Coral Reef Question

Discussion in 'Disney Restaurants' started by AmyLand98, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. AmyLand98

    AmyLand98 Mouseketeer

    Oct 8, 2009
    On our trip in February 2013 we were planning on eating at Coral Reef. While we have been to WDW many times we have never eaten there. We usually eat in the countries but my DS (age 12) wanted to try Coral Reef. My concern is...I have read a lot of bad things about this restaurant. Is the food bad or what is bad about it? For those that have been there before, would you go back? Thanks for your help!!
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  3. DW2010

    DW2010 DIS Veteran

    Dec 31, 2009
    I won't be going back. First, it smelled slightly fishy. That's the first thing I noticed. It just went downhill from there. Our food arrived cold, but I could tell that even if it was hot, it still wouldn't have been very good. The service was very slow and just not very personable. BUT, your experience could be the total opposite. You should try for yourself. There have been bad reviews about 'Ohana but it was mine and Dh's favorite meal in 2010. Like I tell my DD, you'll never know if you like it until you try it :).
  4. LJSquishy

    LJSquishy DIS Veteran

    Sep 12, 2011
    My husband and I ate there in Feb of 2012. While it wasn't our best meal, it certainly wasn't bad at all.

    I think most people's biggest complaint is that service is slow. You will most likely be seated 10-15 minutes late, and it continues on from there. If you aren't rushed, you will be fine.

    We had the Mahi-Mahi and it was delicious! I had heard here on Disboards that it was one of the better dishes and we both thoroughly enjoyed it. For dessert, we had the Jack & Bailey's Mousse which was WOW (if you love those flavors)! We were so incredibly stuffed after dinner but I made myself eat the mousse because I had looked forward to it so much!

    Only a very small percentage of the tables are up against the aquarium wall. The atmosphere is really neat throughout the restaurant, though. The tables are on 2 or 3 tiers...we were the farthest from the aquarium wall but could see just fine. If you aren't seated at the aquarium wall, please do not allow your son to walk up to it. I doubt at his age he would anyway, but the tables are so close together along the aquarium wall that it would actually disturb those trying to eat their meal. All of the seats in the restaurant allow a nice view!

    We were on the DDP so I don't remember prices really, but I think it is probably overpriced for what it is...depending on what you order I suppose. If it is your son's #1 choice, I think you should go for it. It has a neat theme.
  5. JetsetJAK

    JetsetJAK Mouseketeer

    Jan 8, 2012
    I ate at Coral Reef with my family in 2010 (5 adults and 2 kids) and we had a great experience. In fact, my trip coming up in a couple weeks, I'm the only one of us 5 going who have ever been to WDW, and our opening night dinner is at Coral Reef based on how good I said it was (they're all big seafood fans). I was kinda freaked out when I started reading the negative reviews, thinking maybe my experience was a fluke? :confused3
  6. guitarob

    guitarob Polynesian Obsessed

    Sep 5, 2006
    We liked the Coral Reef well enough, we ate there for lunch on our last trip. The atmosphere and service were great. I had the Lobster Ravioli, it was pretty good.

    I have a bunch of photos of the restaurant and food here:

    I think we pretty much decided that if we ate there again, we'd try different meals.
  7. cajunprincess

    cajunprincess DIS Veteran

    Feb 26, 2009
    We would go back but mainly for the atmosphere. My food (ravioli) was just ok, my DH didn't like mine at all. While my DH loved his and I did as well. If I went back, I would avoid the ravioli but otherwise, I would be excited about going there again!
  8. MagicalMawMaw

    MagicalMawMaw DIS Veteran

    Sep 30, 2009
    We eat here for lunch on every one of our trips to Disney.

    This is my DH's only request eveytime. He likes eating by the tanks & watching the is a relaxing place to eat & enjoy some down time.

    We've always liked our food too & usually order something different each time.

    Lots of folks dislike it but we've never had any complaints at all & love eating here.
  9. Ro Z

    Ro Z DIS Veteran

    May 22, 2010
    DS and my fav dinner is the chicken, sub mash for spaetzle. The service is slow sometimes especially getting the check. But we keep going back time after time! Love it. I have never smelled anything fishy or otherwise. And I dont eat fish so that would be a big turn off! Last time it was DS and DDILs choice for anniversary dinner and we got a table right next to the tank. It was great except for the kid who thought he was gonna join us. He actually crossed his arms and leaned on our table. We had to tell him we were gonna eat now and he had to go back to his table! :confused3 Some parents just dont get it!
  10. lovemy3girls

    lovemy3girls DIS Veteran

    Jul 14, 2005
    We ate here a couple of years ago. Food- average, atmosphere- really cool!, service-terrible! We waited on hour past our reservation time. We won't be back
  11. jenjie

    jenjie DIS Veteran

    Mar 1, 2003
    We were just there. We liked it. Here is my dining report.
  12. Pakey

    Pakey <img src=

    Aug 29, 2007
    I have dined here many times starting way before the dining plan up to our last time there in 2011.

    This was a place really hurt by the dining plan. It started as a signature but fell in between so it was lowered to 1 credit and soon enough, the good and unique dishes were removed to keep the pricing in line. Today's menu is a far cry from what it was 15 years ago.

    There are some decent dishes and some bad ones. The children's menu is pretty bad. Service is consistently slow; an early lunch has proven to be better than the dinners.

    With all of that, I still think its a place to try once to make up your own mind. The decor is fantastic, a true Disney experience. Pick a time when you aren't rushed to be somewhere and try not to be bothered by late seating and slow service.
  13. floridagirl61

    floridagirl61 Mouseketeer

    Jun 28, 2012
    We ate here and really enjoyed ourselves. We had the lobster ravioli, the mahi mahi, and the steak. We thought it was good. We also had the chocolate wave for dessert. Our waitress was great. We even received a complimentary bottle of champagne as it was our anniversary:cool1: Here are a couple of pics for you.



  14. Brocktoon

    Brocktoon 21st Century Schizoid Man

    May 5, 2006
    It's been YEARS since I've done a meal at Coral Reef. We decided to give it a shot in for our upcoming trip in Oct as a change of pace. It seems like all the restaurants have thier share of good and bad reviews, so I'm just sticking with the ADR.
  15. longrf01

    longrf01 Mouseketeer

    Nov 8, 2011
    I get down to WDW about 5 times a year and usually eat at CR 2-3 times each visit. The rest of the family and I really like it. One persons slow service is another persons leisurely / un-rushed meal.
  16. sydsmom1997

    sydsmom1997 Mouseketeer

    Oct 5, 2011
    We ate their 2 weeks ago, and while I wouldn't classify it as "bad", I don't think that we will return. I had the lobster pasta. It was just okay. It was basically like a macaroni and cheese with very few hunks of lobster in it. We were on the dining plan. If we hadn't been it would have been a $30 dish, and it definitely was not worth that. My husband had the mahi mahi and loved it! The service was slow and seemed rather impersonal. For dessert I had the key lime mousse with roasted pineapple and mango sauce. I would not recommend it. It was very odd and the flavors conflicted with each other. The chocolate wave is very good though.

    I think every one is very different in what they expect. If you feel that you want to try it, then you should do it and form your own opinion. There are many restaurants that we enjoy that are not reviewed very highly.
  17. Fueledbycoffee

    Fueledbycoffee Mouseketeer

    Aug 13, 2012
    I would recommend you try it... We went in May 2011. DS 12 & DD 7 loved it! The adults thought it was good & a nice casual meal.
  18. carlaewalter

    carlaewalter Earning My Ears

    Oct 19, 2011
    Thanks for asking this. We have an ADR in November, and I was wondering the same. We're going mainly for atmosphere though to keep the kids entertained;)
  19. x5x5x5x5x5

    x5x5x5x5x5 Finally figured out how to do this...

    Nov 15, 2000
    Ahhhh, the Coral Reef. I'm not sure I've experienced another restaurant at WDW that is less consistent. We had great meals and we've had terrible ones. I would keep your expectations low and you'll be fine. The atmosphere is fabulous - and truly it doesn't really matter where you are seated. I would say that the atmosphere has made up for even the worst meal experience we've had there (well, maybe with the exception of the one where the waiter blatantly made fun of my question about one of the salads - that was a weird one) . . . but I digress. The place can get crowded and loud so try to eat early or late (if you can).
  20. DisneyFive

    DisneyFive When is the 3:00 parade?

    Jun 16, 2011
    We love Coral Reef. The environment is excellent.

    I highly recommend the fish dishes, which have been great. The Chef's sustainable catch and the Mahi Mahi are both very good.

  21. forever11709

    forever11709 Mouseketeer

    Jan 15, 2011
    I will never go back to coral reef, we went last July and the food was bland, and our server was horrible, I almost tipped her nothing but instead gave her 5 dollars on a 100 dollar meal. I saved my receipt, and wrote to Disney and told them about the experience. The atmosphere is soooo cool in there but if I'm paying 100 dollars for a meal I shouldn't have to track my server down to get a refill on my drink. Luckily we were there with a FD pin, but still as someone in the hospitality industry i know that the food costs money somewhere, I'm just happy it wasn't coming out of my pocket at this restaurant.

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