Like many places at Walt Disney World, the AMC Downtown Disney 24 offers an experience beyond what you typically would expect at a similar multiplex at the shopping mall. From special programs to foods and premium seating, AMC Downtown Disney 24 has helped set a new standard for movie theaters -- and it's all definitely family friendly.
Let's face it: Taking a family to the movies is expensive. And, yes, tickets at AMC Downtown Disney 24 are even slightly more expensive than your neighborhood theater. But my husband and I think the experience is worth it when our family of four splurges to see a long-awaited film.
First, at the AMC Downtown Disney 24, there is an array of snack choices beyond the usual popcorn and candy. Expect to also find ice cream with mix-ins, gourmet popcorn, flavored pretzels, hot sandwiches, hot dogs, freestyle Coca-Cola machines, Icees and more. Even if my kids usually opt for the traditional buttered popcorn, my husband and I appreciate the other choices. My kids love making their own Icees as part of the thrill of the experience, too.
The roomy, highback chairs in each theater are comfortable, and our two kids like to raise the armrests to make one long couch, if you will. But perhaps equally important is the stadium seating there. With such a seating arrangement, it's difficult to complain about anyone else blocking your view of the screen. Less whining from the kids makes for a better experience for the whole family.
Finally, AMC theaters offer unique programs for special-needs families. For example, the chain offers monthly screenings of popular movies in a sensory-friendly environment. In those theaters, the lights are turned up, the sound is turned down and "audience members are invited to get up and dance, walk, shout or sing."
AMC Downtown Disney 24 also is accessible to kids with other disabilities and offers assisted listening devices, closed captioning, descriptive video and wheelchair access.
Another reason to take time to see a movie at Walt Disney World: AMC's Fork & Screen, where guests can dine while watching current movies. The menu includes cocktails, appetizers, sandwiches, desserts and more, which are served right to your seat. (See the complete menu on the AllEars.Net resource page.) Guests choose their seats when they purchase their tickets so their party is guaranteed to stay together. Guests have to be at least 18 years old or accompanied by an adult, which presumably leads to quieter movie watching.
Want to experience AMC Downtown Disney 24 for less? Disney World annual passholders get $2 off adult evening tickets. Active military personnel can save $3 off after 4 p.m. with ID. There also are discounted tickets all day on Tuesday for seniors ages 60 and older and students ages 13 and older with ID all day on Thursdays.
Another tip: I try to cut our costs by using rewards programs, such as ones from Coca-Cola and Disney Movie Rewards, to purchase tickets and vouchers. Sometimes, these passes are not valid for the first two weekends after a movie is released, but we don't mind waiting for a free movie at Disney World. By doing what we can to save money for our movie-night experience, it's easy to give two thumb's up (or would it be eight?) for the AMC Downtown Disney 24 as a family friendly destination here in Orlando.
The previous post in this blog was Tips for dining with young kids on Disney Cruise Line.
The next post in this blog is Ideas for celebrating kids' birthdays at SeaWorld Orlando.