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50s Prime Time vs. Sci-Fi Dine In

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  • 50s Prime Time vs. Sci-Fi Dine In

    Sorceress here with another of many questions that will pop up in the next 8 months.

    I always wanted to go to the Sci-Fi dine in, but, from what I gather, the 50s Prime Time Cafe is pretty similar. Can someone distinguish them for me? And which is preferable.
    My mind won't rest
    and I don't sleep
    Not even in my dreams...
    -"If You Ever Did Believe"
    written by Stevie Nicks

    Chasen Matthew Pacheco

  • #2
    Re: 50s Prime Time vs. Sci-Fi Dine In

    They are entirely different dining experiences.

    At the Sci-Fi Dine-In, you eat inside a soundstage designed to look like a drive-in movie theater. Most of the tables actually look like cars from the time period, and it's a very unique experience, watching the movie trailers reel while you eat.

    At the 50's Prime Time Cafe, you're dining in "Mom's Kitchen." Not your mom mind you, but the Mom's of the TV shows from the 50's like "Leave it to Beaver" and "I Love Lucy." Your "Mom" or "Dad" (waiter or waitress) will be telling you to eat your vegetables or no dessert. Or to get your elbows off the table.

    Both experiences are unique in their own way. I prefer the Sci-Fi Dine-In, simply because I love the atmosphere. The food is a bit pricy though. If you do go to the 50's Prime Time Cafe, be sure to stay away from the PB&J Shake if you go out in the sun afterwards.


    • #3
      Re: 50s Prime Time vs. Sci-Fi Dine In

      Simply from a food standpoint, I would pick 50s Prime Time. The last time I ate at Sci-Fi, the food wasn't that remarkable. The experience was neat, but my tongue was not happy. 50s food has been consistently good in my experience. 50s Prime Time is also a good one to schedule in the middle of the vacation. After eating so many "different" or "exotic" meals, it's nice to have some simpler home food. The experience at 50s Prime Time varies with the waiter/waitress, though. You may get a so-so waiter that doesn't interact that much, but when you get someone who is really into the character it is a blast!

      It's personal preference, really. Sci-Fi isn't bad, but I just prefer 50s. Good luck deciding!
      "All our dreams can come true.....if we have the courage to pursue them."
      - Walt Disney


      • #4
        Re: 50s Prime Time vs. Sci-Fi Dine In

        I, too, prefer the 50s Prime Time cafe--but your server can be either hit or miss. It's more of an interactive experience and the food being more of the 'comfort food' variety--taken from a time before someone discovered how fattening they all were.

        The smores are great for dessert too. Make sure, even if you aren't hungry for dessert--ask to see the dessert menu. It's a kick.

        husband, petowner, wordsmith, imagineer, martialist, playwright, traveller, ardent, wit, critic, barista, Taoist, superhero, fortuneteller, reader, fidget, teacher, dreamer, author, blogger, ghosthunter, voter, patient, bear, gourmand, Floridian, friend


        • #5
          Re: 50s Prime Time vs. Sci-Fi Dine In

          I love old Sci-Fi movies and it is rare to find a drive-in anymore so I would have to say that I love the Sci-Fi Dine In.
          But I have never been to the 50's cafe.

          I think it comes down to two things:
          1. Is tasty food important-aparently the 50's cafe is better.
          2. Do you prefer a bright kitchen/diner setting or a dark drive-in theater atmosphere?


          • #6
            Re: 50s Prime Time vs. Sci-Fi Dine In

            I only recently got to eat at the scifi dine in... it is aunique experience with the old reels playing, the servers sometimes get into the act and their are tables rather than booths if needed.

            The 50s prime cafe is an experience, which is best enjoyed in comapny for dinner on a cool night. Last time we ait there was after / during fantasmic so when we left the park was closed...

            Both have a variety of meals..

            The ribs at scifi are great though....


            • #7
              Re: 50s Prime Time vs. Sci-Fi Dine In

              as figment said, we have eaten at both establishments. for entertainment and good old fashioned " homecooked" food, eat at 50s. The servers are all " relatives" of yours and they really add to the dining experience. (Just try and not finish you meal and see what happens. ) I liked the drinks and shakes at sci fi but wouldn't eat dinner there again only because they had a very limited menu with no burgers and this was supposed to be a drive in.
              50's prime time is the more popular of the restaurants so it may be difficult to get reservations, we got in at sci fi without any reservations but we went on a sunday and dinner had just started.
              hope this helps!!!


              • #8
                Re: 50s Prime Time vs. Sci-Fi Dine In

                I would check out the menus at if I were you to help you make a decision.

                I've never gone to the 50's Prime Time but we've done the Sci-Fi twice and both times have had GREAT experiences! Love the BLT soup there.

                Delta Mu Chi Alpha ΔΜΧΑ


                • #9
                  Re: 50s Prime Time vs. Sci-Fi Dine In

                  Sci-Fi's issues
                  - too limited a menu
                  - film loop is too short
                  - can get lumped with others when in a small party

                  Sci-Fi's pros
                  - fun drink menu (full bar as well)
                  - completely different dining experience
                  - great theme and atmosphere
                  - classic Disney spin on dining

                  I will not eat at the 50s prime-time again because I can't stand the waitress act. I know its exactly the theme of the resturant.. but I can't stand servers (or my mother) hounding me over dinner. So the whole thing is not for me. Its cute - but rubs me wrong.


                  • #10
                    Re: 50s Prime Time vs. Sci-Fi Dine In

                    we've only eaten at the Sc fi....planning on eating at the 50's this trip....I can tell you this...the place was ADORABLE!!! The surroundings were great..I LOVED the old movie clips they showed on the screen, and the cars were too cute!!! But, the was eh at best. I'm pretty picky as was my friend who went with us. My husband got ribs, and something else...said it was pretty good. Me and the friend only found french fries and onion rings to eat. They were good...but, not really worth the price.


                    • #11
                      Re: 50s Prime Time vs. Sci-Fi Dine In

                      Originally posted by flynnibus View Post
                      Sci-Fi's issues
                      - film loop is too short
                      That is my biggest pet peeve about the place... couldn't they have made the film loop 30 min longer? Or even 15? I hate when it starts to repeat, and it alwayd does.

                      I agree with others, food is better at the 50s, but you will be picked on more by the wait staff. ambiance is awesome at the drive in.

                      Before my daugher, on MGM days I used to eat at the drive in for lunch, then go and have a drink and snack at the bar at the 50s Prime Time in the evening. Their smores dessert is awesome... and at the bar, there is no 'mom' to pester you and you can walk right in and sit down- no reservation needed.


                      • #12
                        Re: 50s Prime Time vs. Sci-Fi Dine In

                        AS everyone has said, 50's prime time is like dining with a TV mom from the 50's and 60's as he/she will be telling you to "eat your vegetables" and to "get your elbows off the table!! you might dine with the president someday!"

                        Sci-Fi is my preference and it is modeled after an old drive in theatre and has tables shaped like vintage cars that you can eat in! old sci-fi trialers will be playing as you eat and it is very inside....perfect movie ambiance

                        by the way, Sci-Fi Drive In's Reuben Sandwich = YUM!!!
                        sigpic Blast Off Into Adventure!!

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                        • #13
                          Re: 50s Prime Time vs. Sci-Fi Dine In

                          Hmmm, both are fun. I prefer the Sci Fi dine in. We have had great food and shakes, the setting is a kick, and the film loops are fun.

                          Last trip to WDW we were really looking forward to the 50's Prime Time as a highlight, and it turned out to be very disappointing. The waitress (cousin) hardly played her role at all, food was average to say the least, and they no longer use the view master for the desrt menu. It has really gone down hill. And unless you are sat right by the TV, you cannot hear it. Food was ok, but I was looking forward to something really special. Instead I felt like we were at Denny's.
                          Let's put the Walt back in Disney!


                          • #14
                            Re: 50s Prime Time vs. Sci-Fi Dine In

                            I've been to both and prefer the food at 50's, but the atmoshpere at Sci-Fi is unique. We always make a stop at Sci-Fi every trip just because of the atmoshpere. If you can do both then I would suggest doing that.


                            • #15
                              Re: 50s Prime Time vs. Sci-Fi Dine In

                              These are both great restaurants I defiantely recommend going to both! I think the experience at the 50s prime time cafe is a lot more fun the cast members really get into it.

                              Disney: true inspiration!


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