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A New Option for Dinner and a Movie at WDW's Downtown Disney

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Published: May 12, 2011 at 9:53 AM

AMC Downtown Disney 24 movie complex will open the AMC Dine-In Theatres on Monday, May 16. The multi-plexer has converted six of its theaters into full-service restaurants where guests can dine and imbibe while watching the latest releases. Here's a look at what you can expect from the facility and from the menu.

Readers' Opinions

From Robert Niles on May 12, 2011 at 10:16 AM
I always thought that the Enzian had the most brilliant concept, and wondered why more theaters around the country didn't try in-theater dining.

Of course, as Scott notes, the flaw in the Enzian's execution of the concept often is service - waiters who are indifferent to what's happening on the screen, interrupting you at key moments.

From Robert Niles on May 12, 2011 at 10:17 AM
(con't)

I think the key to make this work is to copy from Virgin America and go with a touch-screen, on-demand ordering system. Swipe your credit card upfront, and you're charged as you order though the film. Waiters quietly bring you your food, but do no order-taking or bill-settling.

I also think that Scott's idea for movie-themed menus is brilliant. But I can see why a tourist-driven theater such as the AMC 24 goes with the lowest common denominator instead - better to serve the transient hoard.

But during the school year, when the tourist crowds go down, a food-themed film series with matching menus could be a great way to draw locals to Downtown Disney, to fill seats that would otherwise go empty during slow times of the year. That might require some kitchen changes (or some contract work to bring in other Downtown Disney restaurants as event partners). But I hope that AMC and Disney consider the option.

From Daniel Etcheberry on May 12, 2011 at 12:09 PM
Either one watch a movie or have dinner. I never liked this kind of theaters.

It's like the current 3-D craze. I prefer to see a good movie in 2-D without food.

From Terri Pierce on May 12, 2011 at 9:33 PM
I'd just prefer go to dinner before or after the movie and get snacks during if I want food. Nothing is more annoying to me than people talking, walking around, or using cell phones, so someone coming up to me or the people next to me delivering food or taking my order would annoy me to death! The movie is only 2 hours long... why not just enjoy it and have real face time with the person you're seeing it with after.

I suppose if you're trying to avoid the person you're with or viewing alone this could work... but I still don't like it.

From Daniel Etcheberry on May 12, 2011 at 1:10 PM
Well said Terri. Nothing better than the old fashion way; go to the movies and then go to a nice restaurant. Or the other way around.
From Derek Morse on May 12, 2011 at 1:14 PM
Personally, my wife and I enjoy these types of theaters. We have a very old theater here in Jacksonville that only has one screen and they have an area in the back where you order your food, beer, snacks, etc... and little tables off to the side of you. The food menu consists of sandwiches, quesedillas and pizzas and there are beers, wines, and sodas as well. I personally enjoy it occasionally as it is a different atmosphere.
From 199.85.76.128 on May 12, 2011 at 1:26 PM
Derek,
Where is this theatre? I am also in Jacksonville and apparently have been missing out!
From Brandon Mendoza on May 12, 2011 at 1:42 PM
I'm with Daniel. It's bad enough when you hear people talking on the phone, or answering a text. But to hear people's plates and taking orders? Not my thing. Especially when it's a dialogue heavy scene... I don't wanna hear silverware scratching and clanging.

I like the idea of touch screen, but have you seen people that don't understand the kiosks at Fast Food places or self service in Grocery Stores? It's like watching a monkey operate a touch tone phone. Not an intelligent chimp... a monkey. I know that's mean, but it's one of those things where some people just don't understand how to use technology.

But either way (touch screen or regular service), I think the servers and busboys have to know the movie and know when they can or can't step in to give refills or whatever. That's part of what made Fantasmic!'s reserved seating a gem to me.

From Anthony Murphy on May 12, 2011 at 8:17 PM
Sounds great!
From Reggie R on May 12, 2011 at 8:36 PM
We have 3 of these theaters in New Jersey, 2 of which are 10 and 11 minutes from my house. The concept is a very good one, and I enjoy it a lot. It's especially fun for dates just because of the more mature atmosphere. The Cinema Suites theaters are a nice premium touch to the experience with the 21+ age limit and the AMAZING recliners. Watching a movie in essentially a leather Lay-Z-Boy is simply...beautiful.

The menu they have reads like Crapplebee's, but thankfully taste more like Friday's. The drinks are pretty on point as well. I don't go to them often, but when I want that mature, premium experience, I make sure to visit the AMC Dine-In. I actually have a friend begging me to take her back sometime soon.

From Domenik Jost on May 12, 2011 at 10:30 PM
I love the Enzian regardless of the "flaws" though it would be nice to have those taken care off. I look forward to having another theater like this in Orlando. The Aloma Cine Grill (today's feature films) and Enzian (Independents) have been doing a great job with the Dinner and Movie experience and it's nice to welcome a new much larger scaled and luxurious version of this experience. I welcome the AMC Dine In and look forward to experiencing it this Saturday.

For those that are in the Orlando area and want to experience the new Dine In feature for yourself, this Saturday (May 14, 2011) the theater is bringing back several recent movies to the big screen so you can experience the difference with the new Dine In feature. WESH has several codes on their website that you can use to get free tickets at gofobo.com/rsvp to see a few select movies with the Dine In Experience this Saturday. Don't miss out!

From David Brown on May 13, 2011 at 12:14 AM
This is simply about selfishness. It's all about wanting physical gratification (food) whilst watching a film. It totally ignores the social niceties that say in a shared experience you allow other people the courtesy of enjoying the experience (in this case a movie) without disturbance or interuption. Cinemas are already bad enough with popcorn being crunched, drinks being slurped, packets being rustled and increasingly people talking throughout the show. Add plates, cutlery, more chewing and slurping and you have an experience that will totally destroy any movie. The complete antithesis of what cinema should be.

If you want to eat there are places called Restuarants. Or just grab a take-out and eat it off your lap at home if you really can't bear to wait 2 hours before consuming more food.

Worst idea ever.

From Samantha McCrae on May 13, 2011 at 2:56 AM
I think quite simply if you don't like the idea, don't go to one of these theaters - ALOT of people will really enjoy and be into an idea like this and if it bring in people (money) then its not a bad concept i say!
From Rob P on May 13, 2011 at 4:23 AM
I have always considered myself a movie fan. We used to go about once a week to see the latest films. But that's all changed now that the cinema experience has morphed into something for people who want to do anything else but enjoy a movie. It's just no fun anymore.
If it's not the lights from cell phones and the tapping of texts telling friends where they are it's someone sitting nearby ( or worse still NEXT ) to you chomping on a hot dog with ketchup and mustard slurping and stinking the place up.
Now it's the diner/movie/whatever plan. The place where you can consume a 4 course meal whilst peering over your fork every now and again to view the screen. That then promotes endless " what happened then...I missed it" conversation pieces. Arghhhhh. Please. Stop.

My feeling is that for all those who want to eat / text/ talk and generally annoy those people who actually just want to SEE A MOVIE we have invented the DVD for home use. Want dinner and a film at the same time ? STAY IN !!

I'm with those who prefer to eat at restaurants and watch movies at cinemas and never the twain should meet.
My only concession would be the Sci-Fi diner but that differs in that it's a repeated loop of trailers and not a movie.

From Daniel Etcheberry on May 13, 2011 at 6:43 AM
David, Rob, I totally agree with you, and both of you are from the United Kingdom; it looks like the British takes the movie experience more seriously.

I just wander what's next; having beds instead of seats so people can make love while watching a movie?

From Robert Niles on May 13, 2011 at 6:56 AM
Do. Not. Give. Anyone. Ideas.

("New at Downtown Disney! The AMC Champagne Room!")

Shudder.

From Raul Araoz on May 13, 2011 at 9:27 AM
Hate it!
From 69.115.136.100 on May 13, 2011 at 5:53 PM
Love it!!! Now they just have to get it participating with the dining plan!
From Charles Reichley on May 13, 2011 at 7:26 PM
I've eaten in theatres like this, and it is an interesting time; but I find that people are very distracting when they are eating, and so you always know you are IN a theater, which makes it harder to be drawn into a story.
From Tony Duda on May 13, 2011 at 8:33 PM
The lead to this story is misleading, the movies shown are NOT the latest releases, they are second run movies. They may be recent releases since movies now-a-days only last less than a month in first run.

So, everyone who is getting upset about the perceived noise and distractions, these movies are also likely available on home pay per view. Stay home.

Relax, have fun, don't get aggravated. If you really are upset about the distractions, you should have seen the movies when they first came out.

From 86.146.150.128 on May 14, 2011 at 9:47 AM
Tony - why should the people who want to see a movie on a big screen, (whether first run or slightly-less-than-first-run), have to stay at home in order to avoid having the experience spoiled? It saddens me that as societies in both the UK and USA we are losing the art of social respect for other people. People talk through music shows, eat at theatres and cinemas, answer mobile phones at restaurants. Each act in themselves is maybe petty but it all contributes to a breakdown in mutual respect. So no - I'd rather not relax and I won't choose this dining option. But I wish I didn't have to make that choice.
From Tony Duda on May 14, 2011 at 5:40 PM
To the person above who won't identify himself...This is not about public rudeness, it's about people going out for fun at a different sort of attraction. The movie, if that is your primary reason for going there, is also being shown at many other movie houses at the same time where there are no distractions like food and drink. Go to one of those places. It's like riding a roller coaster and complaining about people screaming. Certain attractions have associated experiences.
From David Brown on May 15, 2011 at 1:27 AM
Sorry Tony - that was me - I hadn't realised it had posted anonymously.
We shall have to agree to disagree on this. Although my point is not necessarily all aimed at this particular idea. I merely see this as symptomatic of a wider malaise which is the break down of the idea that when we indulge in a shared experience we have a duty of respect and cosideration to those with whome we share so as not to adversely affect their enjoyment. Yes I can go and see a movie in a different location, and I would, but the very existence of this option sends out the message that it's ok to eat and watch movies at the same time - further encouraging those who go to ordinary cinemas to eat, talk, text, slurp and otherwise annoy the rest of us who actually wanted to see and hear the show.
We are clearly on opposite sides of the fence as well as the Pond but to me this is like smoking - a (anti)social activity that affects those around it.
From 4.36.109.29 on May 15, 2011 at 5:22 AM
Just last night I visted the AMC Downtown Disney theaters to try and see "Thor". My wife and I had to walk out of the theater because I was constantly being distracted by:
A) A guy in his mid-thirties who insisted on propping his feet on my headrest. When I asked him politely to stop, he puffed up like an Alpha male and in effect threatened me silently. (I'm 5'4", 40 years old and a theater geek - I couldn't hurt a stuffed animal, so kudos to him for being a neanderthal)

B) The 50 year old "girls night out" ladies who hooted and hollered at the screen when Chris Helmsworth appeared shirtless.

C) The mid twenties doofus who sat next to his date, I am assuming and talked loudly about "what kind of crap are we watching".

I would have liked to have taken the issue to an usher, but he was standing in the hallway watching the movie.

As my wife and I left, the lobby was a madhouse, with AMC having traded in their concession stand for an ill-planned self-service grab and go system, with everyone wandering from here to there grabbing at whatever they could.

Now, granted, this was an extreme situation, but I would honestly rather pay a premium price to have a much more mature evening night out - even if I have to listen to forks and knives. I'd rather have that than what I endured yesterday for 30 minutes.

From Rob P on May 16, 2011 at 8:46 AM
All of the things that the anonymous poster wrote ring so true. There seem to be more and more people who just aren't courteous any more or who choose to behave without respect in public places.The range of age groups would suggest that it's not a generational thing but it is s sign of the times. We're living in changing world and it's not changing for the better. Since when was having good manners "uncool" ?
Whilst I agree that you "pay your money and you take your choice" with this type of outlet I also agree that trends can very easily be adopted universally if they make money. So if this takes off the genuine film goers simply won't patronise Theatres any more. It'll be them staying at home with a DVD while the transient " dine while you view" mobs rule.........but only until they get bored with the concept.

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