It’s been a few years since we have eaten at Sci-Fi Dine-In Theatre at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This restaurant was a favorite for me as a kid, but when we went for the first time as vegans we left not wanting to return. The atmosphere here is one of a kind but the vegan options were lacking. Fast forward to 2019 and Disney is rolling out vegan options on all their menus and we were stoked to return!
Sci-Fi Dine-In Theatre is an interesting restaurant to dine in. You sit in a car on a bench for 2 people, each car seats 6. It is very dark in the restaurant because it is night time at the drive in! The play fun clips from cartoons and classic B-movie trailers.
When we found out they have a vegan entree a few months back we were intrigued but not sold. Many of our readers had given us feedback on the dish saying it was either weird or they left still hungry. But once we found out they had a vegan appetizer we made the trip. When we were seated we told our server we were vegan and requested the chef. Chef Albert came out and was incredibly friendly and knowledgeable about what he could do vegan. We ordered the vegan Crabless Cake appetizer, Tofu Lettuce Cups, a veganized Falafel Burger, and an Oreo Shake.
My shake came out first and it was just as good as I remember from a few years ago. The shake is creamy and hits the spot. You can also get vanilla and chocolate. There is a special dessert shake too that we will talk about later.
Our appetizers came out and looked great. We each got a giant crabless cake made with hearts of palm and “other stuff you normally put in crab cakes” as Chef Albert said. The sauce was a vegan mayo based roumalade and it was on a bed of slaw.
The crab cakes were delicious. Inside there was corn and other vegetables. The roumalade was tangy and complimented the crab cakes well. I would go back just for these.
Our entrees were another story. The Falafel Burger is made vegan by omitting the Aioli or tzaztiki. Since we omitted those things it came with a tomato jam. I was not a fan of the jam, but Corey liked it. The whole thing was very mushy and didn’t have much texture. The super soft vegan brioche bun with the soft falafel just left me wanting something crispy.
The Vegan Tofu Lettuce Cups were just okay. For starters they are super hard to eat when you can’t see because it’s so dark. You have to build it completely as the ingredients are individually in bowls.
On the plate was fried tofu, lettuce, soba noodles, water chestnuts, carrot, ginger, spicy cucumbers, and Szechuan sauce. The cucumbers were my favorite part of the plate. But those and the Szechuan sauce were super spicy. The soba noodles were almost mealy, I don’t know if they were supposed to be like that or not but they were not very pleasant. The tofu was very bland and mushy. It seemed like they didn’t press it, whenever I have tofu like this I think “no wonder people say they hate tofu”. It just tasted like cornstarch and nothing else. Even when putting all the ingredients into the lettuce it was just weird.
For Finn Chef Albert said he could do a pasta or whatever for him. We asked about a rice and veggie dish and he said that was no problem. The bowl was loaded with rice, broccoli, edamame, carrot, kale and more. He brought out some soy sauce for him as well. The dish reminded us of the Veggie Bowl from Splitsville we had a few weeks ago. We actually preferred his entree to ours.
For the dessert here there is a vegan Cookie Milkshake. While we did not get it when we went, Bridget and Matt did when they were there the week before us. The vegan shake is loaded with Enjoy Life cookies, chocolate syrup, and a vegan whip.
After our meal I spoke with Chef Albert for a bit and thanked him for the food and the experience. I told him about how it was hard to eat the lettuce cups and how it would be easier if they weren’t something I had to put all together (example PF Changs has it premixed in a bowl and you just dump them into the lettuce). I said it would make a better appetizer and that the crabless cakes could easily be the showcase entree. Hopefully some changes are made! I would happily return for the crabless cake, some fries, and a milkshake though. A huge shoutout to Chef Albert for being a gem and making sure we were accommodated!
Review from July 2019.