus. Also there is about a foot plus space in between the rows of chairs. For that I am disappointed in Disney’s take on the AMC dine-in. It seems strange to me to not upgrade the seating. but keep everything else the same.

  13. Erin says:

    My husband and I went to this AMC Dine-In theater last May during our anniversary weekend. We went to see Iron Man 3, and arrived right at opening time and just barely got tickets. Most tickets were purchased online before people arrived. We walked around Downtown Disney while we waited for our movie time. Once it was about half an hour before the movie, we returned to the theater and were escorted to our seats.

    Service was fantastic. Our waitress was quick to take our drink order and returned with them quickly. We had the sampler and I ordered the Iron Man special that included a blinking ice cube. The food was fantastic. I enjoyed the crab cakes. I wish it there was a little more than just 3 small patties, but they were delicious.

    Once the movie to start showing, things took a turn. The movie was about 20 minutes in and the video started having problems. People began ringing their service bells to report the problem. The staff turned the lights up and addressed the audience that the issue was being addressed. Within 5 to 10 minutes the lights dimmed and the video started again. Sadly, the projector broke again and the lights went back up. The entire time that the situation was happening, the wait staff were steadily on the floor serving customers. At one point, we used our service button and a gentleman responded. He informed us that our waitress was unavailable and offered to help. Some time had passed, it felt like 15 minutes or so, when a waitress addressed the audience requesting customers to please continue to treat the staff appropriately as they are trying to look into the problem. After her professional handling of disgruntled patrons, many of us applauded her. She returned in 5 minutes or so and reported that the manager was going to give our food and drinks for free and transfer us to another theater since the projector was now damaged beyond use. Everyone clapped, and waited to be escorted. Shortly, a gentleman explained that we would all be traveling through a connecting hallway to the other AMC theaters to find seats in a showing of Iron Man 3. As we shuffled out of the theater, we left a tip at our table, and a few people handed tips to the staff that helped wait tables. Many people personally thanked the waitress who took charge. Before we crossed the hallway, a manager handed out a free movie pass to every person as they came through the doorway. We had to find seats among a theater that already had people in it, but that really was the only stinky part was not getting to great view I had in the previous theater. The previews had already started, but that didn’t bother us since we had already watched them once. I’m glad I had the time to spare for this long adventure. Otherwise, I’d be really upset if the situation interrupted other plans.

    All in all, it was a fantastic way to handle the entire situation. They went above and beyond to over compensate and make amends for an unplanned situation. I enjoyed the food, the movie, and the service. I’d gladly return to this establishment again!

  14. Virginia says:

    Our first time at Fork and Screen was a bit disappointing, but it was the first week it was open and the servers were still getting trained. Since that time, the only movies we have seen have been at Fork and Screen. If you invest in popcorn and drinks in any theater, you could easily spend what you would for a real meal at Fork and Screen. We usually try to get to our seats about 30 minutes before the movie starts so we can eat before most of the lighting is gone. I love the Lime Chicken Griller and the Prime Rib Griller. My husband usually has one of the salads.

  15. Julie says:

    Went to the downtown disney theatre last night. Food was awesome. Service was great. My only problem was that they wanted us to pay before the movie was over. The waiter brought the check about 20 minutes before the end of the show. he came back twice to see if we had the money ready. It was so dark, I wasn’t even positive what I gave him and I could barely see the bill. Not to mention everyone unzipping their purse and fumbling around making noise at the crucial part of the show.

    They should really have you pay when you first order and the lights are still on.

  16. Tanner says:

    I worked at an AMC in the past, not in Florida but I think they are basically the same.
    You can order from the concession stand and bring in smaller sizes of drinks and popcorn as well as candy or tenders or what ever else they have. I think, but don’t quote me, you can save money this way.

    As for the drinks, the freestyle machine at the location I worked was right by the concession stand which was quite a distance from the kitchen for dine in. Servers would come every so often and fill pitchers up with soda and bring them back to the kitchen. They have pitchers of the popular items, vanilla coke, but not always some of the less known, Mellon yellow peach. Not sure why they don’t have a freestyle closer, but they probably didnt get your drink right because of the time it takes to get to the machine.

  17. AJ says:

    Tanner– At the Disney location, the dine in theater has a separate entrance from the other screens, so I’m not sure I saw a regular concession stand in that part.

  18. AJ says:

    Bethan — Thanks!

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