Would you like to dine with more than 4000 sharks, sting-rays, turtles and fishes living in a live coral environment just next to you? Then you must visit the Coral Reef Restaurant. Located at Walt Disney World Epcot, the Coral Reef Restaurant is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for you and your family.
Dining Under the Sea
If you happen to be at the attractions ‘The Seas with Nemo and Friends’ and ‘Turtle Talk’ in EPCOT, then make a detour to the Coral Reef Restaurant. The Coral Reef restaurant shares the same aquarium as the attraction ‘The Seas with Nemo and Friends’ – a aquarium which is absolutely awesome and rivals that of the SEA Aquarium in Resorts World Singapore. Concept-wise, it is exactly the same as that of the Ocean Restaurant by Cat Cora which makes use of the SEA Aquarium as its dining backdrop. A small difference however is that the Coral Reef Restaurant is less luxurious and slightly more affordable to suit the Disney-going family crowd.
The restaurant, just like any other restaurants in Disney World Resorts accepts reservations and in fact, you are highly recommended to do so to avoid waiting for too long in the queue. The restaurant operates on a beeper system and we waited 30-45 minutes for a table for 2 without a reservation.
There had been quite mixed reviews on the Internet regarding food and service at the Coral Reef restaurant, but we decided to take the chance since we were attracted by the prospect of dining under the sea.
Fortunately for us (or was it because we came without much expectations?!), we never had a poor experience at this restaurant. Service was honestly a little inattentive in the queue, but when seated, our server was professional and efficient and wasted no time in explaining the menu to us.
Wished we were assigned one of those much-coveted seats by the window to the sea for a better experience. The best part of the Coral Reef Restaurant was that true to their concept of underwater dining, each guests were provided with a marine life guide to help you identify the marine creatures that swim by during your meal.
The menu varies according to season, but would include common dishes such as seared chicken breasts and salmon. Prices are the same for lunch and dinner, but the menu included more dishes for dinner.
We started with some complimentary fresh-baked bread which was absolutely yummy (or was it because we were famished?!).
Tommy ordered a fruit punch souvenir cup featuring a light-up Ariel (USD $6.99) for me! The other option was Buzz Light Years which I politely declined in favour of Ariel 🙂 This very small cup of punch was costly indeed at $6.99 and we would never have ordered this if not for the souvenir cup.
My lunch of orange ginger-glazed Scottish salmon (USD $23.99) with vegetable stir-fry. Frankly, despite the mixed reviews on food at the Coral Reef restaurant, I find the lunch that I ordered quite acceptable, with a wonderful combination of ingredients that complemented each other.
Tommy ordered Seared Rainbow Trout (USD $20.99) with warm salad of white beans, arugula, tomatoes, crispy bacon, aged balsamic vinegar and brown butter. I took a nip. Its not bad at all!
Our lunch at the Coral Reef Restaurant costed us USD $55 for two (without tips). A little hefty, but restaurants at Walt Disney World were around that pricing.
The Coral Reef Restaurant is tucked in a corner near the main entrance of Epcot. It may not be easy to make a detour back here for a lunch/dinner, but the experience of dining at the Coral Reef Restaurant is absolutely worth it. We recommend reserving your seat early. Definitely a cheaper alternative to the Ocean Restaurant at the SEA Aquarium in Singapore.
Join us next as we check out another restaurant – Nine Dragons Restaurant.