I was quite glad it was only myself and my son for this meal as it was not cheap! The Coral Reef restaurant is located within the Epcot theme park which is part of the Walt Disney World Resort. It is described as unique/themed dining which it was. So was it worth the money? Read on to find out.
What is it like inside the Coral Reef Restaurant?
When we arrived at the restaurant we had a reserved table and although we still had to wait to be seated we were only waiting a few minutes. The tables in the restaurant are set out on a few tiered levels next to a huge tank which is said to hold enough water to fill 54 Olympic-sized swimming pools. It turned out that it was the same tank that we had previously viewed over by Turtle talk and not too far from the exit to the Nemo ride.
The Disney World website states that “Panoramic windows give every table an insider view into the awesome, underwater world of The Seas with Nemo & Friends”. We were originally shown to a table on the first tier which actually wouldn’t have given Jamie any view of the tank as he couldn’t see over the wall that they have on each level. Considering the restaurant was nearly empty and we’d pre booked I was quite surprised that they chose to put us there. I had a word with one of the members of staff and they moved us down to the ‘ground’ level next to the tank.
There was another table between us and the tank and they must have felt like we were staring at them because of this. Honestly I would not say that every table has an insider view. Yes you can perhaps see the tank throughout the restaurant but the further back you are the harder it will be to see anything properly.
What can you expect to see during a meal at the Coral Reef Restaurant?
There were certainly plenty of fish swimming around the tank and plenty of sharks, sting rays and turtles. Jamie had been given an activity pack which was pretty standard for a Walt Disney restaurant. Sadly this distracted him away from watching the tank somewhat and this was perhaps the only occasion where I had wished that he hadn’t been given one.
There was a shark in the tank with some extremely sharp teeth on view so Jamie was captivated every time it swum past. There were a few other less scary but similar sized sharks which he wasn’t too bothered about. They had plenty of fish swimming about and also some really large sting rays. Here’s a few photos of what we spotted.
I’m afraid I couldn’t get a full shot of the tank and the restaurant as there were a lot of other people in view.
What did we eat?
We ate at Coral Reef during a lunch service. We were both brought some bread as a complimentary starter (appetizer). They are open for both lunch and dinner.
This was one of the most expensive meals of our whole holiday and we didn’t even have my husband with us for this meal. The kids menu was incredibly good value for money and I found myself wishing that I could have had what he had.
The kids menu has starters at $3. They can then choose a main between $10-$13 which then also includes a dessert. At the time they had battered fish with chips on the menu which is what my son had. The portion was huge and I must admit that I helped out with it.
The best thing though was his dessert. He had a seaside cupcake which is currently still on the menu and it was huge. It was covered in icing and it was far too large for him. So as I was still starving after my main course and too tight to order my own dessert I gave him a helping hand.
He had ALL that food for just $11.00.
I, on the other hand, couldn’t find anything of anywhere near that good value for money. The starters (appetizers) at Coral Reef are mostly priced between $12 to $14. Most dishes contain seafood of some variety. Such as clam chowder, lobster bisque and Seafood salad. Please click here for an up to date menu. Some dining plans are accepted. Please ask your server for what is available on your plan.
I decided to just choose a main dish (entrees). Most of these were around $30 a dish, some even more than that. The cheapest being a tempura cauliflower at $24 and the most expensive being a Port-Wine Braised 10oz beef short rib at $35. I had debated choosing something under $30. However I decided that once the price went over $25 I may as well opt for something ‘higher end’. So I went for the Lobster mac and cheese at $33. I was expecting it to be amazing as I adore macaroni cheese and lobster is certainly a treat. Sadly it wasn’t as good as it sounded, neither was it very large. I must admit I felt a bit guilty eating it as we were on a budget for the holiday.
Desserts are priced at around $9.00 each.
In all honesty I wouldn’t say that it was as good as I was expecting it to be. The food did not match the prices. However, had I been allowed to eat what my son had had then I would have been over the moon. The large tank, although full of fish, isn’t quite the same fun experience if you’re not sitting right next to it. Would I recommend for people to eat here? It depends what you want. Was it a unique experience? For us yes we have never eaten anywhere quite like it before. So in a way this is what you are paying for. If you could guarantee a table right by the tank and you don’t mind paying over the odds for your food then eat here. If you can’t then I’d try another of Epcot’s many restaurants.
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