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.
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.
It's like the current 3-D craze. I prefer to see a good movie in 2-D without food.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
I just wander what's next; having beds instead of seats so people can make love while watching a movie?
("New at Downtown Disney! The AMC Champagne Room!")
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.
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.