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.
Have you ever visited The Land Pavilion in Epcot’s
Future World? Of course you have! Because it’s not just home to Living with the Land, that tour of all things fascinating and food-related at Epcot. It’s also the home of Soarin’ and Circle of Life, a film about conservation starring Timon and Pumba from The Lion King.
The building also hosts not one, but two restaurants. As you enter from the top of the round building and make your way toward the bottom, you’ll pass Garden Grill Restaurant. This table service restaurant hosts one of my favorite character dining experiences. Check out our most recent review for lots of food and action pics.
But once you pass Garden Grill and take the stairs (or the escalator) down to the bottom level, you’ll find Sunshine Seasons. This place is usually buzzing unless you arrive early in the morning — as we did in order to grab this pic from above. The seating area of Sunshine Seasons is comfortable and expansive.
It is a GREAT place to relax for a while, especially during a rain storm or a hot day.
As you arrive, you’ll find pictures of featured menu items. It’s a great way to get an idea of your options.
Once you’ve entered the ordering area, you’ll see that there are different stations with menu boards above each.
The Oak-Grilled Entrees are some of my favorites, and they get high marks with our readers as well.
If you prefer a lighter meal, there are always interesting Soups and Salads.
While the Sandwich options were small in number, I like the variety here.
There’s an Asian Grill that serves up some fan favorites, like Mongolian Beef.
And finally, here’s a look at the meal options for kiddos.
Before I show you what we chose during this visit, let’s take a look around.
In addition to the stations, there are Grab and Go options. You’ll find prepared cold foods, such as Salads, Fruit and Cheese Plates, and even Sushi.
There are also lots and lots of Pastries and Desserts to choose from. Muffins and Cookies abound, and you’ll find cult dessert favorites, like Strawberry Shortcake and Key Lime Tarts. My favorite new menu item at the bakery is the Warm Peanut Butter Brownie.
Also be on the lookout for great cupcakes here.
If you follow a special diet, you’ll find some treats that might be a good fit.
In addition to fountain beverages, Sunshine Seasons stocks a wide variety of bottled and canned drinks — both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Draft beer is available as well.
In the same general area, you’ll also find the Kids Menu Drinks and Sides selections.
I also hung around and scouted out the on-stage kitchen in action (yeah, I’m a stalker that way), so I got a few extra shots for you of some of the menu items!
Here are close ups of some of the Oak Grilled Options. The Salmon is always a popular choice, and is served with Roasted Potatoes and Green Beans. Not exactly your normal theme park quick service meal, eh?
The Pork Chop looked good as well, and the cast member I spoke to said that it was one of the more popular choices on the menu.
The day we visited, Soup choices included Pumpkin Squash and Five-Bean Vegetable.
Both the Spicy Fish Tacos and Oak-Grilled Vegetarian Flatbread Sandwich looked like interesting options.
And in fact, we decided to give the Tacos a try since they looked so good. They were made with Blackened Tilapia and were topped with Cabbage Slaw and Poblano Pepper Aioli for a little extra kick.
The serving of fish was substantial — definitely a filling option. The crunchy, cool slaw complemented the spicy flavors nicely. This one was a winner.
The Potato Salad as a side dish was also a nice change of pace, with its Vinaigrette Dressing.
But I couldn’t pass up my favorite meal here — the Oak-Grilled Chicken won out with me. This beautiful plate features half of a Rotisserie Chicken with a substantial side of Black Beans and Rice. It is a HUGE portion, and totally shareable for two — especially if you add a salad. Overall, I really appreciated the side of rice and beans instead of fries.
But that definitely doesn’t mean we skipped dessert! While we have lots of favorites at Sunshine Seasons, we had to try two cupcakes that we hadn’t seen before this visit.
The Black Forest Cupcake looked pretty gorgeous.
The chocolate buttercream frosting was very good, and I was delighted to see a pile of cherry pie filling inside the chocolate cake!
But in terms of taste, the Black Forest cupcake paled in comparison to our other choice — the Apple Spice Cupcake.
This one was deeee-licious! A sweet cream cheese frosting (at least I THINK it was cream cheese) topped the super moist spice cake. The sugar crystals on top gave it a sweet crunch. The whole things just worked perfectly well. I know this one is seasonal, but I wish it was there all the time.
Ah — look! Time for our Soarin’ FastPass! I love when a plan comes together. 🙂
Epcot has arguably some of the best food in Disney World, in terms of overall variety and quality. So it’s no easy task to earn a reputation as a must-have stop in this park. But Sunshine Seasons manages to do it. And even more interestingly, they manage to stay at the top.
In a world — Future World, that is — that’s largely forgettable on the food front, Sunshine Seasons delivers consistently. It’s a good example of excellent quick service food that’s both relatively healthy and delicious.
Even if you’re just stopping by to raid the bakery case, it’s always worth a visit to this hidden gem.
Is Sunshine Seasons a favorite stop of yours? Let us know what you think in comments!