For a look at all of Epcot’s quick service reviews, see this post.
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, grilled items, salads, Asian entrees, and baked goods.
Unique Items: Most everything.
- Some of the freshest, healthiest, best-tasting food at the theme parks.
- Large variety of options with plenty of entree and dessert choices.
- Fountain beverage refills are complimentary.
- Tons of air-conditioned, indoor seating.
- Lines are usually short to order and pay.
- Several individual stations make up Sunshine Seasons and they may not all be open depending on the time of day. 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.
- Inconvenient unless you’re in the Land Pavilion.
Value: High. This is some of Disney’s best quick service food for about the same amount of money that you’d spend elsewhere.
Reputation: Highest. Sunshine Seasons is one of the most popular quick services with anyone who knows what they’re talking about.
Sunshine Seasons Menu:
Theoretically, Sunshine Seasons serves a hot breakfast. That may not be true for some time with Epcot either opening later or with reduced capacity. From a touring efficiency perspective, it doesn’t make much sense to take the time to sit down to a hot breakfast in the morning when wait times are lower. Historically, Sunshine Seasons has been the one place where Disney has offered hot quick service breakfast at Epcot. You can pull up the full Sunshine Seasons menu here.
In the past, Sunshine Seasons has offered a number of hot entrees. When fresh, the Breakfast Panini with Eggs, Bacon, Roast Pork, and Cheese, served with breakfast potatoes 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 cast member to pull a fresh one 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.
To serves guests fastest, cast prepare most food before it’s ordered, which can reduce the quality, texture, and flavor.
Lunch and Dinner:
We’ll go station by station in the order on Disney’s menu, beginning with the Asian Noodles Shop.
The Asian entrees are only okay, for the most part. Disney cast members make them in huge quantities and then the food sits there, not unlike your local mall. I thought the Mongolian Beef was bland, but I could have spiced it up with some hot sauce from the condiments section. Still, you’d probably hope for some more ginger and crunch from the vegetables.
The dish doesn’t photograph well.
But it’s a ton of shrimp along with the crunchy vegetables that are coated in a slightly sweet, flavorful sauce with a little bit of ginger, sesame, and pepper.
I think this is supposed to arrive with a much creamier curry paste flavored with nuts, coconut, and other spices than what’s served here. Instead, we received similar vegetables as the stir fry, only with peas replacing the pea pods and red peppers in a thin, virtually flavorless sauce. It tasted largely of jasmine rice. With that said, you could do a lot worse on the vegan front, which tends to be dominated by simple steamed vegetables. There are also just a couple small bites of the plant-based chicken, which doesn’t taste any different than the rest of the dish.
When you hear about how great Sunshine Seasons is, it’s typically because of this station.
Oak-grilled Rotisserie Chicken with Black Beans and Yellow Rice:
The chicken is tender, juicy, and flavorful. Earlier in the day, you can watch as cast members set up the roasters in the back of the kitchen and start preparing the chicken for the day. I might prefer creamy mashed potatoes to the black beans and rice, but the southwestern flavors bring out the mesquite flavor of the chicken nicely.
Cast typically sear the Salmon frequently enough that your piece will be fresh, flaky, and tender.
I liked the Cheese Grits, which added a creamy, comforting component, and Corn Succotash, which added some salt and texture. You can’t do much better in a theme park for around thirteen dollars.
Like with the Asian station, you can substitute sides if you desire. So if you’d prefer the mashed potatoes with the chicken or the rice and beans with the pork, you can go in either direction. Freshness may come into play again here as the Pork Loin isn’t cooked to order. I’ve enjoyed fresh, juicy meat, and dry, almost-impossible-to-cut pork over the years. You may ask for the freshest piece because this is really good when it’s good. The Barbecue Sauce is a little more like a tomato chutney, but still brings the molasses and brown sugar glaze flavors that you’d expect. It’s a tremendous amount of food for the money and a good value.
The Sandwiches have gone through a number of iterations over the years.
Rotisserie Turkey Club:
While the sandwiches are pre-made, they’re typically tasty as cast members fill them with plenty of turkey meat and in this case, a mildly spicy Monterey Jack Cheese.
The menu description may oversell it a bit. I didn’t detect a lot of flavor from the Bacon Jam or Avocado Aioli, but both help add some moisture to what would otherwise be a dry affair. There’s probably a little bit of earthiness from the avocado and salt from the bacon aioli. Personally, I’d take a couple slices of bacon instead. It’s still a serviceable sandwich at the price point. They may or may not be able to accommodate substitutions on the sandwiches as they are pre-made and waiting to order, like most of the food here.
Barbecue Pork Sandwich
It’s quite a bit of meat served out of a Le Creuset Cast-Iron Oven and delicately placed in between the untoasted bun that doesn’t do a great job of holding up against all of the sauce. I liked the sliced pork. Most of Disney’s barbecue pork sandwiches are “pulled,” which is code for “served out of a food services bag.” That’s not the case here as the pork is sliced into reasonably thick pieces.
I wasn’t personally a big fan of the sauce – the tangy, sour mustard flavor was overwhelming. I don’t mind a good Carolina BBQ sauce, but this wasn’t working for me. That said, you may enjoy it much more. It’s certainly a lot of sandwich. But the bread was inundated with sauce, and started to fall apart about half way through, and the coleslaw didn’t provide much flavor or crunch. Overall, it would be a very good choice at a lot of quick services property-wide, but those looking for pork should probably stick to the Pork Loin.
The Potato Salad served alongside the sandwiches consists of cubes of potato tossed in a zesty vinaigrette with some slices of pepper and onion. This may not be what you’re expecting. If you’d prefer another side, you can actually grab a side of Mashed Potatoes from the Grill Station, Noodles from the Asian Station, or anything else and have it “count.”
They’ve changed this since I last ordered it, but I haven’t heard good things.
Even before the mid-March closure, Disney only kept the Soups and Salads Shop open during lunch hours. These items are unlikely to be available during dinner.
Asian Vegetable Noodle Salad:
With Wakame and Tuna Poke with Spicy Mayonnaise.
The portion is sizable with a large bed of thin noodles in a zippy ginger vinaigrette. The carrots, cucumbers, radishes, and other vegetables add crunch to each bite and the spicy mayonnaise actually added a considerable amount of lingering Sriracha spice to the tender, flavorful tuna. It’s a filling, refreshing meal that won’t weigh you down.
Power-Salad with Oak-Fired Chicken:
With Quinoa, Almonds and Honey Vinaigrette. This is a lot more interesting than the standard Chicken Caesar, and uses the same juicy chicken as the Rotisserie version from the Grill Shop. There’s a tremendous number of different flavors and textures here that all work in tandem, finished with the slightly sweet, slightly zesty vinaigrette dressing. It’s another filling, fresh dish.
Caesar Salad with Oak Grilled Chicken:
Even this is better than your typical quick service Caesar, thanks to the fresh chicken, shaved Parmesan, and crunchy croutons. It wouldn’t be my first choice here, but it’s certainly a “safe” one.
The kids have a lot of choices:
A couple of them are smaller versions of the adult entrees, while a couple others are exclusive.
Kids can also choose smaller portions of the Caesar Salad or Mongolian Beef.
You’ll see Sunshine Seasons’ bakery case on the far left as you enter. Its offerings depend on the day.
Typically, the website dissuades most guests from adding standard, mass-produced quick service desserts to their order. Sunshine Seasons is an exception.
Most of what you see in here, at worst, will be average.
If nothing sounds good, or you’re on the go, Sunshine Seasons offers an array of often-overlooked cold items like the very good Antipasto Salad, in addition to Tabbouleh Pin Wheels, Asian Chicken Salads, Chicken Wraps, Tuna Salad Croissants, and more. You’ll also find cheese trays and vegetables.
The variety of bottled beverages is also impressive and includes a number of canned beers and cocktails that you won’t find at other theme park establishments. There are no draft beer options available, though.
But they do have Slushes, some with alcohol.
Overall, Sunshine Seasons is an easy choice if you’re looking for lunch or dinner in Future World. With Electric Umbrella closed, it’s also basically your only quick service option. The Grill Shop is your best bet all-day, and the salads are very good when they’re available. The Asian entrees may leave something to be desired, and the sandwiches aren’t as tasty as they’ve been in the past, but all are still above-average theme park fare. It’s also hard to beat the plentiful, indoor, air-conditioned seating. Sunshine Seasons may or may not be convenient to where you are at Epcot. It’s best to plan on visiting when you’re planning on doing/seeing Soarin’, Living with the Land, or Awesome Planet.