Coral Reef Restaurant Review at Disney’s Epcot Theme Park

by josh on March 9, 2010

Food Type: Fish, chicken, steak

Location: Future World West to the left of the entrance to The Seas with Nemo and Friends. It’s less obvious than you might imagine, but it’s there.

Dining Plan: One Table Service

Cost: For lunch, appetizers: $7 – $17; Entrees: $16 – $33; Kids: $9 – $11.  For dinner, appetizers: $7 – $17; Entrées: $19 – $33; Kids: $9 – $11.

Discounts: 20% Tables in Wonderland.

Menu:

Lunch( 11:30am – 2:30pm): https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/epcot/coral-reef-restaurant/menus/lunch

Dinner (4pm – Park Close): https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/epcot/coral-reef-restaurant/menus/dinner

Setting: Tables are situated around a large aquarium tank packed full of over 4,000 creatures, including sharks, turtles, rays, and exotic fish. Stadium seating affords a prime view for tables further back from the tank.

Advantages:

  • Unique atmosphere.  Kids and adults who enjoy aquariums will be fascinated by the variety of fish and wildlife.
  • Food quality has gotten better, particularly the trout and salmon. Service is usually attentive and personable.
  • Great Kids’ menu, including fried shrimp, steak, pork tenderloin, and grilled fish.
  • Only sit down restaurant in Future World that isn’t a character buffet.

Disadvantages:

  • Deceptively noisy due to the sound bouncing off the aquarium glass.
  • View of the aquarium from some seats is nonexistent or guests must crane their necks to see anything.
  • Relatively limited menu that’s light on seafood. Outside of a pasta dish and the Ceasar Salad with shrimp, there is no crab, lobster, shrimp, scallops, etc.
  • Lunch isn’t much cheaper than dinner. The only less expensive item is the Caesar Salad.

Value: Come for the view rather than the food.

Tips: Request a table on the lowest floor nearest the aquarium. Your faces will be just a few inches from the glass. If you prefer to dine elsewhere, guests can view the same aquarium in the Seas Pavilion on the opposite side.

Reputation: Poor. Disney has no trouble selling this place out every day of the year, but most reactions are that the food is overpriced for the quality. It can be a fun meal if you’re seated at a table with a good view of the aquarium, but skip it if the view isn’t a major selling point.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Carson December 21, 2010 at 2:51 pm

This was our only option on the plan for the Candlelight processional package. We have annual passes and have been to Epcot the most – and we kind of laughed that we really didn’t know it was here. My husband and I were a little worried about eating here after the review. We were pleasantly surprised.

We were sat at an aquarium view table, which was nice. My 8 year old was entertained the whole time. They give you a fish guide to see if you can spot certain species. He was so excited to be able to pick some out, add some on, etc. The kids menu was just like the other paper ones you get. This one had the meal option, or the specials for the place. He chose the grilled kids Mahi, which I was surprised about, mashed potatoes and broccoli. The kids fish was about the size of a deck of cards, which was fine by me. It was thicker than it looked, and he was full. The mashed potatoes looked a little old, but they tasted fine. Steamed broccoli was just fine. He ate everything and said he was full. He did get a sundae with it, and of course he found room for that.

My husband and I know that you are going to pay a bit more at WDW then you would at a normal place. For the app we each got something different. Presentation was nice, taste was good. Portion was small. HOWEVER, with that being said, we don’t want to be overstuffed with an app. We prefer normal portion sizes and not the jumbo 4000 ones you get at some places. Crab cakes were a good consistency and the sauce had a good kick.

For lunch he ordered the steak. It was cooked perfectly. He didn’t ask for any sauces, like A1 which he usually will get at chili’s or Outback. His asparagus was steamed perfectly.

I ordered the Mahi which had shrimp and came with Jasmine rice. It was better than I expected. Once again – it was not a 12 oz piece of fish. It was more like 4-6. But, we are healthy eaters for the most part, so we appreciate the good portion size. Fish had a good flavor, not ‘fishy’.

I think for the most part it was worth the money. What we did say was that you didn’t remember you were at Epcot. Because you are by the aquarium and kind of under dim lights, there is not blaring outside noise, no real reminder of where you are. It was nice to ‘forget’ the craziness of the park. We would go there again if the need arises.

Julia October 1, 2011 at 10:43 pm

I had my worse WDW meal ever at Coral Reef.

Joanne November 19, 2011 at 9:34 pm

We had lunch here in mid-January 2011. The place was mostly empty, it was about 2-3 pm. We had a great time! The staff was friendly, the food was great, and we have been thinking of it since. The atmosphere was unlike any that I had ever enjoyed before. The aquarium was amazing, and then getting a chance to enjoy some lobster soup while sitting down in a (semi) cozy & comfy environment that felt like we were underwater has left me waiting anxiously to get back there. Although the Coral Reef may not serve “world-class” seafood preparations, it was an experience that I will never forget, and I look forward to our next time. I am surprised by how unhappy many people are after dining here. We have our next reservation in December, so we will see and report…..

Dan Young February 25, 2012 at 3:45 pm

I try to eat here at least once per trip (which is twice a year), as it has long been one of my favorite restuarants. I always sit right by the glass, and spend my meal gazing out at the sealife. They have an excellent wine list. And while the menu has been pared down over the years and is now much shorter than it used to be, I’ve always found something to my taste, well prepared and served promptly. (Well, I had one sucky waiter here about a year ago, but that can happen anywhere!) Overall I rate it as well within the top 3 at Epcot!

Scrump September 27, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Hmm. I thought I was the only one “literally” afraid of fish. Not one of the sexier phobias.

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