Review: Lunch at Electric Umbrella in Epcot’s Future World

WOO HOO!!! We’re back at the Electric Umbrella in Epcot’s Future World!

Too much? Okay — I get it. It can be hard to muster up a ton of enthusiasm for the ol’ Umbrella. That’s not so much because of anything specifically wrong with it, per se.

But when your neighbors include counter service options like Katsura Grill, Tangierine Cafe, and Sommerfest just to name a few…well, the more standard options available at Electric Umbrella can pale in comparison. Even if you pit it against fellow Future World counter service option Sunshine Seasons, it’s gonna seem ho-hum.

But we’ve got to give some credit where it’s due. Over the past few years, the menu at Electric Umbrella has seen more changes than many other spots. Some have been successful (French Dip Burger!), and some not so much (Mac and Cheese Burger). In other words, there’s been some innovation here. (You might even call it innovention. ;-) )

The Electric Umbrella

The Electric Umbrella

Since our last meal here, there have been even more menu updates. So clearly, it was time for another visit. [Read more…]

Our Favorite Epcot Restaurants

We are big fans of Epcot around here, just like you are. It may not be the original Disney World Park, but it holds a charm that few other spots in the Disney universe can. After all, walking around there feels like  you’ve stepped into the dreams of Walt Disney himself. It didn’t start life as the Experimental Prototype City Of Tomorrow for nothing!

Epcot!!!

Epcot!!!

The park has evolved a bit through the years, but we’re still enchanted by its dual personalities: Future World, celebrating technology and the promise of what’s to come; and World Showcase, which encourages visitors to embrace cultures from around the globe in order to learn from them. [Read more…]

Review: Chip N’ Dale’s NEW Harvest Feast Breakfast at Epcot’s Garden Grill

Are you ready to start your day with Chip & Dale (along with a few more Disney pals) at Epcot’s Garden Grill?!

That’s right! Garden Grill, Disney World’s only rotating restaurant, has been serving dinner only for a while now. But on November 8th, TWO new meals joined the lineup: Garden Grill now serves up breakfast AND lunch, in addition to dinner! (This, by the way, brings the total of Character Breakfasts in Epcot to two, with the Norway Pavilion’s Akershus Royal Banquet Hall offering the other option with Princess Storybook Dining. Characters are now at both restaurants for every meal.)

The menu for the new lunch addition nearly duplicates that of Chip ’N’ Dale’s Harvest Feast for dinner. But breakfast is all-new, operating each day from 8:00 to 10:30 am.

We can’t wait to dig in! And we’ve got a few friends who would like to say “Good Morning” to you, too…

Chip

Chip

But let’s take a look around first. And, as always with the Garden Grill, I do mean AROUND… [Read more…]

Better-For-You Snack Options in Epcot

Looking for a quick stop at Epcot with better-for-you options? That’s what you’ll find at this brightly-colored kiosk just outside The Land Pavilion in Future World (home of Soarin’, Living with the Land, and – of course – Garden Grill and Sunshine Seasons).

Better-for-you Snack Kiosk outside The Land

Better-for-you Snack Kiosk outside The Land

Better-for-you treats (healthy stuff!) can be located at a few spots throughout [Read more…]

Review: Sunshine Seasons at Epcot’s The Land Pavilion

We are heading into a guest-favorite spot in Epcot to grab a quick lunch — Sunshine Seasons!

So, if you haven’t been to Disney World yet, let me assure you that Sunshine Seasons deserves a moment of your time. It doesn’t look like much, but this counter-service location in The Land pavilion features some unique, fresh items as well as a treasure trove of bakery treats that are not to be missed.

Atmosphere

Have you ever visited The Land Pavilion in Epcot’s [Read more…]

Review: New French Dip Burger at Epcot’s Electric Umbrella

Truth: it’s not very often that I visit Epcot’s Electric Umbrella in Future World.

From time to time, it’s  been known to debut something unique, but other than that, the regular items don’t hold a ton of appeal when compared with so many crave-worthy hits around World Showcase. However, they’ve switched up the menu here a bit recently, so it’s time to check it out and see how the new items fare.

But first, I should mention that there is potential for this to be the scene when you hit Electric Umbrella around dinner time while everyone else is tasting their way around World Showcase during the Food and Wine Festival

Electric Umbrella outdoor sign

Electric Umbrella outdoor sign

Outdoor seating at Electric Umbrella

Empty outdoor seating at Electric Umbrella

View of the Fountains

View of the Fountains

Not bad!

The last time we headed to Electric Umbrella to check out a new burger was when the Macaroni and Cheese Burger arrived on the scene. That one didn’t make the cut for the updated menu (and it definitely wasn’t my favorite). Neither did the Meatball Sub, though the fan favorite Vegetarian Flatbread remains.

Now you’ll find a Sausage and Pepper Sandwich (Italian sausage, peppers, onions, and tomato, topped with Provolone cheese), and a Veggie Naan Wich (broccoli slaw and edamame topped with tofu wasabi dressing).  I found the Veggie Naan Wich of interest because that brings the vegetarian options to two — which doesn’t sound very impressive until you consider that there are only five spotlight items on this menu.

Electric Umbrella menu

Electric Umbrella menu

But having tried the previous version of an “Extreme” burger at the Electric Umbrella, I just had to get the final new item on the menu: the French Dip Burger.

French Dip Burger

French Dip Burger

Of course, it comes with fries.

Fries on the side

Fries on the side

This Angus burger is topped with brisket and crispy onions, and a slice of Muenster cheese is [Read more…]

Review: New Macaroni and Cheese Burger at Epcot’s Electric Umbrella

Welcome DFB reader and author Wendy with a review of the NEW Macaroni and Cheese Burger. Venture to Epcot’s Electric Umbrella in Future World for a bite of comfort food!

Okay, I confess… I’ve passed by Electric Umbrella in Epcot’s Future World on my way to grab some fish & chips at the United Kingdom Pavilion’s Yorkshire County Fish Shop in World Showcase many, many times.

But I heard a rumor about something new on the menu that piqued my interest and made it a must-visit.

Burgers? Mac and Cheese? What’s not to love? We had to try it!

Electric Umbrella Sign

Electric Umbrella Sign

This futuristic counter service restaurant is much-maligned, but we’ve actually had a few good experiences here in recent visits. And I was really looking forward to what might happen on this stop in.

Upon receiving my order, I chose this great table between the cheerful – and, yes, electric — umbrellas…

Electric Umbrellas!

Electric Umbrellas!

Table at the window

Table at the window

… and the window facing the fountains. This is a great spot when it’s 9 bajillion degrees outside but you still want to watch the fountains dance.

Dancing Fountain

Dancing Fountain

After getting situated, it was time to dig in!

Allow me to introduce you to… The Macaroni & Cheese Burger.

Mac and Cheese Burger

Mac and Cheese Burger

Another confession: I came to this item with a bias. I’m a HUGE fan of the [Read more…]

Review: Electric Umbrella at Epcot

You may have run right by it dozens of times in a rush to get those all-important Soarin’ Fast Passes or en route to World Showcase for something more exotic.

But if you’re starving (or have picky, non-experimental eaters to feed), that neon sign over the Electric Umbrella in Epcot can be a very welcome sight.

But should you keep walking? Or is there anything of interest here? It had been a while since we had last taken in a lunch at the Future World counter service stop, so I thought it was time to pop in and see if I could find anything new! (Oh, and please forgive any fuzzy pictures; I was using a new camera lens and I couldn’t quite get the hang of it! ;-D)

Atmosphere

Located adjacent to both the Innoventions Fountains and Mouse Gear, you can’t miss this restaurant. It anchors the plaza in Epcot’s Future World to the left, as you peer toward World Showcase.

Outside View and Patio Seating

There is a ton of shaded seating here, so finding a table and a place to take a break is rarely a problem. And inside, you’ll find a fun, futuristic, neon-weather vibe. This is early Epcot at its best, IMHO.

Neon Sign

Weather Motif and Theming

And of course, true to the name of the restaurant, you’ll find “electric umbrellas” in bright, primary colors lighting up the inside. (If you are a late 70’s early 80’s baby, you are required to love this.)

Electric Umbrellas!

Now, should you seek seating that’s a bit quieter than that outside or underneath the giant umbrellas, here’s a feature that many people don’t even know about: [Read more…]

Review: Epcot’s Garden Grill Restaurant

Based on a previous guest review of this restaurant, I couldn’t wait to go try it out!

Now, to be fair, it’s not as though I’d never been to the Garden Grill Restaurant before… Well, that’s not entirely true. Before this visit, I hadn’t been to the current incarnation of the restaurant. In fact, back in the 80’s, I went to The Land Grille Room, which was what the restaurant was called before its renovation into the Garden Grill Restaurant. (Check out my friend Andy’s creation of a recipe from The Land Grille Room here!

Born as the Good Turn Restaurant and then morphed into The Land Grille Room, this restaurant has had many personalities (my memories include dark red booths and full-blown sculptures of Mickey Mouse made out of butter). Today, it’s a family-style character dinner featuring Chip, Dale, Mickey, and Pluto!

Garden Grill

Atmosphere

Perhaps the most impressive attribute boasted by Garden Grill is that it’s a rotating restaurant. That’s right — you go around in circles while you’re eating!

But don’t worry; this isn’t as though you’re having dinner on the Teacups. The restaurant rotates s-l-o-w-l-y during your meal, allowing views of the different scenes from the Living With the Land ride taking place below the restaurant.

There are two seating styles in the restaurant, and…listen up — it makes a BIG difference where you sit. I know I’m picky about seating, but in this case, I strongly suggest that you request a semi-circular booth on the lower level of the restaurant.

Seating

This isn’t just for comfort’s sake (though the cushioned booths ARE more comfortable than the hard chairs at the tables). The booths give you an unobstructed view of the scenes you’re passing by from the ride below, and the high backs also [Read more…]

2-for-1 Tip from The DFB Mini-Guide to Epcot Snacks

As many of you know, we just launched our brand new e-Book — The DFB Mini-Guide to Epcot Snacks! And today I’m thrilled to highlight another great snack tip from the e-Book! Remember, you can get your copy for $2 off this week only — head over to http://dfbminiguides.com/epcotsnacks and use code EPCOT for the discount!

Today, we’re taking a look at one of Disney’s best throwback snacks — a Hand-Scooped Ice Cream Float at Epcot’s Fountain View Cafe!

Hand-Scooped Ice Cream Float Prep in Epcot

While this snack will only set you back one Disney Dining Plan snack credit (or $4.39 if you’re paying out of pocket), you’re actually getting [Read more…]