View Full Version : Coral Reef versus the "Aquarium" Restaurants

11-20-2010, 09:26 AM
I'm from the Houston area, and we have two restaurants here called "The Aquarium" where you dine next to large aquariums (They're owned by Landry's just like Rain Forest Cafe). I've recently snagged a lunch ADR at the Coral Reef, but I've also got a dinner ADR at Akershus that night. I will be cancelling one ADR. I have two boys, so princesses are not really their thing, but they've also eaten several times at the Aquarium restaurants here in town. For anyone who's been to both Coral Reef and the Aquarium restaurants, how do the two compare? Is Coral Reef way cooler or are they both about the same? Here's a link to the Auqarium restaurants in case you want to try and compare without having visited one: http://www.aquariumrestaurants.com/ Thanks for any input. --Katie

11-20-2010, 09:48 AM
I've never been to one of the Aquarium restaurants, but from the look of the website, it far exceeds Coral Reef, both in menu and atmosphere.
We ate at Coral Reef on our recent trip, the food was good but the menu is too limited, and if you don't sit adjacent to the aquarium it's easy to forget it's even there.

11-20-2010, 09:54 AM
if the food is similiar to T-Rex than the Coral Reef is much better

11-20-2010, 04:37 PM
I've been to all three.

The fish tanks at the Aquarium are large and impressive, but cannot really compete with the Seas fish tank, as you might expect. The dining room of the Coral Reef is much more focused on the fish tank than at the Aquarium, and I think is rather less kitschy as well.

Food at both seems comparable in quality, but somewhat less expensive at the Aquarium.

But the entrance staircase spiralling around the two-story fish tank at the Aquarium is a nice, festive and unique touch.

If you are eating at the Coral Reef just to see the fish tank, you can get much better views from the attraction itself.

11-20-2010, 09:32 PM
Thanks for the input, guys. I'm still undecided as to which ADR to keep. Maybe I'll sleep on it! --Katie

11-22-2010, 02:29 PM
I am not a huge fan of the Aquariums, either downtown or Kemah, as far as menu goes (they are a perennial 'birthday dinner' favorite among the kids in our life), but they still blow the socks off of Coral Reef. The interior of Coral Reef is nowhere nearly as interesting as the Aquariums, and the food is uninteresting - and lacking in seafood options... Their steaks are okay (Coral Reef's), but really, there are better steaks on WDW property too.

I'd keep Akershus (for the "different" factor and the character interaction).

11-22-2010, 02:37 PM
We have a Landry's restaurant inside Denver's aquarium too and we think CR is extremely similar in atmosphere and food quality; so similar, in fact, that we're not eating there this trip though we've enjoyed our CR meals in the past ... all in the name of keeping it to "Disney exclusive" experiences when eating at themed or character meals.