Horrible Experience at Coral Reef

Discussion in 'Disney Restaurants' started by angierae, May 10, 2010.

  1. angierae

    angierae DIS Veteran

    Mar 4, 2010
    5/6/10 was my husband's birthday, and he really wanted to eat at Coral Reef. The only time we could get in for reservations was for 8:10. We showed up at 8, didn't get seated until 8:25. Okay, that seemed reasonable, they were pretty busy.

    But our service was just awful - the waiter was very chatty, and then would disappear for long periods of time. We told them when we made the reservation that it was my husband's birthday. When the waiter sat us, he said to my daughter "So, it's your birthday?" We pointed out that no, it was my husband's birthday. And then it was never mention again, even though we saw another waitstaff bring a dessert and sing to someone else.

    Every course came out exceedingly slow. Even when we ate at Narcoossee's later in the week, our food came at a better pace. Eventually, we were done with dessert and we didn't see our waiter at all for over 20 minutes. He came and dropped off the bill, and it was ANOTHER 15 minutes and he hadn't come back for our KTTW cards or anything. My husband actually got up and went up to the front desk to ask where our waiter was. He came back while my husband was gone, and my MIL was getting upset at this point. Finally the manager came over and just kept saying "He's working on it, he's working on it" but it was still 10-15 minutes MORE and he still hadn't returned with our paperwork to sign. He finally came back with one of our three cards (six people, three rooms) and the said he had to do the other two.

    At this point my usually incredibly laid back MIL was fit to be tied. We had been done eating for nearly an hour, and still hadn't been able to pay and leave. It was going on 11 and we'd had 8:10 reservations! No other meal all week took this long, including three signature restaurants. Eventually they waived the required 18% gratuity (since we were a party of six) and we got out of there, but it was just AWFUL. Waiting and waiting and waiting and absolutely no acknowledgment of my husband's birthday - the waiter never even said happy birthday to him once he realized it was an adult's birthday and not a child's.

    Every other meal we had last week was fabulous, but dinner at Coral Reef? Absolutely horrible. And everyone I've talked to since then says they had great service there.

    (The food, on the other hand, was wonderful. No complaints there.)

    (Apparently after like 9pm they only had two servers. Granted, the restaurant wasn't super-full, but two servers? Really?)
  2. 68wdwmom

    68wdwmom Mouseketeer

    Jun 21, 2009
    We have had similar bad service at coral reef We have tried it four times and only had good service once .We will not be back Love the food the service is horrid
  3. Avatar


    to hide this advert.
  4. toddd

    toddd Mouseketeer

    Jan 22, 2010
    We ate at the Coral Reef on May 1, 2010. Did not have any of the problems that you describe but I would rate the service at mediocre (not very personable, somewhat slow). We did really enjoy our food although I would say the Chocolate Wave was just okay. This may be a case of too high expectations as we had heard great things about it ahead of time. All in all, we would try it again.
  5. jackskellingtonsgirl

    jackskellingtonsgirl DIS Veteran

    Nov 14, 2004
    Argh! I am already hemming and hawing about keeping or changing our ADR at Coral Reef. I know the last time we ate there it took a solid 2 hours. They never seem to seat on time, and once you are seated it takes a LONG time to finish up and get out.

    I am sorry you had a bad experience. :guilty:
  6. disneydreamer98

    disneydreamer98 Lifelong Disney Lover

    Feb 16, 2005
    Hmmmm...we haven't eaten there in about 5 years and I have it booked for our August trip. Maybe I should rethink this....
  7. KELLY

    KELLY DIS Veteran

    Aug 19, 1999
    We ate a coral reef 2 years ago and that was our experience also. Same wait time around 25 minutes than the service was so slow. We much perfer the garden grill we had a awesome time there last year. Loved the food and the bouns was there were characters. Not so great for a adult birthday but we are returing there again this year.
  8. MariDisney

    MariDisney Queen of the World

    Apr 20, 2004
    OP, your post basically describes every experience we've had at Coral Reef. After several tries, we have vowed not to go back. Sorry you had a bad experience.
  9. princessallegra

    princessallegra They call me Mrs. Disney

    Sep 7, 2007
    This was our same experience :sad2:
  10. keishashadow

    keishashadow Proud Redhead...yes, I have some bananas!

    Dec 30, 2004
    I've never had any service issue @ coral reef, including last Dec.:confused3 although we never dine so late either, experience probably due to just 2 waiters expected to handle the entire restaurant.

    over last few years, most places in WDW seem to be rushing the meal service:headache:to turn the seats over quicker
  11. melissa5583

    melissa5583 Xraygurl83

    Mar 11, 2004
    I'm the exact same way! We have it booked for our Aug trip too, and I'm rethinking. It was good the last time I was there 5 yrs ago, but I haven't heard anything good about it lately!

    ROEDISNEY DIS Veteran My name

    May 30, 2004
    That's a shame we had good food & great service every time we ate here.
    Happy B-day to your DH.
  13. sydneysmom

    sydneysmom DIS Veteran

    Sep 16, 2009
    I'm so sorry you had such a lousy experience ! I truly hope this was a fluke thing .....we've got ressies for Sept at lunch. Since you mentioned the wait to get in, I think we'll plan to be there at least 30 min earlier and see if that helps. :confused3

    I sure wish (hope) that Disney reads these reviews sometimes and thinks about how they can make their service better. I realize the restaurants and parks are busy, but it's your business... it's what you do. And people save their very hard earned money to take these trips. I know we've been saving and planning for 2 years to take our trip in Sept. It's alot of money and I don't think that the restaurants should just assume it's okay if their wait staff give crappy service just because you're in the park so you HAVE to eat there. It's not like you're eating at Denny's or someplace where the prices aren't steep. The prices at Coral Reef are somewhat steep. You're eating there because you CHOOSE to have the experience. Good service should be a part of any good restaurant that takes pride in itself.

    BEASLYBOO 2017, watch out!

    Oct 5, 2007
    I give you all credit for being that patient! That's absolutely ridiculous!In teh 90's Coral Reef was outstanding both in food and service but service can certainly spoil the whole experience.
  15. mama2cli

    mama2cli Earning My Ears

    Jan 22, 2010
    Our experience the first week of April this year was much the same. Out of curiousity, was Bung your waiter? Yes, our service was so bad that we recorded our server's name so that when we return this summer we will request to NOT have him as our server.
  16. MsStinkerBelle

    MsStinkerBelle Hittin' WDW Since Space Mountain was 'Coming Soon'

    Dec 7, 2006
    So sorry to hear about your experience.

    Unfortunately 4 out of the 5 times we've dined there within the past two years I've noticed the waiters at the Coral Reef have two speeds: slow and slower. DD10 and I dine there usually for lunch to have a nice TS without having to go over to the World Showcase. Sometimes there will be a good CM server who unfortunately has to pick up the slack for ones who aren't so good.
  17. ccgirl

    ccgirl DIS Veteran

    Jun 25, 2009
    We ate there that same week; May 3rd to be specific. First we got there and they said they did not have my dinner reservation. Of course, I left my confirmation #'s in the room. I called my friend who was dining with us and she gave me the confirmation #. When I gave it to the desk they said I was already auto checked in (he also stated they were having issues with their computers that night). They asked another CM what that meant and they looked and very rudely said that I messed up and the ressie was for the night before. When my friend showed up; I showed them the itinerary that the BC CL put together for her showing them the ressie was for the 3rd like I said. They finally sat us in the back row. We had a female waitress, I forget her name and don't remember what she looked like as we only saw her once. Service was AWFUL and incredibly slow. No refills on drinks etc. By far the worst meal of the week. WE will not be eating there again!
  18. Tink2312

    Tink2312 <font color=magenta>I didn't ask to be a princess

    Mar 25, 2007
    Worst service we have ever had at WDW was at Coral Reef last trip. The server was downright rude - should have complained to manager but was that bad that we just wanted to get out really.
    Such a shame because great atmosphere other than that. :confused:
  19. maxiesmom

    maxiesmom The Mean Squinty Eye Works

    Jul 6, 2004
    Sorry you had such slow service. I ate there last July, and we had no problems whatsoever. Other than some strange lady that wanted to join our table.:confused:

    I do feel like I need to mention a couple of things. First off, a Disney ADR is not a reservation for a certain time slot. It gets you the next table available for your party size at that time. So 15 minutes past your ADR time is not a big deal at all.

    Second, I know it is disappointing to not have your husbands b-day celebrated by the restaurant, especially when you see that someone else is being made a big deal of, but it is not something they guarantee doing. It is supposed to be an extra bit of magic, and if they did it for eveyone it would not be as magical or special.

    Sorry for your less than stellar experience at the Coral Reef.
  20. n2mm

    n2mm aka WALTSGIRL

    Oct 9, 2000
    We ate at CR 2 weeks ago and had a great meal and great service. However, we generally only do lunch here as it's nice and quiet. We eat here during every trip (6 times a year) and always have great service. We just returned from a 2 week trip and overall we had good service at most of our locations. However, we went to check into LeCellier on our first night and our reservation had been cancelled, not by us. They refused to seat us and could not explain what happened. I was humiliated and very upset. It was not how I had hoped my trip would begin. I had checked all of my ADRs prior to arriving and all was in order. The front desk looked up my reservation and said that it had been cancelled a week earlier. Another great mystery!
  21. cmpdw4me

    cmpdw4me "I'd like to stop people from passing off narrow-m

    May 2, 2010
    No hemming and hawing here girl, I'm in! I've always wanted to try and this trip we will. ;)

Share This Page