Walt Disney World boasts dozens of dining options across its four parks, twenty-one resorts, and Disney Springs. It’s no secret that Disney loves a good theme, something that carries over into their many unique restaurants. From Cinderella’s castle to outer space to the base of Mount Everest, you can find a Dining Experience that will interest even the Pickiest in your party.
Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant
Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant in Hollywood Studios is one of these themed offerings. Styled after a 50s drive-in movie theater, Sci-Fi offers a unique chance to go back in time to enjoy a taste of classic science fiction. The restaurant is fun; there’s no denying it, and it’s trendy. When your 60-day window to reserve dining becomes available, you’ll want to have this one at the top of your priority list if you’re hoping to try it.
But should you give it a try? Is it worth taking a couple hours out of your park day?
Multiple Visits to Sci-Fi
I have been visiting the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater with my family for as long as I can remember. It was one of our go-to restaurants at Walt Disney World when I was growing up, and we still visit it at least once out of our three or so trips per year. Safe to say, I’m familiar with the restaurant.
And here’s what I’ll say about the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant: It’s OK.
That may be surprising to read, considering I just said I’ve visited this restaurant dozens of times in my thirty years. But it’s true. The food is OK.
Food at the Restaurant
The food is typical American fare: cheeseburgers, salads, sandwiches, onion rings, milkshakes, etc. And let me clarify that I don’t think any of the food is terrible. I’ve never had anything that I disliked about Sci-Fi. However, it’s nothing earth-shattering. It’s nothing super unique. It’s not as good as dozens of other options across the property. But it’s OK! It’s better than quick service (though certainly pricier), but it won’t be the most life-changing meal of your trip. However, it certainly is an excellent place to appeal to the pickier eaters in your party, so if you have someone who likes pretty standard choices, this may be a perfect option for you.
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Retro Ambiance at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theatre
The real reason to go to Sci-Fi is the ambiance.
The restaurant is just plain retro fabulous. Especially if you’re a bit of a sci-fi geek like me. But even if you aren’t, it’s still a unique restaurant. There are two seating options: “car” seating and table seating. The car seating is just what it sounds like seating in cars. The entire restaurant is lined with car-shaped booths, all facing the gigantic screen in the front. The cars are styled like booths, typically holding 6-8 people, with two to a “seat” or row. Some car tables have standard chairs surrounding a regular-sized table in the middle as well. The tables in the back of the restaurant look like round picnic tables with umbrellas, just like you may find near the concession stand at a drive-in. I’ve sat at all of the table styles, and they’re all great, but the cars are definitely the most fun.
The giant room is dark, with “stars” peppering the sky. And at the front is a massive, wall-sized screen playing clips of old-school science fiction films. Think The Blob, The Amazing Colossal Man, and Invasion of the Saucer Men. Yes, those are real movies. Each clip is only a few minutes long, and the set is played on a loop, so you may see repeats if you’re there long enough. Periodically, they will play 50s-style drive-in commercials, too. You will absolutely feel like you have gone back in time to a drive-in movie in the 1950s.
Overall Thoughts on the Restaurant
So, the ambiance is fantastic, and the food is OK. Should you go? I think yes! This restaurant should be on your list to visit at least once. Maybe you won’t be wowed by the food, but seriously, the environment can’t be beaten. This is why I keep going back. I love the ambiance, and I have a lot of nostalgia associated with this restaurant. I will always recommend that people try it at least once. I promise you’ll enjoy your experience, even if the food is nothing spectacular.
So the next time you plan a trip to Walt Disney World, add Sci-Fi Dine-in Theater Restaurant to your list. I don’t think you’ll regret it!
Author: Ashley Hunt
Ashley co-founded The Midwest Mouse, a Disney Instagram account and blog she started with her husband, Braden. Ashley lives in Indiana with her husband and their two daughters. They are Walt Disney World annual pass holders and visit Disney parks as often as possible. They look forward to crossing more things off their Disney bucket list while continuing to share their adventures on their Instagram (@the_midwest_mouse) and website.
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