Friday, June 10, 2011

Disney Related Review: The AMC Dine-In Theaters

Today I shall talk about something only slightly related to Disney: The AMC Dine-In Theaters located in the Downtown Disney District at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, United States, Planet Earth, Milky Way Galaxy (just to clear up any confusion).

What welcomes you
I came upon this experience in a most unconventional way: I was forced into it. I wanted to see the 6:30 Kung Fu Panda (yes, a Dreamworks film, sacrilege, I know), and it turns out that the 6:30 was in the Dine-In Theater. I was not going to change the time, so I bit the bullet and paid the extra $2 for the Dine-In experience, and then the extra $2 for the 3D experience, and then the extra money for the food and tip. So because of my stubbornness, I spent an extra $15ish more than I wanted to. But I got a blog post out of it, so, priceless? For you, at least.

After walking from the normal ticket booth to the entrance of the Dine-In Theaters at the other end of the 24-screen theater, I hurried in, got my ticket torn, received a weird look from the ticket taker (it wasn’t because my fly was down: I’d pulled it up at that point), walked in, sat in my assigned seat, and took in my setting.

The seats were much larger than your typical theater recliner, accompanied by a small, bar-esque table in front of you that is just far enough away from your seat to make eating a dish a comfortable activity, all of it lit with some classic movie theater rope-light .

After sitting for about 10 minutes, I pressed my waiter button (which all restaurants should have. I’m a guy who needs around 8 refills a meal, and I’m too passive to just ask, so a “waiter, come hither!” button would be perfect for me), and eventually the waiter came hither, sat next to me in the empty seat, and took my small order of a popcorn and a Diet Coke.

A couple minutes later, he delivered, and I started eating at an extremely rapid pace so I could take advantage of having the waiter refill my popcorn. I didn’t need to try to inhale my drink because that’s a natural thing for me (technically so is eating a lot, but an entire large popcorn, that took some Kung Fu Panda-like concentration.)
My "meal" a Diet and popcorn

Overall, the waiters walking through the theater, taking and delivering orders, was not as distracting as it could be. Neither was the brighter-than-usual area lighting, and the air must have been circulated in the theater better than the non-dine in theaters, because unlike when the person behind me orders a hot dog with everything, and the person in front of me orders nachos con jalapeƱo, thus making the theater stink like a flamingo corral, the other-people’s-food-always-smells-like-a-garbage-can problem was not a factor.

What was a problem was going through the menu, getting an order, getting a bill, paying it and the distraction all of that caused. I’m a guy who likes to be completely immersed in a film at the theaters, and generally am. That’s why I’m willing to drop so much dough at the box office every month. The things that should have been the obvious distractions were no problem, but the Dine-In experience still has its flaws. If you’re serious about your movies, then skip it.  Dining in at a movie is a novelty, and like all novelties that have to do with the film going experience (3D, Drive Ins, Sing-alongs), it’s more distracting than anything. If you want to see a movie, than do that and only that.

1 comment:

  1. An interesting concept they've introduced...I definitely wouldn't like the distractions. I already don't like movie theatre popcorn prices haha.