This is a restaurant that I have wanted to see in person for quite some time. Finally, during the last visit I was able to make reservations for Coral Reef.
The reason I have wanted to try this restaurant is because of the huge aquarium that is the centerpiece of the restaurant. There are no windows in the Coral Reef dining room, because all the tables have views of the aquarium. Who knows, you might even see some divers in the tank while you are eating!
Coral Reef is located in the Future World section of Epcot. Guests can find it in the same building as The Seas with Nemo & Friends; it’s around the side of the building.
The sea plays a big role in this restaurant. From the menu, to the decor, to the giant aquarium, there is no missing the theme of this restaurant. When you enter the waiting area of Coral Reef you will notice that the door handles are seahorses.
Once you enter there waiting area you will see a lot of blues and greens. It’s meant to make you feel as though you are venturing into the sea. Make sure to check out all the details while you wait for your table.
There is an octopus that has wrapped its tentacles around the front desk, the lights look like plant life that are swaying in the current, and the floor has a wave pattern. It’s a fun theme that is well executed from the entrance of the restaurant to the dining room.
My friend and I were lucky enough to get seated right next to the aquarium, so we had a front row view! Don’t worry if you are seated farther back, all the tables have a good view of the aquarium, because the restaurant has different raised levels that the tables are on.
There are a few different seating options. Near the tank there are tables and chairs that can seat 2-4 people. The seating across from the tank and on the other levels are a combination of chairs and booth seating.
Even the place settings at your table go along with the sea theme. The plates are a pretty blue color that makes you think of the water.
*Tip: If you book your reservation for the time that Coral Reef opens you are more likely to get a table by the aquarium. Show up 10-15 minutes before they open so you are one of the first parties there.
I have always heard mixed reviews about the food at Coral Reef. While it wasn’t the best food I’ve had on Disney World property, I enjoyed my meal very much. Each table gets a basket of bread to start and enjoy while they look over the menu. The bread was nothing special, but it was good.
For appetizers we each ordered a salad. My friend tried the Seasonal House Salad and I tried the Caesar Salad. Both were good and mine came with plenty of shaved parmesan.
For our entrees I ordered the shrimp & grits and my friend ordered the grilled pork chop. We both enjoyed our meal and I would definitely get the shrimp & grits again.
For dessert I tried The Chocolate Wave. This was like a chocolate lava cake (but not as gooey) that you can find at most chain restaurants and it came with raspberry cream (delicious!).
This is what people come to see. The tank is very impressive due to its size and the amount of sea life that is in it. There’s something very relaxing about watching the fish in the tank as you are enjoying your meal. There are many different fish in the tank, including some sharks! The tank has over 4,000 sea creatures in the tank and 85 species of tropical fish. That’s a lot of sea life in one tank! If you’re lucky, you might even get to see a diver or two in the tank while you are eating.
The Cast Members
Every Cast Member that we came in contact with at the restaurant was friendly and helpful. My friend mentioned that she had a sensitivity to dairy and our waitress made sure that there was no dairy in any of her food, she even brought out a special dairy free dessert for her. She was super nice and friendly.
While this restaurant may not have the best food I’ve had on property, it definitely has a great atmosphere. The tank is one of the best features I have seen in a Disney restaurant. It’s unique and very cool. So between the unique atmosphere and the friendly service I think it’s safe to say I’ll be back!
Have you ever been to Coral Reef?
Thanks for reading!
Hi Liz, do you have to eat here in order to see the aquarium?
No, you don’t. Views of the aquarium are available throughout The Seas with Nemo & Friends Pavilion. There’s a few different areas that you can go to and have some nice views of the aquarium. It’s huge, so there’s plenty of space. 🙂
Wow! I am so looking forward to eating there in 12 days. I can not wait
Enjoy Marie! We had a great time when we were there.
My husband and I are divers, and the last three times we have been to Disney World we have signed up for the dive in the tank. We had a wonderful time, and it was very interesting to do. What we did is sign up for the earlier dive (there are two most days), then plan our dinner at Coral Reef in time to catch the next set of divers. We always ask for a seat next to the aquarium. It’s lots of fun. You are right that the food isn’t spectacular, but it is very good. I would recommend the dive for any divers. It’s not a real challenging dive, it’s more relaxing than anything else, but very worth doing.
That sounds like so much fun Randi! Thanks for the tips about diving in the tank. Now I want to take lessons so I can do that. 🙂