*This dining experience took place in February 2017.
Dinner at Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant
Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant, located at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, is a table service restaurant that offers burgers, sandwiches, and milkshakes in a classic drive-in setting. One of the biggest selling points of Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant is the quirky atmosphere. But, it hasn’t always been known for the food. Thankfully, that has changed some over the years, and I’d been hearing really great things from others who had dined at Sci-Fi recently.
I haven’t been to Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant for lunch or dinner since 2013, so it’s been a really long time. I’ve been since then for the now gone Star Wars Galactic Breakfast during Star Wars Weekends, which I miss a lot. But, of course, it’s not the same as lunch or dinner.
Brandon and I were recently in Hollywood Studios, and while passing Sci-Fi, we decided we were interested in having dinner here. Typically, it’s really hard to get a walk-up for just about any Disney table service restaurant, but we took our chances and asked. Luckily for us, we were told that we could get in with a minimal wait, but that we might have to be seated in the non-car seats (shown below). We were OK with this, though we were lucky as we ended up in a car after all.
Sci-Fi Dine In Theater Restaurant is one of the best themed restaurants on Disney property. There’s some really fun about dining in a classic drive-in, complete with movie clips showing on the big screen and car hops. The theming starts from the moment you walk up to the restaurant with the giant 1950s inspired signs and retro feel.
On a random side not, while we waited for our seats, we were able to get not only complimentary water (which comes in handy on a hot day), but also some free samples of Disney popcorn. Now that’s what I call true drive-in style food!
Once our car was ready, we entered the theater. I can’t tell you how much I adore the theming of this place. I love that you get to sit in vintage cars as tables and that it looks like you are outside on a starry night. They even decorate the kitchen area to look like an old snack bar at a drive-in.
One of Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant’s claims to fame is that they show clips of old classic space and horror movies. From cartoons like Tom & Jerry to films like Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, there’s some thing really fun and nostalgic about it all.
I do also love that you can watch retro advertisements and movie theater clips for snack breaks. So much fun!
Because Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant has a 1950’s drive-in vibe, you can guess that the food is pretty much the same. Burgers, sandwiches, and milkshakes are staples here. But, you can also get some full meals like pork ribs and steak. Sci-Fi also has an allergy-friendly menu to help make things a bit easier for special diets guests. Of course, if you have questions or your special dietary needs aren’t covered by the many, you can always speak with a chef too. On this visit, I ordered straight from the allergy-friendly menu.
Photo Taken by Gluten Free & Dairy Free at WDW
First up, we did decide to order drinks. You can get full bar items and other specialty cocktails too. I opted for a gin and tonic, which is my cocktail of choice. Do note that if you’re not sure about what alcohol is gluten free or not, you’ll want to look it up online before you enjoy. Disney does not typically offer any assistance with special dietary needs and alcoholic beverages.
For my entree, I ordered the Sci-Fi Angus Burger Topped with Pulled Pork, Sriracha Barbecue Sauce, Swiss, and Pickled Apple Slaw on an Allergy Friendly Bun.
Can I just say, this was huge! This was a very substantial burger, with a very generous portion of pulled pork on top of the burger. There was also tons of flavor with the Sriracha Barbecue Sauce and Pickled Apple Slaw.
Plus, the French fries served with it were outstanding. They are not your normal Disney French fry. These are classic steak fries, which means they are a bit thicker in cut. They were well-cooked and salted well too. And fresh! They were so good that I had Brandon try them too, and he also said they were really good.
What can I say? We love good fries!
Though I wasn’t planning on dessert, I did end up getting a gluten free and dairy free milkshake. The chocolate milkshake was made with Tofutti chocolate non-dairy ice cream and soy milk. Though I’ve been reintroducing a bit of dairy back into my diet and even had cheese on my burger, I still can’t tolerate a lot of dairy like milk or ice cream. The non-dairy one was just perfect with my meal and extra chocolatey too.
A word about cross-contamination though. I did not check on this visit, but in the past, I have been told that the vegan / non-dairy milkshakes are made on the same equipment as regular ice cream. If you have a dairy allergy, you will want to speak with a chef about this option.
Brandon also got the regular ice cream sundae, which is gluten free and really enjoyed it too. You can, of course, get a regular milkshake gluten free too.
I have to say we were pleasantly surprised by Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant. Not only was the theming amazing, but the food was shockingly good. For the price too, it wasn’t a bad value. We also received 10% off our bill as annual passholders too. For us, it was something different, with reasonably priced food that was a step up from quick service. It’s definitely some place we’ll go again in Hollywood Studios, and I’m glad we gave it a visit — even after all these years. Of course, I’d love to see something like the Star Wars Galactic Breakfast again, but I’m to add Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant into our regular Hollywood Studios meal rotation again.
Have you been to Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater? What did you enjoy when you dined there?