Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant
|Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant
|The Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater is set in a 1950's Californian drive-in
|Disney's Hollywood Studios
|April 20, 1991
History and Description
The Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant takes guests back to a Californian drive-in movie theater set in 1955. To this end, the the tables that guests sit in are shaped like 1950's convertibles, while the whole restaurant is oriented towards a large screen showing B-Picture trailers.
The 45 minute loop that plays in the Sci-Fi Dine in restaurant was curated by Imagineer Stephanie Keith, who spent hundreds of hours searching through film libraries, private collections, and the national Film Archives in Washington DC . According to post production supervisor Louise Gladden:
“It was a challenge to make a piece of film look good but not too good. We needed to keep some of the scratches, which add to the charm of the film.” 
In addition to the B-Film trailers, the Sci-Fi Dine-In Restaurant's montage also includes two MGM animated shorts, News of the Future reels, and a compilation of old Disneyland clips set to the song Great Balls of Fire.
The Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater opened on April 20, 1991, as part of Walt Disney World's 20th Anniversary celebration . For the anniversary, Disney announced that they would be unveiling "20 spectacular reasons to visit this year", with the Sci-Fi Dine-In among them. Within a year of its opening, the Sci-Fi Dine-In became the most popular restaurant at the Disney-MGM Studio's, serving over 2,200 people a day during peak periods.
When the Sci-Fi Dine-In initially opened, chefs and managers realized that an usually high number of grilled chicken orders were being sent back to the kitchen for being undercooked. The chefs however were adamant that the chicken was properly cooked when it left the kitchen and also when it was returned. Imagineering was eventually called in, and they realized that the restaurant's black light was making the properly cooked chicken look pink. To rectify this situation, white light fixtures were added to the restaurant's tables .
Outside of slight alterations to the menu, since opening, the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant has not seen any major changes.
Click below to see the Sci-Fi Dine In Theater Restaurant's current menu:
Fun Facts and Trivia
- All of the license plates in the Sci-Fi Dine-In are dated 1955.
- The Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant holds various props from the 1990 Disney film the Rocketeer:
- In the walkway that leads from the check-in table to the main dining room, guests can seea menu from the South Seas Club. This was the scene of a battle between the Rocketeer and Neville Sinclair.
- Farther down, on the left wall, there is a rocket pack that was used in the film .
- To the right of the jet pack, a prop copy of the Los Angeles Examiner newspaper reads "Who is the Rocketeer?".
- Wright, Alex. The Imagineering Field Guide to Disney's Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World: an Imagineers-Eye Tour. Disney Editions, 2010.