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My husband’s favorite part of being at Disney World is the table service restaurants. So, I always try to please him with our dining reservations. He loves seafood and eats it every chance he gets. I, on the other hand, hate seafood. Several years ago, while planning a trip for just the two of us, I considered booking Coral Reef for Chris. Once I realized they have a steak on the menu, I knew it was a good option for us, so I went with it. We enjoyed it so much that we have since been back several times over the years. This is my review of Coral Reef.
The theme of Coral Reef is, not surprisingly, water. The outside of the restaurant is pretty underwhelming, with just some wavy lines painted in various shades of blue on the walls. However, the decor on the inside takes it up a notch. There are waves and curvy lines everywhere. The tile work throughout the restaurant is amazing. Everything from the blue color of the ceiling to the sandy colored tiles on the bottom part of the walls evokes a feeling of being under water. The focal point of the restaurant is the wall of windows into the pavilion’s aquarium. The rest of the decor, from the tables and carpet to the tiled walls, complements the aquarium views by making you feel as if you are part of the amazing underwater world.
It is quite dark in this restaurant. In fact, it is one of the darkest Disney restaurants I’ve been in. However, this is done intentionally, I think, to improve your views of the fish inside the aquarium. The low light levels always bother me when I am first seated here, but once I start watching the fish, I quickly forget about the lights.
All of the tables at Coral Reef are positioned to face the aquarium. Some of the tables are right up against the glass, giving you an up close and personal view of the fish and divers swimming by. The floor of the restaurant is a stair step pattern, so the tables further away from the aquarium are higher than those that are closer. This gives every table an unobstructed view.
Coral Reef is located in Future World in Epcot. It is on the backside of the Seas pavilion. As you approach the pavilion’s front side, make your way to the right. You will see the sign for Coral Reef on the far right. Keep walking all the way around to the entrance of the restaurant. The walk is not that far. Like Garden Grill, I find that Coral Reef is a very convenient place to eat because of it’s location in Future World.
Many times, we will hop to Epcot from one of the other parks, arriving just in time for dinner. I like that we don’t have to walk all the way to World Showcase to get there. Another benefit to the location is that if you arrive for your reservation a bit early, you can ride The Seas with Nemo and Friends or see Turtle Talk with Crush before dinner.
Coral Reef is open for lunch and dinner. Most of the menu options are seafood. They include mahi mahi, salmon, rainbow trout, and shrimp. However, as I mentioned before, they do have some non-seafood choices. Among other things, they offer a New York strip steak, oven roasted chicken, and pork tenderloin. I almost always get the steak here, and it is always good. Chris usually goes with some type of seafood. He always enjoys his meal, but the last time we ate here, he didn’t like it quite as much as before. The restaurant’s signature dessert is the chocolate wave. Other dessert options are a vanilla panna cotta tart, turtle cheesecake, and Baileys and Jack Daniel’s mousse. I don’t love the desserts at Coral Reef, but that is mainly because I’m not a big chocolate fan. I just think there are better dessert options at some of the other restaurants. The children’s menu offers steak, mac-and-cheese, fish of the day, and pork tenderloin, in addition to the standard chicken tenders. The last time we ate here, Boston thoroughly enjoyed the steak.
As you probably guessed by now, the entertainment at Coral Reef is provided by the marine animals that live in the aquarium. Each table has a fish guide on it to help you identify the various creatures that swim by as you dine. There are so many inhabitants in the tank that you never have a moment without some aquatic animal in view. Many times, there are also divers in the tank as well. They will swim up to the windows and wave at people dining. This is great fun for kids to interact with the divers.
Disney Dining Plan/Cost
Coral Reef is a participant of the Disney Dining Plan. It will cost you 1 table service credit per person. If you are paying out of pocket for your meal, you can expect to pay $15-30 per adult to eat here. I find that this is pretty average on the scale of Disney restaurants when it comes to price. While it is not one of the most expensive places to eat at Disney World, it is one of the more unique places to dine. I like eating here and feel that it is a good use of our dining credits when you factor in the food and atmosphere.
Coral Reef is a seafood restaurant in Epcot’s Future World that also has non-seafood items on its menu. This is a good compromise place to dine if you have some seafood lovers and haters in your group, like we do. The restaurant’s decor and the large windows into the aquarium combine to encompass you in its underwater environment. The food is delicious and is different than you will find at some of the other Disney restaurants. This is one of the restaurants I recommend if you have kids that need to be entertained constantly during dinner. Because of the low lighting in this place, it has a cozy and secluded feel if you are dining without children. However, at the same time, it is also a kid-friendly place. I recommend it, especially if you are looking for a seafood place to eat with kids. I hope you have enjoyed this review of Coral Reef. Happy travels and have a magical day!