Coral Reef?

Discussion in 'Disney Restaurants' started by walkaboutcelery, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. Allie B

    Allie B I always dream of Disney

    Dec 17, 2016
    I felt this was more an adult meal place. We were lucky enough to be placed right by the tank but most tables are not. If she really wants to go it will not hurt to try it out. The food is very good but I felt menu was limited.
  2. Lisa F

    Lisa F is a very wise woman

    Feb 22, 2000
    Coral Reef is an old favorite of mine and I was sure to put it on my list when I was there a month ago. Then I read the reviews, get nervous that it has gone way downhill, but it was one of our top meals of the week.

    We did the candlelight processional package and it was way too much food, lol. I ordered the crab dip - this is a very shareable app (I only ate half of it) and kiddo got the creamy lobster soup, which I ate... it came in a small cup instead of a big bowl but he wouldn't eat any of the kid apps.

    For our entrees, I had the shrimp and grits. I never see it reviewed but it was delicious. Shrimp were done perfectly, the grits were done perfectly and every bite was delicious. It even had some lima beans and tiny chopped andouille sausage, each bite with some lima bean (I am not normally a fan but it worked in this and added a nutty texture and flavor with the softer grits) and sausage was pure delight. Kiddo had the kid's steak and he got a few good pieces of what looked like the ends of the tenderloin grilled a perfect medium and a mountain of fries.

    The chocolate wave was delicious but honestly I would have preferred vanilla ice cream and found the raspberry gelato a bit icy. The kid had the cupcake and devoured it so I guess it was ok.

    My pro-tip is go for an early lunch. There is no way you won't get seated near the tank if you ask for it when the restaurant first opens. Our service was just fine, and I find that most service is just fine if you go when a restaurant first opens before things get crazy. oh and if you are a bread person, the sourdough rolls there are to die for, some of the best bread we had on property! They were so good dipped in the soup.
  3. yaksack

    yaksack DIS Veteran

    Jun 13, 2004
    We liked the Coral Reef, but the food was average. We went to see the fish.
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  5. walkaboutcelery

    walkaboutcelery Earning My Ears

    Feb 23, 2015
    Thanks for all of the replies! I think we're going to give it a try. :)
    DopeyDame likes this.
  6. TheRustyScupper

    TheRustyScupper Seeing isn't Believing, Believing is Seeing.

    Aug 8, 2000
    Our Ratings of Coral Reef: (*Rev 10/14/2016*)
    . . . food price value: B
    . . . food quality: C
    . . . food quantity per serving: B
    . . . food prep speed: C
    . . . food selection: B
    . . . seating quantity: B
    . . . seating comfort: C
    . . . eatery atmosphere: C
    . . . eatery convenience: B
    . . . staff friendliness: B
    . . . staff attentiveness: C
    . . . character interaction: n/a

    Our Recommendations:
    . . . appys:... Spinach-Crab Fondue
    . . . entree:.. Grilled New York Strip Steak, Seared Mahi-Mahi
    . . . dessert:. Baileys and Jack Daniel's Mousse

    NOTE1: The Coral Reef is a nice respite from normal dining, as is the wall which is the aquarium. One sees fish and sees divers tending to the fish and tank. Best views are from the second seating level, not right up against the tank. Surprisingly, most seafoods are not good choices.
    The non-fish selections (eg. rubber chicken) are run of the mill or worse. New York Strip and Smashed Potatoes is always a good choice, Tell them to rest steaks before service at the table. Service can be spotty - be prepared for slow waitresses. For those looking for a quiet and romantic outing, this is a place to pass, the high noise level drowns out most conversations.

    NOTE2: As a side point, some people fear a "fishy smell". If the fish is fresh, cooked properly, and the kitchen ventilated well, there is no fish-smell. I have yet to see or experience any such smell at Coral Reef.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017 at 4:32 PM
  7. KrazeeK120

    KrazeeK120 DIS Veteran

    Feb 29, 2012
    I've been there twice and very much enjoyed it both times. Last time, I got the mahi mahi.
  8. SSRFred

    SSRFred DIS Veteran

    Dec 19, 2007
    We were definitely a family that avoided Coral Reef over the years because of the mixed reviews, but I took a trip alone with my DS when he was 9 and I knew he would love the tank. I made the earliest lunch reservation (I think it was 11:30 am), and we were seated right next to the tank. The tank was amazing. I would go back again just for that. My food was good, not great, but solidly good. My DS on the other hand, LOVED his mac n cheese. He said it was the best he's had at WDW (and he's had a lot of mac n cheese at WDW). Definitely give it a try!
  9. DeanDoug

    DeanDoug Mouseketeer

    Mar 20, 2005
    Go to Coral Reef for the experience. There aren't aquariums... just one HUGE aquarium as the 4th wall in the restaurant. Where else can you dine in the presence of sharks, stingrays, and other marine life? If your daughter is excited, go. Will you have the best meal on property? Maybe or maybe not... but the experience is unlike anywhere... dining in front of the largest aquarium in North America!:fish:
  10. biondagirl

    biondagirl Mouseketeer

    Jul 2, 2011
    We went in 2015. We had gone there before we had our kids and loved it, so I couldn't wait to take them. (They were 9 and 12.) They loved the atmosphere but HATED the food. My husband LOVED it. My son is usually adventurous with food, but my daughter likes simple things. There weren't many options for her to choose from, IMO. We won't be going back this year. :)
  11. Mattimation

    Mattimation cartoonifier

    Dec 11, 2016
    I went a few years ago and enjoyed my time there, but I can't remember much beyond the aquarium. The food wasn't amazing, but it also wasn't bad. I loved sitting by the tank to watch all the fish, but I noticed that most of the tables right by the tank are for smaller parties, and that it would probably not be a restaurant I go to on a trip with more than just two people.

    The only thing that really stuck out to me about the service there was that they seemed the most diligent about allergies. When I booked my trip with dining plan I made a note that I have a shellfish allergy, and while every waiter I had on that trip double checked when we sat down, this was the only place where recommendation were made about what I could have, and every time a course was delivered they always said it was shellfish free. I'm sure it's just because this is a seafood restaurant and people would probably think there is shellfish all over the kitchen, and while I've never accidentally gotten something "shell-fished" and don't often even bring up my allergy, I still appreciated that extra step.
  12. TheRustyScupper

    TheRustyScupper Seeing isn't Believing, Believing is Seeing.

    Aug 8, 2000
    Ever wonder if you were watching them, or they were watching you?
    bcarey2k likes this.
  13. 1SickPupe

    1SickPupe Support Our Troops

    Sep 6, 2003
    We don't care for Coral Reef but if you've never been there before I would highly recommend it for the experience. Just don't expect too much from the food and service.
  14. ErinsMommy

    ErinsMommy DIS Veteran

    Apr 20, 2011
    Atmosphere alone puts it at top of the list of places to eat @ Epcot. Food is ok -- nothing special or bad about it.
  15. Anal Annie

    Anal Annie at least I KNOW I'm a kook...I just can't help it

    Dec 8, 2006
    We've only eaten there once and we debated about going back again last weekend one night when we were at Epcot & it was too cold to eat outside but we all agreed that while the food was pretty good the portions were really small for the price paid. So while it's sort of a cool place to eat the value is poor for what you pay....for a kids meal you may be OK but for 3 adults it's overpriced IMO.

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