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…]

Sunshine Seasons Strawberry Shortcake: A “Best Snack Value” in Epcot

As you know, we’ve just released our brand new The DFB Mini-Guide to Epcot Snacks, and we’ve got a special tip from the book today!

As many of you know, it can be difficult to decide how to get the best value with your Disney Dining Plan snack credits or vacation dollars while in Walt Disney World. And while you can get a Mickey Bar anywhere, some guests want a more unique treat.

Here’s where we com in! When visiting Epcot, Sunshine Seasons in The Land pavilion is a convenient location in Future World for a great snack. The restaurant is located downstairs — just steps from Soarin’ — and offers dozens of market-fresh treats and meals. One of our very favorites is this Strawberry Shortcake, which has quickly reached cult favorite status for repeat Disney guests!

Sunshine Seasons Strawberry Shortcake

Smooth, creamy whipped cream, decadent vanilla shortcake, and fresh strawberries make this snack an incredible value for the dollar — and it’s [Read more…]

Grand Launch: Disney Food Blog Mini-Guide to Epcot Snacks e-Book

We are absolutely thrilled to announce the Grand Launch of the Disney Food Blog Mini-Guide to Epcot Snacks e-Book! And to celebrate, we’re offering a $2 discount this week only! Use code EPCOT at check-out!

Based on reader requests, we’ve created a detailed snack guide to help you find the best eats (and treats!) in Walt Disney World’s Epcot. You’ll see some of your old favorites as well as some snacks that you might have missed. We’ve kept most of the snacks in the $1-5 range, but there are a few big spenders in there. (Yep, that turkey leg is gonna cost you!)

The Disney Food Blog Mini-Guide to Epcot Snacks e-Book

The DFB Mini-Guide to Epcot Snacks e-Book is the fourth in our Disney Food Blog mini-guide series, created to supplement our massive Disney Food Blog Guide to Walt Disney World Dining e-Book. Here you’ll find in-depth information, photos, and reviews about classic and new-to-you Epcot snacks — in great detail!

Why Epcot snacks? Because you said so! :-) With the enthusiastic response to our DFB Mini-Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks e-Book and the outpouring of emails asking for an Epcot version, we figured this would be the perfect next step. It’s no secret that some of our favorite snacks are in Epcot!

How Do I Get One?

There is absolutely no waiting to satisfy your snack cravings! This mini-guide is an instantly downloadable PDF guide with over 180 pages of information and advice on over 150 delicious snacks that you can savor in Disney World’s Epcot. Download your copy right now, and start planning!

Don’t Miss Out on the Best Snacks in Epcot!

This mini-guide is guaranteed to help you better plan your snacks and treats in Epcot, or your money back — we all know that treats in Epcot are just as important as a FastPass for Soarin!

The DFB Mini-Guide to Epcot Snacks e-Book includes: [Read more…]

Guest Review: Coral Reef Restaurant

We’re welcoming back guest author Melissa Sue Sorrells Galley with a review of the Coral Reef Restaurant — and she gives it high marks! Take it away, Melissa!

My husband, Rob, and I headed to Coral Reef in early December during our first night in Disney World. After a long day of traveling and touring Hollywood Studios, a dark, undersea meal seemed like just what the doctor would have ordered (if the doctor was a fellow Disney fanatic).

We’d made our Advanced Dining Reservation six months in advance like good Disney diners; and we were there celebrating our “honeymooniversary,” which is a completely made up word we’ve been using to justify going to Disney World each December.

Coral Reef’s exterior signage may be hard to find, but it’s worth looking

Atmosphere

Coral Reef may be a bit hard to find, but once you know where to look, it’s as clear as day. As you walk toward the entrance to ride The Seas with Nemo and Friends (one of my favorites), hang a right on the walkway that seems to lead to nowhere. After a few moments, you’ll see the Coral Reef sign and, if you keep walking, the entrance to this undersea adventure in Disney dining.

The entrance is a gateway to the worlds of Ariel and Nemo

Once you enter through the wave-inspired door, using the seahorse pull handle, you’re in a fully-themed underwater atmosphere, complete with [Read more…]

Snack Series: Guava Cream Cheese Cupcake at Epcot’s Sunshine Seasons

We found another awesome new cupcake to share with you! (Well, we found three awesome new cupcakes to share with you, but we’ll focus on this one for today…)

Sunshine Seasons in the Land pavilion of Epcot’s Future World is a quick-service restaurant with ample seating and a large, varied menu. It’s a favorite of DFB readers (and me!), and often wins the top spot when it comes to beloved counter-service restaurants!

It deserves this honor, too! There are plenty of options on the menu, including fresh and unique items. Choose from one of five varied menus!

Epcot's Sunshine Seasons

Sunshine Seasons Menus -- click for larger image

On my visit last week, though, I headed straight for the Bakery area! I’d heard from a few DFB readers about the new Guava Cream Cheese Cupcake, and I knew I had to try it!

When I got to the bakery case, this lovely item was staring (literally — kind of looks like an eye, doesn’t it?) back at me!

Guava Cream Cheese Cupcake

The cupcake is only available here at Sunshine Seasons — a unique addition to this fun location’s menu!

The cake is moist vanilla — very rich for a vanilla cake, in fact. On top is a mound of light cream cheese frosting (when I say “light,” I don’t mean low-calorie — it just had a more [Read more…]