Hey cool cats! And welcome to Disney’s Hollywood Studios!
We recently were bopping around the park, crying at Fantasmic! (just us?), when we had a hankering for a burger and shake. Lucky for us, we were able to snag a last-minute reservation at the Sci-Fi Dine-in Theater Restaurant! Guess we’re going back in time, you dig?
Sci-Fi Dine-in has always been one of those MUST-DO spots in our Disney restaurants — for the atmosphere at least. The food has never been a show stopper, but the idea of eating in an old-timey convertible while you watch cheesy
Sci-fi movie clips from the 50s? Uh, ring-a-ding-ding.
Like we said, Sci-Fi Dine-in has one of the coolest themes of any restaurant in Walt Disney World. The restaurant is lined with convertibles that have been converted (crushed it) into tables for your meal. The whole thing is designed to take you back to 1957, where you’re headed out to the Drive-in and life was as sweet as Soda Fountain shakes.
On a big screen in front of you, you can watch clips from old Sci-fi films (like The Blob), old commercials (like the one where the hot dog jumps in the bun), and old cartoons! We give big props to Sci-fi for the movies — they entertain little kids and grown-ups alike!
We also like to note that there are a few tables in the back of the restaurant, should you prefer a little more traditional seating. (Also…more elbow room.) These are also great picks if you have a little one sleeping in a stroller or need a high chair. If you want one of these tables, make sure you ask at Check-in. The Carhops will do their best to accommodate!
Overall, we dig the vibe in here! But now, it’s time to get to the eats.
We didn’t mention milkshakes earlier for nothing — the Sci-fi Dine-in Restaurant’s menu is primarily made of “soda shop” favorites, with a few twists.
While some items stay on the menu rather consistently, we have noticed a few changes over the years. On our last visit, we reviewed the new Barbecue Platter and Beef and Blue Burger.
And on this trip, we spotted a few newer items that we hadn’t tried yet! (Spoiler alert: one has beer cheese, which is basically like a must-order here at DFB.) But we’re getting ahead of ourselves…
There are several alcoholic specialties at Sci-Fi, from signature cocktails to craft beer, should you want to wet your whistle.
In the past, we’ve enjoyed the Long Island Lunar Tea, but this time, our mind was on one beverage and one beverage only: MILKSHAKES.
We asked about the Specialty Shake and turns out, it’s one from a galaxy far, far away (or, literally right down the road from the restaurant).
Say hello to the Galaxy’s Edge Resistance Shake! This was added to the menu to celebrate the opening of Galaxy’s Edge earlier this year and it was still available during our recent visit.
The Resistance Shake is Pineapple Dole Whip and Orange Dole Whip swirl with a sugar rim and topped with a Rebel Alliance chocolate piece. We have to say the Orange Dole Whip stole the show, and it mostly tasted like a creamsicle. Our shake was notably missing the sugar rim that we saw in the official Disney promo pics, 🙁 but we did get the yummy and adorable Rebel white chocolate piece!
Overall, if you’re a big fan of Dole Whip or Creamsicles, you’ll likely enjoy this limited-time shake! But TBH, we still prefer a classic like Oreo Cookie any day.
Moving along to appetizers, we saw something fishy… Shrimp and Crab Fondue Dip!
This replaced the Spinach Artichoke dip on the menu — and the appetizer sampler! We quite enjoy Spinach Artichoke dip as a general rule, but we must say, this was a very worthy replacement! In fact, dare we say…it’s better!
The Shrimp and Crab Fondue is a creamy blend of Shrimp, Crab, and Cheeses, topped with Roasted Red Peppers, Fresh Dill, and is served with Corn Tortilla Chips. The crab flavor was more prominent than the shrimp, but it wasn’t overwhelmingly salty or fishy by any means. The dip was incredibly smooth and creamy as well — there weren’t any noticeable big chunks of either crustacean.
Overall, this was a really solid appetizer. It was very easily shareable, creamy, and felt like somewhat elevated comfort food. Unlike the Spinach Artichoke dip which tasted like any-chain-restaurant’s (not that this is necessarily a bad thing), the Shrimp and Crab Fondue was more unique and flavorful. It razzed our berries!
Next up, entrees…and that beer cheese we mentioned earlier! As soon as we saw an entree was topped with a beer-cheese sauce, we were legally required to order it. (Ok, maybe not legally in the normal sense. But legally by DFB standards.)
And what was this beer cheese on top of, you might ask?
The Cheese Steak Sandwich! This sammie was listed as “Thinly Sliced Rib-Eye Steak, Caramelized Onions, and Bell Peppers served on a Toasted Hoagie Roll topped with Provolone and Beer-Cheese Sauce.” On the side, we were given a generous serving of Onion rings (which are a $2.49 upgrade) — but you could also get french fries for no up-charge, should those be your crunchy side of choice.
“Thinly” sliced didn’t quite seem to be the right description for the beef — it was more reminded us of taco meat when it came to consistency. It made the sandwich rather messy — with lots of filling coming out of the bottom when you picked it up. That said, it was rather tasty! The peppers and onions added a much-needed dash of flavor and really kicked up the beef. But HOW WAS THE BEER CHEESE?
It was…fine. (Whomp whomp.) It certainly added a nice creamy texture to the sandwich filling, and it had a little kick, but we found two issues. One, there wasn’t near enough! We had to make sure there was actually cheese in our sandwich! It’s there — it’s just mixed in with the meat apparently! Call us crazy, but we want to drown basically everything in beer cheese, and there just wasn’t enough compared to the meat mixture and hoagie. And two, it didn’t have a discernible beer flavor we’ve come to love. (See: that INCREDIBLE beer cheese over at Crew Cup.)
As usual, the onion rings get five stars at Sci-fi. They are just so crunchy and golden and delicious! And as you can see, this is a HUGE sandwich — easily shareable, especially if you start with a shake and appetizer like we did. It wasn’t our favorite thing we’ve ever had at Sci-Fi Dine-In, but if you’re in the mood for something other than a burger, it’s a decent option.
We also decided to give the Seasonal Specialty Burger a go! Our server let us know it’s currently a Southern Burger, and she expected it to be the specialty burger for a while. She had us at pimento cheese…
The Southern Burger was a big juicy patty, topped with a fried green tomato, pimento cheese, and bacon.
Now this thing was TASTY. Just look at that insane amount of pimento cheese! The burger patty itself was cooked perfectly — nice and juicy and packed with flavor. There’s a reason Sci-Fi is known for their burgers, y’all…
On the side of this one, we got a little crazy and asked our server if we could swap the onion rings or fries for something else. And dreams come, true friends because she got us…
FRIED PICKLES. For the same price as onion rings ($2.49), you can enjoy a lovely bed of fried pickle goodness (the same Fried Dill Pickles from the appetizer menu). Turns out, it wasn’t the beer cheese that stole our heart, it was this nifty pickle upgrade. The pickles were tangy and crunchy, and came with a side of ranch. They were the perfect complement to our burger — in fact, you could say they were the real dill. 😉
After all these bites, we were too stuffed to eat dessert. But if you aren’t — we can recommend the Warm Glazed Donut. Or…another milkshake.
Nosh or Not?
Sci-Fi Dine-In is for you if:
- You’ve never been! Like we said it’s a must-do at least once in your Disney World career. The theme and atmosphere are a blast, and your kids will LOVE it.
- You’ve got a hankering for a milkshake and a pretty decent burger.
- You’re on the dining plan — $22 burgers are a steep price to pay out of pocket but a solid use of a Dining Plan Credit.
Skip Sci-Fi Dine-in if:
- You’re solely going for the burger. If you really want the best burger joint in Disney, we recommend checking out D-Luxe Burger. It’s less expensive but incredibly tasty with a variety of crafted burgers.
- You want a “fancy” sit-down meal. This will very much not fit the bill.
- You want something quick. This is designed to be an experience, and the fun comes from sitting in the cars and laughing at the old movies. If you’re eating on the go in between FastPasses, you likely won’t get the most out of your Sci-Fi experience.
Overall, the Sci-Fi Dine-in Theater Restaurant has maintained its charm year after year. We’ve said it before (twice) but we’ll say it again — you MUST come here at least once in your Disney life. Is it the best meal you’re going to eat? Probably not. But is it the most fun you’ll have dining in Disney? It just might be. And that’s the pretty far out.
Want our take on more Hollywood Studios eats? Check out this DFB Video!
Have you traveled back in time at the Sci-Fi Dine-in Theater in Disney’s Hollywood Studios? Let us know in the comments!