Coral Reef?

Discussion in 'Disney Restaurants' started by walkaboutcelery, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. walkaboutcelery

    walkaboutcelery Earning My Ears

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    We're going to WDW first week in April. My daughter (age 9) reaaallly wants to eat at Coral Reef because of the aquariums, but I've been reading really mixed reviews.... I'm hearing is mediocre at best and sometimes the service is bad. We have DDP. Any insight on this one?
     
  2. DopeyDame

    DopeyDame DIS Veteran

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    It's one of our absolute favorites. I know it gets mediocre reviews, but we've never had a bad experience. Sometimes the service is a little slow, but that's one of the reasons we love it - it's a great relaxing break to the day.
     
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  3. walkaboutcelery

    walkaboutcelery Earning My Ears

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    What is your favorite thing to get there?
     
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  5. disneylove16

    disneylove16 Mouseketeer

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    I love DisBoards for the mixed advice and opinions I get. But, I can't tell you how many times DH and I have said "I'm glad we didn't cancel based on something we read". Everyone has different taste and different opinions. Heck, we went to Sci-Fi on our first trip b/c everyone seemed to love it, and we thought it was terrible. We're still glad we tried it for ourselves though, b/c now we know for ourselves. We do listen to the reviews, and maybe go in with lowered expectations, but I think people are quicker to voice their complaints than to write a review about it being good. The first time we went to Coral Reef in 2010 we had a great meal. After reading the mixed reviews before our last trip in August, I was back and forth about cancelling. We kept our ADR, and it was one of our top 3 meals on our trip. I'm not saying that's everyone's experience, but I think you should try it. Especially if your daughter is that excited for the restaurant. :goodvibes

    ETA: I got the Verlasso Salmon, and it was delicious. DH got the NY Strip Steak, and said it was second only to Raglan Road.
     
  6. gmboy95

    gmboy95 Go Patriots!!!!! DVC Gold

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    yeah....this was a one and done for us....way overpriced, not great food...and after you get over the novelty of eating next to a fish tank....meh
     
  7. gmboy95

    gmboy95 Go Patriots!!!!! DVC Gold

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    That should be the mantra for everyone on these boards....never avoid things based on what is said here, experience it for yourself.....the only exception i would say is when something is universally panned (see jungle book thing that replaced rivers of light last summer)
     
  8. walkaboutcelery

    walkaboutcelery Earning My Ears

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    She really is excited about it! Her favorite park is EPCOT or as she calls it, "EPACOT". I was thinking they would enjoy something like Garden Grill better, but since she really wants to go there and now that I've heard from at least a couple of people who like it, we will probably keep our ADR. We're celebrating my son's 4th birthday by going to the crystal palace in MK on the 1st... I would like her to feel like she got to choose one herself.
     
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  9. sleepydog25

    sleepydog25 Been here awhile

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    Most restaurants will get "mixed" reviews if you look hard enough. Coral Reef has its share of negative reviews, but as others have said, never go/don't go based on others' opinions. Find out for yourself. Look at the menu to see if there are any items you would enjoy, and if so, then do it. Our most recent trip to CR was excellent. The service was good, if a bit harried (because it is a popular place and there can be quite a buzz given how many kids want to see the aquarium--and adults, too; however, it was more than adequate and the server was very friendly. The food was mostly very good including the charbroiled octopus (an easy dish to ruin, they nailed it that evening), the mahi-mahi (and I'm not usually a fan of that fish), as well as the seared rainbow trout. As another mentioned, we rarely go to a restaurant expecting to be "wowed." We do expect solid service, food, and ambiance, and then we adjust from there. I say give CR a shot.
     
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  10. Mickeycrocs

    Mickeycrocs Mouseketeer

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    One and done for us as well. We got seated in the very back of the restaurant, the tanks are only at the front. The food was simply not good and had a long wait even with reservation and slow servers.
     
  11. eventamy

    eventamy DIS Veteran

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    This was exactly our experience as well. I say go for it though. I also don't like to let other people make up my mind for me. BUT, I would do everything in my power to make sure I got near the tanks because the food does not make it worth it. I bet being next to the tanks would be really cool! I'm not wasting my "Eating Around the World" time or room in my stomach on a sit down meal though with all the good food in Epcot! ;)
     
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  12. MrPTato

    MrPTato DIS Veteran

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    We loved it last time we went...the view was amazing and the NY Strip steak I had was very good. My wife for a fish dish (don't remember which) and she liked hers as well.
     
  13. piccolopat

    piccolopat DIS Veteran

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    We've enjoyed Coral Reef every time we've gone. Over the years, the menu has gotten a bit less varied but we really liked the charbroiled octopus and the mahi mahi the last two times we went. The deserts are also quite good. We've sat up front next to the tanks and in the front row of the top tier. We prefer the top tier because we see all of the tanks, not just the one we're seated in front of. We also had problems sitting next to the tank when some families allowed their children to leave their tables and push by us to get to the tank. It's kind of hard enjoying your meal with someone else's kids hanging on the back of your chair.
     
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  14. GillianP1301

    GillianP1301 DIS Veteran

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    We love Coral Reef. The aquarium view is amazing. We don't eat seafood, so I can only comment on the steak, which has always been good for me. Not the best you'll ever have, but still very good. Their Chocolate Wave dessert is one of my very favourite on property.
     
  15. loves to dive

    loves to dive DIS Veteran

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    I agree with everyone to not let bad reviews sway you. If you want to go, go and if it's not great, at least you know. I would caution you to make sure she understands there is a possibility you won't get a seat at the tank. I'd hate for her to think that is a guarantee. Also, as other's have mentioned, be aware if you do get a seat at the tank, there is a good possibility you are going to have people crowding you looking into the tanks. I've never eaten there but we have been diving in the tanks a number of times and one of my favorite things to do and wave and blow kisses to the kids. They love it and it keeps me occupied.
     
  16. Pmlocke

    Pmlocke Peter Locke

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    We eat there every year and have never had bad food or bad service. I know people like to complain but you will have to take a chance for yourself. If I stayed away from every dining spot, hotel or ride based on bad reviews I would have no where to stay, nothing to eat and no rides to go on.
     
  17. magicalcouple

    magicalcouple DIS Veteran

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    I, for one, LOVE the Coral Reef. It's a must do for me most of our vacations- even if I go alone! I love the lobster bisque and I love the chocolate wave dessert. Each visit I try to get those two things and a different main course- it's a lot of eating but it's not every day I can go to Disney and eat so I don't hold back. I think the experience is lovely, if maybe a little loud, and a good place to go at least once for the experience!
     
  18. prprincess

    prprincess DIS Veteran

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    If you really want to try it, definitely do so. I'd wanted to try it for years, and we finally did in August while on the dining plan. My boys loved the atmosphere and had fun looking for all the fish listed on the guide even though we didn't sit near the tank walls. Our server was sweet as can be, but yes, service was a little lacking. The food wasn't great, but it wasn't horrible either.
     
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  19. Lily13

    Lily13 Earning My Ears

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    We loved Coral Reef when we went in Oct. We asked if we could be seated next to the tank and they said they could accomodate us, but we would have to wait. We didn't have to wait that long and we were seated right next to the tank. Our server was wonderful, and was able to offer suggestions on things to try on the menu. He even told me that if I didn't like my meal, he would get me something else, no problem! I loved my meal and we were very happy we tried CR!
     
  20. Nancyg56

    Nancyg56 DIS Veteran

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    I would need more than mixed reviews to skip a restaurant. My family has been several times and have liked it. Some times are better than others, but that happens everywhere. I would give it a try, see for yourself. I knwo that with children this restaurant would be a must for us.
     
  21. DIShawn

    DIShawn Earning My Ears

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    We went there last February and thought the food was great. I had the shrimp and grits and was presently surprised. There were a husband and wife older Asian couple as the servers for like half of the restaurant and they were super nice to everyone and very attentative. Gave off a very family vibe and atmosphere. I hope they are still there! We have an ADR for early March when we head back.

    All that being said, there are a ton of options at Epcot. If your DD is set on Coral Reef to see the tanks I think you'll have a good (not amazing) meal and experience. I think it's worth going to at least once, but everybody's taste in food at atmosphere is different.

    Note: First post, please be kind :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
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