Review: Lunch at Epcot’s Sunshine Seasons

Sunshine Seasons is a beloved quick service lunch spot, and with cheerful decor and tons of menu options — including some healthier for you choices — it’s easy to see why.

Plus, it’s located in the Land Pavilion in Epcot’s Future World at Walt Disney World — and every WDW fan knows that’s the spot to ride Soarin’ and Living with the Land. So, you know, you’ll be there anyway. Why not score some good eats?

And good eats they’ve got! We’ve long celebrated the dessert case here, where you can snag such sweet beauties as the Strawberry Shortcake and the Mickey Oreo Cheesecake (which is as adorable as it is yummy). And now the Rose Gold Minnie Ears Cupcake, of course!

The savory options here are awesome, too, with some of the food growing right in the Land’s greenhouses showing up on the menus. One of the things we appreciate most about Sunshine Seasons is that the menu offers a lot of non-standard quick service items. Spicy Fish Tacos and Mongolian Beef are crowd pleasers, and guests with various food preferences and needs will find plenty of options here, too.

Epcot's Sunshine Seasons

Epcot’s Sunshine Seasons

It’s time to let the sun shine in!

Atmosphere

Sunshine Seasons can’t be missed — literally. It’s the center of the Land Pavilion and features soarin’ ceilings, bright swaths of fabric, and massive floating globes (in the spirit of hot air balloons). You’ll look down onto the seating area as you make your way down to the lower level (where you find entrances to those rides we mentioned).

Sunshine Seasons from Above

Sunshine Seasons from Above

If you’re looking for Garden Grill and its super fun character meal, that’s on the top level across from the pavilion’s entrance (you’ll look straight over the open area below).

But everything else you’re looking for is on the lower level. When you arrive on the lower level, you’ll enter Sunshine Seasons’ ordering area and be greeted by a large menu board. This will give you an overview of the various food stations — including Sandwiches, Asian Noodles, Soup & Salad, and The Grill (and let’s not forget The Bakery!).

Sunshine Seasons Menus -- click for larger image

Sunshine Seasons Menus — click for larger image

Each ordering area also features an illuminated menu board above the station. And you can see the prepared food and on-going food prep here as well. Trays are located beneath each station so you don’t have to juggle your cupcakes and your rotisserie chicken.

Sunshine Seasons Asian Cuisine Station

Sunshine Seasons Asian Cuisine Station

There are also grab-and-go stations and designated Kid Zones where the littles can grab their sides and drinks.

Bottled Drinks

Bottled Drinks

Kids Meals Beverages and Sides

Kids Meals Beverages and Sides

Across from the food stations is a long beverage area. You’ll select your beverage before heading to the check out.

Beverage Area

Beverage Area

But, y’all, don’t miss the dessert cases. We insist. Some are grab-and-go and some are behind the glass. There are winners in both locations, so peruse and choose.

Grab and Go Desserts

Grab and Go Desserts

Desserts!

Desserts!

If you’re looking for the Rose Gold Minnie Ears Cupcake, this is where you’ll find it. (We all want to look at her again, so…)

Rose Gold Ears Cupcake

Rose Gold Ears Cupcake

When you’ve made your selections, head to the check-out, where you’ll find a few more grab-and-go options as well.

Check-out

Check-out

You’ll pass utensils, napkins, and condiments on the way to the seating areas, each of which has sort of an amoebic shape and a low wall encircling it. These seating areas are best seen in their entirety from above. They’re packed with tables and chairs (with some booths along the wall). This is fairly extensive, and it’s typically not too difficult to find a table.

(Here’s a bit of trivia: the different sections are themed to different seasons, so check the table design to see which section you’re sitting in!)

Sunshine Seasons at The Land pavilion in Epcot

Sunshine Seasons at The Land pavilion in Epcot

During busy meal times, Sunshine Seasons will be hoppin’. It’s a fun and cheerful place to eat — so let’s dig in!

Eats

On this visit I ordered a Reuben. This classic sandwich featured layers of Corned Beef, Swiss Cheese, Sauerkraut, and Russian Dressing. The fillings are grilled between great Crusty Bread.

Reuben Sandwich

Reuben Sandwich

This was so good. Satisfying and exactly what a Reuben should be. The cheese was melted, the corned beef deliciously salty, and the bread perfectly crisp. This is definitely a solid option for a diner who’s after classic eats. But note that this is pre-made, so unless you’re willing to wait a LONG time, you won’t be able to get one customized to your tastes.

Reuben

Reuben

Next up, I tried a guest favorite. The Slow-Roasted Pork was substantial. Covered in house-made BBQ sauce, it definitely made an impact on the plate.

Slow-Roasted Pork with BBQ Sauce

Slow-Roasted Pork with BBQ Sauce

The pork itself was delicious; tons of flavor. But that sauce? Holy vinegar, Batman! It was so strong, this was hard to get down. I don’t know if this was a bad batch or of this is the standard level of vinegar in the BBQ sauce, but it was way too much for my taste. It was all I could smell for about an hour after being there!

Slow-Roasted Pork with BBQ Sauce

Slow-Roasted Pork with BBQ Sauce

The sides for the Slow-Roasted Pork are sort of cafeteria-style: a big scoop of Mashed Potatoes (meh) and a piece of Corn on the Cob. But for a picky eater, these would be fine. But if you ARE a picky eater, or choosing a meal for such a person, get that BBQ sauce on the side.

Sides with Slow-Roasted Pork

Sides with Slow-Roasted Pork

So maybe we can’t say everything on the menu here is spectacular, but Sunshine Seasons is doing quick service just about as well as anywhere else in terms of selection and diversity of options. And we really appreciate that. Plus the desserts are not to be missed. I mean…

Flower Pot Cupcake

Flower Pot Cupcake

Nosh or Not?

Sunshine Seasons is for you if: 

  • You are looking for a quick service spot with tons of options.
  • You’re planning to spend some time in the Land Pavilion and want a convenient meal.
  • Desserts are an important part of your breakfast, lunch, and dinner plans.
  • You’re seeking vegetarian or healthier-for-you choices.

Get your sunshine somewhere else if: 

  • You want to enjoy some of Epcot’s fantastic table service options in World Showcase instead.
  • You don’t plan on spending much time in the Land Pavilion.
  • You prefer to eat somewhere with more standard theme park food.

Overall

Sunshine Seasons is a terrific place to grab a quick meal or a sweet treat during your Epcot visit. It’s super convenient if you’re already in the area, and the options are diverse and tasty (for the most part!). Plus, it’s really fun, bright, and relaxed — just as your vacation should be!

If you want to see why Sunshine Seasons is one of our favorite spots to grab Vegetarian or Vegan grub, check out our YouTube video!


Is Sunshine Seasons a must do for you? Let us know what you love in the comments below! 

News!! Rose Gold Ears Cupcake Has Arrived at Epcot’s Sunshine Seasons

Just in case you haven’t heard about the mayhem surrounding Rose Gold Minnie Mouse Ears in Disney Parks (on both coasts!), here’s the skinny…

Rose Gold Minnie Ears!

Rose Gold Minnie Ears!

The minute Rose Gold Minnie Ears hit Disney Parks merchandise locations, the shops could not — and still can not — keep them on the shelves! Folks spent time hovering online waiting for updates about their return and scarfing them up in numbers. You could say they’re kindofa BIG DEAL. [Read more…]

Review: Flower Pot Cupcake and Ursula Cupcake — Available through October 31 in Epcot

Today, I bring you a Tale of Two Cupcakes.

One wonderful, the other… not so much (as in REALLY not so much). You can find them both at Sunshine Seasons in the Land Pavilion at Epcot.

Sunshine Seasons is a much-beloved quick service spot where guests rave about the variety of options, the use of ingredients from the neighboring Living With The Land, and the desserts. You already know how we feel about the Strawberry Shortcake here. And the seasonal Apple Crisp. And the Mickey Oreo Cheesecake.

The list truly goes on and on — mostly because Sunshine Seasons’ Cast Members go out of their way to create unique treats that represent the seasons and celebrations of Epcot. And we’re always game to try their newest creations.

But, well, allow me to tell the Tale of Two Cupcakes. I’ll begin with the bad news first because I believe it’s always better just to get it over with. The Ursula Cupcake at Sunshine Seasons is… gross.

Ursula Cupcake

Ursula Cupcake

The “black mirror” lacquered glaze on the outside is Ursula-approved, I’m sure. The fondant scroll for Ariel’s contract is a cute touch (although we can see Ariel has printed her name, not so much signed it). On top is Ursula’s shell necklace — also the tool used to capture Ariel’s lovely singing voice — and more tentacle-y fondant touches. [Read more…]

Review: Lemon Berry Mousse Cake at Epcot’s Sunshine Seasons

Sunshine Seasons sure is putting the emphasis on seasons these days.

We took major notice two years ago when the Warm Peanut Butter Brownie came straight from nowhere to completely wow us. In the time it took us to fall smack dab in love, we also found out it was a “seasonal” item, which may or may not be there on the next visit.

Of course, we’ve seen plenty of seasonally rotating options in the practically famous Sunshine Seasons bakery case. Now, here’s why you need to keep an eye out: some seasonal items are labeled as such. Take, for instance, the Warm Apple Crisp, which was simply labeled “Seasonal Dessert” in the case. Others, though, just seem to appear with the change of… well, the seasons!

And the Lemon Berry Mousse Cake, which we’re sharing with you today, heralds the fruity flavors of spring and summer in a somewhat unexpected fashion.

Even tucked in among longtime crowd favorites like the Carrot Cake Cupcake, Key Lime Tart, and the Mickey Whoopie Pie, the Lemon Berry Mousse Cake still manages to stand out thanks to its unique appearance comprised of deep purple mousse and yellow cake with a whipped cream garnish.

Sunshine Seasons Lemon Berry Mousse

Sunshine Seasons Lemon Berry Mousse

Sold. Because how could we not at least try a layer cake that looks as unique as this? [Read more…]

Review: Cinnamon French Toast Bread Pudding at Epcot’s Sunshine Seasons

You know that feeling when you’ve rope-dropped Soarin’ Around the World… but in order to do that, you had to skip breakfast?

Yeah, that feeling is hunger. And we’ve got just the thing to help you muster your strength for the rest of your day.

It’s a little thing we call Cinnamon French Toast Bread Pudding. Actually, that’s not just us. That’s what the friendly folks at Sunshine Seasons in the Land Pavilion at Epcot call it, too ;) .

You know Sunshine Seasons as the conveniently located food court with fresh and unusual-by-theme-park-standards grub. We like to keep a close eye on the menus and pastry cases here because it seems like new things are always popping up.

Sunshine Seasons sign

Sunshine Seasons sign

Before the Soarin’ refurb, it used to be home to a Croissant Berry Bread Pudding for breakfast. But that’s since been replaced by the Cinnamon French Toast Bread Pudding. [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: April 22, 2012

Carthay Circle Theater and Restaurant in Disney California Adventure

This week we had fun sharing the new dessert and cocktail menu items at La Luce. And check out all the news pouring out from Disney California Adventure!

Disney Food News

We’ve got more delicious news (including Cool Wash Pizza closure, Palo High Tea discontinued, extended hours at Land Pavilion, and Vinylmation So Tasty Series info) on our Disney Food News Pin Board, where Disney Food News is updated on a regular basis!

Grand Launch: The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2012 e-Book

We recently announced the grand launch of the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2012 e-Book! It’s an instantly downloadable PDF guide, featuring over 310 full-color pages of photographs, information, and advice about our favorite subjects — food and dining in Walt Disney World.

We’ve updated our 2012 edition with over 60 new pages of details along with more photos, coverage of new Disney dining experiences, exclusive games, and more! This is the ONLY Disney Dining Guidebook you’ll need for your upcoming Disney World trip. It’s perfect for long-time Disney fans, and those brand new to the theme parks. Get your copy today at DFBGuide.com!

If you DID purchase the 2011 Guide and would like to purchase the 2012 Guide, we’ve got a special discount for repeat purchasers. Email us here to get a limited-time, one-use, exclusive discount code to purchase the 2012 Guide at a $6 discount. Please include the email address you used to purchase the 2011 Guide in the body of your email.

On to the Round-Up

Walt Disney World for Grown Ups visits Les Vins de France Wine Shop and Tasting Room.

DisneyContemporary.com shares three favorite cupcakes from the bakery at the Contemporary Cafe.

AllEars.Net visits Flying Fish Cafe and Deb Wills explains why it’s a memorable meal for non-seafood lovers too!

Kevin Kidney celebrates the return of the Citrus Swirl and Orange Bird.

Main Street Gazette savors Beef Nachos at Tortuga Tavern in the Magic Kingdom.

StudiosCentral.com summarizes changes made to table-service restaurant menus at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

the magic kitschdom tackles home-made Zebra Domes.