Things change all the time in Disney World — sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse.
One thing we’ve seen a lot of over the last several weeks, months, and even years is menu changes! In June of 2022, some big menu changes hit a classic at Disney’s Hollywood Studios — Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant. Have the changes made this place a new must-do? Or are the new menu items something you should AVOID? We went to try it out and we’re sharing our full thoughts with you here!
The theming at Sci-Fi Dine-In is something that hasn’t changed, and we can’t say we’re mad about that. This spot places you right inside of a car at an old-style drive-in, watching silly, mid-century b movies about The Blob, as you chow down on a burger, shake, and fries. A classic, truly.
As always, there is car seating (booth style) or picnic table seating. The car seating is the most fun (of course), but the lighting there is pretty atrocious. Lighting at the picnic tables can be better if you have a tougher time seeing things in the dark or just want better lighting for those fabulous food photos! Be sure to request one of those tables if you think that’ll work out better for you.
Also, be aware that it can be a bit loud in here if you’re seated really close to a speaker so keep that in mind when you get to your booth, err car!
Underneath a nighttime sky, surrounded by old-timey signs and sounds, this spot truly transports you back in time. Be sure to look for clips that show of Walt Disney too!
If you’re looking for an entertaining restaurant that doesn’t have live entertainment, this could be an awesome spot (and it’ll keep the kiddos busy for a bit!). Another fun fact — your bill here is made to look like a parking violation! Uh oh! Gotta pay up!
Now, on to the menu!
You can see the menu here via a QR code or though a paper menu (or you can just hop online to see it).
As we noted, the Sci-Fi Dine-In menu has gotten a bit of an overhaul. Let’s go through the details! The appetizer menu still has those classic crispy onion rings and fried pickles, but new to the line-up is the spinach and artichoke dip, smoked wings, and caesar salad.
As for the entrees, you’ll again find some of the same items you’ve likely had at this spot before. New to the menu is the latest version of the Feature Film Burger — The Surf & Turf, as well as the Grilled Chicken Citrus Salad. Also, the Pork on Pork Burger (which was previously a Feature Film Burger) is now a permanent addition to the menu!
In terms of dessert, there are 2 NEW additions — The Red Planet and Out-of-this-World. You’ll also find a hot fudge sundae and some other sweet treats if those are more your style.
The kids menu is still available here with appetizer, entree, and drink picks.
You’ll also find non-alcoholic beverages, wines and sangria…
…and cocktails, beer, and hard cider on the menu.
If you have food allergies, be sure to look at their allergy-friendly items. Alright, let’s put that paper napkin on our laps, grab our utensils, and hop into our eats for this meal!
For our meal, we started off with the NEW Sci-fi Smoked Wings. This dish features Smoked Chicken Wings tossed in a Porter Barbecue Sauce with a House-made Pineapple and Poppy Seed Coleslaw.
It is priced at $15, which is the highest cost for an appetizer on this menu.
But the cost may have been worth it. The chicken wings were fantastically moist and the meat pulled right off the bone! The sauce was sweet, but not overly so. It also had a slight hint of spice which really rounded out the flavors! We actually think there could have been a bit more spice there to really take things up a notch!
If you like sweet barbecue sauces and wings, this could be a great pick, though they are on the pricier side out of all of the options here.
Next we have the Spinach and Artichoke Dip. This is a plant-based dish that features a blend of Spinach, Artichoke, Red Peppers, Cauliflower, Cashew Cheese, and Oat Milk. It is served with House-made Chips. This appetizer is priced at $13 (and is the next most expensive appetizer on the menu).
We know what you might be thinking — a plant-based spinach and artichoke dip? How creamy will it actually be? Will it nail the flavors? Well the answer might surprise you!
The dip was wonderfully creamy and had a great taste! It wasn’t overly salty like some dips can be. The manager even came over to confirm it is completely vegan, which…WOW! It was so creamy that we would not have known that it was vegan if the menu and the manager hadn’t made it clear.
Our issue with this dish actually isn’t the dip — it’s the chips! We think the dip would have been better served with something other than potato chips. Maybe a pita bread or tortilla chips? The potato chips that were served with the dip were REALLY salty, so we think something like pita or tortilla chips would have been better to compliment the flavors.
If you enjoy spinach dip, don’t be afraid of this item just because it’s plant-based — we think it’ll actually surprise you! And if you’re a plant-based eater, we think you’ll LOVE just how creamy this is!
For our entree, we went with the NEW Feature Film Burger – Surf & Turf. This burger features a signature blend of beef and house-made seasoning served on a brioche bun and topped with a shrimp and crab cake, pepper jack cheese, chipotle hollandaise sauce, grilled onions, heirloom tomato, arugula, and house-made vinaigrette.
WOW. That’s a lot of ingredients! The burger is priced at $24, making it one of the more expensive entrees here.
So just how does that long list of ingredients work in reality? Well, in good news, the burger was cooked exactly how we asked — always good to see! The crab and shrimp cake was surprisingly moist and tender, and added a nice seafood spin to an otherwise meat-based dish. And while it may sound like a lot, the cheese, sautéed onions, tomato, and arugula were a great compliment and really brought things together!
The bad news? Because of all the ingredients, the burger was GIANT. It was so big it was really difficult to get a bite of everything all at once. We didn’t realize we’d need to stretch out our jaws pre-burger to really get a good bite! Just be prepared to either open REALLY wide or not be able to truly get a bite with every ingredient in it.
If you like burgers, shrimp, and crab, and you like to experiment with your burger options (really mixing things up with new ingredients!) then this may be a great choice!
Next, it was time for dessert! First up, we got the NEW The Red Planet treat. This dessert features a White Chocolate Cheesecake with Spiced Blueberry Compote on a Graham Cracker Tart with a Matcha Sponge and Golden Candied Almonds (though note that Disney’s previous description in a blog post said there would be pecans). This is priced at $9.
The white chocolate cheesecake and blueberry compote in The Red Planet tasted AMAZING! The cheesecake was silky and sweet, but not gonna-give-you-a-cavity-immediately sweet. The graham cracker tart was thick enough to hold together, but thin enough to still be a tart.
The matcha sponge was moist, but didn’t have much taste. That can be a good thing if you’re not really a matcha fan, or a bad thing if you were really hoping for that matcha flavor — that depends!
Our dish had the candied almonds and we did like those as they added a sweet crunch! If you like blueberry cheesecake and want a fun twist on that treat, this is exactly what you should get. But just be aware that this isn’t a super sweet or really dense cheesecake!
Finally, we ended our meal with a second dessert (as you do) — The Out-of-this-World. This treat features Pineapple Mousse with Passion Fruit Cosmic Swirl and a Spiced Lime Spaceship garnished with Space Dust and Blood Orange Coulis.
It’s priced at $10 and is the most expensive dessert on the menu.
The pineapple mousse and passion fruit flavors blended very well in this dessert — giving you all kinds of tropical vibes. The lime spaceship was adorable (we love a fun presentation!) and it tasted good too. It wasn’t necessary in terms of flavor though — at least not in our opinion. The dessert was just as good, if not better, without the lime taste.
But when you dip the dessert in the blood orange coulis it all comes together fantastically! Our reporter who tried it even said that it is one of the best fruity desserts they’ve had in a while in Disney!
If you enjoy fruity desserts and ones that have a slightly tart flavor to them, this will be just for you! It’s a refreshing and tasty way to end a meal!
Nosh or Not
Head to Sci-Fi Dine-In if:
- You’re looking for a place that’ll offer you and the kiddos some entertainment while you eat: the atmosphere and the GIANT screen will take care of that no problem!
- You’re looking for a unique place to eat that isn’t just your standard restaurant: while a standard quick-service will certainly get you through the day, if you’re looking for something more unique, this can offer you accessible eats with a fun atmosphere.
- You’re a fan of burgers, shakes, and other classic eats but want a fun spin on them: Sci-Fi’s new menu additions do go beyond the standard fare, but at its core, the big sells here remain burgers, onion rings, shakes, and classic eats — and there’s nothing wrong with that! If you’re looking for some of these classic items with a bit of a twist (like how you can get a burger with a surf & turf feel, or desserts with some fun flavors and cute methods of presentation, then this could be a good pick). It’s fun without being inaccessible or super ridiculously adventurous.
Avoid Sci-Fi Dine-In if:
- You aren’t a fan of eating in the dark: the lighting here is pretty dark because of the atmosphere so if you’re a fan of really seeing your food in all of its colorful glory, you may want to pick a spot outdoors or with more windows.
- You have a big party and want to chat: If you have more than 2 in your party, sitting in a car can be sort-of awkward for conversation because some of the group will have to turn around to really hear/speak to the rest of the crew. You can ask for a picnic table, but it’s not the same in terms of the overall feel. If you’re okay with everyone sort-of being in their own row and chatting with the people sitting directly next to them, then this can work. But if you want the whole group to be able to easily talk to each other without turning around and you don’t want to sit in a picnic table, this might not be the place to go.
- You’re looking for really unique food: the new menu options have started to put a fun twist on classic dishes, but they’re not the most unique things we’ve ever eaten in Disney World. If you’re hoping to really have something you won’t be able to get elsewhere, consider spots like Tiffins or one of the many restaurants in EPCOT’s World Showcase that’ll transport you to another place in the world.
Overall, we really enjoyed the new dishes at Sci-Fi Dine-In. The wings were tasty and the meat just fell right off the bone (though we wish there was more spice). The spinach and artichoke dip was SOO creamy and smooth and surprised us, considering it’s plant-based (but we wish there was something other that potato chips with it). The burger was tasty and fun with all of those ingredients (though a bit too big). And the desserts were really good (but not the most unique things in the world).
If you’re looking for tasty classic dishes with a fun twist that isn’t overly adventurous (plus great entertainment and an amazing atmosphere) this spot is your jam!
In terms of service, it was amazing! Our server pointed out the new items to us, and the food mostly arrived in a timely manner. Our desserts took a little longer than expected but our server was also grabbing some to-go boxes during that time, so that could have slowed things down!
The theme and ambiance of the restaurant continues to be a big win in our books. If you’ve never been before, it’s a great place to check out for the theming alone. The food is good and, again, we did like the new items, but we don’t know that we’d go to this spot repeatedly for the food alone. Is it better than a quick service burger and fries? YES! But it’s not necessarily always worth the cost — depending on what you grab.
The key here is really the food + the ambience. Together they create for an awesome and unique restaurant experience!
What do you think? Are you a fan of Sci-Fi Dine-In? Tell us in the comments!
This spot doesn’t sound like the right fit to you? No stress — Hollywood Studios has other dining options that could be just right. If you’re looking for a quick meal, sometimes nothing can beat the oh-s0-delicious Ronto Wrap from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge! Looking for a sit-down meal? The Hollywood Brown Derby embodies the spirit of classic Hollywood and its famous Cobb Salad is a must-try. Click here to see our ultimate guide to eating in Hollywood Studios — there’s lots for you to try on your next trip!
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Would you try these new menu items? Tell us in the comments!