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! 

Review: Coconut Pot de Creme at Gasparilla Island Grill in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

Coconut lovers, have I got a treat for you today!

And it’s located someplace rather unexpected: Gasparilla Island Grill in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort.

You see, Gasparilla Island Grill has never been a spot we’ve visited specifically to seek out dessert. Like, EVER. Gasparilla has always carried a couple of cupcakes in the refrigerated section, like the Pina Colada Cupcake and the German Chocolate Cupcake. But when you consider the fact that some really incredible dessert options are just a quick ride away via the Resort Monorail (like the Peanut Butter Pie at Contempo Cafe, or Dole Whips at Pineapple Lanai), Gasparilla’s offerings usually seemed pretty ho-hum in comparison.

However, when the counter service spot opened up again after its most recent refurbishment (no major changes to the guest area, other than the addition of Coke Freestyle machines), the dessert options had changed. And they’d been enhanced.

Gasaprilla Island Grill entrance

Gasaprilla Island Grill entrance

No longer relegated to a small row or two in the refrigerator, desserts now entirely take up a full bakery case next to the more traditional breakfast pastry selections. The cute-as-a-button Minnie Mouse Cupcake stands out right away. [Read more…]

First Look and Review! The New Roaring Fork at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

It’s good to see you again, Roaring Fork!

Roaring Fork is the primary Counter Service restaurant at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. Over the past several months, the entire resort has been undergoing several refurbishments, and these changes have certainly included some of the dining options at the Lodge.

For instance, this past February brought the addition of Geyser Point Bar & Grill — a hybrid outdoor lounge and Counter Service location. The opening of Geyser Point coincided with the temporary closure of Roaring Fork for a renovation of its own.

And even though Geyser Point has been a terrific addition to Wilderness Lodge, we have missed Roaring Fork. As home to everything from Specialty Waffles in the morning to some of our favorite cupcakes anywhere — all served up in the Lodge’s uniquely beautiful rustic setting —  Roaring Fork has long held a special place in our hearts. And we know we’re not the only ones who feel that way.

Roaring Fork Outdoor Sign

Roaring Fork Outdoor Sign

So, I’m sure some of you are as anxious as I am to see what’s new and what’s remained the same (did the Waffles make the cut?!?) at Roaring Fork. Let’s not waste any more time checking it out!

Atmosphere

Before the refurbishment, there were a few words you could always use to describe Roaring Fork. Among them were “rustic” and even “cozy.” [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: June 16, 2013

Happy Dad’s DAY!!! We’re raising a glass to all of your dads out there and hoping you’re having a great Father’s Day!

Starbucks has officially come to Disney World!

This week, we’ve got some awesome news to share with you, including coffee updates (Starbucks has soft opened in Main Street Bakery!), Food and Wine Festival updates, and more…

Let’s take a look at the latest!

Disney Food News

We’ve gathered this week’s food news from your favorite Disney destinations!

Of course, there’s more! Check out all the latest Disney Food News — even the stuff we don’t mention in posts on the blog! — on our Disney Food News Pin Board, including a New Egg White Omelet at the Kona Cafe and a Newly Erupting Volcano at the Rainforest Cafe in Downtown Disney Orlando.

DFB Reader Finds

If you find a fun new food — or other edible awesomeness — in or from Disney, share a photo with us on facebook or twitter so we can add it to our DFB Reader Finds each Sunday!

DFB Reader Janel sent us a “plate full of goodies” from Chef Mickey’s at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. YUM!

Breakfast at Chef Mickey's!

If you’re hankering for some French Toast, DFB Reader Brian tempts us with this photo of the creme brulee version from the Pepper Market at Coronado Springs Resort. Also, watch for a DFB review coming soon!

Breakfast at Pepper Market.

Dad’s Day SALE: The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining e-Book!

The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2013 e-Book is fully updated for 2013 visits, and is now available for purchase and download to help you make the most of your dining opportunities while in Disney World.

The fully updated DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2013 e-Book is an instantly downloadable PDF guide, featuring over 400 full-color pages of photographs, information, and advice about our favorite things — food and dining in Walt Disney World.

It’s guaranteed to help you navigate your way to delicious dining on your next vacation! And if you’re ready to get yours now, head on over to DFBGuide.com to pick it up!!

Don’t Forget, use code: DAD2013 to get a $4 discount in honor of Father’s Day! And at the end of this post, we have details on even more savings!

If you purchased the 2012 Guide and would like to purchase the 2013 Guide, we’ve got a special discount for repeat purchasers. Email me here to get a limited-time, one-use, exclusive discount code to purchase the 2013 Guide at a $6 discount. Please include the email address you used to purchase the 2012 Guide in the body of your email.

For more detailed information and screen shots from the e-Book, head over to DFBGuide.com! With a 100% money-back guarantee, you have nothing to lose! :-)

On to the Round-Up!

Walt Disney World for Grown Ups names ten top Disney spots for sharing a beer with Dad!

Mickey Fix highlights an R2D2 bottle stopper!

Stuff from the Park shares a vintage 1950s menu for kids dining at the Disneyland Hotel.

AllEars shares details on an adult cooking class at the Portobello Restaurant in Downtown Disney Orlando.

Eighteen25 shares a super fun Disney savings jar with a snack-tastic surprise!

Mouse on the Mind finds a thrifty breakfast at Shades of Green’s Garden Gallery.

Disney Parks Blog shows us how to create Eggs Benedict courtesy of Steakhouse 55’s Chef Alle Thiam.


Guest Review: Minnie Mouse Cupcake at Captain Cook’s Snack Company

Welcome DFB guest author Emily with a review of a new cupcake! The adorable Minnie Mouse Cupcake is found at Captain Cook’s Snack Company in the Polynesian Resort at Walt Disney World.

I recently came across the wonderful Minnie Mousse Cupcake at Captain Cook’s in Disney’s Polynesian Resort — home of many unique cupcakes, including the Peanut Butter & Jelly Cupcake and the Chocolate Beer Cupcake!

Minnie Mouse Cupcake.

The bottom is a very light chocolate cake. In fact, I couldn’t decide if there was a bit of mocha flavoring. The cake was good, but [Read more…]