Erik & Smisty's Florida Oddventures

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Re: Erik & Smisty's Florida Oddventures

Postby bhartley » Fri Jun 17, 2011 1:50 pm

We just moved to the orlando area last week. We should go to one of the parks together. We already bought our season passes.

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Re: Erik & Smisty's Florida Oddventures

Postby Electerik » Mon Jun 20, 2011 2:26 pm

Misty wanted to take her dad somewhere for Father's Day, but he didn't want to do anything that was outdoors (because it's summer in Florida) or that would be crowded (because it's summer in Florida). What he did want to do was go see Green Lantern. So, in an effort to make the occasion slightly more special, we took him to Downtown Disney's AMC "Fork & Screen" Dine-In Theater, which we had been wanting to check out anyway.

Now, this isn't exactly a new concept. But we had never tried anything like it before.

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The entrance to the fancy stuff. (Near Planet Hollywood.) If you just want normal movies (without food), there's an entrance on the other side. (By DisneyQuest.)


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You buy the tickets inside the lobby. Which is nice, because it's Florida. (In fact, I was still a little wobbly from the heat outside, if this photo is any indication.)


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If you think you can guess what movie Erik & Smisty are about to see, email your answer to "greenlantern@youidiot.com" and maybe someone will send you something! (But probably not.)


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You can actually order appetizers and such at the bar while you're waiting for your movie to start. Note that the bar's name is "MacGuffins."

The theater is semi-age restricted. You must be 18 or older, or accompanied by someone who is. Which makes sense. We did see a handful of children, but I'm pretty sure they were all there to see the new Jim Carrey penguin movie. So this might be a good choice if you find children ruinous to your movie-going experience.


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If you're not sure what the bar is named after, have a nice sit down and maybe it'll come to you.


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How it works:

1. Your food will be delivered shortly before the previews start, which means that you'll be done eating about 1 minute into the actual film.

2. No one will offer you dessert. You must summon the server if you want that.

3. Your server will not look like this.

4. It's going to be really expensive.


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This photo is pointless.


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The menu is more extensive than I expected (this is just part of it), though there's no steak or lobster to be found here. Pasta, quesadillas, burgers, salads and sandwiches make up the bulk of it.


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Note how far back from the "table" the chair are. That was kind of weird. Anyway, I had the brisket quesadilla. And while it was quite good, it was a little slight considering that it was $11. Misty got the Bistro Chicken Mac & Cheese, which was also quite good, about the same price, and plentiful. Her dad got a chicken quesadilla and onion ringy dingy ding-a-ling dings, and her mom got chicken tenders and fries. Three soft drinks between us, and no desserts. Total price before tip: about $63.

That doesn't include the actual movie tickets, incidentally, which were $11 a piece.

Was it worth it? Well, I mean, I enjoyed it. It was pretty cool, and it did feel like we were doing something "special." But it's probably not something that just the two of us will feel like we need to do on a regular basis.


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There was also an option for unlimited popcorn for $7. And drinks have free refills. So you could probably just do that and endlessly snack throughout the movie, summoning your server whenever you run low on something.

Of course, either way, you're really gonna have to pee about midway through. :p

It's also worth noting that the theater was fairly bright, even while the movie was showing. Brighter than the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater at Disney Hollywood Studios, to be sure. It didn't bother me, but it was a bit distracting to Misty. And there's no getting around the fact that the servers are a distraction, no matter how much they try not to be. Ours was also not very good. Her response time was ridiculously slow. But most of the other guests did not seem to have that problem.

I was just thinking about dessert when the check was dropped off. So then I decided against it. And this is *me,* the guy who usually orders dessert first. Now, I know they tell you that you have to summon your server if you want anything else, but this really seems like a wasted opportunity on their part. Even though it would be a distraction from the film, the servers should ask you if you want dessert at about the midway point. I bet they'd sell a ton of it. After all, you're doing a thing where the whole point is to eat, and you're not eating anymore. Plus, the menu had lots of good dessert options. But I didn't see anyone in the theater getting any. Problem.

Still, it was certainly worth doing once. I'd give a B.

Of course, I also liked Green Lantern. Your mileage may vary.
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Re: Erik & Smisty's Florida Oddventures

Postby MayTheGForceBeWithYou » Mon Jun 20, 2011 3:37 pm

Interesting concept...don't know what to make of it though. :?r
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Re: Erik & Smisty's Florida Oddventures

Postby BarryH » Mon Jun 20, 2011 3:59 pm

Great photos! I've always wanted to check out the place.

There's a similar theater in downtown Orlando called the Plaza Cinema Cafe. I went there once and it looks nicer than the AMC. Plus, they have these big Captain Kirk chairs to sit in. You have to order and pick up your food at concessions. You put your food on a big arm rest on your Captain Kirk chair. I think food was around $10-$15, but I only had a large soda for like $5.

Here's the website: http://www.cobbtheatres.com/plazacinema12.aspx

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Re: Erik & Smisty's Florida Oddventures

Postby WFChris » Mon Jun 20, 2011 6:20 pm

The Arclight Theaters in Los Angeles tried this concept for a while, but took a more upscale angle on it. You would pay about $25 per movie ticket and still had to pay for food and beverage. Servers would deliver everything, and it was actually really cool. Unfortunately, it was a $100 date EVERY time so was not very popular.

Eventually, The Arclight ditched the dining concept, and lowered their ticket prices to about $14 or $15. They still have a restaurant and bar in the lobby, and you can still bring the food (and alcohol) into the theater. They have a very strict NO cellphones rule, including simply turning the screen on....one strike and your out. They also have a dude give a little spiel at the beginning about the rules and movie information. Also, they charge full adult price for children under 6 to discourage bringing them! Finally, they offer 21+ screenings here and there, q + a sessions with actors from older movies preceding a screening, and other silly little 'events.'

This concept works great for them and they expanding in the area pretty quickly.

I guess the point is, every time they try this concept out here, it fails. The only place out here that still does this shows 80's movies and its not that expensive of an ordeal. I am curious to see how long the concept lasts out at Disney World.

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Re: Erik & Smisty's Florida Oddventures

Postby WFChris » Thu Jun 23, 2011 1:02 pm

Wow, didn't mean to be a thread killer!

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Re: Erik & Smisty's Florida Oddventures

Postby Electerik » Thu Jun 23, 2011 5:00 pm

^ What? You killed our thread?? Does that mean we can't go to any more crazy tourist traps???

/Sorry, Weeki Wachee.
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Re: Erik & Smisty's Florida Oddventures

Postby cfc » Thu Jun 23, 2011 5:32 pm

There's a Movie Tavern in Williamsburg, but I've never had a full meal there--just beer and nachos (which are of average quality). You order your food before you go in, and they give you a stand with a number on it, then bring the stuff out. Service tends to be pretty slow, but if you tell them at the counter, they'll bring you a second beer in about 30 minutes.
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Re: Erik & Smisty's Florida Oddventures

Postby gisco » Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:31 pm

Interesting concept. Maybe they should have a little display at your table so you could order electronically. Cut down on the server interrupting you. Maybe then they could flash things on the display like Last Call for Dessert! or Need more Popcorn & Soda? to boost sales.

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Re: Erik & Smisty's Florida Oddventures

Postby BarryH » Tue Jun 28, 2011 5:13 pm

How about this for an Oddventure? The Yuengling Brewery tour in Tampa. It's free and you get free beer samples. There's a gift shop too. Hooray! :)

Check it out: http://www.yuengling.com/breweries/tampa/

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