View Full Version : Coral Reef Restaurant

02-28-2007, 07:11 PM
Can anyone share any info, experiences and food quality regarding the Coral Reef Restaurant? I have a reservation in April but I am hearing many mixed opinions so I am considering canceling. Any input is appreciated.



02-28-2007, 07:46 PM
We have only gone once, back in September. We really enjoyed our meals. We had a great seat and had a good view of the aquarium. We have planned to eat lunch there this weekend on our trip.

karen l
02-28-2007, 07:53 PM
We had Easter dinner there in 2006 & really enjoyed it. Lobster soup, shrimp cocktail, Caesar salad were some of the apps we ordered. They were very good. Entrees - NY steak, chicken, prime rib & Mahi Mahi also all very good.
Dessert - Chocolate Wave!!! Delicious. Can't wait - we're going back this April.:goodvibes

02-28-2007, 07:57 PM
Don't cancel! It is well worth the trip! If you can, request a table on the bottom level, up close to the big windows to the aquarium - our kids (6 and 4) LOVE this place - the food has always been really good - and the watching the fish/turtles/sharks/stingrays and the divers who come in and out of the tank is so much fun!

02-28-2007, 08:40 PM
Guess I will be the first to post a negative review of Coral Reef. We ate there for the first time in May of last year. We were all looking forward to it since most in my party (3 of 4) absolutely love seafood.

My son was the only one who didn't like seafood, but I had checked the menu previously, and knew there would be plenty of other things for him to eat.

When we arrived for our ADR we had to wait almost 40 minutes to be seated. I thought the restaurant was really loud, and there were a ton of very small children there who were not having a good time (probably because the service was slow, and they were likely very hungry) Also the smell of fish was really overwhelming.

I was immediately put off by our server who went on and on with a very snotty attitude about how great this restaurant was, and how we wouldn't find any better seafood in the Disney complex, and that when famous people come to Disney, this is the only place they eat.

But I was also excited, because if what he said was true then we were in for a GREAT meal!!

Well the meals were mediocre at best. Maybe I am a seafood snob living in the coastal area of Massachusetts, but the Mahi Mahi was very bland, and the steaks were jusy ok. The Lobster Bisque was good however.

The portions were small, and the service was VERY slow. At the end of our meal my son wasn't feeling so good, so I took him outside to wait while my friend and daughter waited to get the check. I was outside waiting for almost 25 minutes.

I just thought for the prices $$$ it was not a good dining experience. It was enough to make me not want to give it another try.

02-28-2007, 08:45 PM
Good Friday will will be eating at Coral Reef for lunch.

We all enjoyed Coral Reef this past June.

Check out their menu

02-28-2007, 09:26 PM
We just dined here Sunday night and had a less than wonderful dining experience. The only food that was worth bragging maybe a little about would be my daughter's Prime Rib. It was decent. Everything else was horrible, including our waiter. When we first sat down, he mentioned a couple of specials, after he returned with our drinks we asked him to repeat them he said they didn't have any specials...huh:confused3 ??? We were very confused, needless to say. Also, we never did get our bread. We had to ask for it, and finally he brought it at the very end of our meal. We definitely will not be returning to the Coral Reef, that's for sure. Oh... and I should mention that the restrooms, at least the women's, was filthy.

02-28-2007, 09:37 PM
The atmosphere was wonderful... We ate there last August.. My food as well as my son's was over cooked.. Hard fish is not a good thing.. I would have sent it back but I think our server was new because he didn't come back for quite awhile... Now friends of ours was there the same night and absolutely love their food and server... I believe its hit or miss.. I am going again in August. We do have adr's for Coal Reef during this trip too.. I'm not throwing in the towel... I have to give a place at least 2 trys before I call it quits..

02-28-2007, 09:40 PM
I wasn't thrilled with the entree I had here...the shrimp pasta...yucko! Everything else was great...DF liked the steak.

I was glad that we tried CR...I wouldn't go back.

02-28-2007, 10:05 PM
We went in Sept and had a great time. Our server was wonderful (advised against the Shrimp Pasta). DH ordered some wine and really didn't like it but didn't say anything. Our server realized he didn't like it and brought him a different wine. Certainly he did not have to do that. No complaints about our food and dd loved the "fish" carrot sticks. It's a beautiful restaurant and even if you don't get a front row seat, the view is good from all over.

While we had a great time, someone else probably didn't. But you should go where you want - don't pick and choose based on others opinion.

03-01-2007, 03:19 PM
We always have lunch at Coral Reef on the days we are at Epcot. Always. That means we eat there twice each year. We love being near the glass to see the fish but you can also see them fairly well from the middle level in the restaurant. We have reservations to go again in April and will have them for December as soon as I can make them.

03-01-2007, 03:24 PM
It was our favorite meal last July! We are doing DS's 5th b-day there this year w/ a diver holding a sign & a Mickey cake. Can't wait! We thought the food was GREAT!

drag n' fly
03-01-2007, 03:25 PM
It amazes me how people's experience varies. We had dinner at Coral Reef on Valentine's Day and it was fantastic. The service was outstanding, the food was very good!

03-01-2007, 03:43 PM
I'll have to qualify my report w/ 2 notes:
1) hubby and I are not seafood fans but we wanted to try out Coral Reef for the atmosphere
2) this was several years ago....

1st seating for lunch so 11am? we were right next to the aquarium which was being cleaned so no view just murky water. Hubby asked about non fish menu items - there were none available this early in the day. Waiter got snotty when we declined to order wine (neither of us drink much, a margarita at a Jimmy Buffett show once a year about covers it)

I ordered grilled Mahi Mahi, Tim ordered shrimp? pasta ( I think)> my fish arrived burned on one side, no cooking marks on the other side and was mainly raw. Tim's pasta stank:scared1: . We asked for a manager, 20 minutes later he asked us what our problem was? we indicted the plates - to be fair he looked taken back and asked what we wanted to do. We just wanted out w/out owing for anything. He did send a $25 gift certificate to our room later that day but needless to say we haven't been back:rotfl:

I still toy with going to try it again but I have to admit it's not a high priority

03-01-2007, 09:22 PM
We love it. It is a must do for DD9. The portion sizes are not standard American chain restaurant. They are what you would expect in an upscale restaurant. We have always enjoyed our meals but we have gone on off hours in the past. We are doing our Christmas Eve Dinner this year ...if I can get a ADR.:dance3:

03-01-2007, 09:38 PM
I have ADR for Coral Reef on our Epcot night. We won't be expecting haute cuisine, but is the food ok??? I really like Mahi Mahi, should I order? Or should we stick with beef and just enjoy the aquarium??

Only one month until WDW!!!!

03-02-2007, 01:37 PM
For years I've wanted to try Coral Reef...but just hadn't for one reason or another. We finally ate there in December. It was our WORST meal of the entire 10 day trip. I had made the ADR for our last evening too, b/c I thought it would be a great, special meal for us to end our trip with.

We waited for about 50 minutes past our ADR-we never waited more than 5 minutes for any other ADR the entire trip. The menu choices were "blah" we were surprised at the un-creative seafood offerings. The seafood offerings didn't even seem very appealing-but we had our minds set on seafood, and my husband had ordered prime rib or steak pretty much everywhere else this trip-so he got the seafood pasta. OMG!::eek: I'm sooo glad I didn't order that-it smelled gross and it was just plain yuck. I didn't see an entree that appealed to me, so I got 3 appetizers: the bisque(ok/good)crab claws(good)seafood souffle-the single most worst thing I think I've ever had at a restaurant. It was gross looking-a white clump of something that looked like it had been plopped out of a catfood can. As if that wasn't bad enough-it tasted sooo gross! I'm wondering if it WAS catfood????:confused: I only could manage to eat a few bites of it. We salvaged the evening by sharing a chocolate wave-very good. I wish that we just ordered that! We were not on the dining plan-we thought the food was WAYYY overpriced for what we got. From what I've been reading about Coral Reef-perhaps we would have been better off ordering beef. But we didn't go to a seafood restaurant to have prime rib!

Our waiter. He was ok. He seemed more interested in pushing us into getting some wine.

Atmosphere-very cool. The fish tank-neat. Some divers were around. One diver had a "will you marry me?" sign and we witnessed a couple get engaged.

I agree with a PP-bathroom was dirty-the worst public bathroom I saw all trip, I think.

The worst part-within an hour of leaving the restaurant I was sick for the next 12 hours-I do believe it was something I ate.:sad1:

the Fidge
03-02-2007, 04:30 PM
HI heres my 2cents! OK DH hates seafood, I lvoe seafood, DS on the fence for some seafood.

OK I had ordered the bisque, DH ordered the salad no dressing. OK my bisque no wow factor, and the watier was distrubed that we were not drinkers and went with soda. Brought DH salad with dressing.

Forgot about us for some time, when dinner arrived DH asked for a baked potato, not there! My catfish was great.

DS loved his dinner had something from the kids menu.

DH never got his potato and we ordered dessert and coffee I had tea. DH thought the waiter had it in for him poor guy. He remebered DH cheesecake which he enjoyed. Rembered my tea forgot DH's coffee.

Needless to say DH was fuming ! He suggested that tihs guy right his order down what a mess!

We left DS and I had good food. DH was very cranky!

Heres the joke, DS is having his birthday dinner there, OMG!! I called and spoke to manager and told her what happened. SHe has aussred me I will not have the same experience this time!

Keep your fingers crossed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!..................Will report back after our April trip and start praying now!!!!


MY SON LOVED THIS PLACE hehehhe...wondering if he has it in for his Dad!!!

03-02-2007, 04:37 PM

Well there goes my decision out the door for supper. Was going to try the shrimp pasta and will now not:scared1: I guess it will be the prime rib or the steak. I don't mind burned steak as long as I don't see red it is okay. Dh will likely go for the prime rib now too.:confused3 :confused3 Reservations next Thursday and am now scared to death.

03-02-2007, 04:49 PM
I'm hoping someone will post a good experience. We are going there in August w/a group of 13. Only a few are actually seafood eaters so we're really only going for the ambiance. We arranged for the divers as we are celebrating a 50th wedding anniversary.

03-02-2007, 04:57 PM
Totally dreadful food and service and so expensive. When you think of all the lovely places to eat in world showcase,much rather eat anywhere else.

03-02-2007, 05:01 PM
We were there 3 weeks ago and ate there twice during the same week. Once for dinner and once for lunch. Dinner was loud and chaotic. We had an OK server who seemed completely overwhelmed. I got the shrimp pasta (I didn't see the warnings) I won't get it again. The shrimp were good, but pasta not so good. The bread was wonderful as ever. Hubby likes seafood and so far has tried every fish on the menu and has only had good things to say, so he's happy. I had the prime rib in October and it was good too. Our lunch had to be the best. We had a wonderful server (name Riley). He was so attentive. Our glasses were never empty. He made suggestions and even helped me with my camera so I could take a picture of the turtle. I have realized lunch is much better than dinner here. Lunch is quieter and more relaxed. I wasn't too hungry, but we had 2 TS to us so had to eat something. I had the ceasar salad with fried scallops (had it before and it was good). It was just as good as before. Hubby had a fish dish and was happy. I had the crab claws and they are good too (though a small portion). We had smoothies and I had the choc. wave and both times it was wonderful. Hubby probably had the pineapple cake and enjoyed too. We have no problem dining here again and have ressies for our April trip for 2 different nights. The night we ate there it was crazy busy and a family kept arguing with the managers because they wanted to be at the glass and they were a party of 6 and the manager kept telling them no. So the woman went over to a table and just sat there and won't move. It was all pretty entertaining. We kept waiting for security to come, but finally they let her sit there, but the rest of her party had to sit elsewhere. She was so obnoxious it took away from the evening for us, as we were the table next to them and had to witness everything.

03-02-2007, 05:09 PM
We really loved it! Outstanding food, service, atmosphere. Very fast. Only had to wait 3 minutes for table. We didn't sit by the tank, but had great view from the middle section.

03-03-2007, 06:09 PM
strange how much people's experiences vary at this particular restaurant. I wonder if it's improved recently.
My son wants to do the scuba dive in the tank there. Would be fun to watch him and have a piece of pineapple cake. I wouldn't touch the dreadful cold fish lunch again though

03-03-2007, 07:19 PM
I have always had a good experience. My DBF and I ate there over December and it was one of our favorites (right up there with Le Cellier). We enjoyed it so much we are going back in July. I had the mahi mahi and it was really good. The lobster bisque was super yummy and the chocolate wave is sooooooooooooooooooooo amazing. I think my bf had the steak and he liked it. Anyways I really like the atmosphere, my only complaint was that we did have to wait a while and there was only two of us. But this was right before Christmas....

03-03-2007, 10:09 PM
We went two years ago on the dining plan (and back then it was 2 TS) and loved it. I had the steak, and my daughter had pasta off the children's menu. We were seated right by the tank, but it is a small restaurant, and it does not look like any seat would be bad. We are definitely planning on doing it again on our next trip. I'd say give it a try.:goodvibes

03-03-2007, 10:39 PM
We had dinner there in early Feb. and really enjoyed it. We waited about 15 minutes after our ADR time for our table. We weren't on the DDP and for this place, really wished we had been (would have really liked to have appetizers and not split dessert as the entree portions were a bit small). We were seated right next to the aquarium which was awesome. Our waitress (Leah) was very good even though she was clearly quite busy. In fact, our DS2.5 formed a bit of a crush on her and when we told her this, she spent a little extra time "flirting" with him. DH and I shared our meals - the mahi mahi and the blackened catfish. The mahi mahi was ok, the sauce a bit sweet for both of us. The catfish was excellent and spicy and the pepper jack grits were delicious. DS's kids meal was perfect for him - chicken pizza, apple slices, and carrots. He loves fruit and veggies and ate these all up. He even ate half of the pizza - this is A LOT of food for him to eat so he must have liked it! The chocolate wave was so, so good (and I am not a huge chocolate fan)! We will definitely go back, but hopefully on the DDP.

Bashful in TN
03-03-2007, 10:42 PM
DH and I ate there last September. DH had the lobster bisque, prime rib, and pineapple upside down cake. I had the lobster bisque, blackened catfish and chocolate wave. Everything was delicious. Our server was wonderful and gave us great recommendations. We were seated next to the tank and thought the atmosphere was great although a little noisy. It was one of the highlights of our trip and we are planning to eat there again on our next trip (whenever that may be).

03-04-2007, 08:28 AM
DH and I had dinner here last month, and it was so good. I was wondering, beause I've seen the bad reviews too, but it was great. Just remember that people are going to have different experiences at any given restaurant. If it looks like something you want to do, try it and see for yourself. I posted a detailed review on the dining reviews board, I can find the link for you if you want to read it.

03-04-2007, 11:14 AM
My family really loved the Coral Reef restaurant when we went in Sept. of 2005. We are planning on going back there this June and taking my in-laws with us. My DH and I really enjoyed the Lobster Soup and the Mahi Mahi. The chocolate lava cake is to die for. Our 2 children (DD3 and DD6) loved the fact that you can watch all the different kinds of fish while eating. They gave them a special place mat that showed them all the different fish in the fish tank. They made a game out of it trying to find all of them, it really passed the time until dinner came. I would really recommend this restaurant to anyone who doesn't mind to splurge on vacation, it is a little pricey but with the setting, service, and awesome food, it is well worth it.

03-04-2007, 02:33 PM
How is it for non-seafood eaters? My sister can't eat seafood and we were thinking of eating here.


03-04-2007, 04:10 PM
They have a NY strip steak, Prime Rib, Grilled Chicken Breast and if your sister is a vegetarian they have a Vegetable Strudel. I have not tried neither one of these items, but I have heard the Prime Rib is really good there. If you would like to see their menu go to (can't post links yet so please bear with me) www dot allearsnet dot com forwardslash menu and there you can see all the different menus for all over Disney World. That is where I got my information.

03-04-2007, 04:39 PM
We ate there on Dec. 26, 2006 for the Candlelight Dinner Processional package.

We thought the appetizers and entrees were okay, but it was the desserts that make this place excellent! DD14 had the pineapple upside down cake for dessert and just said "OOOOOOOOH, it was SOOOOOO delicious." I cannot say enough wonderful things about the chocolate wave too. It was by far the best dessert I've ever had. I drool over it every time I see pictures of it here on the DIS.

The views of the aquarium were wonderful also. It was fun watching the scuba divers and seeing the various animals.

We were not 100% thrilled with the appetizer choices and the entrees were as good as other dis restaurants, but the views of the aquarium and the desserts make it worth a one-time visit - IMHO.

03-11-2007, 05:26 PM
There are 3 of us, dh would like to try the Ahi, ds wants the Mahi Mahi, so I thought I would try the catfish, never had grits before in my life!!! LOL.

Anyone have these recently? We have dinner there on April 2!!!

03-11-2007, 07:09 PM
We went there last March and loved it. Got in within a few minutes of our ADR for lunch, seated right up next to the glass. My son adored that!
We ordered the chicken and it was very good, moist and flavorful. My son ordered the Pasta & Cheese - don't know if they have that any more with the kids menus changing, but I hope so...he wants to go back for that! The waiter was very attentive, the room was dim light and quiet. They even gave us a souvenir menu with Happy Anniversary written on it (it was our Silver Anniversary - the trip was a present to each other). All in all, I really enjoyed it and would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone. We are planning to go back (hopefully soon!) and it will be on our list!
I had heard lots of criticism about it as well, so it may be hit and miss, but I wanted to see that aquarium! Perhaps the first seating for lunch, when they had just opened was the reason it went so well. We weren't rushed, he wasn't miffed that we did not order wine, and understood that we were too full for dessert (altho next time, I will make sure to leave room!).