Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant is one of those places at Walt Disney World’s Disney’s Hollywood Studios that you have to experience at least once.
Sci-Fi Dine-In Restaurant
I mean, dining in a convertible car watching kitchy old science fiction movie clips under a faux starlit sky is really a bespoke dining adventure.
But the food…hasn’t ever been the big draw here. And that’s okay — we’re in it for the fun atmosphere! But we do keep coming back to try to food because I’m looking forward to the day that I can say both the experience AND the food are fun at Sci-Fi.
A menu change resulted in some interesting meal options, so I was happy to drive (er, walk) in and give it another shot. But the contrast between these menu items (and an old standby) really couldn’t be more divergent.
Sci-Fi meals open with some cleverly named beverages, including a Magical Star Cocktail that comes with a Multicolored Glow Cube and the Long Island Lunar Tea, which I tried on this visit.
The Long Island Lunar Tea is essentially a Long Island Ice Tea (but with a more sci-fi-appropriate name).
The alcohol is potent in this drink, but that’s what you’re looking for with the Long Island cocktail. It might have been a little heavy on the ice, and it was refreshing and cool.
The menu at Sci-Fi features crowd pleasers like Crispy Chicken Tenders and Fried Dill Pickles for apps. Entrees are pretty diverse, including Drive-In BBQ Burger, a New York Strip Steak, and a couple new items: Sci-Fi Barbecue Platter and Vegan Tofu Lettuce Wraps.
The Sci-Fi Barbecue Platter is easily large enough for two diners — particularly if you add an appetizer or one of Sci-Fi’s famed milkshakes. The Platter consists of Smoked Pulled Pork, St. Louis-style Ribs, Grilled Chicken, and Sausage.
The Sausage is almost comically small, but the other meats really compensate. Everything tastes decent, provided that you manage your expectations. Sci-Fi isn’t a BBQ joint, so you’re getting passable meats without a lot of finesse.
Sides include Baked Beans finished with Coca Cola BBQ Sauce, Southern Cole Slaw, Jalapeno-Cheddar Cornbread, and pickles. These are also fine, and the variety of items on the platter is really its most redeeming quality. If you need to fill up and protein load, you’ll certainly do it with this!
I also ordered a burger, since there are a few options on the menu, and the chef here used to craft burgers at D-Luxe Burger in Disney Springs, so he knows his way around a patty! The burgers at Sci-Fi are good, avoiding the pitfall of dry Disney burgers that you find almost everywhere else. The Beef and Blue is topped with Blue Cheese, Onion Marmalade, Lettuce, Bacon, and a Gourmet Tomato. If you’re looking for a really good burger, this one is for you!
The second new option of the night was the Vegan Tofu Lettuce Wraps. This dish is designed for those looking for vegan and vegetarian options and those looking to make some healthier selections while in the Disney Parks. The components are fine — nothing spectacular but nothing terrible, either. The assemble-it-yourself components include Salt and Pepper Crispy-fried Tofu, Lettuce Cups, Water Chestnuts, Shredded Carrots, Spicy Cucumber, Szechuan Sauce, and Soba Noodle Salad.
I would have preferred for the Salt and Pepper Crispy-Fried Tofu so have a little more, well, salt and pepper. And crispy-friedness. They were pretty anemic and unexciting. The other items — especially the Spicy Cucumber — added flavors and textures, which lettuce wraps really need in order to be interesting. And there WAS some serious spice here. Overall, I wasn’t wowed by this, but it’s great that there’s another veg-friendly entree on the menu!
Desserts at Sci-Fi benefit from being pretty original.
We didn’t try anything new on this visit, but in the past we’ve enjoyed the Warm Glazed Doughnut. It’s got a nice play of flavors and temperatures, including some cinnamon-y apples and a huge scoop of vanilla ice cream atop the warm doughnut.
The House-Made Sci-Fi Candy Bar is standard (these days) option. Chocaholics will enjoy this, but it’s not my favorite way to spend $$$ on dessert.
Sci-Fi is still a destination for the atmosphere alone, and I appreciate that the menu changes from time to time and that the burgers are consistently good. It’s worth a visit (or two or five), especially while the park is in its pre-Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Advance Dining Reservations aren’t too difficult to score.
Check out this Disney’s Hollywood Studios throwdown: Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater vs. 50s Prime Time Cafe!
Is Sci-Fi Dine-In a must do for you? Share your experiences in the comments!