Disney’s Coral Reef Restaurant is located at The Seas with Nemo & Friends Pavilion inside Epcot theme park. This restaurant, which accepts the Disney dining plans, serves delicious seafood dishes for lunch and dinner and offers a great underwater view of the Caribbean Coral Reef.
The atmosphere at the Coral Reef is certainly unique. There is a huge aquarium along the entire length of wall and water-themed accents throughout.
We were seated right in front of the aquarium which pleased my husband so much. He thought I had arranged the whole thing but I told him, no I just made the reservation.
On the table was a Fish Guide to show the guest every kind of inhabitant housed in the huge aquarium.
There was a wide variety of fish, some sea turtles, and a shark as well.
There were even some other visitors I will talk about later.
We were seated right away and our server soon arrived at our table. After she introduced herself she took our drink orders: iced tea for my hubby and Diet Coke for me. Sweet N Low was not offered on the tables, so we asked for some and she brought it right away. The service all night was fantastic. I even got to keep the menu!
Once our drinks arrived, we placed our orders for appetizers, entrees and desserts. Rolls and butter were brought to the table first. They were sourdough rolls with a pat of cold butter. The butter was a little too cold which made it difficult to spread, but the rolls were warm so that helped a little bit. The rolls had a hard crust, similar to french bread but even more crunchy.
My husband ordered the Crab Cakes for his appetizer. They were served with a tangy mango chutney with cilantro and jalapeno. They were light and very tasty with a brown crust but not crunchy at all.
I ordered the Fried Shrimp as my appetizer.They were served with a tangy and spicy hot slaw made from cilantro, jalapeno, red pepper and cabbage. The shrimp were fried and served with a cocktail sauce/sour cream dipping sauce with a kick to it. It was very tasty. They were fried perfectly in a super crunchy batter and were perfectly seasoned, not over-seasoned at all. There was too much cilantro for my taste in the slaw but folks who like cilantro probably wouldn’t think so. The dipping sauce was the perfect accompaniment to the fried shrimp in my humble opinion. Both the Crab Cakes and the Fried Shrimp were very good appetizer selections.
For dinner, I ordered the Lobster Pasta in White Cheddar Sauce. The dish was shell macaroni prepared in a white-cheddar sauce with large chunks of lobster throughout and sprinkled with breadcrumbs that had been toasted for crunchiness. The lobster was tender and easily cut with a fork. It was very rich and creamy, and very filling. I was only able to eat one-half of the serving.
My husband’s dish, the Pan-seared Halibut with Pesto Risotto had small pieces of scallops in the risotto as well as the pesto. It was also served with yellow, orange and red tomatoes drizzled with an olive oil/butter mixture. The entree was very tasty and the fish was delicate but substantial enough to not fall apart on your fork. It was seasoned perfectly and was a very good dish.
If you know anything about me you know that I have done my due-diligence in describing my food before I get to go on to my favorite thing in the world – dessert. Our choices for dessert were ridiculous. First, my husband ordered the Bailey’s Irish Cream and Jack Daniels Chocolate Mousse. This treat was served in a glass with baby chocolate cookie balls on top and a homemade-designed, super-thin chocolate wafer cookie as well. It was rich and extremely creamy with a dark chocolate aroma and flavor. Delicious!
My choice was the Chocolate Wave with Raspberry Gelato. This delectable treat is a lava cake, dusted with powdered sugar and served with fresh raspberries and raspberry sauce painted across the plate. Next to it was cold, creamy raspberry gelato adorned with chocolate candy slivers. This cake was warm, moist and gooey on the inside with a light crunch on the outside. A delectable chocolate indulgence served with the perfect accompaniment. Decadent!
Now that you know all about our feast, I will talk a little about the ambiance. As I said the large aquarium spans the entire length of the restaurant. There is marine life in abundance.
There were other kinds of visitors in the aquarium as well. They were humans on a paid tour exploring the marine life in the tank.
Now, for people like Butch and me who crave the human interaction, we loved having them wave to us and we enjoyed reciprocating. It was a lot of fun. For those folks who are not so much into this scene it might have bothered them but, then again, maybe not. We had a great time with it.
For my humble opinion on the subject of price vs. quality, we enjoy using our table service credits for dining experiences. Places we can visit that are atypical of what we can find at home are the best use of our TS credits. With the atmosphere of the Coral Reef Restaurant, coupled with the delicious food selections, we will definitely go back. In fact, we cannot wait to take all the family there during our upcoming trip in November.
Specialty celebration cakes are available for an additional charge and should be ordered 48 hours in advance by calling (407) 827-2253.
This location can accommodate most special dietary needs. Advance notice may be required and cancellation fees may apply. Please indicate any special dietary need at time of reservation booking.
The scuba tour our “special dinner guests” were on is called the Epcot DiveQuest and it is available to guests 10 years and up at a cost of $175.00 per person. If you are interested in this experience, you can find out more about it here.
Brenda writes here and at Ideally Disney. She’s also an Authorized Disney Travel Specialist with Pixie Vacations. She loves helping families plan magical Disney vacations, so email her at Brenda@PixieVacations.com or send her a message on www.facebook.com/thepixiebrenda.