Sunshine Seasons

by josh on November 30, 2012

11/15/13 Update: Menu updated and items added.

Location: Sunshine Seasons is located on the bottom floor of the Land Pavilion in between the entrances to Soarin’ and Living with the Land.

Food Type: A variety of sandwiches, meat, salads, Asian entrees, and baked goods.

Dining Plan: One quick service credit and some items count as snack credits.

Menu:

Breakfast:



Lunch and Dinner:





Larger: http://www.easywdw.com/reports9/seasons.jpg.



Larger: http://www.easywdw.com/reports9/seasons3.jpg.

Larger: http://www.easywdw.com/reports9/seasons3.jpg.




Unique Items: Most everything.

Advantages:

  • Some of the freshest, healthiest, best tasting food at the theme parks.
  • Huge selection with plenty of entree and dessert choices.
  • Fountain beverage refills are free.
  • Tons of air-conditioned, indoor seating.
  • A convenient place to eat while you wait for your Soarin’ or Living with the Land FastPasses.
  • Lines are usually short to order and pay.

Disadvantages:

  • Each of the menus above is from a separate station.  So if you want food from more than one station, you’ll need to split up or wait in multiple lines.  It can also be confusing/time consuming to take in all the options and discuss what you want to do.
  • Loud when it’s busy.

Value: High.  Some of Disney’s best quick service food for the same amount of money you’d spend elsewhere.

Reputation: Highest.  Sunshine Seasons is one of the most popular quick services with anyone that knows what they’re talking about.

Food Choices:

Breakfast Panini:

When fresh, the Breakfast Panini – with Eggs, Bacon, Roast Pork, and Cheese, served with breakfast potatoes – $6.99 is very good.  It’s prepared in sort of a pie and it sits there until someone orders each slice.  I’ve had very good and very bad paninis here.  You may want to stand back for a minute and wait for a fresh one to be pulled out of the oven before ordering.

The breakfast potatoes are a decent accompaniment.  They’re prepared as you might expect with green peppers to spice things up.  They’re also better when they’re fresh.

Turkey and Monterey Jack on Ciabatta with Chipotle Mayonnaise served with a side:


This is excellent in just about every way. Cheese piled three slices high. Chipotle mayo on both sides. It’s huge. A healthy helping of turkey. It would be a tough choice between this, a sandwich from Starring Rolls, and a sandwich from Earl of Sandwich for best Disney sandwich. The potato salad accompaniment is great too – though there isn’t much more than a couple of bites here.

Steak and Blue Cheese Sandwich:

The sandwich is sizable with a layer of thick cut steak, lettuce, tomatoes, and blue cheese on a thick French bread roll.

It’s artsy because it’s tilted.

The steak was on the tough side and the predominant flavor was the blue cheese crumbles and spread, which overwhelmed most other things. Probably due to cost, Disney seems to be serving only diced tomatoes, which are prone to fall off.

The potato salad “felt” lighter than the typical Disney potato chip. The potatoes were perfectly al dente, but there was a bit too much green onion for my tastes. I still ate it all.

I prefer the Turkey Ciabatta, but you may prefer the Steak if you love blue cheese. For the same money, you could opt for the more interesting pork chop, rotisserie chicken, seared tuna salad, or something else

Mongolian Beef:

It’s a large portion that feels hefty when held.  This dish has actually changed a lot over the years.  There was a time when it came with thicker noodles on top of rice on the side with the broccoli separate from the beef.  There was a time when it was “Ginger Mongolian Beef.”  There was a time when you could order two smaller portions of two varieties instead of one larger portion.  The current iteration is the best I’ve tasted, but it’s still overly bland.  There should be at least a bit of a kick in a dish called Mongolian Beef, but I feel like Disney is wary of returns for a dish that’s too spicy.  So it’s dumbed down to the point where it’s more sweet than spicy.  That said, the dish was prepared well.  You get a lot of beef and the vegetables were still hot and crispy, even after sitting out for what I would guess was a while.  The noodles weren’t as good.  I couldn’t tell you exactly what flavor was overpowering it.  It seemed like a mixture of salt and lemon.  I would have preferred the vegetable fried rice (I think) instead, but they were out.  Overall, this was better than it has been in the past, but I wouldn’t recommend it unless you’re really in the mood for Asian.  If you’re looking for Asian in Epcot, I did enjoy this more than Lotus Blossom Cafe in the China Pavilion.  But if you’re looking for one Asian meal at Walt Disney World, I would stick with Yak & Yeti over at Animal Kingdom.  Both the quick service arm and restaurant are better than the options at Epcot.

Spicy Cashew Chicken:

Decent quality for fast food Chinese, the Spicy Cashew Chicken is only slightly spicy with a few chunks of cashew mixed in. It’s unlikely to win any awards, but it’s perfectly decent. The cold noodles served alongside help take a bit of the heat off and have a few crunchy vegetables mixed in. Not expressly recommended, but not a bad choice either.

Oak Grilled Fish:

This was really good other than the fact that the potatoes weren’t seasoned or cooked well.  Considering few people are eating at this hour, they’re probably a bit on the old side.  The salmon was great.

Togarashi Seared Tuna Noodle Salad:

I don’t know why I didn’t remove the plasticware pre-picture either.  No one ever said I was good at this.  I am not a connoisseur of seared tuna.  In fact, this is my first known experience.  It was refreshingly chilled.  The noodles were just what I was hoping they’d be with a slight peanut taste.  The tuna appeared to be cooked perfectly with a well-spiced crust around it.  Despite the salad name, there isn’t a whole lot of salad-stuff involved.  We have a nice little onion/carrot/cucumber topping, but it’s really more of a noodle bowl without the bowl than it is a salad.  Overall, this was a nice change of pace and an excellent choice if you’re in the market.  It’s a great example of why Sunshine Seasons is heralded as the top theme park quick service on property.  Much fresher, seemingly healthier food than you’ll find anywhere else at Epcot.

Caesar Salad with Oak Grilled Chicken:

Even the Caesar Salad is better than your typical Disney salad.  Here, you get a healthy portion of excellently grilled chicken and parmesan shavings – much better than average.

Slow Roasted Pork Chop with Cheddar Mashed Potatoes and Barbecue Sauce:

It’s awkward to eat a large piece of meat, covered in sauce, with a large bone in it, with a plastic knife and fork.  I feel like I’ve heard good things about this one.  And to be 100% honest with you, immediately after I ordered it, some guy whispered in my ear, “Good choice.”  So I felt like it was a good choice.  But it really wasn’t awesome.  The Pork Chops were just sitting in a bowl waiting to be served when I ordered it.  It wasn’t bad.  Not particularly moist.  It would probably be better if it was a little fresher.  We were eating an early dinner around 5pm, so the food wasn’t exactly flying off the shelf.  But $12 is a steep price for quick service.  You can get table service lunch at a few places with prices in that range.  For a quick service credit on the Disney Dining Plan you’d be doing well, but I wouldn’t order it out of pocket again.

Whoopie Pie:

It may or may not be awkward ordering a whoopie pie. Like most Disney mass produced desserts, it’s serviceable and sweet, if not a bit bland tasting.

Seating:

Sunshine Seasons has a ton of comfortable indoor seating.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Diana December 1, 2012 at 5:57 am

It’s too bad they took the reuben sandwich off the menu sometime between May and October. That was always our “go to” item at Sunshine Seasons.

Reply

Carol December 1, 2012 at 8:47 am

I seem to be one of the minority who doesn’t particularly enjoy Sunshine Seasons. However, in early Nov. we ate there because it had a lot of gluten free choices for my husband who just found out a few months ago that he has to eat gluten free. We both got the pork chop and we both liked it a lot. The mashed potatoes were also good. We were told that everything in that section of the restaurant was gluten free.

It’s still not even in my top 5 counter service restaurants, but it is nice for families that need a lot of choices.

Reply

Jo December 29, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Right as always Josh – good food but the atmosphere is not so good. Asian food is good and there is loads of choice.

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DeeDee January 4, 2013 at 12:18 pm

I have to give 5 stars to the Beet and Goat Cheese Salad. The plate is filled with fresh salad greens, red and yellow beets with goat cheese and sugar glazed pecans with a delicious dressing.

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Heather February 22, 2013 at 1:40 pm

I read the reviews for this before our first family trip in Aug 2011 and felt we had to try it. It became a must do for our next trip in Aug 2012 when we took a trip with my and my brother’s family and our mother, a total group of 13. Plenty of seating for our large extended family, both trips have had incredible food (both times I’ve had the seared tuna noodle salad, simply because it was so incredible on our first trip, though between everyone, we tried a wide range of the offerings!), and on both trips the cast members were FANTASTIC!! They carried our food to our tables since our hands were always full of children, got refills for us, chatted with us and were overall above and beyond even the usual amazing service we always get at Disney. I’d love to try some of the other counter service restaurants in Epcot, but we generally only spend one day in that park, and the Sunshine Seasons cannot be passed up by our family. :-)

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Joe April 3, 2013 at 10:26 am

I love, love this place! Though I haven’t had the Pork Chop in a few years. It used to be $9.99, which was a huge deal!
The Tuna Noodle Salad is now my go to…so refreshing.

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Stefanie June 23, 2013 at 11:08 pm

Has anyone tried or heard about the sushi?

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Cliff July 22, 2013 at 4:51 pm

I ate here for the first time in years last December. I ordered the pork chop. Prices didn’t seem to be clearly posted. Or at least when I saw the pork chop on the menu I didn’t see a price. I was quite surprised when my QS meal that consisted of a pork chop, a blob of potatoes, and an ice water, was something like $13.69 with tax. The pork chop wasn’t bad or anything…also wasn’t exactly heavenly either. But close to $14? For a QS entrée that didn’t include a veggie? I will check menus more closely before ordering in the future.

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Matt January 2, 2014 at 12:57 pm

I have only eaten here for breakfast, had the breakfast platter last year, and the panini this year. Both were enjoyable. The platter is the same as we got from the QS place at Saratoga. I would agree with the assessment of the panini in this review.

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