*This gluten free dining experience took place in January 2020. It includes information about dairy free options, as well as a review of fish/shellfish free, peanut free, cabbage free, hazelnut free, and chicken & turkey free options.
Dinner at Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater
Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater, located in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, has to be one of our favorites for an affordable and unique table service option in the parks. We eat there fairly frequently, and it’s a popular choice with our friends and family too. Recently, we had dinner at Sci-Fi Dine-In with one of our friends who was celebrating his birthday. This was his request for a dinner at Disney, and we were happy to help him celebrate at this restaurant.
We’ve probably posted ad nauseam about the theme of Sci-Fi Dine-In, so while I won’t go into a lot of detail, I still wanted to highlight how cool this restaurant is.
I recently got the iPhone 11 Pro, and it’s the first camera I’ve ever owned that takes photos that does this restaurant justice. As you can see from all of the photos, the exterior and interior are brightly lit, colorful, and just plain fun!
The inside of the restaurant can be seriously dark. But, that doesn’t stop the restaurant from including brightly colored cars that serve as your tables and other cool details.
One of our favorite places to sit is actually the back of the restaurant in the “Flying Saucers.” These tables are pretty nifty, and if you’re concerned about lighting, they actually have a lot more lighting available too. I’ve got a few photos of the flying saucers in my previous review. And, you’ll see me at our table during this dining experience at the end of this review.
Like most restaurants owned and operated by the Disney Company, Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater does have an allergy-friendly lunch and dinner menu. Of course, you can always ask to speak with a chef directly to discuss options, which we always do when we dine here.
On this visit, we did chat with the chef there and somehow I forgot to write down her name. That’s a shame because she was phenomenal and deserves to be shouted out. Brandon and I are both always so impressed with the chefs at Sci-Fi Dine-In, because they do always go above and beyond to help ensure we have lots of options and a safe meal.
On this visit, we asked lots of questions because we were interested in a few different options not marked gluten free on the allergy-friendly menu. But, first, we asked the chef if we could get a basket of French fries for the table to start with some dipping sauces. We did this on a previous visit, and it was a great way to start the meal.
Somehow I forgot to take a photo of the basket of fries we got made from a dedicated fryer. They were gluten free, dairy free, fish/shellfish free, peanut free, tree nut free, chicken & turkey free.
Do always ask about the fryers at Sci-Fi because they do have a vegan fryer and a gluten free fryer to help out with options. We like this a lot because anytime a location serves allergy-friendly chicken tenders, Brandon often can’t have the fries because they only have one type of allergy-friendly fryer. So, always ask if you’re not sure!
The reason I think I forgot to take a photo is because of the EPIC plate of dipping sauces we were served. Many of you know I love a dipping sauce, and I mentioned this to the chef. She brought out so many gluten free dipping sauces that I couldn’t eat keep them straight!
While many of them did have dairy in them, there were some (like BBQ and Honey Mustard) which were dairy free. One of the sauces did contain gluten free tamari, and while I did trust the chef to know ingredients, I did actually skip this sauce. Overall, all of the sauces were fantastic, and I especially loved the horseradish dipping sauce, blue cheese dipping sauce, chipotle mayonnaise. Our friend said the sauce with the GF tamari was fantastic but spicy.
For my entree, I tried something completely different. I asked the chef if they could make the Appetizer Sampler which normally comes with fried pickles which are not gluten free. The chef said that she could make everything else gluten free (the allergy-friendly chicken tenders, shrimp and crab fondue) and that she’d swap out the pickles for more French Fries.
If you can have dairy, this was such a fantastic, fun, and different meal at Sci-Fi. I wouldn’t do it every time, as I was completely and utterly stuffed (and couldn’t finish it). The shrimp and crab fondue is an appetizer I’ve been dying to try. It was a little on the fishy side but not bad. I’d definitely get it again because it went great with the freshly fried tortilla chips.
The allergy-friendly chicken tenders were served without sauce so that I could use the dipping sauces we already had at the table. This was perfect, because I found the buffalo sauce (that they’re normally served with) to be almost too spicy for my personal taste. Plus, who doesn’t want to dip allergy-friendly chicken tenders in lots of different sauces?!
For Brandon’s entree, he ordered a Bacon Cheeseburger with French Fries. This dish was safe for fish/shellfish, peanut, hazelnut, cabbage, and chicken & turkey allergies. It can also be made gluten free by swapping out the bun and dairy free by omitting the cheese.
Brandon always raves about the burgers here, and I can second that they do a great job with the burger options. Of course, we both absolutely love the steak fries at Sci-Fi Dine-In. I’m not sure what they do there, but they fry them super well!
As if we hadn’t already had a ton of food, I got roped into ordering the gluten free and vegan cookie milkshake. The chef mentioned I should get it in a to-go cup because you get more when you do that. She was not kidding! My to-go cup was stuff to the brim with a house-made coconut whipped topping, non-dairy ice cream, chocolate syrup, and non-dairy ice cream. It’s definitely a favorite of mine, and I love that I can get a gluten free & dairy free milkshake there with no issues.
If this photo is any indication, I was stuffed but making a solid effort to try to drink my milkshake!
For us, Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater continues to be a favorite. We loved the fun, relaxed vibe, and we absolutely love the affordable and approachable gluten free and food allergy friendly options. Add in lots of great chef interactions and the ability to customize dishes, and you have one out-of-this-world restaurant!
Have you been to Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater? What’s your experience been at this table service restaurant?