Review: Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant at Hollywood Studios

Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant located at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is one of the most unique restaurants on Walt Disney World property. Themed to a ’50s drive-in theater, Sci-Fi Dine-In provides a unique experience and tasty food guests won’t soon forget.

Atmosphere at Sci-Fi Dine-In

The setting and theming of the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant is the real star of the show. Guests dine in cars as if they were seated at an actual drive-in theater. The cars are parked in front of a movie screen that’s “outdoors” under the stars. Classic drive-in clips for films and products are shown on the large screen, which are all legitimate as bizarre as they may seem. The lighting is quite dim to mimic the outdoor atmosphere.

Most of the cars guests dine in have three rows which seat two people each. Three guests could fit within one row if two are small children. Be aware that the rows are positioned one in front of the other, so it may be tricky to hold conversations between your entire group. There are a few tables located at the very rear of the restaurant that are usually used for walk-in guests without reservations.

Parties of two, which we were on our last visit, will likely sit in a car with another group. Think of it as an an opportunity to backseat drive other guests!

Oreo Cookie Shake at Sci-Fi Dine-In
Oreo Cookie Shake at Sci-Fi Dine-In Restaurant.

Food at Sci-Fi Dine-In

The Sci-Fi Dine-In menu resembles classic diner fare. Burgers, fries and milkshakes are the staples and, in our opinion, the best items. The menu also features a variety of sandwiches, salads, pasta and even some BBQ if you’re not in the burger and fries mood.

The menu will also have some seasonal items, such as seasonal burgers and shakes, the pop up from time to time.

The burgers were large, cooked perfectly and extremely filling. When paired with a milkshake, we had a hard time squeezing out of the car at the end of the meal. The steak fries didn’t come in huge quantities but were very perfectly crispy. The milkshakes may be among the best on Walt Disney World property.

Honestly, we haven’t ventured too far around the menu. We’ve heard good things about the BBQ and other sandwiches, but we come to Sci-Fi Dine-In for the ol’ burger, fries and shake combo. 

Click here to view the current menu.

Interior of Sci-Fi Dine-In Restaurant

Service at Sci-Fi Dine-In

The service at Sci-Fi Dine-In isn’t as well known as the experiences with the eccentric cast members at 50’s Prime Time Café. However, the cast members at Sci-Fi Dine-In still have a lot of fun with the drive-in theming and keeping things light with guests. Be prepared to pay your “speeding ticket” or “parking violation” at the end of your meal.

Like almost every Walt Disney World table-service restaurant, reservations are highly recommended. However, there can be a walk-up line guests can join early on the day of their visit. The key is to be flexible if reservations are full. 

Meals at Sci-Fi Dine-In are relatively quick. We’re usually in and out in about an hour, which is perfect as the film clips are around 45 minutes long. The novelty starts to wear off when the loop repeats. 

Prices at Sci-Fi Dine-In

Sci-Fi Dine-In is a table-service restaurant that carries a larger price tag compared to quick-service locations. Disney lists prices ranging from $15 to $34.99 per adult, though your experience will obviously vary depending on your order.

On several of our visits we both ordered burgers, fries and milkshakes. Our total is always around $50 before tip. It’s not the cheapest meal you’ll find in Hollywood Studios, but it’s also not the most expensive.

We think the food quality has improved in recent years and the value is even better than it was just a handful of years ago. 

Overall Thoughts

Sci-Fi Dine-In is one of our favorite restaurants in Walt Disney World due to its fun and unique atmosphere. The food meets all of the expectations of a classic diner experience and the milkshakes are some of the best around. The overall experience here is a relaxed, laid-back meal that will show younger guests a glimpse of the old days. It’s a perfect break from the chaos found around Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

We appreciate Sci-Fi Dine-In’s classic menu, mostly reasonable prices and relaxing atmosphere. We highly recommend it for first-time visitors (assuming the menu appeals) and find it’s one restaurant we’ll keep coming back to again and again.

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David is a Disney travel expert who created Notes from Neverland in 2018 after visiting Disney theme parks countless times. Previously, David spent way too much time writing about sports, and was featured in Sports Illustrated, MSN, Yahoo!, and in many other publications. Learn more or contact us.

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