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REVIEW – The Coral Reef Restaurant in Epcot, Walt Disney World

The moment I found out Disney had a restaurant in The Living Seas Pavilion, I knew I had to try it! From the time I was a little girl, I loved aquariums. Anywhere where I could sit and watch fish, you could count me in! The Coral Reef Restaurant combines two things I love, eating and an incredible aquarium.

Upon entering the restaurant you don’t immediately see the aquarium. I was a little alarmed the first time we walked in and questioned whether I had read something wrong. However, once you’re paged, the host or hostess will lead you towards the dining room and it’s there you finally encounter the fish.

There are three levels of seating, we’ve been seated on the second level each time. If you aren’t seated next to the tank, don’t fret, you’ll still be able to enjoy the ambiance. If you are willing to wait, you can request a table next to the tank, but you will probably have to wait past your ADR (Advanced Dining Reservation)time. On the table is information about the animals you see as you dine. I’ll be honest, each time I spent the majority of the time oogling over the fish. There’s nothing much cooler than seeing a sea turtle slowly pass by as you’re eating dessert. On one occasion there were scuba divers in the tank, they’d come to the window and wave to diners, very entertaining!

The menu has a variety of options, though the focus is seafood. We’ve eaten at The Coral Reef twice, and each time our entrees have been excellent. We love seafood, so that is primarily what we choose anywhere we go to eat. On our most recent visit, we dined there for lunch. For the most part, the menu is exactly the same for lunch as it is for dinner. This is a good thing, because I wanted the exact same dish I had on my first visit, the Seafood Scampi. This dish is a seafood and carb lovers dream. Perfectly cooked pasta serves as a bed for shrimp, scallops and mussels. It’s topped with diced tomatoes and a garlic butter sauce. It is a meal you leave feeling satisfied. The portion size isn’t huge, and I didn’t feel weighed down when I was done. This is important, as both times we ate and went back out into Epcot.

My husband ate (and kindly shared) the Pan-Seared Verlasso Salmon. This was also delicious, my favorite part of this dish was the mushroom risotto, it was incredible. Additionally, a bread basket and butter are also brought to your table. The bread and butter aren’t overly exotic, but it’s good enough that you’ll want seconds.

We have ended our meal the same way each time, with the Chocolate Wave. The chocolate cake is warm and gooey – note it is not a lava cake and warm chocolate does not pour out of the center – no matter how hard I try to make that happen. The cake is complemented with raspberry gelato, the two work well together.

Overall, our experiences at The Coral Reef Restaurant have been very positive! We’ve had great service each time and most recently, our phenomenal waiter charmed our seven month old daughter with a Tinkerbell Glow Cube.

I definitely recommend trying out the Coral Reef Restaurant on your next trip!

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