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View Full Version : Coral Reef and kids??


BCVNovember
07-24-2003, 04:00 PM
On the wdwig.com site, Coral Reef is listed as being one of the "kid-friendly" restaurants at EPCOT. I have read other threads on the Coral Reef though that indicate it is more "romantic" or an adult place (quiet)? Which is more true?

I think my daughters (3 under the age of 8) would enjoy eating there, but I don't want to take them if it indeed is a quiet, adult atmosphere.

Thanks.

dawgfan
07-24-2003, 04:35 PM
My wife and I went to Epcot without the kids in June for our anniversary. We went to the Coral Reef to eat one afternoon for lunch. This place seems to bridge the gap between adult and kid friendly. The huge tank of fish that "is" the wall at the back wall of the restaurant is a visual show that no kid(or adult/kid) could resist. It will keep them entertained for a while. Try to ask for a seat close to the tank. The trick I think is not to stay here too long. While the tank and fish keep them busy, the effect will not last for an extended period. Get the meal ordered and get to eating. There is a kids menu and th eother entres are very adult and VERY good. You won't have to rush too much but I think you know what I mean. As soon as the "wow" wears off you will be able to get up and leave. It may be a good idea not to go into the Living Seas prior to the restaurant visit and save it for after the meal. That way the fish in the tank will keep the entertainment factor fresh longer. After all, how long can a bunch of fish be exciting to a kid under 8 who must sit in one location to view them. The Living Seas may "fish them out" before the sit down meal has begun.

#1hockeymom
07-24-2003, 04:57 PM
dawgfan gave excellent advice, especially about saving the living seas for after the meal, rather than before.

We ate there the end of June during lunch hours, taking dd17 and ds9. They both loved it. It was ds's restaurant pick of choice for the trip. He was not disappointed. (We let them each chose ANY one restaurant they wanted to eat at. We decided if it would be for dinner/lunch/or appetizers only after we knew their choice). Lunch was very good. Like dawfan said, the adult entrees are very adult and flavorful, the children's menu filled in the gaps nicely for picky eaters. They also have the special glo-cube drinks on the children's menu.

There were many kids there when we were eating. We were against the tank, a requested seat that we waited extra minutes for (but still a short wait). We had a family ask if their kids could come near our table to watch the fish from close up. It wasn't a problem, and their parents called them back after a few minutes. I saw no "melt-downs" while in the Coral Reef. The coolness and darkness from the hot Florida sun also helped, I am sure.

As I believe that all children learn from doing, the Coral Reef would probably be a nice bridge into the "adult" world of dining, with a kid friendly menu and great scenery! Explain the "nice restaurant" rules, make it fun, enjoy your meal!

Debbie

AspiringCindy
07-24-2003, 07:02 PM
We ate at Coral Reef last summer with DDs 9, 8 and 15 months. They all were so entertained by the aquarium. We were seated right next to the aquarium and had an awesome view. Just when the kids started to lose interest, scuba divers came swimming by feeding the fish. Not only was the atmosphere great, but the food was terrific too! Don't forget to try the Chocolate Wave~~~!

Jordan's MOM
07-24-2003, 11:10 PM
I think that it is very kid friendly! Our DS liked it better that his dad or I did when he was about 8 or 9. The fish did keep him entertained and they had the kid menus and crayons too. The drinks for kids have these balancing fish staws and the staff seems to like kids. They were seating families near the tank, and adult couples higher up. Dh and I were not impressed with the food and thought the prices higher than the quality, but it was a wonderful experence that we will repeat, but not too soon.


jordan's mom

BluOrchid2
07-25-2003, 10:12 AM
We were there in December with our 22-mo old daughter, and decided afterwards that it wasn't a place we'd go to again with small children. To us, it had the look and feel of an elegant dining establishment, with candlelight and fancy folded napkins at each place setting, not to mention the food itself was "nouveau"...fancy...very small portions in the middle of a huge, otherwise-empty platter that was your dinner plate. IMO, it's great for a romantic dinner with your SO, but not a great place to take the kids. Yeah, the aquarium is entertaining - for about 10 minutes.

YMMV. :)

ducklite
07-25-2003, 11:03 AM
I think it depends on your kids. Because it's in a park it's definitely kid friendly. But if your kids will have a hard time being still and quiet, this one is a little more leisurely than many others, and you might do better elsewhere for your own peace of mind.

One of my 4YO nephews is a fish. I swear he is. He would watch those fish for 3-4 hours on end if we'd let him! He'd be fine there. My other 4YO nephew--fahgettaboudit! I'd give it fifteen minutes. Maybe.

The atmosphere is serene. Cool colors, indirect lighting, and calming music in the background.

If you're concerned take them for lunch rather than dinner. And thanks for being concerned, I wish more parents felt like you do :)

Anne

BCVNovember
07-25-2003, 11:22 AM
Thanks for all the input. I've decided to hold off on this one until at least the next trip when all the girls will be a little more mature. Frankly my girls are normally well behaved, and I've received many compliments on their public behavior. But I think it will be too quiet for the 2 year old and I don't want to be stressed out the whole time worrying that they are bothering other diners. Too much stress for me and them!

figmentvi
07-25-2003, 11:53 AM
Our children and grandchild had dinner at the Coral Reef and they enjoyed it very much. Of course, Grandma and Grandpa were diving with Mickey in the tank at the time. So there was a little more to "entertain" them. LOL :D :D :D

But when the kids were little, they still enjoyed it a great deal. I think it works well on both the "romantic" and "family" levels.

For a more romantic dinner, I think I would make a PS for a little later in the evening.

ZPT1022
07-25-2003, 12:38 PM
IMHO, it would not be the place I would take kids. Yes it is in a park and yes they will accomodate children, but when DH and I went we were thinking that some of the more upscale, fancier, pricier restaurants would have less children. We were kind of expecting to have a nice quiet relaxed adult dinner and we got instead shrieking children. Not happy shrieks either, but the kind that would make us leave a restaurant with our DD if she behaved like that. We also made a later reservation to try to avoid the kiddies but no luck. I would say that if you did decide to try it with the kids to maybe take an earlier seating? I know I am going to get flamed for this opinion, but keep in mind that it comes from a parent, I am not a "child-hater" by any means, but I just think sometimes there are things that are for the adults only. I know it is WDW and WDW is for families but this would not be a place I would take my DD (who is 2). I HTH and I hope no one takes this the wrong way. :)

ducklite
07-25-2003, 12:53 PM
No complaints from me. I think that adults have the right to expect quiet "adult time". Not sure the Coral reef would be a place I'd go looking for it though, my opinion.

The problem is indifferent or plain stupid parents who either think their children are too precious for words regardless of what they are doing and so must everyone else, or parents who are too rude and ignorant to care about the comfort and safety of others, or parents who are just too overwhelmed to deal with it.

I'm all for a resort to be built that is only for adults, including all amenities, restaurants, and guest rooms and areas. But that's another post on another thread.

Meanwhile what I think WDW really needs to do is this. Have a "code of conduct" at some of the more upscale restaurants.

"Well behaved children are warmly welcomed, however they will also be asked to leave immediately should their behaviour begin to distract other guests from the dining experience that we offer."

This way everyone can be accomodated, but no one will be made to suffer through food throwing, shreiking, running, out of control meltimg down kids.

I visit another resort every year that has this policy in the dining room, and it's wonderful. They seat families with kids in a section seperate from the main dining area, and I have seen them ask a couple with a howling two year old, and another family with very loud younger kids who couldn't sit still a the table to leave. Of course children who can behave still have the opportunity to enjoy fine dining.

Keeps everyone happy.

Anne

MHopkins2
07-25-2003, 02:12 PM
Meanwhile what I think WDW really needs to do is this. Have a "code of conduct" at some of the more upscale restaurants.

"Well behaved children are warmly welcomed, however they will also be asked to leave immediately should their behaviour begin to distract other guests from the dining experience that we offer."

This way everyone can be accomodated, but no one will be made to suffer through food throwing, shreiking, running, out of control meltimg down kids. Couldn't agree more!! Especially if we can add a PS: "Out of control loudmouth adults will be treated as children and subject to the policy above." ;)

K and K's Mommy
07-25-2003, 03:05 PM
We ate here in late April, and my DS 4 and DD 1 loved it! The fish tank mesmerized them while we waited for our food. There were lots of kids in the restaurant, and I didn't witness any bad behavior. I am a teacher so I definitely notice it! We had an early PS (5:15) and got right by the tank. However, my son would say the best part was the peanut butter playdough! He usually shares his food, but he would not with this! That is okay because my DH and I loved the chocolate wave!

If you want to introduce your kids to finer dining, this would be a great way to start. As my grandma used to say, the kids won't learn how to behave at a nice restaurant unless you take them. If mine start to misbehave, they are immediately removed to the parking lot or lobby for a stern talk. The same rules apply to McDonald's as well. Both of mine have enjoyed fine dining since they were babies, and we rarely have problems.

ZPT1022
08-06-2003, 12:33 PM
If mine start to misbehave, they are immediately removed to the parking lot or lobby for a stern talk. The same rules apply to McDonald's as well

That's the approach we've taken as well and so far so good. I am not singling out anyone here but a lot of it comes down to the parents' attitudes and how they deal with things. My cousin falls into the category of people who think their kids can do no wrong, and consequently we don't like to be around her kids. We have expectations for behavior and if they aren't met then we leave wherever we happen to be. It's refreshing to see other parents who share that view. :)

#1hockeymom
08-06-2003, 12:57 PM
From the early years, my children have been taught what is good and bad behavior in public areas (and home!) Now that they are 17 and 10, sometimes I actually wonder what went wrong! Then, when in public, they completely surprise me and are near perfect, making people who have heard the horror stories say "what kids were YOU talking about!" Talk to your kids, teach your kids, they WILL listen! The best part is when you run into a total stranger, who compliments your childrens' behavior. I am joking when I say this, but I've told them later in the car, in privacy, "you're lucky, you get to live today!" Then we talk about the great compliment, together!

Debbie

ZPT1022
08-08-2003, 11:15 PM
The best part is when you run into a total stranger, who compliments your childrens' behavior. I am joking when I say this, but I've told them later in the car, in privacy, "you're lucky, you get to live today!" Then we talk about the great compliment, together!

Okay, LMAO Debbie. That sounds very familiar. DD is only two but we run into people or see people at events, where she is the center of attention and therefore VERY happy and they are like "Wow, she is just the best kid, I bet she never gives you any trouble" HA! :p When we are at home the angel wings come off and the devil horns come out ;) Mostly she is a good kid but currently an only child and also the first grandchild and on 3 out of four sides the only great grandchild. So she is very spoiled. When she was younger DH took a picture of her throwing a tantrum in her playpen since no one believed that she cried or acted up. LOL, yeah right :p It must be some sort of syndrome where (thank god!) they behave in public but the at home follow through is just not there!:rolleyes:

Becky

ceecee
08-09-2003, 05:18 PM
I have to agree it's the parent's attitudes a lot of times that make the difference. I expect my DD to behave in public...whether it's McD's or a nicer place. ANY place that you go you should be able to have an enjoyable meal without listening to unbehaved kids throwing fits. We were at Red Lobster once and these 2 kids were running all over and speaking in outside voices...then they started throwing their food when it was served! All the while the adults carried on a conversation and were totally ignoring the kids. I have to say that it kept DD occuppied by watching them!!! But it was not an enjoyable meal by any means.

#1hockeymom
08-09-2003, 07:30 PM
I love your story ZPT! Thanks for sharing! Ceecee, I agree with you completely! To keep this thread on its topic, I hope you all get a chance to enjoy the Coral Reef! My kids loved it, although they are 17 and 10 now (then again the ten year old has his moments, like five minutes ago! LOL) , but the kids around us were also well behaved and seemed to enjoy the experience. The food was good, DH's mahi was fantastic, and it was an enjoyable meal in a great atmosphere.

Debbie

LKS
08-10-2003, 06:24 PM
We have had lunch there 3 times and I think it's perfectly fine for any age child. I, of course, don't let my kids run up to the aquarium and hang all over the people who are sitting right there, and they've never been ones to scream and yell at a restaurant. That being said, sometimes WE enjoy dinner more if they are in one of the kid's centers since we are always very attentive to their behaviour. We ate at Artist Point and Victoria and Alberts while the kids were at Simba's Clubhouse and the Neverland Club. I would never take them to Victoria and Alberts since they would die of boredom and I do agree that it should be a haven for adults to escape to, but they loved Coral Reef (at 5 and 3, then 6, 3 and 6 months and finally at 10, 8 and 5.) The kids Mahi is the best looking and tasting kid's meal I have ever seen in any restuarant anywhere.