My family of 4 spent $158 on dinner at Coral Reef in Disney World, and we ate next to sharks and fish

plate of salmon and receipt from coral reef restaurant epcot
My family ate at Epcot's Coral Reef.Jill Robbins
  • My family of four ate dinner at Epcot's Coral Reef Restaurant in Disney World.

  • The menu is small but has enough to please most palates, and it's fun to sit next to the aquarium.

  • Our meal cost $158, which is relatively affordable by Disney standards.

Coral Reef Restaurant is tucked in the corner of Epcot's Future World and is easy to miss.

exterior shot of coral reef restaurant in epcot
The restaurant is next to the "Finding Nemo" ride.Jill Robbins

Coral Reef Restaurant is located in Epcot's Future World — in the same building as The Seas With Nemo and Friends ride.

It's kind of tucked away in the corner, so the restaurant is easy to miss if you're not looking for it.

I think it's underrated, but possibly just because park visitors don't know it exists.

Getting a table is fairly easy.

the host stand at coral reef restaurant in epcot
You can make a reservation or try the walk-up feature on the mobile app.Jill Robbins

We saw open reservations on the My Disney Experience app several times during the weeks leading up to our vacation. We also saw it as a walk-up option when searching the app from inside the parks.

Coral Reef isn't new or trendy — although when Epcot finishes its current remodeling around the Future World section, it might attract more foot traffic.

We dined at around 6 p.m. on a Tuesday night during spring break. The park was crowded, but the tables at Coral Reef were about half full.

I highly recommend requesting a table next to the aquarium.

an interior shot of the dining room at coral reef restaurant in epcot disney world
There's a giant fish tank in the middle of the dining room.Jill Robbins

The entry hallway is filled with shimmering tiles and colorful shell light fixtures, which gives guests the feeling of walking into the ocean.

The split-level dining room faces one of the aquariums from The Seas With Nemo and Friends, giving this restaurant an under-the-sea vibe. We could see sharks and fish swimming from our upper-level table, but we'd have enjoyed a more immersive experience if we'd sat closer to the aquarium.

Requesting a table beside the aquarium means a longer wait unless you get lucky, but with most entrées priced around or over $30, you'll want to get as much out of the unique atmosphere as possible.

The restaurant has a small but varied menu.

shrimp and grits from coral reef restaurant in epcot
Everyone was able to find something they liked.Jill Robbins

There are six entrée selections, four appetizers, and four desserts on the menu.

The server also brought us basic rolls and butter to start our meal, which were good but nothing spectacular.

Although we didn't order an appetizer, our neighboring table had a shrimp cocktail ($16). It looked delicious, but I saw there were only four pieces of shrimp, so I'm not sure it'd be worth it for the price.

For our entrées, my husband had the prime rib with loaded mashed potatoes ($36), my oldest and I both had shrimp and grits ($32), and my youngest had the seared sustainable salmon with risotto ($29).

We all enjoyed our meals, and we opted for a shared dessert at the end.

prime rib from coral reef restaurant in disney world
My husband ordered the prime rib.Jill Robbins

The unique take on shrimp and grits I ordered was topped with succotash and andouille sausage. It wasn't overly spicy, and there was enough shrimp to justify the price.

The 10-ounce prime rib was tender. I thought it looked and tasted more like a rib eye, but my husband wasn't disappointed and loved the loaded mash.

My pickiest eater had the salmon, which was served on a bed of risotto with tender microgreens. It had enough flavor to save it from being bland, but it was still simple enough to please someone without adventurous taste buds.

My kids also ordered a soft drink ($5.49), and my husband and I each had a beer ($10.50 and $9.00).

Instead of springing for appetizers, the four of us decided to split the key-lime tart ($9) for dessert. It had a good balance of tart and sweet, and the EARidescent shimmers were fun.

For a total of $158, we found the food tasty and the service great.

key lime pie tart at coral reef restaurant in epcot disney world
We split a dessert to finish off the meal.Jill Robbins

Our total bill was $158 — excluding the tip but including a 10% discount on our food because we're Disney Vacation Club members.

From the host who greeted us to our table waitstaff, everyone was extra welcoming and friendly.

We arrived late for our reservation due to a longer-than-anticipated queue over at Remy's Ratatouille Adventure, and we were frazzled and tired. But we were instantly put at ease when our server got our food out quickly, seemingly because he knew we were extra hungry.

Everyone in my family was able to find something they liked, but if you're a parent of a picky eater, there's no macaroni and cheese or chicken nuggets here. Kid's selections include grilled fish, steak, chicken, or shrimp.

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