Sunday, March 6, 2016

Review: Coral Reef Restaurant, EPCOT at Disney World

We spent two weeks at Disney World Resort in Florida during the end of year holiday period. One of the great advantags of Disney World over Disneyland are the endless seated dining options. Add a Disney Magic Band and set all your reservations before you leave and you can avoid eating hot dogs and churros every day. 

The busy holiday period had upwards of half a million people on the park properties during Christmas and New Year and so booking early is a must. Reservations can be made at all the Disney restaurants months in advance. I'll be posting a number of holiday resort food destinations that we went to so keep an eye out for new posts. The prices are holiday destination pricey but there are some cheaper options particularly for those on a Disney Dining Plan.

The Coral Reef Restaurant is in the Sea section of EPCOT and is designed to invoke memories of Finding Nemo. The star attraction is the huge windows into the Ocean Tank where you can watch clouds of fish serenely float by. Sadly for the kids in the room the fish spotting map was out of date and we couldn't put the breeds to the pictures provided.

The food at Coral Reef is standard steak and seafood formal dining. There are plenty of options including vegetarian and land animals so that if you're not a seafood fan you won't miss out. Kid friendly options like Fish and Chips and Mac and cheese are included as well as "Mickey Check Meals designed to keep kid friendly food healthy.

 Being a Disney destination they're also meticulous about fussy children and food restrictions. You should be able to find gluten free, dairy free, nut free, wheat free, low carb or diabetic friendly options at all of their restaurants. If you don't see what you need on the menu the "cast members" that make up your dining service are more than happy to help you with options or talk to the chef. The service is Disney immaculate, the food was good but not amazing but given this is a theme park really one cannot complain for it not being Michelin level.

Pina CoLAVA $10USD

The menu is filled with sweet and sticky cocktails like you might enjoy at a beachside resort. Have a pina colada or three with your fish, just remember this is a family dining experience and getting giggly should include being careful to keep the language and topics child appropriate. There are mocktails available so your kids can join in on the fun.

Creamy Lobster Soup $9USD

I'm not a big fan of fish but I do love lobster! This is a classique creamy bisque soup with fresh herbs and cream. Note the kid friendly name to avoid putting off fussy diners.

Heirloom Tomatoes $10USD

Heirloom caprese one of my favourite classics. The tomatoes were ripe and juicy and obviously benefit from the Florida sun. 

Shrimp and Grits $30USD

Shrimp and grits is one of those American classic dishes we had to learn about moving to the US. Corn mash is topped with succotash and seafood, this was a nice rendition filled with coastal prawns. 

New York Strip $33USD

This was a decent but not amazing steak, similar to what one might find at a chain restaurant like Cheesecake Factory. Green vegetables and a decent mash are included.

The Chocolate Wave $9USD 

I can't see a lava cake without thinking of the melt down scene from Chef anymore but sticky gooey chocolate concoctions are right up my man's alley.

Seaside Cupcake $9USD

I saw one of the kids desserts go by and couldn't resist. I admitted to the waiter I was hoping there was one for adults and he laughed and told me this request was common. Moist delicious chocolate cake topped with mounds of butter cream and seaside fancies. Be warned though the Brilliant Blue dye gave me an allergy reaction :o(

All in all we had a great experience at the restaurant and it's a welcome piece of peace after walking around EPCOT all night. On a night you're not waiting for fireworks the serenity of the sea this is a great option. Book ahead.

Coral Reef Restaurant EPCOT

1520 Avenue of the Stars
Orlando, FL 32836

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